As a columnist I have always told myself to be neutral and fair in my articles, whether negative or positive.
I am convinced that this is the right direction because the last thing I want is to be accused of favouritism and to serve personal interests.
Since I started writing five years ago, I have always made sure that my articles talk only about what affects the public and I have always taken great care to convey to my readers my views on infrastructure projects and other issues that affect people, whether undertaken by government or private institutions. On the other hand, I have always tried to be fair and praised where I thought praise was necessary.
I can safely say that, over the years, my articles have received an encouraging response, though I have been expecting better feedbacks by officials concerned. The ordinary people, the mainstay of my readers, have also encouraged me to continue writing and they do understand a difference in opinion does not mean losing friends.
What is strange, however, is that on many occasions, when I run into some of those about whom I have written, they make it a point to say I have been unfair to them and have not understood the issue at hand. Several times, they have even accused me of using inappropriate words regarding their institutions.
This, certainly, is a disaster. But, again, I rationalise that if I am criticised, it shows that my writings are having an impact. These reactions also give me a strong impetus to continue to do what I am doing in light of the reform projects of His Majesty King Hamad.
Herein lies the real problem. If we do not accept criticism and look within ourselves to improve, we will always end up as failures. Let us admit that when we are working in the public space, we will be criticised and there will be shortcomings, but we have to look positively at criticism and improve.
During my work days, I always took co-workers’ criticism in a positive spirit and understood their intentions were not intended to humiliate or harm me in any way. On the other hand, I tried to point out shortcomings of some other departments and tell those concerned there was room for improvement.
Sincere intentions are the cornerstone of any work, so whatever you do, take criticism in your stride and work as a team because together we can overcome many negatives.
I always write on issues that I am convinced of and feel about. Many people often, in a very nice way, ask me to write about various topics and give suggestions but, at the end of the day, I just am unable to do that.