Al-Awadhi’s legacy lives on

Dr Khaled Al-Saleh

We recently lost Dr Abdul Rahman Al-Awadhi, may Allah have mercy on his soul. I have known Awadhi since 1994, when he quit all government posts and dedicated all his time to voluntary and charity work. It has been 25 years since this acquaintance started, and this makes me mention the following:
Awadhi had taken modesty after his father. He always had a smile on his face, loved charity and reading and there was always a book on his desk. He was very sharp and creative. He always came up with solutions to problems we deemed unsolvable. He founded many humane and medical initiatives for the best of his nation. He was a fierce advocate of Arabic and true Islamic values.

There are many stories about him, including one about a Muslim American scientist who visited Kuwait 10 years ago to communicate with some officials. After concluding the tour, someone asked the visitor about the most significant thing he saw here. “It is Abdul Rahman Al-Awadhi,” said the scientist – who had never visited Kuwait before – without any hesitation.

A colleague who had visited an African country on an official mission during Awadhi’s tenure as health minister told me that on concluding the visit and on writing the usual report about the mission, he forgot the names of two types of medicines used in that country, and on asking one of his companions, he advised him to make up two imaginary names, saying that nobody ever reads these reports. “After returning to Kuwait, we visited the minister, who thanked us for our humanitarian efforts. However, before leaving his office, Awadhi asked us about the two fake names we used in the report,” my friend said, noting that Awadhi had read the entire report.

The best things Awadhi left for us are edifices that reflect his creativity and love for this nation, including the Arabization Center, Islamic Organization for Health Sciences, the regional Environment Protection Organization and many other societies, reflecting his complete dedication and devotion. He was also keen on prayers and voluntary fasting. You will surely be missed by many people.

By Dr Khaled Al-Saleh