I'm not easily moved by any particular public figure, as I have an overall belief that any public figure isn't as public or as open as one may be led to believe. Ulterior motives and conspiracy theories aside, however, there are a select few of them that I feel personally attached to, Sheikh Saud Nasir Al Sabah was one of them.
I say "was", because I'm quite saddened to say that he has passed away last night, after a long struggle with illness lately. And while a part of me is quite saddened to have heard this news, another part of me is relieved that he has passed onto the afterworld, finally rested and free of the grim realities of this world.
Sh. Saud was, in my humble opinion, a reformer who never had a chance! Some say he was constantly battling internal strife as well as external animosities, mostly due to his popularity among the enlightened and educated of Kuwait's society.
He was a cunning and shrewd fighter during Iraq's occupation of Kuwait, in his capacity as Kuwait's ambassador in Washington. He never gave in to any pressure, neither from his opponents in the Diplomatic circle in New York & Washington, nor from the political circle in the Government-In-Exile in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Nor was he even accommodating to any pressure that was mounting on him to replace US les forces with Islamic ones. In retrospect, had he done so, I'd be an Iraqi national in exile-if even alive!
I won't get into the details of his struggle within his family, as I don't believe I have that right, but the fondness I have for the man-may he rest in peace- outweighs any barriers to my self-censorship!
Suffice to say, he wanted to reform a family that was stricken with the responsibilities of rule and government, and riddled with animosities and jealousy and conspiracy theories and old feuds. He believed that, in doing so, he would be safeguarding Kuwait's stability and security for generations to come.
Unfortunately, some viewed him as a tool for Western Imperialist forces to rule Kuwait by proxy, or simply as an impediment to their own political (and economic) aspirations.
Today, this man is remembered by his actions during the occupation and the years that followed, as an unsung hero, a true Nobleman, a true "Sheikh", as the exact meaning of the word!
Kuwait has lost one of its finest sons today, and many, like me are quite saddened, but at the same time, a few are elated, another impediment to their unbound greed has been removed.
To Allah we belong, and to Him we shall return......all of us!