Abdul Rahman Al-Sumait, who passed away on Thursday due to heart failure after dedicating a large portion of his life to humanitarian and philanthropic works in Africa, was mourned here by hundreds in attendance at Sulaibikhat cemetery and by messages from Kuwait and the world over.
Al-Sumait, who died at the age of 66, is known for building 840 educational facilities – including four universities – and 90 clinics and hospitals, constructing 12,000 artesian wells and helping thousands of people understand and embrace Islam in Africa.
He is also known for having founded the Africa Muslim Agency, later renamed as “Direct Aid” society, and conducting detailed studies on Africa’s political, social and economic affairs – Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and Angola, being some of the 40 countries his work was focused on.
In recognition of these efforts, the Western-educated physician and Islamic practitioner received countless humanitarian awards and honours from Islamic world and Africa.
“Abdul Rahman Al-Sumait was undoubtedly a man of great deeds. His loss is one for the Islamic world, as a whole, not just Kuwait,” said Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.
For his part, Kuwaiti Minister of Information and State Minister for Youth Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah said that international and Islamic humanitarian efforts lost a valuable partner.
Al-Sumait will be sorely missed for his great legacy and had come a long way from his days as a young student, when he purchased a car to drive less fortunate expatriate workers in Kuwait for free.
A warm heart and love for others, those are the traits that Al-Sumait richly posses. A true humanitarian in actions and in words. The People of Kuwait will surely miss you.