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How challenged this challenging world has become

Comment
By Anwar Abdulrahman


Certainly in the world of politics and politicians, magnanimity is very seldom seen.

But yesterday His Royal Highness the Prime Minister received Nobel Peace Prize laureates currently visiting Bahrain and had a very philosophical discussion with his honourable guests, each of whom has enormous experience in the world of realpolitik.

They included former South African President Frederik de Klerk, former Polish President Lech Walesa, former President of East Timor Jose Ramos-Horta, Indian human rights activist Kailash Satyarthi and Under-Secretary General and former executive director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), Anna Tibaijuka.

“It is a great pleasure to welcome you men and women of peace because only with peace can humanity flourish,” the Prime Minister told them.

“We know each and every one of you has played a prominent role in the great changes your countries have gone through.

“We also want you to see for yourselves what we have done during difficult times in this country.

“The world is going through a challenging period and we need each other to help and maintain the peace and tranquillity of every region.

“During the following days you will meet many of Bahrain’s citizens and residents.

“You will be able to judge for yourselves what we have achieved over the years and we are keen to hear from you.”

The beauty of this gathering was that the whole scenario was far removed from cultism, ideology or partisanship.

In a moment of honesty Mr Walesa acknowledged that socialism had failed, but that capitalism was also not a success.

I highlight this to illustrate how frank, constructive and practical the talks were.

His Royal Highness elaborated that the greatest achievement for those in power was to sit with fellow leaders, whether they came from East or West, to exchange opinions and build bridges through continuous relations to solve challenges facing the world.

“I sincerely believe that by sitting together and talking, many doubts can be erased and the exchange of experiences offers vital indications for handling complicated situations,” he continued.

“We have been through very tough times and had to face them with firmness and fairness.

“Just see what is happening in Syria and the forced migration of innocent, respectable people who have done nothing wrong.

“It is so tragic that people suffer at the hands of their fellow man.

“We hope you will relay what you hear and see in Bahrain to the rest of the world.”

It was very clear that the visitors saw in His Royal Highness an influential personality who has always supported the values of tolerance and coexistence in Bahrain.

There was also an interesting observation from former President de Klerk.

“Our world lacks great leaders and we are entering a new Cold War era,” he warned.

For such an experienced statesman to say this is evidence that the time has come for smaller nations to unite and play a greater role on the world stage, respecting the values, ethics, boundaries and economy of every nation – far removed from imperialistic dogmas that have caused, since the start of the European Renaissance until today, wars, disharmony, revolutions, territorial disputes and displacement or migration of people.

During such times of international uncertainty, we are fortunate in Bahrain to have a leader of the calibre and experience of His Royal Highness to guide the country.

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