Dr Yacoub Yusuf Al-Hijji was born in old Kuwait City in 1947, in a house not far from the waterfront. Having completed his schooling in Kuwait, he attended the American University of Beirut, graduating with a B.Sc. degree in geology. Returning to Kuwait, he joined the government groundwater department as a geologist.
In 1971, he was sent to University College, London, UK, for a graduate course in water resources, and in 1973 went to the United States to further his studies. There he attained his M.Sc. in hydrogeology from Ohio University, and his Ed.D. in science education from Boston University. In 1983, he joined Kuwait University as faculty member, a position he held until 1990. He currently works as a consultant at the Centre for Research and Studies on Kuwait (CRSK).
Dr Al-Hijji's interest in Kuwait's maritime history was first kindled in 1976 when he visited the dhow yards of Kuwait, and was fuelled soon after by reading Alan Villiers' classic work, Sons of Sindbad. Since then he has become an authority on Kuwait's rich maritime heritage, and now devotes much of his time to its study. He has written several articles and books about it, in both Arabic and English, among them The Voyage of Al-Ghazeer and the Art of Dhow Building in Kuwait.