Kuwait came to the world's attention in the summer of 1990, when Iraq invaded the tiny emirate. Though Kuwait was liberated within eight months, it took more than 10 years and $160 billion for the country to recover from the devastation caused by the Iraqi occupation. The citizens of Kuwait are among the most prosperous in the world, thanks to the country's oil wealth. Beneath Kuwait's sands is an estimated 10 percent of the world's oil reserves. After the 1991 Gulf War, Kuwait's rulers spoke about the possibility of bringing democracy to their country, but this has not happened-only about one-third of Kuwaitis are eligible to vote, and the ruling al-Sabah family holds great power over the nation's elected assembly. However, Kuwait remains a key U.S. ally in the turbulent Middle East. Discusses the geography, history, economy, government, religion, people, foreign relations, and major cities of Kuwait.