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Kuwait's Sheik Returns Home - 2002-01-15

Kuwait is celebrating the return of the country's leader after four months of treatment in Britain for a brain hemorrhage. Tuesday and Wednesday have been declared a public holiday to celebrate the emir's complete recovery.

On September 21, Sheik Jaber al Ahmed al Sabah suffered a brain hemorrhage and was flown from Kuwait to London's Cromwell Hospital. After almost four months of treatment and recuperation the 73-year-old Kuwaiti emir flew home. Hospital officials said the emir made a full recovery.

Upon his return, children waving pompoms and an honor guard of fighter planes roaring overhead greeted the emir. State television broadcast his arrival as cheers erupted when the emir emerged from the passenger plane.

He waved to the crowd and greeted ministers and other government officials.

The route from the airport to the palace residence was lined with 26,000 school children who sang and waved flags in honor of the man who has ruled Kuwait for the past 24 years.

During his treatment in London, Deputy Prime Minister Sheik Sabah al Ahmed al Sabah, the emir's brother, handled day-to-day decisions in Kuwait.