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Former speaker Al-Kharafi dies, 75 – Nation mourns loss of Statesman
May 23, 2015, 10:20 am
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His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Friday sent a cable of condolences to the family of the former Speaker of Kuwait’s National Assembly Jassem Al-Kharafi who passed away on Thursday at the age of 75 and was buried Friday. His Highness the Amir highlighted achievements of the deceased, saying that Kuwait has lost one of the country’s “dear sons and loyal men.” He emphasized the copious record of great services Al-Kharafi offered to Kuwait through the posts he held. His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah send a similar cable to Al-Kharafi family.

Born in 1940, Al-Kharafi came from a locally highly revered family of businessmen and politicians. He was voted an MP nine times and a National Assembly Speaker from 1999 to 2011. He was also appointed as Minister of Finance and Economy in 1985- 1990. Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al- Sabah on Friday expressed “deep sorrow and grief” over the death of Al-Kharafi. The deceased was one of prominent Kuwaiti figures who loved their country and served it sincerely, Sheikh Salam said in a press statement, emphasizing Al-Kharafi’s “unforgettable” services for Kuwait.

History will always remember Al-Kharafi’s persistent efforts and hard work for his country, he said, referring to him as a “loss for Kuwait and the Arab and Muslim Worlds” and one who had a “rich and varied national and political experience.” Sheikh Salman referred to Al-Kharafi’s remarkable economic achievements as MP, a Minister of Finance, and later as a National Assembly Speaker, as well as a leading pundit and business figure whose projects extended wide and large, at home and abroad.

In addition, he had managed through his lifetime to establish a broad network of social relations, on all levels, based on mutual respect and confidence, the minister said. Al-Kharafi was a witness to several events Kuwait experienced since he joined politics in mid-1970s till the end, and he always upheld public interest above personal interest, Sheikh Salman said.

Al-Kharafi was born in 1940 in the neighborhood of Qiblah of Kuwait City and he belonged to a locally highlyrevered family of businessmen and politicians. His father Abdulmohsin was an MP and formed Al-Kharafi Group, one of the largest trading firms in the country. He was voted an MP nine times and a National Assembly Speaker from 1999 to 2011. Al-Kharafi was appointed Minister of Finance and Economy in 1985-1990. Kuwaiti lawmakers and ministers mourn the death of former Kuwait National Assembly Speaker.

The parliamentarians and ministers have offered their deepest condolences to the family of Kharafi, including the current National Assembly Speaker, Marzouq Al-Ghanim and the Kuwaiti people. Al-Ghanim said, “… I condole my dear mother and precious aunt and the Kuwaiti people of all walks of life on the demise of ‘father’ Jassem Al- Kharafi. Al-Ghanim recalled national, political, parliamentary, social and humanitarian works of Al-Kharafi and wondered how he was able, during all his life stages, to combine determination and compassionate tenderness of a father in addition to his ability to resolve, control and connect between sincere smiles on his face that could not distance his life.

MP Mohammed Al-Jabri offered his sincere condolences to the Al-Kharafi family and to National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim on the demise of Al- Kharafi saying, “May Allah have mercy on his soul.” MP Asker Anzi said Allah have mercy on ‘Uncle’ Jassem Al-Kharafi. He said he was fortunate to be Member of Parliament in 2008 and 2009 when Al- Kharafi was Speaker of National Assembly. “He was a kind father for us all and we have learned a lot from him at the level of parliamentary and humanitarian work,” he added. He went on to say, “Al-Kharafi was the right man during difficult times, and “he dedicated his entire life in the service of Kuwait and Kuwaitis. May Allah make heaven his resting place and bestow on his family patience and solace. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and to the Speaker the National Assembly Marzouq Al-Ghanim.

Demise

MP Madhi Al-Hajri also offered his deepest condolences and sincere sympathy to the Kharafi family and to the Speaker of the National Assembly “on the demise of one of the Kuwaiti statesmen and former National Assembly Speaker Jassem Al-Kharafi. He prayed to Almighty Allah to have mercy on his soul.” MP Faisal Al-Duwaisan said, may God bless Abu AbdulMohsen. “Your contribution to help Kuwait hold its head high was immense; your contribution to sow the seeds of love, tolerance and humility in our midst is unmatched. Kuwait’s history will always remember you. I offer my condolences to Kuwait and the people.”

MP Talal Jalal added, “Kuwait has today lost one of the most prominent personalities in former Parliament Speaker Jassem Al-Kharafi. We pray to Allah to have mercy on his soul.” He added, “The deceased, Jassem, dedicated his life in the service of Kuwait and its people.” He called his death a big tragedy to all Kuwaitis. Minister of Oil and State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Al-Omair extended his sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family of dear ‘Uncle’ Jassem Al-Kharafi. “May he rest in God’s mercy, and may Allah shower upon his family patience and solace,” he said.

He added Jassem was known to be humble, dignified and generous. “He was a role model for his service to country, his religion and his loyalty and devotion to his country and the Amir of Kuwait. His contribution to saving the country from a storm of challenges is immense and his wisdom is still fresh in many places and his generous hands have reached near and far away places,” he added.

Tragedy

MP Abdullah Maayouf said the death of Al-Kharafi is a tragedy and a loss for Kuwait. He added, “Uncle Jassem is a man who loved his country and led the National Assembly during the darkest circumstances and did not pay attention to those who sought media glare. He put the interests of Kuwait above everything else.” Kuwait and the Arab and Muslim nations have lost a “great man who has offered them a lot,” Board Chairman and Director General of Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) Sheikh Mubarak Al- Duaij Al-Sabah has said over demise of Al-Kharafi.

Sheikh Mubarak on Friday pointed to Al-Kharafi’s political efforts, and economic and development contributions and projects in many countries. He also highlighted personal exploits of the deceased, who maintained good and balanced relations with all around him, and was voted an MP, and later a National Assembly Speaker. As minister of finance in 1980s, Al- Kharafi exerted persistent efforts to preserve public funds, rationalize spending and upgrade performance of state bodies, KUNA chairman stressed in a press statement. He also referred to Al-Kharafi’s many projects and achievements.

In addition, the renowned politician contributed to establishing the rules for distinguished ties among Arab, and Islamic states. Economic integration was a key goal of his. Sheikh Mubarak noted that Al-Kharafi had made the best use of his experience and wisdom for bolstering relations between the legislative and executive powers for the good of Kuwait and the Kuwaiti people. No one can deny Al-Kharafi’s political, economic and social efforts for Kuwait, he noted.

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