Derasat holds Roundtable reading of the book “Two Prosperous Decades”
A reading roundtable to be held on Sunday, 21 April, will bring together a distinguished group of Bahraini and Arab political and intellectual figures at the Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies. They will present their intellectual readings of the book “Two Prosperous Decades” issued by the Center in mid-February to highlight the achievements of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa during the past two decades.
Jordanian Former Prime Minister and Vice President of the Al-A’ayan Council (Senate) Samir Al-Rifa’i will present his in-depth analysis of the chapter titled “Diplomacy, Genius of Balance” in Bahrain, while President of Al-Azhar University in Egypt Dr. Mohammed Al-Harasawi will highlight the role of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in promoting the values of citizenship and patriotism. Saudi Shura Council member Dr. Hadi Al-Yami will present a paper on democracy and human rights in Bahrain. Speaker of Bahraini Representatives Council Her Excellency Dr. Fawzia bint Abdulla Zainal will discuss the achievements of women from winning their rights to equity in partnership, while the paper of Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Women Ms. Hala Al-Ansari will look into the rise of Bahrain between the promise and achievement. A host of Bahraini political and intellectual personalities will take part in the event.
Dr. Shaikh Abdulla bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (Derasat), said that the roundtable discussions will highlight the contents of the book, including the wise and enlightened vision of His Majesty the King and His Majesty’s pioneering and great efforts to achieve a comprehensive development at all levels and which resulted in the betterment of life in the Kingdom of Bahrain. As a result, Bahrain has now become a role model in development, reforms and freedoms. He added that “The book highlights the King’s achievements over the last two decades, which led to the establishment of a state of law and institutions under a modern constitutional monarchy.”
Dr. Shaikh Abdulla bin Ahmed said that the book highlights and analyzes the comprehensive reform project of His Majesty the King, which represents a milestone in the history of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Thanks to the values and principles that the reforms embody, the Kingdom of Bahrain now ranks pari passu with the developed countries. The successes and achievements at all political, economic and social levels are endless. Bahrain, in the glorious era of His Majesty the King, is going through a prosperous phase of its history. The strong constitutional and legal foundations laid by His Majesty enabled Bahrain to take major steps on the road to progress and development.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees explained that the book contains a number of chapters that shed lights on the most significant events in the history of Bahrain from the time of the beginning of the rule of the Al Khalifas to the present glorious era of His Majesty the King. The book highlights the achievements and initiatives led by His Majesty in all the political, diplomatic, security and military fields as well as in supporting women to be an equal partner in society and hold the highest public offices. The book is supported by numbers and statistics that show the magnitude of achievements in the economic, health, educational, cultural, tourism and other fields, as well as in the fields of public freedoms, freedom of the press and the promotion of creativity, arts, culture, science and other fields.
Shaikh Abdulla bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said that the book was published as part of the efforts of the Bahrain “Derasat” Center to document the national achievements during the glorious era of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the pioneering leadership thinking of His Majesty the King and the result of such thinking in enhancing the position of the Kingdom of Bahrain among the other countries of the world.
The book, which was authored by a distinguished group of Bahraini and Arab thinkers, portrays the unique leadership model of His Majesty that made the Kingdom of Bahrain a beacon of freedom and development, enabling it to play a major role in the region that far exceeds the limitations of its small size or population.
The book sheds light on some of the fine personal attributes of His Majesty the King. He is loving, caring and compassionate. The Kingdom of Bahrain is blessed to have such a leader to lead it through this critical period of history. His Majesty has put his enlightened thinking, leadership talents and the wealth of experience accumulated over centuries of the Al Khalifa rule at the service and for the benefit of Bahrain and its people and residents. His Majesty is leading Bahrain to a glorious and prosperous future.
The book comprises ten chapters covering twenty years of the history of the Kingdom of Bahrain under the leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, may God protect him. The first chapter discusses the beginnings of the rule of the Khalifa which continues since three centuries of achievement. Such achievements would not have been possible if it was not for the foresight of the ruling family and its understanding of the aspirations of the Bahraini people. The rule of the Al Khalifas was always based on a deep and solid relationship of allegiance and belonging. It is through reading history that we can come to know and understand the relentless efforts of our forefathers who founded this nation.
This chapter reads that “The continuation of the rule of the Al Khalifas is a blessing of God to Bahrain. Such continuity means a bright history, a creative and prosperous present and a secure future. The human history over the last one thousand years is a clear proof that the stability of a ruling regime is the way to ensure stability, security, progress and achievements.”
This chapter also discusses the discovery of oil which was a gift to the Arabs but a curse on some of them who did not know how to benefit from it in the development of their countries. The Kingdom of Bahrain was fortunate, thanks to Allah and the wise rule of the Al Khalifas, to have schools and education first then came the oil”.
The book discussed the 2011 crisis and narrated in detail the steps taken by the leadership of Bahrain to handle this challenge which was caused and stirred from time to time by the whims and interests of irresponsible groups. His Majesty the King, thanks to his wisdom, farsighted vision and his trust in Allah, his people and his achievements, was able to lead Bahrain through the crisis to safety as a more united society. Bahrain has avoided becoming a home of chaos and strife that certain disillusioned people wanted it to be.
The book showed how the Kingdom of Bahrain after this crisis became a thorn in the throat of the enemies of the Arab nation and how it foiled their designs.
The book “Two Prosperous Decades” traces back the strategic thinking of His Majesty the King since he was crown prince. In his book “First Light”, His Majesty the King (then Crown Prince) outlined his initiative to develop and modernize the armed forces to improve its operational performance and readiness. During a short period of time, the Bahrain armed force became part of Arab and international coalitions to fight terrorism and regional threats. The army was able to attract and train Bahrain’s youth to serve their country and nation, while fully adhering to the message of peace that the leadership of the Kingdom of Bahrain and its people extend to the world.
The third chapter, titled “The Reform Project and the Pursuit of Comprehensive Development”, reviews the early beginnings of the reign of His Majesty the King and his achievements right from the moment of his accession to the throne in 1999. The National Action Charter and the holding of parliamentary and municipal elections were some of the topics discussed in this section.
The fourth chapter, titled “Justice and Legal Reforms”, highlighted the keenness of His Majesty the King to establish a solid foundation for the rule of law and achieving justice. His Majesty strongly believes that law and justice is the way to achieving security and prosperity. This chapter reviews the Royal Decrees issued by His Majesty to institutionalize comprehensive justice and legal reforms. The comprehensive and renewed reform project, under the leadership of His Majesty the King, has been and continues to be a landmark in the history of the Kingdom of Bahrain as it embodies revered values and firm principles to move the Kingdom of Bahrain to the forefront of developed countries.
The reform project forges a link between the past and the present in order to shape a promising future for Bahrain, the book noted. The success of any experience must be measured in terms of its impact on its surroundings and the environment in which it operates, whether internal, regional or even international. Bahrain has proved its ability to implement a modernization programme that suits its internal needs and at the same time conforms to international standards on modernization and reform processes. The indications of such reforms are numerous, including but not limited to (1) the participation of Bahraini women in the modernization process and (2) the growing role of non-government organisations (NGOs). These indicators are so important that international reports on democratic transformation hardly miss either of them.
As part of his efforts to build a better future for the Bahraini society in terms of real development and not a superficial one, His Majesty the King opened the door for women to play a crucial role in the development of Bahrain. This chapter notes that His Majesty’s era has offered women unprecedented opportunities to participate in public life and development. A Bahraini woman was elected as speaker of the Council of Representatives. Another woman was appointed ambassador to the United States and yet another as a senior diplomat at an international organisation. Hundreds more women hold leading positions in various government and private business sectors. These are just part of the fruits of the far-sighted vision of His Majesty the King and his handling of the challenges that Bahrain faces in a region riddled with turmoil and crises. In such a situation, the role of well-trained and capable women is even more essential.
Tolerance and openness have long been part of the history and culture of Bahrain. The Bahraini citizenship transcends all divides and discrimination on the basis of religion, sect or ethnic origin. Throughout its history, Bahrain has been a melting pot for the human race, and will remain so. The era of His Majesty the King is no exception but rather, Bahrain reached its fullest potential in this regard thanks to Hist Majesty’s relentless efforts and the support of the people. The National Action Charter represents both the wills of a wise political leadership aspiring to a bright future and the will of a loving and loyal people.
The book also focuses on His Majesty’s strategy for comprehensive human development, which has made education a top priority for the Kingdom. The great achievements attained in this regard have been enhanced further by another ambitious strategy for empowering young people. During the reign of His Majesty, Bahrain was able to make big strides on all development and welfare indices as confirmed by reliable reports issued by respected international organizations. In terms of human development, Bahrain was able to surpass many countries with much greater wealth and resources, thanks to the wisdom of His Majesty the King that was praised by researchers and observers both inside and outside the Arab region.
The book reviews Bahrain’s role at the Arab and international levels. His Majesty the King has introduced a new approach to diplomacy based on the principles of balanced relations and positive action in handling regional and international challenges. As a result, Bahrain has become a leader in moderation with a strong commitment to the principles of peace and development in the prevailing present-day era of incitement and hostility both at the regional and international levels.
Bahraini diplomacy is unique and worthy of study as an exemplar of international relations. The Kingdom that has limited wealth and means has, under the wise leadership of His Majesty the King, been able to capitalize upon its moral standing, reputation and human resources to carve for itself a very important and sensitive role in the region. His Majesty stands at the forefront of the region’s leaders with a vision ahead of its time, a vision allied to the people and their right to live in a peaceful and conducive environment instead of exhausting their energy and resources in senseless conflicts. For this reason, Manama has in the last twenty years become to be one of the capitals often frequented by world leaders to hear the views and assessments of the Bahraini leadership and benefit from their knowledge of the region’s affairs.
The book “Two Prosperous Decades”, which comes in more than 500 pages adorned with pictures and a unique and elegant cover, documents the various stages of achievement in Bahrain. It is a comprehensive reference book on the Kingdom of Bahrain under the leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, covering the social, economic and political developments and changes in Bahrain. It is a must-read for Bahrainis and Arabs to know more about Bahrain and the exceptional wisdom of an inspiring leader. The Kingdom of Bahrain under the leadership of His Majesty the King will remain strong and ready to stride into the future to ensure the security and well-being of all its citizens.