The Yemeni minister who was a colleague of Saddam Hussein and a friend of Kuwait

  • Anwar Al-Ansi
  • BBC – London

Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab Jabari, the late economic thinker
photo comment,

Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab Jabari, the late economic thinker

For years, some Yemeni leaders did not understand why former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, when opening his meetings with them, was interested in asking about two men who were not among his many allies in Yemen.

One of these two men is the late Sheikh Abdullah bin Hussein al-Ahmar, and behind the question about him is al-Ahmar’s closeness to Saudi Arabia, Iraq’s southern neighbor, and in his capacity as the fiercest tribal and political rival for the allies of the Iraqi Ba’ath in Yemen.

But Saddam’s most interesting question was about the other man, Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab Jabari, his Yemeni friend and classmate. He is different from many of the generation of Arab students who graduated from Egyptian universities and most of whom, in the sixties and beyond, became senior officials in their countries, including Saddam himself.

However, the difference between the Iraqi and Yemeni colleagues is the most evident, in terms of thought, politics, and lifestyle. From where and how did the two, Saddam and Jabbari, know each other?

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