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Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah
Jabir al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah 1998.jpg
Emir of Kuwait
Reign 31 December 1977 – 15 January 2006
Predecessor Sabah III
Successor Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah
Prime Ministers
Prime Minister of Kuwait
Reign 30 November 1965 – 8 February 1978
Predecessor Sabah Al-Salim Al-Sabah
Successor Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah
Emir
Born (1926-06-29)29 June 1926
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Died 15 January 2006(2006-01-15) (aged 79)
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Burial Sulaibikhat cemetery, Kuwait
Father Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
Mother Bibi Salem Mubarak Al-Sabah

Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah (29 June 1926 – 15 January 2006) (Arabic: الشيخ جابر الأحمد الجابر الصباح ) of the al-Sabah dynasty was the autocratic Emir of Kuwait and Commander of the military of Kuwait who served in the posts from 31 December 1977 until his death on 15 January 2006 due to cerebral hemorrhage. The third monarch to rule Kuwait since its independence from Britain, Jaber had previously served as minister of finance and economy from 1962 to 1965 when he was appointed prime minister prior to becoming Kuwait's ruler.

Early life and education

Jaber was born on 29 June 1926 in Kuwait City. Jaber was the third son of the late Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

Jaber received his early education at Al-Mubarakiya School, Al-Ahmediya School, and Al-Sharqiya School, and was subsequently tutored privately in religion, English, Arabic, and the sciences.

His brother Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was killed in the Persian Gulf War in front of Dasman Palace.

Career

Early career

In 1962, he was appointed as Kuwait's minister of finance when the ministry was established. In this position, Sheikh Jaber was tasked with putting the new Kuwaiti dinar into circulation and establishing the Kuwaiti Currency Board, of which he was the chair. As minister, Jaber adopted, and was the first chairman of, the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development from 1962–1964. The Fund provides financial and technical assistance to developing countries; currently it is helping 103 countries. The country's oil revenues transformed it from a largely urban seafaring society to a modern state. During this time, the Fund expanded to aid five countries and gave loans to another eight. The money going into the fund came from oil earnings, with virtually all of it being sent outside Kuwait.

Iran–Iraq War

Kuwait found itself geographically in the middle of the Iran–Iraq War that took place from 1980 to 1988.

Throughout the war, the country suffered from many security threats, including a series of bombings. In 1986, one year after the attack on Sheikh Jaber's motorcade, there was an attack on an oil installation, which almost caused the shutdown of Kuwait's oil industry.

Persian Gulf War

Some sources claim that the task of the invading Iraqi forces was to capture or kill Sheikh Jaber. However, such a claimed plan was not possible with the exile of Sheikh Jaber and his government to Saudi Arabia within hours of the invasion where they ran the Kuwaiti exiled government from a hotel in Ta'if, Saudi Arabia.

From Ta'if, Sheikh Jaber set up his government so that its ministers were in constant communication with the people still in Kuwait. The government was able to direct an underground armed resistance made up of both military and civilian forces and was able to provide public services to the Kuwaiti people who remained, such as emergency care through the funds that it had saved from oil revenues.

In the meantime, Jaber and his government lobbied extensively to receive military support action against Iraq before and during the Gulf War. When the war ended on 28 February 1991, Sheikh Jaber remained in Saudi Arabia while declaring three months of martial law, causing the accusation that he was trying to monopolize too much power for the small constitutional monarchy.

By declaring martial law, those who were appointed to government positions were able to ensure the safety of the people. By imposing martial law, government officials were able to ensure that there were no Iraqis still in Kuwait who may have attempted to once again overthrow the government. They were also tasked with making sure that the country was safe enough for Sheikh Jaber and his government to return, which they eventually did on 15 March 1991.

Personal life and death

His actual family is quite complex; so it is unclear how many wives he had. He had 50 children; 27 females and 23 males. In September 2001, Sheikh Jaber suffered from a stroke and went to the United Kingdom for treatment. Five years later, he died on 15 January 2006, aged 79, from a cerebral hemorrhage that he had suffered since 2001. He was succeeded by the Crown Prince Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah. The government announced a 40-day period of mourning and closed for three days. He was buried at Sulaibikhat cemetery alongside his kin.

Honours and awards

Sheikh Jaber was given the following honors and awards.

National honours

  •  Kuwait:
    • Order of Mubarak the Great (Kuwait) - ribbon bar.gif Sovereign Grand Master of the Order of Mubarak the Great
    • Order of Kuwait (Special Class).gif Sovereign Grand Master of the Order of Kuwait
    • The Order of National Defence.gif Sovereign Grand Master of the Order of National Defense
    • Military Duty Order (Kuwait).gif Sovereign Grand Master of the Military Duty Order
    • Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) ribbon.svg Sovereign Grand Master of the Order of the Liberation

Foreign honours

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