NUSACC Mourns the Passing of H.H. Sheikh Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait
The National U.S. – Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC) mourns the passing of H.H. Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait since 2006. “NUSACC has worked very closely with the State of Kuwait in a wide variety of ways during the time of H.H. Sheikh Sabah,” noted David Hamod, the Chamber’s President & CEO. “He was a generous, thoughtful, and unifying influence across the MENA region and around the world, and he will be deeply missed.”
H.H. Sheikh Sabah played an instrumental role in shaping Kuwait’s foreign policy for the past six decades, beginning in 1963, when he was named Foreign Minister. In that capacity, he was a steady hand before, during, and after the Gulf War of 1990-1991, a period in which American and Kuwaiti leaders worked hand-in-hand to liberate the Gulf emirate. In part because of H.H. Sheikh Sabah’s untiring efforts, relations between the State of Kuwait and the United States have been exceptionally close in the ensuing three decades.
A U.S. – Arab Tradeline dedicated by NUSACC to H.H. Sheikh Sabah stated, “Over the years, H.H. Sheikh Sabah developed an international reputation as an able and astute diplomat as he forged strong relationships with global leaders.”
In recognition of the Kuwaiti Emir’s efforts to strengthen the bilateral relationship, he was awarded the U.S. Legion of Merit, Degree Chief Commander, by U.S. President Donald Trump on September 18, 2020. The White House praised H.H. Sheikh Sabah as an “unwavering friend and partner to the United States” who gave “indispensable support to the United States throughout Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and the Defeat-ISIS campaign.” This was the first time since 1991 that the U.S. Legion of Merit was bestowed on a foreign leader.
H.H. Sheikh Sabah was also a peacemaker, and his generosity and altruism was legend. One of his titles in Kuwait was “Prince of Humanity” in recognition of his humanitarian efforts around the globe. In part because of H.H. the Emir’s altruistic initiatives, Kuwait is recognized as one of the world’s most generous humanitarian donors. In recent weeks, for example, the State of Kuwait has sent approximately 1,000 tons of food and medical supplies to Lebanon in the aftermath of that nation’s catastrophic explosion.
Kuwait has been designated as an International Humanitarian Center by the United Nations, and H.H. Sheikh Sabah was formally recognized by the UN in 2014 as a Leader of Humanitarian Action whose efforts have “saved tens of thousands of lives.” Under H.H. the Emir’s leadership, much of this work – including numerous international donor conferences – was carried out through such entities as the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFSED), and the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS).
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter once said of H.H. Sheikh Sabah, “His support of disaster relief, peace efforts, and advancing public health are an inspiration. Other world leaders can learn from his wise example.”
Everyone at NUSACC mourns the passing of H.H. Sheikh Sabah, whose generosity, vision, peacemaking initiatives, and stabilizing influence on the region will be sorely missed.
Compiled by Arab America