Kuwait Mourns as Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Passes at 86

Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah, the 86-year-old Emir of Kuwait, passed away on Saturday, according to the Amiri Diwan of Kuwait.

Read also: Kuwait Announces Sheikh Mishal as the New Emir

It was with profound grief that the news was communicated by Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Al Sabah, minister of his Emiri court.

Transition of Leadership in Kuwait to Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah

Kuwait's state TV interrupted regular programming to announce the Emir's passing, followed by Quranic verses, indicating a royal family death. In response, public offices in Kuwait will remain closed for three days, with a 40-day mourning period declared.

Sheikh Mishal Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah as the New Emir

In a rapid transition, 83-year-old Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah assumed the role of Emir, as reported by state television. Sheikh Mishal, who had already taken on key constitutional duties in 2021, has a background primarily in Kuwait's security and intelligence apparatus.

Sheikh Nawaf's Political Journey

Sheikh Nawaf was born in 1937, the fifth son of Sheikh Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, who ruled Kuwait from 1921 until 1950. He entered politics at the age of 25 and served as governor of Hawalli province. From 1978 to 1980, he was the interior minister. He was revered as the "emir of pardons" due to the abundance of amnesties he granted throughout his rule.

Global Condolences

Condolences poured in from leaders worldwide, recognising Sheikh Nawaf's six-decade service to Kuwait. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of the UAE expressed deep condolences, emphasising Sheikh Nawaf's sincerity and dedication. Saudi Arabia's royal court shared in Kuwait's sorrows, while British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the Kremlin acknowledged his significant influence in the Middle East.

The Legacy of Sheikh Nawaf

Sheikh Nawaf will be remembered for his personal attributes: soft-spoken, devout, modest, and low-profile, according to Bader Al Saif, a history professor at Kuwait University. His passing marks the end of an era, and the world reflects on his enduring impact on Kuwait and the broader Middle East.

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