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