KUWAIT: Kuwait marks the 13th anniversary of its late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah’s death today. All Kuwaitis have been recalling the deeds and achievements by the ‘Amir of Hearts’ who spent his life serving his country and people. Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who was born in 1926 in Kuwait and died on January 15, 2006 after being in power for 29 years, was the country’s 13th ruler, and the third Amir in the state’s constitutional era, which began with signing the Constitution on November 11, 1962, by the late Amir Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah.
Since he came to power in 1977, the late Amir Sheikh Jaber led the country to development and progress in all domains and on all levels, and enhanced its status on political, economic and charitable arenas across the globe. The late Amir was so keen to establish balanced bilateral relations with the world; his wise leadership helped Kuwait overcome challenges and address crises it faced, mainly in the 1980s and 1990s of the last century. During his tenure, Kuwait has remarkably witnessed an urban renaissance and development in all sectors and general utilities, with a successive pace. He paid much attention to the Kuwaiti youth. This was manifested in 1992, when the Public Authority for Youth and Sports was founded and entrusted with caring for the affairs of Kuwaiti young people and promoting their physical and mental capabilities.
On the plight of the Iraqi invasion 1990, Sheikh Jaber’s wisdom and experience have managed to mobilize big support by sisterly and friendly countries to drive the Iraqi troops out of the country and liberate the entire homeland. Due to his wisdom and the support of Kuwaitis, the State of Kuwait resumed the renaissance march, achievements and reconstruction, and removed all traces of the Iraqi invasion. He paid much attention to the martyrs’ children through establishing the Martyrs Bureau on June 19, 1991. He also spared no efforts on the release of Kuwaitis held by the Iraqi regime. He cared about Kuwaiti women, and issued in 1999 a decree giving women citizens’ full political rights. Among the prominent institutions established during Sheikh Jaber’s reign were the Public Authority for Social Insurance to secure dignified living conditions for the elderly, and the Reserve Fund for Future Generations, which benefited the Kuwaiti people during the Iraqi invasion.
Establishing the GCC
On the political level, the late Amir launched several initiatives on Gulf, Arab and international levels, and suggested the idea of establishing the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which mirrored his keenness on the joint cohesion and common destiny to face foreign challenges and political blocs. In the 1996 GCC Doha Summit, Sheikh Jaber suggested the formation of a 30-member consultative council in order to provide proposals to the GCC leaders to promote the process of decision-making. The late Amir also prioritized Muslim and Arab issues as he proposed the establishment of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development in 1961. He chaired the board of directors of this institution, which offered financial support to development efforts not only in the Arab world but in many others. He also dropped interest of debts due on poor countries.
The late Amir was keen on taking part in several conferences and meetings across the globe, and paid many official visits to enhance Kuwait’s status globally. In a poll conducted by a London-based media institution in 1995, Sheikh Jaber was chosen as the humanitarian personality of the year among five million Arabs, in recognition of his charitable actions and financial support for many global institutions. ‘The Amir of Hearts’ was engraved in all people’s minds and hearts; as several places were named after him like Jaber Al-Ahmad Hospital, Jaber Al-Ahmad Armed Forces Hospital, Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium, Jaber Al-Ahmad City, Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Center, Jaber Al-Ahmad Causeway and others. Furthermore, many places in several countries were named after him, in recognition of his status in the hearts of many people not only in Kuwait but also in many Arab and Muslim states.
Late Amir’s wisdom
Chairman and Director General of Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah affirmed that the march of the ‘Amir of Hearts.’ On the 13th anniversary of his passing, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij said that the late Amir was one of the most prominent founders of the State of Kuwait, as he contributed to building the modern state and establishing its foundations and consolidating its institutions since the early 1950s. During his ruling, Sheikh Jaber paid more attention to concerns of his people and the interests of his country, achieved security and stability of Kuwait, maintained its sovereignty and unity and strengthened its position in the world through the establishment of strong diplomatic relations with various countries.
History will remember with pride and appreciation that Kuwait got a high position among other world countries and got a strong and influential presence in international forums and global events during the rule of the late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad, Sheikh Mubarak explained. The late Amir kept Kuwait safe with his wisdom and ability to overcome tribulations despite all challenges and difficulties experienced by the region during his reign and was keen to keep it away from the dangers and conflicts surrounding it, he noted.
Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij remembered the huge efforts made by late Sheikh Jaber with late father Amir Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah and His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah during the Iraqi Invasion and how they managed to mobilize the world with the largest international coalition to expel the occupation forces and to liberate and reconstruct Kuwait. He pointed out that this coalition came as a result of Kuwait’s wise policy and its close and balanced relations with various brotherly and friendly countries, and its efforts to achieve peace and stability in the world. He referred to the unique initiatives launched by the late Amir and had a great global impact, such as the establishment of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, which provided great economic assistance to many countries, the idea of establishing the Gulf Cooperation Council and its remarkable initiative to cancel the debts of poor countries. He also referred to Sheikh Jaber’s initiatives to establish a reserve fund for future generations, Zakat House, Kuwait Finance House and other immortal historical achievements that reflect his deep insight and wisdom.
Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij stressed that the late Amir has carried out the ambitions of Kuwaiti people since he started his political career, and throughout his life he exerted the effort and time to realize the dreams and hopes of his people, whom he loved sincerely until the last moments of his life. The ‘Amir of Hearts’ passed away on January 15, 2006. – KUNA
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Israel urges hard line against Iran at nuclear talks
SULAIMANIYA: An attack by Daesh militants on a village in northern Iraq on Friday killed three villagers and 10 Kurdish soldiers, officials in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region said. Daesh claimed responsibility for the deadly attack in a statement posted on an affiliated Telegram account.The attack took place in the Makhmour region, a hotbed for Daesh…
SULAIMANIYA: An attack by Daesh militants on a village in northern Iraq on Friday killed three villagers and 10 Kurdish soldiers, officials in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region said.
Daesh claimed responsibility for the deadly attack in a statement posted on an affiliated Telegram account.The attack took place in the Makhmour region, a hotbed for Daesh activity that sees regular attacks against Kurdish forces, Iraqi forces and often civilians.Makhmour is a mountainous area about 70 km southeast of Mosul and 60 km southwest of the Kurdish capital of Irbil.Kurdistan’s Prime Minister Masrour Barzani called for greater security cooperation between Iraqi Kurdish and Iraqi security forces to stop Daesh’s insurgent activities.Iraqi officials and analysts have long blamed a lack of coordination along a stretch of territory claimed by both Baghdad and Irbil for Daesh’s continued ability to wage deadly attacks.Daesh controlled roughly a third of Iraq between 2014 and 2017, including the remote Makhmour region but also major cities including Mosul.A loose coalition of US-led forces, Iraqi and Kurdish troops and Iran-backed Shiite militias defeated the extremist group in 2017, but its members still roam areas of northern Iraq and northeastern Syria.Western military officials say at least 10,000 Daesh fighters remain in Iraq and Syria.A statement from the Kurdistan region’s armed forces, the peshmerga, said Daesh militants attacked the village in the early hours of Friday killing three residents.It said peshmerga forces intervened, resulting in clashes that killed at least seven of their soldiers.Kurdish security and hospital officials said the final death toll was at least 10 peshmerga soldiers and three villagers.In a separate development, Kurdish demonstrators in The Hague stormed the headquarters of the global chemical weapons body on Friday, sparking clashes in which six people were hurt and 50 arrested, Dutch police said.
A loose coalition of US-led forces, Iraqi and Kurdish troops and Iran-backed Shiite militias defeated the Daesh extremist group in 2017, but its members still roam areas of northern Iraq and northeastern Syria.
Dozens of protesters alleging that Turkey is using toxic arms in northern Iraq broke through security to enter the grounds of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague.A number of them managed to get inside the lobby of the building before police removed them, diplomatic sources said, while the rest staged a noisy protest outside the front doors.Police dragged the demonstrators off one by one, put them on the ground and handcuffed them, journalists saw. Some were bundled into waiting vans, but the large number meant many were taken away in a hired bus.At least a dozen police vehicles sealed off the road outside the OPCW, which is opposite Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s official residence. Several ambulances and a medical helicopter were also at the scene.Two police officers and four protesters were wounded when the demonstrators “stormed the building,” The Hague police said.Turkish jets regularly attack the separatists’ bases in northern Iraq and autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan, with several villages having emptied of their inhabitants since a new Turkish army offensive in April.The PKK and Kurdish organizations in Europe have in recent months accused Turkey of using chemical weapons, including a nerve agent and sulfur mustard gas, in dozens of attacks in northern Iraq.“We have called on OPCW and all international bodies to come and independently investigate the use of chemical weapons,” Zagros Hiwa, a spokesperson for the Kurdistan Democratic Communities Union, the PKK’s political branch, told AFP.
Clashes rock Arab town in Israel, alleged car-rammer killed
Yemeni military commander hopeful of Marib advance after army cuts Houthi supply lines LONDON: Yemen’s military commander heading army troops in Marib Maj. Gen. Mansour Thawaba said he was hopeful of advancements in the strategic province after Houthi supply lines were cut. There have been “great advances” in the past two days in Bayhan, Usaylan…
Yemeni military commander hopeful of Marib advance after army cuts Houthi supply lines
LONDON: Yemen’s military commander heading army troops in Marib Maj. Gen. Mansour Thawaba said he was hopeful of advancements in the strategic province after Houthi supply lines were cut.
There have been “great advances” in the past two days in Bayhan, Usaylan and Harib, the major general told Al-Arabiya, noting that army forces cut the Houthis’ supply line between Bayhan and Harib.
He explained that military operations continued on all fronts, with the southern front seeing most of the action. He also noted the Saudi-led Arab coalition’s support with airstrikes.
“Marib is not besieged, and the Houthis are far from achieving this,” he said.
He added that most of those fighting for the Houthis were children and young men.
“They do not care about the children of Yemenis who are killed by the dozens every day,” he said, referring to the Houthi militia.
The coalition announced on Friday night that it had destroyed a ballistic missile launcher south of Sanaa.
The coalition added that it also destroyed a “mine-making workshop” in the capital, stressing that it had taken “preventive measures to spare civilians and civilian structures from collateral damage” during the airstrikes.
US critics of Israel face challenges in redrawn Congress districts
CHICAGO: Nine members of Congress who have been vocal critics of Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians could face tougher re-election campaigns as a result of their districts being redrawn, an analysis by Arab News shows. Every 10 years, the dominant political parties in many states re-draw district boundaries based on demographic data provided by the…
CHICAGO: Nine members of Congress who have been vocal critics of Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians could face tougher re-election campaigns as a result of their districts being redrawn, an analysis by Arab News shows.
Every 10 years, the dominant political parties in many states re-draw district boundaries based on demographic data provided by the US Census, which does not count Arab and Muslim Americans as a separate category.
Where population shifts have led to proposed boundary changes, incumbents may be forced to stand in new districts. That’s the challenge facing Illinois representative Marie Newman, who won election in 2020 in the 3rd Congressional District, which has the largest concentration of Palestinian American voters.
Newman has chosen to face-off with Sean Casten, who is very strong on climate change, in the new 6th District rather than stand against Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who is one of only two Hispanic congress members in Illinois, in the 4th District. Casten is a strong supporter of Israel and silent on Israeli violence against Palestinians, while Garcia has often joined Newman to support pro-Palestinian legislation, including voting against a bill giving Israel $1 billion for its Iron Dome defense system last September.
“Rep. Newman was supportive of the push to create a second congressional district of Latino influence and understood that doing so would mean the need to shift boundary lines of existing CDs in the Chicagoland area,” Newman campaign spokesperson Ben Hardin said.
Describing the challenges as “inevitable,” Hardin said: “Representative Newman is grateful … to have the support of so many people here in Chicago’s southwest side and in the south and west suburbs, including a strong coalition of supporters from the Arab and Muslim American community.”
The new Illinois district map was approved by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, one of Israel’s strongest advocates, in November. Pritzker aroused anger among Arab Americans after refusing to apologize for disparaging remarks he made in a 1998 congressional race in which he accused a rival of accepting money from a Muslim group that Pritzker asserted supported terrorists.
“There is no doubt that the Illinois Democrats are seeking to undermine Newman, who has been a vocal supporter of Palestinian, Arab and Muslim rights,” said Hassan Nijem, the president of the American Arab Chamber of Commerce.
“She and Chuy Garcia are the only Illinois Democrats to defend Palestinian rights and recognize our growing community.”
The Illinois primary has been delayed from March until June 28, 2022, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to Newman and Garcia, seven other members of Congress who voted against the Iron Dome money could be affected by district changes.
They include Cori Bush of Missouri; André Carson of Indiana; Raúl Grijalva of Arizona; Ilhan Omar of Minnesota; Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts; Rashida Tlaib of Michigan; and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, a Republican Congressman who consistently votes against all foreign aid regardless of the recipient.
Tlaib, Pressley and Omar are members of the “Squad,” a group of progressive Democrats that includes New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Instead of voting against the Iron Dome funding, however, AOC voted “present” not taking a position.
In Michigan, which is holding its primary on Aug. 2 next year, mapmakers are proposing to re-draw Tlaib’s 13th district, increasing the number of African American voters. That could be important even though Tlaib defeated several African American candidates when she first ran and won office in the predominantly African American district in 2018.
Tlaib may be forced into a new district against pro-Arab Democrat Debbie Dingell. However, she could survive as the Michigan process puts remapping in the hands of an independent commission rather than partisan politicians. The final Michigan remap might not be completed until late January.
Also in Michigan, proposed changes would pit Jewish Democratic Congressman Andy Levin, who has been an outspoken supporter of the two-state solution for Palestine and Israel, against Brenda Lawrence.
Minnesota congressional remapping plans have targeted Omar and another pro-Palestinian Congresswoman, Betty McCollum, although maps in those districts have not been finalized.