Thursday, June 09, 2011

Bahrainis are educated, refuse to accept despotism

Nicholas Kristof to King Hamad: Release My Friend! "Among those whom you’re imprisoning in Bahrain is a friend of mine. He is an artist, one of the most gentle souls alive, and my deepest fear is that your government may be brutalizing him because of his friendship with me.

Your Majesty, I’m speaking of Hassan al-Sahaf. Now 57, he studied in Britain and then in Los Angeles, Boston and in Oregon, where my mother taught art history — and Hassan became one of my mother’s all-time favorite students. That was 30 years ago, but we have remained in touch ever since.

King Hamad, you present the crackdown on the democracy movement as an effort to restore order. But Hassan is not some teenage firebrand hurling rocks; he’s a slight, graying scholar committed to peace. That’s the pattern: So many of the people in your jails are doctors and intellectuals whose only offense is to dream of democracy.

Hassan told me that his time in America changed him: Once you get used to living in freedom, he explained, it’s hard to give it up. One of your burdens, Your Majesty, is that you educated so many of your people abroad that they no longer accept your despotism."


Mark @ Israel said...

I definitely agree, Bahrainis are educated and King Hamad should undertake reconciliation rather than creating more enmity between the Sunnis and Shiites. May the king take heed now than regret what might happen to his country later.

Pisa said...

Since I grew up myself in a dictatorial regime, Bahrain's king decisions seem only natural. For his ilk, the country exists to please the ruler, not the other way round. There's nothing dictators fear more than intellectuals.

madtom said...

Someone should write a song "what do we do with a country called Bahrain"

What do we do Mojo, what to do. Even I hate to post bad news from Bahrain, I have nightmares or walking for miles in the hot sun to get to work, or sweating all night with no AC....Should we be scared that eh evil Shi'a will take over and cut our energy supplies, Shi'a mongering and all that. We hate the tyrants we want them all gone, but these are our tyrants the ones that have held up their side of the bargain for all these years. Will the Shi'a be as trusty as our old friendly tyrants?