Saad Al-Barrak

KUWAIT: The 'Echo' program, presented by LOYAC's chairperson Dr Farea Al-Saqqaf on Instagram, recently hosted member of the supreme council of planning Dr Saad Al-Barrak. Presenting her guest, Al-Saqqaf referred to him as a 'brand' and 'trademark' noting that he was the founder of Zain and is currently deputy chairman of the SME Fund and a member of LOYAC's board of trustees.

Speaking during the interview, Barrak said that he is currently the CEO of ILA Group that invests in IT and 90 percent of its business in industrial intelligence and cyber security is in the US. "This is my basic job for which I am paid, but I have other voluntary positions which I do to serve our beloved country," he underlined.

At this point, Saqaaf highly commended Barrak's call to his colleagues in the supreme planning council to give up their annual rewards and donate them to the fund to fight the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Barrak said that he used to adore travelling and that his real fortune lies in how much he managed to make people happy. He expressed hopes that he would be able to make history and help Kuwaiti youth realize their dreams.

Speaking about his hobbies, Barrak said that they shift from time to time but stressed that the basic ones are swimming and reading, and that the latest book he read was titled 'Start With Why', which focuses on teaching people seeking success in any field to first decide why they want to do so.

"The slogan that sums up my philosophy is the one I launched as Zain president; Humanity is My Tribe and The Universe is My Home," he added. Responding to a question about his daily activities in view of the current partial curfew, Barrak stressed that he spends most of his time in his home office doing his online job duties and rarely goes out.

Commenting on MOH performance in facing COVID-19, Barrak highly commended Health Minister Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah and his leadership, but expressed concern about the economic impact and suspending subsidies of small and medium enterprises (SME). "Solving a problem should be comprehensive," he stressed, expressing regret that he was not included in the committee economically administering the crisis.

"It can be me or any other SME member," he remarked. However, Barrak expressed some conservation concerning the role played by the media, namely the television, during this crisis, noting that its programs should be more hopeful rather than intimidating.

Further, Barrak criticized Arabs crisis management, noting that they only act after the crisis takes place, but remarked that the current COVID-19 crisis helped reduce pollution rates. "My industrial intelligence company in Los Angeles managed to develop models that can predict how far COVID-19 can spread and do special statistical operations and won many patent rights in terms of data analysis," he said.

Politically speaking, Barrak revealed that he might run for parliamentary elections, noting that he had managed to gain some popularity throughout his career and that he would never hesitate to serve his country. Concluding the interview, Barrak referred to his membership in LOYAC's board of trustees noting that LOYAC is a role model of NGOs activities focusing on youth potentials and creativity going so far compared to peers despite its limited resources.