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Mubarak Al-Sabah Al-Sabah
Sheikh of Kuwait

Other names: The Great


Sheikh of Kuwait 1896–1915†
His Excellency 1914  
Pasha 1897 [Turkey]
Knight Commander Order of the Star of India 1914 [UK]
Imperial Order of the Medjidie, 1st class, 1912 [Turkey]
Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire 1911 [UK]
Delhi Durbar Medal 1903, 1911
Kaymakam of Kuwait 1897 [Turkey]
Imperial Order of the Medjidie, 5th class, 1897 [Turkey]

Mubarak's life, marked by both ruthless ambition and shrewd diplomacy, is a testament to his remarkable ability to navigate the turbulent political landscape of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His early years were steeped in the intrigues and power struggles that defined Kuwaiti politics, and he honed his political acumen, navigating the shifting alliances and rivalries within the family. His cunning and ambition eventually led him to challenge his brothers, Muhammad and Jarrah, for the throne. In 1896, after a period of political turmoil, Mubarak seized power through a decisive, albeit ruthless, act, eliminating his rivals (he murdered his brother Muhammad). Mubarak is widely considered the architect of modern Kuwait. His primary concern during his reign was securing Kuwait's independence and ensuring its well-being. Facing constant threats from imperialistic powers, Mubarak skilfully navigated the diplomatic landscape. His key achievements include hosting a critical meeting with the British Viceroy of India, Charles Hardinge, before World War I, securing a treaty that recognised Kuwait as an independent state under British protection, and successfully defining Kuwait's borders through agreements, particularly regarding the strategically important Warba and Bubiyan islands in 1913. These actions significantly improved Kuwait's international standing. Mubarak not only established a strong domestic administration but also transformed Kuwait from a vulnerable state into a respected player on the world stage. Mubarak's leadership laid the crucial groundwork for the modern, independent state of Kuwait that we recognise today.

Place of death: Saif Palace, Kuwait

Son of Sabah II Al-Sabah, Sheikh of Kuwait, and Lulua bint Muhammad Al-Thaqib. He was married the following:

1. Sheikha Shekha Al-Sabah
2. Amina (Umma Saud; she married secondly to Khaz'al Khan ibn Haji Jabir Khan, Sheikh of Mohammerah), in 1882, a Circassian slave
3. Sumaya (Wasmiya), daughter of Sheikh Falah bin Rakan Al-Hithlain
4. A daughter of Sheikh Thaidan Al-Hithlain in 1883
5. Hussa, sister of Sumaya (she married secondly to Mutluq Al-Jaba'a)
6. Al-Jazi, daughter of Sheikh Fahad Al-Shaqir Al-Duwash, in 1889
7. A daughter of Sultan Al-Humaidi Al-Duwish
8. Fatima, a Circassian
9. Ghanima, a Georgian or Circassian lady
10. Shafiqa, a Georgian or Circassian lady
11. Hussa (they divorced, and she was married secondly to 'Abdu'l Aziz, King of Saudi Arabia), daughter of Muhammad bin Hamada al-Urayir.
He had issue.

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