Friday, December 16, 2011

Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah

Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah, KCMG (Hon) (Arabic: سعد العبد الله السالم الصباح Saʿd al-ʿAbd Allāh as-Sālim as-Sabāh) (ca. 1930 – 13 May 2008) was the Emir of Kuwait during a short reign of nine days (15 January to 24 January 2006), succeeding the late Sheikh Jaber.

Sheikh Saad belonged to the Al-Salim branch of the Al-Sabah family and was eldest son of the late Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah, who ruled Kuwait from 1950-65.

Married to Sheikha Latifa Fahad Al-Sabah, Sheikh Saad had five daughters: Maryam, Hissah, Jamayel, Sheikha, Fadya and one son: Fahad.

Early career
Sheikh Saad served as the President of the Police and Public Service Department from 1961 to 1962, Minister of Interior from 1962 to 1978, and Minister of Defense from 1964 to 1978. On 31 January 1978 he gained the title of Crown Prince. From February 1978 to July 2003, he also served as Prime Minister of Kuwait, after which that role was given to Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. He briefly held the position of Military Governor of Kuwait in 1991-92.

First Gulf War
Sheikh Saad played a major role in liberating Kuwait from Saddam's regime. He refused to compromise with any of Iraq's ministers, and with the head of the PLO, Yasir Arafat. He announced that he would discuss nothing but liberating Kuwait from the Iraqi regime.

In addition, he played a major role in getting Sheikh Jaber out of Kuwait and into Saudi Arabia when the Iraqi soldiers first stepped in.[citation needed] While in exile to Saudi Arabia during the First Gulf War (1990–91), he gave a famous public speech, mistakenly referring to Alaa Hussein Ali, the Kuwaiti quisling, as Aladdin. This mistake was marked by jokes, prompting one of the newspapers in Kuwait to publish a famous headline on its front page, translating to "Where is Aladdin?", which referred to the sudden disappearance of Alaa Hussein Ali following Kuwait's liberation.[citation needed]

Emir of Kuwait
Sheikh Saad had suffered from colon disease, which led to speculation that he would refuse the Emirship. A declaration in November 2005 refuted such speculation, and Sheikh Saad took office as Emir on the day of Sheikh Jaber's death. However, Sheikh Saad attended Jaber's funeral in a wheelchair, and his continued health problems caused some to question his ability to rule. Some members of the Kuwaiti parliament expressed concern that Sheikh Saad would not be able to deliver the two-line oath of office, scheduled for 24 January 2006.

On 23 January 2006, Sheikh Saad agreed to abdicate following a discussion within the ruling family, after only ten days on the throne. Although a new Emir had not yet been announced, it was evident that the position would be assumed by Sheikh Saad's second cousin and the late Sheikh Jaber's half-brother Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

On January 24, 2006, the Kuwaiti parliament voted Saad out of office, moments before an official letter of abdication was received. The Kuwait Cabinet nominated the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to take over as Emir as expected.

Sheikh Saad died on 13 May 2008, aged 78, at Shaab Palace in Kuwait City from a heart attack.

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