Al-Hailag years

Kuwait Times - - FROM THE ARABIC PRESS - By Dr Saleh Al-Ojairi

There was a great famine in Kuwait in the years 1868-1871. Th­ese years were named Al-Hailag, which means the year of hunger. And, as usual, Kuwaitis used it to mark dates and his­tory. At that time, Kuwait was ruled by the late Sheikh Ab­dul­lah II, the son of Sabah II. Sheikh Ab­dul­lah, may the Almighty have mercy on his soul, ex­erted a lot of ef­forts to ease the im­pact of the famine on the peo­ple de­spite the very limited re­sources he had then.

Amongst those who spent from their own money in pro­vid­ing relief aid for the needy were the late Yousef Al-Bader and Yousef Al-Subaih. It is note­wor­thy that Yousef Al-Sabeeh opened a house he owned in Zubair to feed the poor and the needy. And some peo­ple from Zubair moved south to Kuwait, where many Zubair women got mar­ried to Kuwaitis who had sur­vived the plague of 1831, be­cause they were out at sea when the plague struck Kuwait and killed their wives.

A fa­mous poet wrote a poem prais­ing what both Bader and Subaih did and high­lighted their benev­o­lence to­wards the peo­ple of Kuwait. He also wrote that dead peo­ple can­not take their wealth along with them. Those were the golden old days when Kuwaitis came to­gether at all times, namely in times of dis­tress! —Trans­lated by Kuwait Times

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