Kuwaiti liberal politician al-Rubei dies of cancer at age 59

Ahmed al-Rubei, one of Kuwait's most prominent liberal politicians who fought the spread of fundamentalist Islam, has died after a battle with brain cancer. He was 59. Rubei died in Kuwait on Wednesday, the state-owned Kuwait News Agency reported. Throughout his professional life Rubei preached openness and dialogue. A teacher of Islamic philosophy at Kuwait University, he was a lawmaker in the 1980s and 1990s, held the post of the tiny Gulf country's education minister, and lastly, wrote as a columnist for local and pan-Arab dailies. The Harvard University graduate was an archrival of the country's strong Muslim extremists, who sought to impeach him as education minister in 1995 but narrowly missed.