Kuwait mourns death of leader
Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah died Sunday, KUNA announced. The sheikh, who had been ailing since suffering a brain hemorrhage five years ago, was 78.
Crown Prince Sheikh Saad Al Abdullah Al Sabah, a distant cousin chosen by the emir as his heir apparent in the late 1970s, took over as ruler of Kuwait. He is 75 and suffers from colon problems, the AP reported.
The Kuwaiti government announced a 40-day period of mourning and ordered government offices to be closed for three days starting Sunday. The Kuwaiti cabinet on Sunday mourned Sheikh Jaber's demise and decided he will be laid to rest on Sunday at Sulaibikhat Cemetery.
Sheikh Jaber was Kuwait's 13th ruler and its third since the 1961 independence. Born in 1928, Sheikh Jaber, received his preliminary education in the Mubarakia, Ahmadia, and Sharquiah schools, as well as by private tutors for Arabic and English languages.
At the age of 21, Sheikh Jaber became directly involved in politics. He was appointed Chief Director of Public Security in the Al-Ahmadi area in 1949, when Kuwait moved from a country dependent on diving to an oil-nation. In 1959, the Sheikh Jaber became Head of the Finance Department, and on January 17, 1962, he became Kuwait's first Minister of Finance and Economy in the first Kuwaiti cabinet to be formed after independence.
Sheikh Jaber was appointed Minister of Finance and Industry on January 28, 1963.
And on January 3, 1965, Sheikh Jaber became Minister of Finance and Minister of Trade and Industry, and remained in the post until November 27, 1965.
Sheikh Jaber became Prime Minister on November 30, 1965, and an Amiri decree was issued on May 31, 1966 appointing him Crown Prince. The decree was unanimously approved by the country's first National Assembly.
He was appointed Crown Prince and Prime Minister on February 4, 1967, and again in 1971 and 1975.
Sheikh Jaber became ruler of Kuwait on December 31, 1977 upon the demise of Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, Kuwait's 12th ruler.
The emir of Kuwait survived an assassination attempt in the 1980s and a decade later escaped Iraqi forces invading his state.