A salute to Bahrain's unique approach to leadership
Every year, it is an honour for me to commemorate Bahraini National Day. I am proud of what we have accomplished in spite of the rapid changes in the world around us, particularly in terms of politics, the economy and society. I am also unsurprised that our country has so many distinguished accomplishments despite its size, limited natural resources and the obstacles it has encountered.
How fascinating it is that its voice can be heard among the world's largest countries, and that it is an example of peaceful coexistence and openness with economic growth that responds bravely to change and adapts to advancements while recovering from the current pandemic!
My generation must remember queuing in the early 1950s to pay the charge to cross the Sheikh Hamad Bridge – Bahrain's only bridge, which connected Muharraq to the capital – before noon when the bridge closed for hours to allow ships and boats to pass. I recall those days while I count the number of bridges and modern cities in Bahrain today and appreciate the infrastructure that connects the territories of this small country following their expansion.
At the time, Muharraq had two preparatory schools, one in the south and one in the north, and just one primary school, Al-Hidaya Al-Khalifiyyah. Now Bahrain has a wide range of educational options including public and private schools, colleges and universities. Our triumphs are the result of a long and arduous journey that required tremendous amounts of preparation, effort, and the support of Allah Almighty.
The time of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa is notable for the prosperity and growth that were made possible by his insights and by projects that developed community service, women's empowerment, education, housing and technology. It is also noteworthy for the successful approaches that will enable us to recover from new pandemics and financial crimes, and emerge on the world stage with outstanding projects. May Allah protect him. His Majesty devised a comprehensive strategy for the nation’s development; it attracted investment and doubled Bahrain's competitiveness by developing the economy and creating opportunities that are exceptional in terms of both quality and quantity in manufacturing and logistics.
In order for any society to develop, individuals must be cared for and provided with necessities; most important of which dignity and high human worth, to ensure that the new generation has access to a decent standard of living with security, food, healthcare, education, housing and productive employment.
During His Majesty's prosperous reign, a wise and advanced vision guided the reform project along parallel paths, with steps that incorporated many of the era's innovations and developments in harmony with local conditions. As a result of great leadership, quality institutions and teams that thought outside the box, Bahrain's unique model was promoted successfully.
In the year that the COVID-19 pandemic and its serious health, economic, social, educational and psychological impacts led to extremely difficult circumstances and challenges that affected every aspect of life in Bahrain and throughout the world, the exemplary efforts of the Kingdom of Bahrain's Executive Team led by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, aided the recovery process. The proactive efforts and collective voluntary involvement that supported them have enhanced participation and national responsibility.
It is unsurprising that Bahrain’s accomplishment has established it as a pioneering country among nations small and large. Numerous elements contributed to Bahrain's success, the most important of which include His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa's wise vision, leadership and guidance, and His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister’s resolve and persistence in confronting difficult conditions and crises. Their insightful vision and wise actions reawakened the patriotic spirit and restored trust in the importance of collaboration.
On Bahrain’s National Day, we offer our congratulations to His Majesty the King, may Allah protect him, and to His Highness the Crown Prince. We also commend Team Bahrain and its work to implement important development projects and advance the economic recovery plan.
Congratulations to the Bahraini people on their National Day, and a salute to Bahrain's unique approach to leadership. May Allah protect Bahrain and its people and bless all its celebrations.
Ali Abdullah Khalifa