I recently received an invitation from the Information Affairs Minister to attend an award ceremony of the Fourth Edition of the Khalifa Bin Salman Award for Journalism.
This is a proud moment for any journalist, especially as it bears the name of His Royal Highness the Prime Minister, who is always keen to express his love and admiration for members of the Fourth Estate.
There is no doubt that Bahrain is open to Press freedom within the framework of the constitution and this comes as part of the reform process of His Majesty King Hamad.
The Prime Minister has said on several occasions that the print media has a special place in his heart and he is personally a great admirer of the written word. This reflects his wisdom and his sense of appreciation.
Coming back to the celebration, it was as usual very well-organised. The Information Minister and his team spared no efforts to ensure Bahrain’s talent was recognised.
A special evaluation committee had been set up to select those who were honoured but, as usual, this might have led to several who had been left out criticising the work of the committee.
This is, however, normal and happens not only in Bahrain but anywhere else in the world. But what is most important is the committee’s strict adherence to standards and high professionalism.
What made the event stand out this year, however, was the fact that a number of expatriate journalists were also honoured.
This was a stand-out gesture because the expatriates have done a lot of good work for Bahrain over the years and deserved this honour.
I know many of them personally and can vouch for the fact that all of them deserved the recognition.
This initiative deserves all the praise, especially as it is being held for the first time in the history of Bahrain.
This also shows the wise leadership’s constant attention to citizens and expatriates alike.
Thanks to the respect we have for expatriates, we have gained the love and appreciation of all countries and people around the world.
We are proud of this and preserve this blessing.
I personally convey my gratitude and praise to the Prime Minister for this generous gesture by honouring the Press.
He called on all journalists to work professionally and credibly for our dear Bahrain.