I just finished reading The Voice of the Oud: A Story of Kuwait by Jehan S Rajab. She was a British woman who married a Kuwaiti man named Tareq Rajab in 1958. In addition to publishing several works, she co-founded the Tareq Rajab Museum and the New English School with her husband. The Voice of the Oud is a great read. I think one of the most interesting components is the mention of specific years marked by a catastrophe that happened in Kuwait during that year. It is a bleak, but compelling way to remember a year.
1831 – Failaka was stricken possibly with plague, which severely depleted the population
1871 – this was a disastrous year for pearl diving, Old Kuwaitis used to say “so and so” was born in Senat al Tuba’a, the year of sinking
1900 – this year is mentioned in the records as a particular bad year for shark attacks, one of the dangers for pearl divers
1931 – locusts invaded the town of Kuwait and destroyed everything in their path (which apparently is also happening now)
1934 – torrential rains fell, and many houses fell apart
1961 – one particularly bad sandstorm roared over the whole of Kuwait in a rose red cloud
There are also a lot of great old photographs of Kuwait included in the book.