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Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah

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Title: Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah  
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Subject: Saad Al-Salim Al-Sabah, Military of Kuwait, Foreign relations of Kuwait, 2012 Arab League summit, Arab leaders
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Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah

Sabah IV Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah GCB (Hon) (Arabic: الشيخ صباح الأحمد الجابر الصباح born 16 June 1929) is the 5th Prince of Kuwait and the Commander of the Military of Kuwait. He was sworn in on 29 January 2006 after confirmation by the National Assembly of Kuwait. He is the fourth son of Kuwait's 10th ruler Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. As of 2014 he was the head of the Sabah monarchy.

Early life

Al-Sabah was born on 16 June 1929. He received 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, 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, 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.

Foreign minister of Kuwait

Prior to being the Emir of Kuwait, Sabah was the Foreign Minister of Kuwait between 1963 and 2003.[1] During Sabah's time as foreign minister he had to restore Kuwaiti international relations after the Gulf War. Sabah was involved in restoring the country after the Iraqi invasion.

He was also first deputy prime minister while serving as foreign minister.[2]


Dynastic crisis of January 2006

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney meets with Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah to deliver condolences on the death of the Emir in 2006.

On 15 January 2006 the emir, Sheikh Jaber, died, making Sheikh Saad, Crown Prince of Kuwait, the new 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 suffered from Alzheimer's disease or some other debilitating disease; it was generally agreed that he was unable to speak, at least at any length.[3] 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 24 January 2006, Kuwait’s parliament voted Emir Saad out of office, moments before an official letter of abdication was received.[4] The Kuwaiti Cabinet nominated Al-Sabah to take over as emir. He swore in on 29 January 2006 with the National Assembly's approval, ending that crisis.

Government crisis of March 2008

Al-Sabah dissolved the National Assembly of Kuwait on 19 March 2008 and called for early elections on 17 May 2008, after the cabinet resigned in the week of 17 March 2008 following a power struggle with the government.[5]

2012 parliamentary suspension

Though Kuwait initially avoided the Arab Spring pro-democracy protests sweeping the region since early 2011, a struggle broke out between the House of Sabah and a parliament calling for greater independence in 2012; leading His Highness, the Commander of the Military of Kuwait, to dissolve parliament.[6] In June 2012, His Highness took the step of activating article 106 of the Kuwaiti constitution, suspending the National Assembly for one month. It was the first time in Kuwait's 50-year parliamentary history that the assembly had been suspended in this way, although it was twice dissolved unconstitutionally (in 1976 and in 1986), and was dissolved constitutionally four times since 2006.[7]

Significant laws passed during his reign

  • An increase of his stipend from 8 million KD (approximately $25 million) to 50 million KD (approximately $188 million) annually
  • A media law said to be one of the strongest press freedom laws in the Arab world[8]

Other positions held

  • Member of the Central Committee Municipality Council from 1954 to 1955.
  • Member of the Building and Construction council.
  • Chairman of the Social Affairs and Labour Authority in 1955.
  • Member of the Higher Council of Country Affairs in 1956.
  • Chairman of the Printing and Publishing Authority from 9 September 1956 to 17 January 1962
  • Minister of Information - in the first cabinet that took power after independence in the period of Sheikh Abdullah Salim Al-Sabah, on 17 January 1962.
  • Foreign Minister since 28 January 1963.
  • Deputy Prime Minister on 16 February 1978 in addition to his post of Foreign Minister.
  • First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister on 18 October 1992.
  • Member of the Supreme Council of Planning in 1996, headed by the Crown Prince Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah.
  • Chairman of the Cabinet's Joint Ministerial Committee on Priorities of Governmental Work.
  • Prime Minister from 13 July 2003 to 29 January 2006.
  • Honorary Trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York

Titles, styles and honours

Monarchical styles of
The Emir of Kuwait
Reference style His Highness
Spoken style Your Highness
Alternative style Sheikh

Titles and styles

  • 16 June, 1929 – 13 July 2003: His Excellency Sheikh Sabah bin Ahmad Al-Sabah
  • 13 July, 2003 – 30 January, 2006: His Highness Sheikh Sabah bin Ahmad Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait
  • 30 January, 2006 – present: His Highness Sheikh Sabah IV bin Ahmad Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait[9]

Honours and awards[10]


Personal life

Al-Sabah's wife, Sheikha Fatuwah (also his cousin), died before 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 on 23 June 2002 in London.[18] The Emir named his palace "Dar Salwa" (the House of Salwa) after her. His third son, Sheikh Ahmed, died in a car accident in 1969.

The Emir enjoys fishing and travels to Oman frequently (Salalah in the Dhofar Governorate to be exact)[19] where he owns a small island and goes fishing for leisure. He shies away from areas where there is a lot of glamour preferring instead areas where he can keep a low profile. Al-Sabah also frequented Somalia to hunt, and after the political turmoil, he still continues.[19]

See also


  1. ^ "Independence and building the modern state". Al Diwan Al Amiri. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Profiles of Ministers". APS Review Gas Market Trends. 21 June 1999. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Kuwait Succession Crisis and the New Leadership". The Estimate. 27 February 2006. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2006. 
  4. ^ Tim Butcher (24 January 2006). "Kuwait in crisis as sick emir abdicates". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "Emir steps in to stem Kuwait's conflict". CNN. 19 March 2008. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "Kuwait opposition to boycott vote, calls for protests". Chicago Tribune. 3 November 2012. Archived from the original on 3 November 201. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  7. ^ Kristian Coates Ulrichsen (20 June 2012). "Political showdown in Kuwait". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Jefferson Morley (3 November 2012). "Arab Press on Trial Again". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  9. ^ "Al-Sabah Dynasty". Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  10. ^ Royal Ark
  11. ^ "United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Statements". Archived from the original on 16 September 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  12. ^ "'"Emiri i Kuvajtit, si po e shndërron sheshin 'Skënderbej. 2010-03-28. Archived from the original on 2010-06-19. 
  13. ^ "ВСТРЕЧА ПРЕЗИДЕНТА АЗЕРБАЙДЖАНА ИЛЬХАМА АЛИЕВА И ЭМИРА ГОСУДАРСТВА". Газета Бакинский рабочий. 11.02.2009. Archived from the original on 2011-07-06. 
  14. ^ "Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah S.A. Sceicco Sabah Decorato di Gran Cordone" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  15. ^ Presidenti Topi dekoron Emirin e Shtetit të Kuvajtit, Sheikun Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah me Urdhrin, President of Albania, 27 May 2012(in Albanian)
  16. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado
  17. ^ Royal Ark
  18. ^ Royal Ark
  19. ^ a b أمير الكويت يتحدث عن سلطنة عمان - الفريسي (in Arabic). YouTube. 17 April 2009. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 

External links

  • Al-Diwan Al-Amiri - the official website of the office of the Emir
Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
Born: 16 June 1929
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah
Emir of Kuwait
2006 – present
Heir apparent:
Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
Political offices
Preceded by
Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah
Prime Minister of Kuwait
2003 – 2006
Succeeded by
Nasser Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah
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