Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah

Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah jā´bĕr är-äkh´mäd ä-säbä´ [key], 1926–2006, emir of Kuwait (1977–2006). A member of Kuwait's ruling Sabah family, he was the third son of Sheikh Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah (r. 1921–50). Beginning in the 1940s he held several positions in the Kuwaiti government, and soon established a reputation as a shrewd and perceptive politician. After the end of the British protectorate (1961), Sheikh Jaber became Kuwait's first finance minister, and during the 1960s he established a fund that eventually grew to $120 billion and proved invaluable in sustaining the country after Kuwait was invaded by Iraq in 1990. Jaber was appointed prime minister in 1965 and was named crown prince and heir apparent the following year. He became emir in 1977; eight years later he survived an assassination attempt by a Shiite militant. After the Iraqi invasion, he established a government-in-exile in Saudi Arabia, returning to Kuwait in 1992. He frequently clashed with parliament, dissolving it in 1986 and 1999, and actively supported giving Kuwaiti women the vote, which was finally achieved in 2005.

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