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as-Sabah, Ahmad 1 bni Jaber
Arabic: ¢ahmad bni jabar 'as-sabāh

Shaykh Ahmad 1 bni Jaber of Kuwait

(1885- 1950) Shaykh of Kuwait (1921- 50), and son of Shaykh Jaber 2.
During his reign, Kuwait went from being a poor nation making some limited revenue from pearl fishing and exports, into becoming a growing oil exporting nation. His rule was also one of great changes, since the old forms of government could not surive a time of enormous economic growth. Thanks to this, there were small revolutionary tendencies, but Ahmad had these stopped with the help from the British.
Even if oil revenues improved the lives of all Kuwaitis, Ahmad never managed to become a popular ruler.

1885: Born in Kuwait as son of Jaber, who became shaykh of Kuwait 1915-1917.
1921: Ahmad becomes shaykh of Kuwait.
1934: Ahmad grants the first oil concessions to Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), which had Western owners. Ahmad considered fees and advance royalties as his personal income, something that angered the Kuwaiti notables.
1938: After much popular pressure, Ahmad must accept that much of his power is transferred to a parliament with 14 chosen by limited popular elections.
July: The parliament elects a president, Abdullah as-Sabah, who came to succeed him as shaykh.
December: With support from KOC and the British, Ahmad has the parliament dissolved, and he starts a campaign to suppress opposition.
1939-45: Contrary to the popular sentiments, Ahmad sides with the British during World War 2.
1950: Ahmad dies, and is succeeded by Abdullah 3 bni Salim.

By Tore Kjeilen