Impaired vision, or just deaf?

Uh, do you guys see a glass hermetically sealed cage around his majesty in the following picture taken at the opening of the parliament’s second session on Oct 17th?

king opening 2nd session of parliament 17 oct 07

I only ask because maybe the government which he is its ultimate authority doesn’t seem to have heard any part of his speech, especially the words which confirm – once again – that he (as does our constitution) regards the freedom of expression as sacrosanct. He clearly said that the country needs “an enlightened press and publications law” unless of course – once again – my ears deceived me.

Why else would they ban the publications of not one, but two books immediately after the king’s speech?

I could only surmise; then, (and I submit that naive moi could very well have gotten it wrong) that the Ministry of Information’s Press & Publications Censorship Office are completely and unilaterally ignoring his majesty’s clear directives. Why else would they ban the publications of not one, but two books immediately after the king’s speech?

And get this: both books are just compilations of already published articles in the local press by their authors!

Taking this into consideration, and to save you – my dear readers – some effort, here are the links to the compilations of their articles. They are all in Arabic obviously, but I am sure you could use Mr. Google’s Rosetta Stone to avail of their contents.

Without further ado, here are the compilations of Dr. Nader Kathem and here are articles published by Mohammed Al-Sawwad.

is it any wonder that the output of the Arab world altogether in books is so despicably low?

With these draconian departments and personnel who are obviously not only deaf to the people’s wishes, but those of their king too, is it any wonder that the output of the Arab world altogether in books is so despicably low? Is it any wonder that although we constitute some 5% of the world’s population we only number 0.5% of the world’s Internet users? Is it any wonder too that our education system is virtually non-existent and hope – general hope – has almost but left the building?

Your majesty, they’re not listening. Maybe it’s time for a reboot?

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6 Comments
  • ammaro.com
    23 October 2007

    i haven’t heard of this, but honestly, im not even suprised.

    You have things banned like a movie (such as the kingdom, which was actually filmed on arab soil) not allowed to show in our cinemas, without any consideration given to the actual content and how it could be offensive. You have websites shut down because they contain some politically incorrect comments. You (yourself know this from first hand experience) bloggers held liable for the silliest things, because it offends someone in a high ranking position, or spills some secrets that should not have been spilled.

    Would you be suprised that a couple of books have been banned?

    Thats an unfortunate case for not only freedom of speech/press and so on. The King has done a lot of good for the country, and means well. However, his word goes down, gets filtered through a number of corrupt officials, and unfortunately by the time it reaches the mainstream it becomes completely twisted.

  • AbuRasool
    23 October 2007

    It is the wrong addressee, Mahmood.
    Try Khalid bin Ahmad, in the same royal palace.
    AbuRasool

  • underthedatetree
    23 October 2007

    Does anyone know if the opening of parliament by the King was broadcast on Bahrain TV? I would like to see footage from the event. To be honest, I dont think I have ever seen/heard our PM/King address the media nor the nation and it’s citizens live on Radio or TV. All I get is a string of news releases by the crown court via national press – Am I missing something here? 🙁

  • Sue me
    23 October 2007

    No they are not deaf. They are doing what they are supposed to do. This talk about freedom of expression is merely a generic political self-promotion purely made for the local consumption of pity citizens.

  • mahmood
    23 October 2007

    Yes it was, and starting today there is a radio channel through which you can follow the “debates” too. I forgot that it went live today actually so I missed it. I think the frequency is 102.3 FM.

  • I
    25 October 2007

    Are they going to market the ‘debates’ as a cure for insomnia? 🙂

    Pity we don’t have TV coverage, we might have the fisticuffs on screen. I can’t imagine much of the coverage is going to be interesting, but it may just stop some of the elected making complete asses of themselves. . . No, that’s too much like fantasy island.

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