Friday, December 16, 2011

Sheikh Sabah IV Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah

Sheikh Sabah IV Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (Arabic: صباح الأحمد الجابر الصباح Sabāh al-Ahmad al-Jābir as-Sabāh; born June 16, 1929) is the Emir of Kuwait. Sheikh Sabah was sworn in on January 29, 2006 after confirmation by the National Assembly of Kuwait. He is the fourth son of Emir Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Sheikh Sabah is the head of the ruling Al-Sabah family. Currently, he is introducing many new projects in Kuwait to increase the tourism industry. He is also a strong advocate for women’s rights in the Middle East.

Early life
Sheikh Sabah received his primary education at Al Mubarakya School during the 1930s and then completed his education under tutors. He is the half-brother of the previous Emir of Kuwait, H.H. Sheikh Jaber III al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, who appointed Sabah as Prime Minister in July 2003, replacing the then Crown Prince of Kuwait, H.H. Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah. He had previously been Foreign Minister for 40 years, from 1963 to 2003, making him one of the longest-serving foreign ministers in the world.

Sheikh Sabah is a widower. His wife, Sheikha Fitooh, died before the Iraqi invasion of August 1990. He has two sons, Sheikh Nasser (Minister of the Ruler's Court "Diwan Amiri"), and Sheikh Hamed. Sheikh Sabah also had two other children who died. His daughter, Sheikha Salwa, died from breast cancer in July 2002. In her honor, the Emir named his palace "Dar Salwa", which means "The House of Salwa". His third son, Sheikh Ahmed, died in a car accident in 1969.

Dynastic crisis of January 2006
On 15 January 2006 the then Emir, Sheikh Jaber, died, which placed Sheikh Saad, who was then the Crown Prince of Kuwait, into the position of Emir. With the accession of Sheikh Saad, Sabah was likely to become the new Crown Prince, retaining his function of Prime Minister. However, the Constitution requires that the Emir be sworn in before Parliament, and the oath of office is complex; soon the word began to spread that Sheikh Saad was unable to take the oath in full. Some reports suggested that he suffers from Alzheimers or some other debilitating disease; it seems generally agreed that he was unable to speak, at least at any length. However, after a power struggle within the ruling family, Sheikh Saad agreed to abdicate as the Emir of Kuwait on 23 January 2006 due to his illness. The ruling family then chose Sheikh Sabah as the new Emir of Kuwait. On January 24, 2006, Kuwait’s parliament voted Emir Saad out of office, moments before an official letter of abdication was received. The Kuwaiti Cabinet nominated Sheikh Sabah to take over as emir. He swore himself in on January 29, 2006 with the National Assembly's approval, ending that crisis.

Government crisis of March 2008
Sheikh Sabah dissolved the National Assembly of Kuwait on March 19, 2008 and called for early elections on May 17, 2008, after the cabinet resigned in the week of March 17, 2008 following a power struggle with the government.

Amiri Diwan
The Amiri Diwan (or Al-Diwan Al-Amiri as it is known in Arabic) is seen as one of the symbols of the State of Kuwait’s sovereignty. It is the headquarters and the permanent centre of the country’s rulers. The Amiri Diwan is located in the Heart of Kuwait. The Amiri Diwan is the most important political institution in the State of Kuwait. It serves as the office of the Emir and also has an office for the Al-Sabah Royal family.

Foreign Minister of Kuwait
Prior to being the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah was the Foreign Minister of Kuwait between 1963 and 2003. Sheikh Sabah is the longest serving foreign minister in the world, making him known to be adept in foreign relations and diplomacy. During Sabah's time as foreign minister he had to restore Kuwaiti international relations after the Gulf War. Sabah played a big role in the efforts of liberating the country after the Iraqi invasion. HH joined the former emir of Kuwait Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in the United Nations in a meeting with the U.S. President George H. W. Bush and other allies to help in liberating Kuwait.

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