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Biographical Data :

Name :Sheikh Saad Al Abdullah Al Sabah
Period :1930 - 2008
Biographical detail : The Sheikh who was cast aside as emir after only nine days.

The emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah will largely be remembered for being moved aside as 14th emir, after only nine days, in January 2006. But he was called ‘the hero of the liberation’ for his steadfastness during the Gulf War.

He did not take up the position because of his ill health, rivalry within the royal family, and the unprecedented action by parliament to replace him with his cousin. Yet he had a central role in Kuwait’s domestic and foreign affairs.

In 1978 Sheikh Saad was named Crown Prince and Prime Minister. For a long time he played a crucial role as head of government. He took vital decisions during the critical years after the end of the Iran-Iraq war, and especially when he took strong stance during and after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, when his cousin the emir already looked frail and withdrawn.

In response to Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait Sheikh Saad launched international public relations campaign that became so important in selling Kuwait’s case to the world. He was reputed to have gone back to Kuwait after his initial flight to rescue the emir. He rallied the exiled Kuwaiti population from his base in the Saudi mountain resort of Ta’if by promising a restoration of the suspended constitution upon liberation. And he was the first leader to return after the liberation to take charge of rebuilding the country in March 1991.

Worsening health problems from the late 1990s, with treatment including colon surgery, added Sheikh Saad’s increasing distance from politics. He was unanimously voted out of the office as he tried to abdicate.

Sheikh Saad was born in an era when Kuwait was a poor backwater in the Gulf. A tall and dignified man, he was happier with the lifestyle of the pre-oil wealth Kuwait than with that of the brash modern world. He craved no riches. He was kind and generous.
 (Compiler : M. Nauman Khan)


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