فخلف من بعدهم خلف
Ahmed Al-Omran is no more. The larger than life education minister of the 60’s and 70’s passed away this weekend. A more than lamentable reminder of where this country was and where it is now. I’m not grieving, just trying to figure out the shape of the unlearning curve leading to the current education minister. Not an edifying contrast.
Back then, Hassan Jawad Al-Jishi was a speaker. Al-Mardi was an editor. The national team meant "national" team.
Back then, a future sovereign sat on a public school desk in a class filled with ordinary folks. Now a future sovereign, and a future, future sovereign get their education at fifth fleet base school with anything but your average folks in sight let alone in class.
Back then, that base was called mere facilities. Although that didn’t stop students from agitating against the “facilities”. And compared to what is now, complete with press conferences and a host of media offering not to mention a respectable crime rate and shooting incidents, it indeed was mere facilities. (The talk about the base is not academic you see, this government is facilitating the drift to a third gulf war, thus inviting a missile response from the other side of the Gulf).
Back then, with no “patriotic education” classes, Coca Cola remained enemy grade. Now, a high -and wide- official meeting the foreign minister of once enemy state is called a normal non-normalizing non-event.
But back then, our school books and papers referred to a “State of Bahrain”, not to a royally owned dominion.
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You know that Al-Watan has been dishing out a great deal of free advertising and other forms of material and moral support to its ilk of B (as in Bandar) groups when you read that this big B newspaper has just received a big A honour for its troubles and generosity. Al-Watan has been decorated with the “Excellence in Supporting Volunteerism” award by the Minister of Social Development (yep, the same B ministry that is moving up to the not-so-socially developed locales at BFH). The award was received by Al-Watan newly appointed General Manager, a former department head at the Ministry of Housing, and obliquely named name in the famous B report.
You fathom how important Al-Watan is when a man ticked to be the next Assistant Undersecretary of the Housing Ministry chooses to resign to take up a manager post at it. Or perhaps, it is just his B calling, to volunteer for a truly worthy B cause.