JASEM ALQINAI WRITES-Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah recently celebrated his 14th year of rule. The fifteenth Emir of Kuwait was sworn in on the 29th of January 2006. He is the fourth son of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Prior to his rule he served as Prime Minister as well as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.
The Emir has made significant strides to benefit his people and establish a lasting legacy: 1) In 2008 he dissolved the National Assembly, following power struggles between the government and the Cabinet; 2) He has acted as a mediator between Pakistan and Bangladesh as well as other nations facing conflict and civil war, and has hosted UN-sponsored meetings on the Yemeni Civil war of 2016; 3) Under his reign, Kuwait has enjoyed good foreign relations with nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council; and 4) He has established Kuwait as a mediator in the Qatar diplomatic crisis. All these acts of good will have earned Kuwait powerful allies, including the US, whose current president applauded the Emir for championing regional stability.
The Emir was also awarded a Humanitarian Award in 2014. He has been a significant champion of disaster relief, aiding refugees, and furthering peace talks as well as public health. For example: 1) The Oxford Center for Islamic Studies was granted a donation of 10 million Sterling pounds some time ago; 2) and in 2013, he gave a substantial donation to support Syrian refugees. In addition, the nation has played host to regional conferences aimed at aiding Syria and other nations in crisis, thus securing for himself a place in history.
We must beware, though: Sheikh Sabah can do only so much. His reign has not been perfect. The power struggles that have led to dissolution of the National Assembly, more than once during his reign, resulted in a stalled economy and national instability. Infighting in Kuwaiti politics is nothing new. The Emir cannot do it all. He needs the help of his politicians and his people.