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Pearl diving: keeping tradition alive in Kuwait

Yasser Al-Zayyat / AFP - Getty Images

Kuwaiti sailors fix a dhow in Kuwait City on July 11, 45 days ahead of the Pearl Diving Festival.

Yasser Al-Zayyat / AFP - Getty Images

Khalefa al-Rashed, a Kuwaiti skipper, participates in preparations for the upcoming Pearl Diving Festival in Kuwait City.

Yasser Al-Zayyat / AFP - Getty Images

A young Kuwaiti sailor applies a mixture of white cement and animal grease to the body of a dhow in Kuwait City on July 11.

Prior to the discovery of oil in Kuwait, pearls were the precious commodity for the region. 

The Pearl Diving Festival is held annually under the patronage of the Kuwaiti emir to keep alive traditions that accompanied the once important national trade.

Yasser Al-Zayyat / AFP - Getty Images

A young Kuwaiti sailor applies a mixture of white cement and animal grease to the body of a dhow in Kuwait City.

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