A Nation Remembers a Leader with Sorrow
With great sadness and sorrow, we mourn the death of Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait , expressed a statement broadcasted on Kuwaiti state television.
A Legacy Remembered
Kuwait, renowned for its oil wealth, bid farewell to Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who passed away on Saturday after a three-year tenure as the country’s emir. He was 86.
The announcement was preceded by a shift in programming on state television to broadcast Koranic recitals.
In November, Sheikh Nawaf’s hospitalization due to an unspecified health emergency raised concerns about his well-being, though he was later reported to be in stable condition.
His succession in 2020 followed the passing of his half-brother, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who had appointed him as crown prince in 2006.
Sheikh Nawaf’s reign faced economic challenges aggravated by plummeting oil prices in 2020. With the current crown prince, Sheikh Mishal al-Ahmad al-Sabah, aged 83, speculation arises about potential leadership from a younger generation within the ruling family.
Kuwait, where the ruling Al Sabah family holds significant power, hosts an active parliament. However, tensions between elected lawmakers and appointed cabinet ministers have hindered progress and investor confidence, leading to multiple government changes in a short span.
This political impasse delayed vital reforms, leaving infrastructure and education neglected and much of the population discontented.
Sheikh Nawaf’s political journey began in 1937 as the fifth son of Kuwait’s ruler Sheikh Ahmad al-Jaber Al-Sabah. He entered politics at 25 as the governor of Hawalli province and later served as interior minister for a decade starting in 1978.