The Dialogue Beckons

26 Jun, '11

I’m honoured to have been invited to participate in the National Dialogue. I shall accept with humility and dedicate whatever time I can muster to ensure its success. Like other fine men and women of this country, I look forward to helping this country get through the bottleneck it has been afflicted by through its own means and resources.

I shall participate in this dialogue without any political or religious affiliations. I shall go as myself, but fully cognizant of Bahrain’s current and future generations. My suggestions will be guided solely by the right of every single human being to live with dignity and in security. The principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights shall guide me and the Freedoms of Expression will be a fundamental demand.

I look to your good wishes and support, not for me, but for a whole country which suffered over the last four months. I hope that this suffering will lead to a better and more equitable future. The country and its people, all of its people, deserve nothing less.

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Comments (36)

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  1. Shiraz says:

    Best of luck, Mahmood!

  2. Robert says:

    That is really good news Mahmood. You deserve this opportunity to speak for all those who need a voice. It is recognition of the voice of reason you have broadcast before and after the recent events. Do all of us who want an end to the seemingly endless circle of retribution proud. Very Best of Luck.

  3. shaheed says:

    You deserve all the best but be sure that all the coming change already been appointed by Alkhalifa’s specially in the political side but its nice show to gather those 300 people so enjoy new public relation.

  4. Redha says:

    Best wishes Mahmood. God Bliss.

  5. Buddy, I’m VERY proud of you. I know you’ll do a great job. I can honestly say they’ve chosen someone who loves his country with all his heart. You will make us all proud.

  6. Juni Capulong says:

    Its better to light just one little candle than to stumble in the dark… just imagine a room full of lit candles, signifying a peaceful and brighter future!

  7. eden says:


  8. Just Bahraini says:

    Congratulations Mahmood! I have been somewhat skeptical about the Dialogue, but feel better knowing you will be part of it. Your commitment to universal human rights and freedom is a welcome addition! Bahrain needs more humble, honest voices like yours. God bless you.

  9. exclamation mark says:

    Happy for you Mahmood, and good luck with this responsibility, I know for sure this is not an easy task, and voicing your demands amongst 300 other voices is one of other challenges.

    Hope you give us a preview and brief of the perpectives you’d be addressing in the dialogue.

  10. anonny says:

    Wishing you all the good fortune in the world Mahmood.

  11. Dan says:

    Judging from your blog, the only way that I know you, I think that it is good that you are attending the National Dialogue.

    Yet I have my reservations.The Universal Declaration of Human Rights looks to me more like something out of Communist Russia than a document describing rights.


    This document not only does NOT provide ANY definition of what a right is but it contradicts my understanding of what rights are and it contradicts itself at points.

    While it would be instructive for me to provide a definition of a right here and to point out what I see is the matter with this “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” not to mention the United nations itself, I would rather spur others to think for themselves and to reason this through on their own.

    So, for now, I leave you with a question:

    What IS a right?

  12. exclamation mark says:

    All the replies had been rated negatively, is this a coincidence?

  13. Best of luck Mahmood! I can rest easy now at least knowing that my voice through yours will be heard!

  14. hussain says:

    So would demand for a constitutional monarchy?

  15. mahmood says:

    Thank you all for your support and trust. I shall work as hard as I can to rise up to the challenge. The road is long and I’m under no illusions; however, I know that the journey will ultimately be worth it.

  16. It Takes Two says:

    Mahmood, who is this dialogue between, precisely?

    • Fysth says:

      Believe it or not, between the people. Imagine that. Bahrainis rose because they had issues with the regime and now the regime wants to make it seem like the issue is between different factions of society.

      And the first rule of the National Dialogue? The three musketeers (King, PM and Crown Prince) are off-limits.

      So basically, they want to shift the focus of the dialogue that the opposition had initially called for from political issues to social and economic ones.

  17. Hfrokic says:

    Mahmood for prime minister, no joke serious no blood will help.

  18. Tariq says:

    Seems to me its more of a ploy by the ruling regime to show a progressive face to the foriegn media than a serious attempt to foster goodwill with the oppressed majority. I fear you will find that out soon enough Mahmood.

  19. Anwar Alramadan says:

    A sincere voice

    stick to your principles

  20. Achut Bhandarkar says:

    I am happy you have been chosen. You are educated, capable, level headed, warm, compassionate. You have foresight and hindsight and you see both sides of the coin. I hope and pray your voice will carry forward for a better Bahrain for all. May Allah guide your thoughts, voice and actions.

  21. Fysth says:

    While wishing you the best, I cannot help but recall the prison scene in Malcolm X where the prisoners dance around, jubilant that a black man has finally made it into Major League Baseball. Albert Hall turns to Malcolm and says: The white man throws us a bone and we’re supposed to forget 400 years of oppression.

    Alkhalifa have killed over 30 of us in this year alone, imprisoned, tortured and humiliated thousands and now they throw us a bone – a red herring in fact – and we’re supposed to run to it on all fours…

    In my opinion, this supposed national dialogue is nothing short of a big party meant to simmer the tension of the past months. How the hell can an opposition who won 65% of the people’s vote in the last elections be given just 5 seats out of 300? And how on earth are 300 Arabs expected to sit around a table and reach a consensus on conflicting matters. It has never in over 2000 years.

    Let us have a bit more self-respect and be a bit more long-sighted.

    • Robert says:

      What is your plan then?

      • Fysth says:

        A referendum, supported by the UN and the international community (just like in 1970) asking whether or not Bahrainis want a family to continue ruling them.

        If most say “No”, form a transitional council representative of all political parties to draft a new constitution based on the 1973 constitution, have the people vote on it in another referendum, then get on with life.

  22. Dan says:

    I am of the opinion that in a country the size of Bahrain, a “National Dialogue” should be held on a regular basis as a normal function of the government. As long as republican principles, where the individual’s rights are NOT subject to majority infringement, prosperity and freedomwill abound.

    While you will probably end up with some kind of “democratic monarchy” when all is said and done and NOT a republican form of government, HOPEFULLY enough societal tension will dissipate via the National Dialogue and things will reach a peaceable and relatively free equilibrium for a considerable time afterward.

    Then people can get back to arguing things like how many angels will fit on the head of a pin or who will win the next Formula 1 race.

    Give it your best, Mahmood!

  23. SADDENED says:

    I am almost 60 years old and I have always been moderate and comprising in my thinking which brought to me a lot of criticism and hostility. I have always thought that the ruling family has many merits and has been responsive to the people’s needs.
    After what happened over the past four months, I’ve lost all my faith in alkhalifa and their ability or willingness to change their mentality and introduce real reforms.
    I wish you best of luck with the dialogue but I have a simple question: why the government or alkhalifa is totally absent? Isn’t the dialogue supposed to be between the parties of the conflict? why people are talking to each other instead of talking to the government?

  24. maysaloon says:

    Good luck and all the best.

  25. Dan says:

    The fact that you think Bahrain has a constitutional monarchy is severely disturbing. There are many differences, but here are three: a parliament that has power, an elected PM, and usually the monarch has only reserve powers. Australia, Belgium and Spain are examples

  26. FYI says:

    Forget politics, the most important thing that has to come out of this event is for the youth to: feel a sense of belonging to this country, to have an opportunity to share this nation’s wealth and prosperity, break the barrier from those in power and the rest of the community.

    We need for every Bahraini to be able to dream the ‘Bahraini Dream’ a chance for more than a select few to advance their social and monetary status.

  27. Dan1 says:

    I see there are TWO “Dans” commenting. I will therefore change my moniker to “Dan1” to avoid confusion.

  28. Robok says:

    Mahmoud, I got only one thing I request of you as a fellow citizen of Bahrain:-

    I am one of many that were hurt by the wave of mass firings and dismissals targeted at workers/university students, my best friend is a diabetic who could not go to work during the civil disobedience and got fired as a result from his job even though he’s got official papers excusing him from duty. My friends (myself included) were targeted after they were dismissed from their universities, by the Ministry of the Interior, and had their homes raided in the middle of the night, gagged and thrown into a holding cell, beaten, and then forced to sign confessions they did not write, and some are standing trial in a martial court.

    All of this, because they dared to practice their right of protesting, we dared to practice our freedom of speech.

    I have on request of you: Raise our issue, and let the government know that this is not a way to treat a citizen, much less someone who was born and raised in this beautiful country.

    • exclamation mark says:

      Everyone in Bahrain who lived through the events, had felt the heat of it, there is no one in Bahrain who does not know about someone being incarcerated, or being interrogated, or beaten up in a check point, either it be a family member, a relative or a friend. Every single Bahraini had gone through an experience of anxiety and fear.

      Alot of people had been unlawfully fired from their jobs, and wrognfully accused, people’s livelihoods had been put on the line, now the official numbers from Bahrain’s Trade unions state that over 2000 had been fired. Multiply that by 5 representing the average number of members per family? And the process still continues.

      All of these issues need to be put on the table, words should be clear and straight forward, and no place for compliments. I ask all those participating in that dialogue – including Mahmood – that they put all their personal interests aside, and address the people’s concerns, and start from the question “Why have Bahrain go through such events, if there is continuous reform since 10 years?”

      Mahmood, the people are entrusting you in the dialogue, and you have their support.

  29. chris says:

    Wishing you all the best, for you and Bahrain, as you enter into these dialogues! I’ll be watching your blog for updates.

  30. milter says:

    Congratulations. I, too, wish you and your country all the best in the dialogue. As long as you use The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 for your guidelines you can’t go totally wrong.

    And, like the late Irish comedian, Dave Allen, used to finish his performances: “May your god go with you”.

    He didn’t continue: “… and don’t let His spokesmen on earth misguide you”. Too many have fallen into that trap.

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