Independence and Building the Modern State


Esteemed conference chairwoman,

Dear guests and attendees,

I would like to begin by seizing this opportunity to extend my sincere congratulations and best wishes to all of you on the occasion of celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of our independence, the twentieth anniversary of liberation, and the fifth anniversary of His Highness the Amir of the country, Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah, may God protect him, assuming the reins of governance. We renew our pledge of allegiance and obedience to serve this dear country and elevate it to the highest ranks under his leadership.

Esteemed guests,

The choice of "Independence and Building the Modern State" as the theme for this important conference gives profound significance that independence from British protection under the 1899 agreement was not the actual signal to proceed with building the modern state. On the contrary, the independence officially declared on June 19, 1961, was a genuine expression and a true culmination of the Emirate's journey in construction, modernization, and reaching the stage of maturity and qualification to rely on itself in building and completing the elements and foundations of the modern state. This is reflected in the immortal words spoken by the late Abdullah AlSalem AlSabah when he ratified the country's constitution, saying, and I quote: "Desiring to complete the reasons for democratic governance of our dear homeland, and believing in the role of this country in the Arab nationalism caravan and serving world peace and human civilization, and seeking towards a better future where the nation enjoys more prosperity and international status, and also provides citizens with more political freedom, equality, and social justice, and establishes the pillars of what the Arab soul has been built on, pride in individual dignity, concern for the common good, consultation in governance while preserving national unity and stability." End of quote.

Completing the reasons for governance... and striving towards a better future are luminous words that entail deep meanings, and from them, we infer clear facts that independence was not the starting point for building the modern state but rather came as a continuation and completion of a long journey. The Kuwaiti people, with all their components, laid its first foundations, and the founder of the modern state, the late Mubarak Al-Kabeer, cemented its solid pillars.

Esteemed attendees,

Building is a living and continuous action that achieves its goals and expressions through the vibrant and creative interaction between humans and their surrounding environment. The state's focus, since the beginning of its renaissance, on investing in the Kuwaiti human being as the tool of development and its ultimate goal is what places the state in a prominent position on the map of human development. Societies are nothing but a true representation and reflection of their individuals. When these individuals are active, moral, ethical, humane, and civilized in their reality, this reflects excellence and elevation upon their society.

The towering figures chosen by the conference for honoring are symbols of an entire society built on goodness and giving. What these immortal symbols have offered, whether to their own compatriots or to brothers and friends, demonstrates the pinnacle of human feelings and the nobility of their giving. Salutations of admiration and reverence to all the towering pillars that contributed to building the human and cultural accumulation of the state.

Esteemed attendees,

In these delicate circumstances our Arab and Gulf region is going through, amidst some politically charged atmospheres resulting from certain events and foreign interventions in the fabric of our Gulf Arab social structure, we are in dire need of recalling the lessons and experiences from the rich heritage of our historical symbols and figures. These figures devoted their entire lives to preserving our strong and fortified countries and communities. Let us remember with utmost respect the brave martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the security and protection of this homeland. Let us all be faithful to the legacy of that proud generation and continue their virtuous journey in building and reconstruction.

God Almighty has entrusted us with this precious land, a deposit of sacrifice, work, and giving. It has been safeguarded and nurtured by great men who have guided its victorious journey. Today, it is incumbent upon us to fulfill our duty towards this precious deposit, pledging to care for and nurture it.

In conclusion, I extend my sincere gratitude and appreciation to all of you, and I wish the Kuwait Historical Society and its members all the success and prosperity.

Peace be upon you, and may the mercy and blessings of God be upon you all.

Opening of the Conference on Independence and Building the Modern State
March 29, 2011 - Kuwait

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