Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Jabar (Kuwait)
Shaikh Jaber succeeded Sabah al-Salim al-Sabah as Amir of Kuwait on the latter’s death on 31 Dec. 1977. External events dominated his reign, in particular the Iran–Iraq War of 1980–88 and the Iraqi invasion and ensuing Gulf War in 1990–91. Despite the existence of a partially elected parliamentary assembly, Jabar maintained the absolute authority of the monarchy. He held the post of Amir until his death in Jan. 2006.
Shaikh Jaber was born in 1928, the eldest son of Shaikh Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah, under whose regency oil had first been discovered in Kuwait in the 1930s. His mother was a royal cousin. He was educated in local private schools and by palace tutors before his first public appointment in 1949 as Chief of Public Security in the oilfields of Ahmadi governate. In 1959 he became head of the Department of Finance and Economy, which was renamed the Ministry of Finance in 1962 following Kuwaiti independence the previous year. He was appointed Crown Prince in...