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Marafie Foundation, Kuwait Kuwait-Map
Kuwait is part of the Arabian Peninsula. To the east is the Arabian Gulf, to the north is Iraq, and to the south is Saudi Arabia. Kuwait’s strategic position and natural harbour, led it to become a powerful maritime nation with trading links to India and East Africa. Pearls found offshore also boosted the economy. The discovery of oil in insignificant quantities in the late 1930’s was defining moment in the history of Kuwait. Blessed with huge reserves under the desert sands, Kuwait has a secure and strong economy which continues to grow.
The merchant families played a crucial role in the development of Kuwait. The Marafie family were prominent in this group. They built trading dhows which carried dates and other commodities to India and returned with building materials, rice, and other essentials. As cargo ships and air freight began to impact on this market, they diversified their interests. Today the Marafie Group encompasses a wide range of activities from real estate, construction, hotels, electronics, telecommunications, power systems, printing, medical equipment, and elevators to investment and much else. Map1
In 1938, the Founder established the National School in Kuwait. The school was set up to provide free education for needy children. As the Kuwait Government expanded its programme of providing schooling for all, it was decided to utilise the school to generate funds for less fortunate children elsewhere. The New National School became an institution run on a commercial basis in the late 1980s. Its revenues support the Foundation’s educational activities abroad which have funded 175 schools and given educational opportunities to 28,000 students. The National School has over 1600 pupils and is the oldest private school in Kuwait. Student bursaries are still offered to some of its pupils in need. 5a