I saw with a lot of interest how many American television stations reported on renaming the Louisville International Airport in the state of Kentucky after the legendary boxer Mohammed Ali, in recognition of his contributions to sport, the society and humanity as a whole.
This decision deserves a lot of admiration and respect not only because the late boxer had embraced Islam but also his efforts throughout his lifetime to imbibe the Islamic character and his commitment to its principles and values, which teach tolerance and moderation as well as tolerance for other religions.
Those who are responsible for taking this momentous decision should be commended and applauded, especially since it’s been several years since the great man passed on.
What is even more praiseworthy is that there was no opposition to the proposal and no one created any obstacles.
I wonder if we in our Arab societies could think of such an initiative and commend and commemorate those distinguished people who have contributed to our development, in the process leaving a mark on all of us through their immortal role.
Will we be able to put their names on government projects, roads, bridges, airports, universities, libraries, museums and hospitals? The list is endless.
Of course, there are a few initiatives, but these are at best very modest steps and do not get us anywhere close to the recognition they deserve.
We need to encourage such high-level initiatives. There should be steps to set up a competent body that looks at such things that reflect and translate the aspirations of the leadership, which appreciates the sons and daughters of the homeland.
We have to show to the new generation how to appreciate our ancestors so that they realise what they had done to make Bahrain what it is today.
In Bahrain, this requires special attention with someone looking at the issue fairly and independently.
Let us look with appreciation and respect at the work and role of the personalities who have served and provided great services to the nation.
Such an initiative will help make these personalities immortal for all time to come.