| 26 February 2024, Monday |

Meshal al-Ahmad: Kuwait’s 17th Emir

Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, Kuwait’s 17th emir, started his political career through security and military work where he spent over 56 years.

He graduated from Britain’s Hendon Police College in 1960. He joined the Ministry of Interior and became head of the General Department of Criminal Investigations, a post he held from 1967 to 1980.

Under his leadership, it became known as the state security agency, a name it still holds today.

Sheikh Meshal rose up the ranks at the Ministry of Interior and was appointed Deputy Chief of the Kuwaiti National Guard with the rank of Minister in April 2004.

He was named crown prince on October 8, 2020, by his late brother Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah.

Sheikh Meshal was born in Kuwait on September 27, 1940. He is the seventh son of Kuwait’s tenth Emir Sheikh Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah.

He is brother to three rulers: Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad Al Sabah, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al Sabah and Sheikh Nawaf.

He attended the Al Mubarakiya School in Kuwait for primary education before enrolling in Hendon Police College.

The National Guard witnessed great development when he served as Deputy Chief of the agency. The agency now plays a pivotal role in defending the nation and protecting its security and stability, backing the roles of the Ministries of Defense and Interior.

Sheikh Meshal never assumed a position in government until his appointment as crown prince. Since then, he handled major state files, especially in wake of Sheikh Nawaf’s health setbacks.

Sheikh Meshal managed the strained relations between the government and National Assembly. The National Assembly was dissolved a number of times during this period and parliamentary elections were held on two occasions.

Deputy emir

On November 16, 2021, Sheikh Nawaf issued a decree that handed over most of his duties to Sheikh Meshal.

Sheikh Meshal boasts several honorary posts. He was named Honorary President of the Kuwait Aircraft Engineer Pilots Association in 1973. Late Emir Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad Al Sabah named him Head of the Diwan of Poets in 1977. He is also Honorary President and one of the founders of the Kuwait Amateur Radio Society.

Sheikh Meshal has two wives: Sheikha Noura Sabah al-Salem Al Sabah and Munira Badah al- Mutairi. He has five sons and seven daughters from both marriages.

Constitution and democratic path

During his first speech upon being named crown prince, Sheikh Meshal stressed that he would follow the democratic path established by his late brother Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad.

“We are certain that Kuwait, under the leadership of Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad will continue its pioneering role as a constitutional and democratic state,” he said at the time.

He also declared that Kuwait would remain committed to its Gulf, regional and international pledges.

He vowed to “become the loyal citizen who strives for the prosperity of his nation and protector of its interests and national unity.” He also pledged to meet the aspirations of the people.


  • Asharq Al-Awsat