Dr Abdul Hadi Khalaf needs help.

He's been invited to attend a conference in the UK (again) about the wonderful Middle East and is wondering whether it would be patriotic of him to attend it.

His question has really left me scratching my head..because I really don't know who he should seek permission from. I really thought I (of all people) am really well-versed in how my system works - until I was smacked by this question ;)

Please head there and tell Dr Abdul Hadi what he should do!


BB said...
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BB said...

According to some (a few bloggers included) he is a traitor and out for a cheap shot at popularity. What gives him the right to go and hang our dirty laundry to the world, absolutely scandalous, if only the death penalty can be brought back for this treason... i mean NO ONE should have the right to discuss their domestic issues in London or anywhere else for that matter, should they.

So maybe its better for him to stay at home and shut up.

This is how a respectable academic intellectual deserves to be treated in Bahrain. OFF WITH HIS HEAD

Mahmood Al-Yousif said...

it is rather ironic how patriotism is defined in Bahrain. and utterly saddening too.

I think the confusion really is due to the fear of drying cash wells. Or at least this is the perception by insecure and unworthy ladies and gentlemen of the popular press.

What they refuse to believe is that constructive criticism is actually a mandate for the royal family to continue to rule effectively, as they in no uncertain terms come to know what the inadequacies are and get free consultations on how to fix them, thus becoming the declared heroes and once fixed will be carried on shoulders as the victors they are through disenfranchised villages.

Haven't we witnessed that already in Sitra on a promise?

What have we to be afraid of?

The Bahraini is always ready to show gratitude and unending loyalty for simple acts of kindness.

What are they waiting for?

The Joker said...

"constructive criticism is actually a mandate for the royal family to continue to rule effectively,"

Yes. Constructive. Objective. This is the type of criticism we need right now. Abdulhadi Khalaf, with all due respect to him personally, starts many of his lectures and articles with an introduction about "the intruders that came to this country." To me, that is not constructive. Even in my post, I am not against opposition... in fact, "a true patriot protects his people from his own government," but I think some of what they are doing is not constructive at all. But I believe, with time, we will have a very healthy opposition that can pinpoint the weak spots and work at fixing them.

BB said...

Khalaf (2005) suggests that "The legacy of conquest" as a socio-political concept defines the basis for Alkhalifa's dynastic rule. Discuss

Aaah..now wouldn't that make an interesting essay question, mayb if you were in a good western university, though I doubt it'd be a student's term paper at the UoB.

Chanad said...

"Abdulhadi Khalaf, with all due respect to him personally, starts many of his lectures and articles with an introduction about "the intruders that came to this country." To me, that is not constructive."

I think Dr Khalaf is being quite contructive when he makes the statement about the "legacy of conquest". Not only does he remind the readers about the conquest, but further goes on to suggest to the regime why and how it needs to change (i.e. stop using the conquest to derive authority, because it perpetuates divides in the community, between the conqueror and the conquered... there is no space for 'citizens' in such a system). It seems to me to be a pretty important issue.

Unfortunately, providing contructive criticism requires honesty... and I can't think a more sanitized word for "conquistador" that would be honest. Note that scholars in the US openly speak about the slaughter of Native Americans and exploitation of African slaves by European immigrants to America. Not only should such statements be tolerated, but it is crucial in order to separate one from the errors of the past.

Reminding the regime about the flaws in the "legacy of conquest" is not a lament... it is a recommendation.

The Joker said...

Bahrania and Chanad, my great grandfather came to Bahrain at a time after the Alkhalifas came over here, but my family gave in blood, swear, and tears just like everyone else. His statement has very deep implications. I find it offensive, because it makes everyone that wasnt around here in the 1700's or whatever, not an "original" Bahraini. Lets put that in the "constructive criticizm" test:

A. people today most likely didn't have anything to do with what the ruling family did or say three centuries ago

B. With hard work, and an honest struggle for transparency, this "re-written history" about the conquest can be fixed in an open, mature dialogue, where Alkhalifas can accept that their story isn't valid anymore, and the people can accept them as a constitutional monarchy, just like the ruling family in England, the Windsors, that came from Germany/Denmark ages ago.

C. I can live without the social divide this statement makes. The "Originals and the Original - nots" is a very serious challenge to the social fabric of this accepting society. And this statement does not help in uniting the people at all.

So in my book, this type of criticizm fails miserably.

He is a very bright man. I wished he focused his energy on things that deserve an articulate, constructive effort to fix them, rather than who came here first.

Have a good one, guys.

SillyBahrainiGirl said...

I really had no idea this post would take this turn ;)

Funny how I (I mean the other me, who isn't as silly) harboured similar sentiments to those made by Joker ;)


BB said...

Joker, I dunoo whether its ur paranoia that is reading things that are simply not there. When Khalaf talks about Alkhalifa, he is talking about the group who invaded and conquered Bahrain per se, not about Sunnis, or later immigrants, or the Originals and unoriginals... but often many ppl, such as yourself, take this type of discussion as a threat or attack on them because they assume they are in the same strata/category/ethnic group or something. So although I agree with point A and B, point C no where was such topic raised or discussed, neither by Khalaf, in the London seminar, or here - although it was a baseless accusation pandered by the sensationalist campaign in the Bahraini. You really have to be careful of so-called 'facts' u pick up from the media, cos quite frankly i've seen too much of it taken as given on some blogs around here, no offence.

The Joker said...

Bahrania, first of all, I have a different point of view, you don't need to call it paranoia. Second, if it makes you feel any better, I have not picked up a newspaper (arabic or english) in months, just this morning to read about yesterday's game, and articles I come across in other blogs. Third, can you please let go of this Halo effect you have over Mr. Khalaf? I am sure he is a very nice, good at heart, smart gentleman; but excuse me if I might disagree from time to time with what he might say. The kind of opposition I would support is people that can pinpoint the problem, based on facts, propose a solution, based on facts. Something that is more relevant to 1805 than 2005, might be useful for historians, but not for an opposition with a reformist strategy in my opinion.

And thank you SBG for posting your article...NOW YOU BROKE MY (no-newspaper-reading) FASTING !!
j/k.. very good article indeed

The Joker said...

"When Khalaf talks about Alkhalifa, he is talking about the group who invaded and conquered Bahrain per se"

yeah and about that....
This colleague of ours at work is from the higher-ups in the royal family. Very polite man. He's married to a shi'i woman. How are we going to explain that to their son when he starts to understand what we're saying? (he's a one-year old btw.) Daddy's grandpa raped mommy's Grandma?

Or how about we teach him how to conserve energy and solve the unemployment problem for his generation and the ones after it?

See you later.

BB said...

I appreciate your point of view. If real history involved rapes and massacres of people then why shouldn't that be taught? Lets not dwell on it, and yes there are more pertinent issues, but I and others contend, that our real history that has been trampled on and subjugated undermines us as a people and as a nation. The mentality of the 'maalik', 'liberator', 'alfati7', the 'conquerer', the names of streets, the impunity, the superior ethnic breed, call it the 99 names of Alkhalifa, or whatever, doesn't exactly help the morale of a betrodden majority.

With regards to the halo, I only placed it there cos few others deserve it and Khalaf gives me the realistic outlook, and the understand I have been seeking. Hence you may have noticed that was the discussion I ended my blog with after 7 months of much pointless rambling.

There is a perpetual crisis, a clear conflict, not a seminar, not a few opposition figures, but constant pressure by the masses.

The Joker said...

"Khalaf gives me the realistic outlook"

That is a very big statement right there.

Well then.. you heard everything I had to say.. I heard everything you had to say.

We'll meet again ;)

take care

8291 said...

why is it that i do not like the tone of this conversation?

still, the conversation is necessary, and it needs cool heads.

SillyBahrainiGirl said...


we still didn't advise Dr Abdul Hadi Khalaf on the best route to take?

should he go to the London meet or enjoy what's left of the summer (huh?) in Sweden?

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