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Saturday , March 25 2023

To the gardens of eternity, my greatest teacher

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Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli Former Minister of Oil

THE Arab world, in its modern history, has never witnessed a unique personality like the late Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (May Almighty Allah have mercy on his soul).

He gradually rose through ranks from an early age, as he was given unparalleled trust by his father the late Ahmad Al-Jaber, and then his cousin the late Abdullah Al-Salem, the first Amir and the founder of modern Kuwait, its constitution and laws.

Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad was the first to be in charge of the newly established Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, the mission of which was to care for the poor and the needy among the people of Kuwait, lavishing them with all kinds of support before and after the discovery of oil, which brought prosperity to all.

He then took over the Ministry of Guidance, which is currently the Ministry of Information. Later, he handled the foreign affairs portfolio for a period of four decades during which he excelled in diplomatic work throughout the 1960s, 1970s and beyond.

His unique footprints are all over the history of the modern Arab world, since the time of liberation from colonialism, and then the failed revolutionary regimes, the dictatorial policies and military defeats of which had become evident, in addition to all other events that he dealt with as the foreign minister of this country.

I personally worked with him in the ministry in 1992. He was the best colleague and a wise teacher. I benefited from his experience, knowledge and advice; he was indeed a symbol of wisdom, knowledge, diplomacy and politics.

We also worked together in 1994 when I was an MP and he was the titanic Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister.

Even after I left the National Assembly, I maintained my close, respectful and revered relationship with him before and after he became the Prime Minister, and a few years later, he became the Amir of this beloved country, the State of Kuwait.

The late Amir never withheld advice and guidance from me. He also approved popular demands that came to him, provided they passed through legal channels.

The accomplishments of our late Amir were not limited to the people of this country, but had extended to the entire Arab world.

His role in ending or settling many Arab disputes and the differences that arose among the Arab people, was clear, such as his tangible role in reaching the so-called “Taif Agreement” for which he held intensive meetings among various Lebanese factions. This was told to me by one of my friends who was a diplomat who accompanied the late Amir in such missions.

We remember his constant endeavours to end the recent Gulf dispute without taking sides.

It suffices for us to be proud of the fact that he was granted the title of the Global Humanitarian Leader, and his country Kuwait was declared as the center for humanitarian work.

It is enough for us that the late Amir was recently awarded the U.S. Legion of Merit – Chief Commander Degree by the U.S. President Trump for being a distinguished leader in our time.

May Almighty Allah pardon you, our father, our brother, and our leader O Abu Nasser. May He grant you gardens of blissful eternity. May the Almighty grant patience and solace to the bereaved. We pray.