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Saturday, September 10, 2005

For the sake of national reconciliation


One of the repugnant 'poems' above is written by Khalid bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa, the current Minister for the Royal Court, and a long time confidant of His Majesty King Hamad.

In any other modern state, a minister who writes anything like the above would be sacked immediately. In some other modern states he would be taken to court and charged with several crimes including stirring hatred and spreading bigotry.

In Bahrain he becomes the Royal Alter Ego.

When one checks examples of how bigots of all times spread hatred among groups, one finds that they have some common technique: they start from dehumanizing the the objects of their hate. Just as the poems above have tried to do.

For the sake of national reconciliation, and for the sake of future generations, let us hope that the Minister for the Royal Court will find it in his heart to publicly apologize for his role in spreading hate in Bahrain.

His Majesty King Hamad may help a lot by nudging his minister a bit towards doing the right thing, thus setting an example that should be followed by other bigots, on all sides.

Then, we can all get on with our lives and with the tasks of building a nation.

Update added 20051001


$iLveR GiRL said...

I'm speechless :O

أفحمتني القصيدة!

Chanad said...

The date shown in the fax header of the poem is January 1999. But do you know the context in which the poem is written (when, why, etc)? It would be interesting to know.

moodZ said...

Do you happen to have the reply on those poems by any chance dr?

moodZ said...

Just found the reply:

Abdulhadi Khalaf said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Abdulhadi Khalaf said...

You can only imagine, $liver girl, how shocked I have been when I read, some ten years ago, the name under that horrible 'poem'.

While we have never been friends, Khalid bin Ahmad and I shared for two years a twin desk in Adabi class in Manama's secondary school. I thought he was a decent fellow. For example, he did not flounder his 'backgrounds' as some of his cousins did. Some of those cousins drove from Rifa'a with the latest models of American cars and left them parked outside school. (We all between 15 and 17 years old). Those cousins who had more responsible parents had their cars AND their drivers waiting in the car park, the football field, outside our school.

I too was speechless when I first read that 'poem' wondering did he think of me (yes, it starts always with a personal question) as an undefined part of an undefined , yet for him disgusting, collective of Shobbars and Marhoons? I do not know if he did then But the un-retracted poem shows unfortunately that he still does. (another of my teenage misconceptions is crushed ;) ).

Yes, Chan'ad, the fax header is confusing. Both 'poems' dates back to early 1995, i.e as the 1994 intifada was taking shape and accelerating. The exchange was published all over the place. It was part of the tribal-cum-ethnic-cum-political mobilization and counter mobilization that we have witnessed. A very sad development indeed.

The date of the fax has a simple explanation. I have misplaced my copy from 1995. It was re-sent to me in 1999 when I needed to prepare a paper on ethnic mobilization in Bahrain. I did not use it, anyway.

Thanks moodz for sending the link on another Shobbar 'poem'.
I must say I have seen some other 'poetic' responses that matches, and even surpasses, the bigotry exhibited by the 'poems' I have posted and authored by my twin desk partner.

These and other examples of bigotry must be discussed openly. They are not just a history or products of sick minds. They are part of reality that is shaped, partially, by what each side put in his/her version of the 'mawrooth al-Fath.

At the core of the issue are two questions: a) when would we start perceiving each other as equals? and, b)when would there be institutional guarantees that help us treat each other as equals?
9:52 AM

Eyad said...

Well, Honestly I'm not that surprised knowing that the existence of such sick minds is actually a fact of our life.

The problem here is not coming to know such painful facts but that we as a community don't/can't deal with such situations

We have been raised to overlook such issues and consider it never happened as opposite of cornering those coming with such racist acts.

Fact of life, racism produces counter-racism and you will never be able to break that circle (Ask me about it, I spend more than 5 year in KSA and I have stories which can fill a medium size book), but we should relay on those mature enough on both sides.. but but unfortunately those mature people are not moving enough and they are leaving the field to the sick people, so until then, we will see more of that crap stuff !!

Abdulhadi Khalaf said...

Or, e.m., we can do our best to learn from the lessons offered by great souls of our time such as bishop Desmond Tutu and South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

We need to be open about our past in order to reconciliate and move ahead, hopefully, together.