Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah

Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah (29 June 1926 – 15 January 2006)[1][2] (Arabic: الشيخ جابر الأحمد الجابر الصباح) was Emir of Kuwait and Commander of the Kuwait Military Forces from 31 December 1977 until his death in 2006. 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.[3] He was the 13th ruler in the family dynasty.[4]

Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah
Emir of Kuwait
Reign31 December 1977 – 15 January 2006
PredecessorSabah III
SuccessorSaad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah
Prime Ministers
Prime Minister of Kuwait
Reign30 November 1965 – 8 February 1978
PredecessorSabah Al-Salim Al-Sabah
SuccessorSaad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah
See list
Born(1926-06-29)29 June 1926
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Died15 January 2006(2006-01-15) (aged 79)
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Sulaibikhat cemetery, Kuwait
FatherAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
MotherBibi Salem Mubarak Al-Sabah

Early life and educationEdit

Jaber was born on 29 June 1926 in Kuwait City.[2] He was the third son of Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.[5]

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.[5]

His brother Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was killed in 1990 in the Gulf War in front of Dasman Palace.[6]


Early careerEdit

In 1962, he was appointed as Kuwait's minister of finance when the ministry was established.[2][7] In this position, 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 to 1964.[8] The Fund provides financial and technical assistance to developing countries. The country's oil revenues transformed it from a largely rural seafaring society to a modern state. During this time, the Fund expanded to aid five countries and gave loans to another eight.[9] The money going into the fund came from oil earnings.[9]

After Iraq claimed sovereignty over Kuwait in 1961, following independence from Great Britain,[10] Al-Sabah led a delegation to the Arab League to resolve the issue.[11] The United Kingdom informed Iraqi Prime Minister Abd al-Karim Qasim that it would militarily assist Kuwait in the event of military action, leading to Operation Vantage.[10][12] Iraq recognised Kuwait's independence in 1963, though it disputed the borders.[13]

Iran–Iraq WarEdit

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 an attack on Jaber's motorcade,[14] there was an attack on an oil installation, which almost caused the shutdown of Kuwait's oil industry.[15]

Persian Gulf WarEdit

Some sources claim that the task of the invading Iraqi forces was to capture or kill Jaber.[16][17] However, such a claimed plan was not possible with the exile of 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.[18]

From Ta'if, Jaber set up his government so that its ministers were in 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.[16][17] In the meantime, Jaber and his government lobbied to receive military support action against Iraq before and during the Gulf War. When the war ended on 28 February 1991, 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.[19] He returned to Kuwait in March 1991,[4] after American-led[20][21] efforts to restore his rule and remove the Iraqi army.[4]

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 Jaber and his government to return, which they eventually did on 15 March 1991.[22]

During the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, and unlike the ruling family of Saudi Arabia, Jaber openly allowed the United States to use Kuwait as a base.[4]

Personal life and deathEdit

Al-Sabah had at least 4 wives by 1997, and 7 children.[23]

In September 2001, 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.[24] He was succeeded by the Crown Prince Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah.[2] The government announced a 40-day period of mourning and closed for three days.[25] He was buried at Sulaibikhat Cemetery alongside his kin.[26]

Honours and awardsEdit

Jaber was given the following national honors and awards.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Hassan, Hamdi A. (1999), The Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait: Religion, Identity and Otherness in the Analysis of War and Conflict (Series: Critical Studies on Islam); New York: Pluto (UK).


  1. ^ Laura Etheredge (Ed.). "Persian Gulf States: Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates". New York, NY: Britannica Educational Publishing, 2011. Print. p. 53
  2. ^ a b c d "His Highness Sheikh Jaber III". The Telegraph. 16 January 2006. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Obituary: Sheikh Jaber, Emir of Kuwait". BBC. 15 January 2006. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d Whitaker, Brian (16 January 2006). "The Emir of Kuwait". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah". Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2004. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  6. ^ "When our flag lost its sky … and only hearts remembered". 4 November 2013. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  7. ^ "وزارة المالية - دولة الكويت". www.mof.gov.kw.
  8. ^ Zahlan, Rosemarie Said. "Making of the Modern A Arabian Gulf states Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman". London: Unwin Hyman, 1989. Print. p. 81
  9. ^ a b "Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development – Timeline. Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development. Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development – Timeline", 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2009.
  10. ^ a b Pincus, Walter (2 April 1991). "KUWAIT CRISIS FORESHADOWED BY '61 AFFAIR". Washington Post (in American English). ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  11. ^ "Sheikh Jābir al-Aḥmad al-Jābir al-Ṣabāḥ | emir of Kuwait". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  12. ^ Times, Kuwait (23 January 2019). "Britain proved to be great partner in good and bad times: Foreign Minister". Kuwait Times (in American English). Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  13. ^ Abdulrazaq, Tallha (3 August 2020). "Iraq's invasion of Kuwait 30 years ago set up the demise of its sovereignty". TRT World. Retrieved 13 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ "Emir of Kuwait's motorcade bombed on highway". Kentucky New Era. AP. 24 May 1984. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  15. ^ Zahlan, Rosemarie Said. Making of the Modern Persian Gulf States: Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman. London: Unwin Hyman, 1989. Print. p. 44
  16. ^ a b Ibrahim, Youssef M. "Confrontation in the Gulf: Man in the News; The Exiled Emir: Sheikh Jaber AL-Ahmad AL-Saber AL-Sarah", The New York Times, 26 September 1996. Retrieved 16 November 2009
  17. ^ a b [1] Sheikh Saad Al- Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, the 14th Ruler and 4th Emir
  18. ^ [2] Archived 24 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine Sheikh Saad Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, the 14th Ruler and 4th Emir
  19. ^ Brahmani, Yourself M. "After the War: Kuwait City; Nagging Question Lies Beneath Kuwait's Rejoicing: When Is the Emir Coming Home?", The New York Times, 4 March 1997.
  20. ^ "U.S. Relations With Kuwait". United States Department of State. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  21. ^ Struck, Doug. "Kuwait's love for America, Bush softens with rethinking about U.S. policy in gulf". baltimoresun.com (in American English). Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  22. ^ Brahmani, Yourself M. "After the War: Kuwait; Kuwaiti Emir, Tired and Tearful, Returns to His Devastated Land", The New York Times, 15 March 1991
  23. ^ Ibrahim, Youssef M. "After the War: Kuwait; Kuwaiti Emir, Tired and Tearful, Returns to His Devastated Land", The New York Times, 15 March 1997
  24. ^ "Emir of Kuwait dies". Daily Record. 16 January 2006. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  25. ^ Slackman, Michael and Neil MacFarquhar. Just a few days earlier, Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, a rule from nearby Dubai died. "Sheik Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, the Leader of Kuwait for 28 Years, is Dead at 79", 'The New York Times, 16 January 2006. Retrieved 30 November 2009.
  26. ^ "Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Jaber buried". BBC News. 15 January 2006.
Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah
Born: 29 June 1926 Died: 15 January 2006
Regnal titles
Preceded by Emir of Kuwait
Succeeded by