Yousif Makki (A Sociologist researcher from Bahrain)
My friend asked me, with signs of pessimism, of my opinion on the possibility of breaking out the political impasse that Bahrain has been experiencing for over a year.
I told him honestly: "who am I to be asked such a question?! I do not have an answer; I am only a citizen of the general public. Furthermore, I do not understand politics, and as you know my interests focus on cultural affairs, and even following up politics affairs, if any, would only be from a cultural perspective. I believe that the relevant people engaged in political affairs in this country are capable, and better than me in offering clear answers to the chronic political crisis in Bahrain, and more precisely, the king of the country is indeed the top person to answer your question, he is primarily the responsible party in this country."
My friend stepped in by saying: "I know what you're saying, but I am asking you as an educationalist, not a politician, that is your opinion as an educator in a political matter which is related to the present and the future of the country, and your opinion as an intellectual in the historic turning points, such as those currently experienced by Bahrain. This, to me, is very important and is basically like a compass or a road map, and this is what I sought by asking the question."
My friend insisted for an answer to his question, continuing: "I want you to answer, as I want you to put yourself in the King's position, but as an educationalist and not a politician, what would you do to get out the country and its people from the crisis to a safe and secure path?"
I, then, started by saying: "Well, I’m imagining assuming the King's role, and I am faced with a revolution since February 14, 2011 until now, and that the option of the security solution which was adopted throughout this period to suppress the revolution is no longer worthwhile, so I'll save the country and the people by carrying out the followings:
I would meet with the advisors and all people who are keen to save this country, and I would tell them: "Ladies and gentlemen, my advisers, peace be upon you and God's mercy and blessings. After a deep thinking, and considering the situation the country has been experiencing since more than one and a half years, and after the loss of many people without any ethical justification; for that, and after trying the security and military solutions without a breakthrough, even the situation got more complicated, resulted in the loss of tens of innocent lives, I have decided on the following:
• Dismiss the current government immediately, and formulate a new, and real, government of a national unity on the basis that the country is the land for all its people and not for one or few persons, and that the prime minister should be from outside the ruling family, and a well-known national figure.
• Release of all political prisoners, on top of them are the opposition leaders and apologize to them and to all other prisoners in a moral and political courage.
• Mandate the government to pave the way for the election of a constituent committee to commence drafting a new constitution for the country, based on the true citizenship that establishes a new phase of the relationship between the ruler and the people, in a period not exceeding eight months.
• The immediate departure of the Peninsula Shield forces. The call of these forces was a strategic and political mistake that was not justified.
• Removal of those who participated heavily in the escalation of the crisis and who are associated with the regime either from the ruling family, or from outside the family.
• Holding to accountability all those who have committed human rights violations, irrespective of their positions and levels, and bring them to justice.
• Commence a serious dialogue between the regime and the opposition to put an outline for the transition to a real constitutional monarchy.
• Apologize to the families of martyrs and those who were affected by the crisis.
• Withdrawal of all security and military forms from various areas of Bahrain.
• Allow the right of peaceful assembly and demonstrations in any place of the country.
• Allow the return of those outside the country for political reasons.
• Reinstating of all workers, staff and detainees, as if nothing had happened, and granting them their all rights.
• Stop the media from its inflammatory and incitement role played for over a year and a half.
• Form a committee for reconciliation and justice formed of well-known and esteemed dignitaries in Bahrain.
• Stop the process of political naturalization immediately. This process has destroyed the country and done more harm than good.
My friend intervened, saying: "enough is enough, no more actions! it seems that you are dreaming." I told him: "this is what you have asked for and I replied accordingly, nonetheless, let me dream and be optimistic like a king, I mean like an intellectual. I am taking the country out of a terrifying future, even by dreaming. However the real king would not dream of, yet can in fact proceed with such historic and brave steps, and then all the people of Bahrain will be at his side supporting him, and cheer up his name. Here, I remember when people of Sitra happily raised the King's car at the beginning of his reign, threw the roses in more than one place, and rose above their wounds and sorrows. They are great people and thus worth even more than these political and historical steps."
My friend intruded: "I have three observations if this dream materialized:
The first: I am confident that if these imaginary steps that you are dreaming of would be achieved by the King, masses of the people of Bahrain will come out; men and women, old and young, shouting "Long live the King", instead of "Down with Hamad" and "The People Want the Downfall of the Regime". In fact, that was what happened at the beginning of the King's ruling.
The second observation: If the king carries on with such steps, he will be the first Arab governor / king and would be a historical figure, who saved his homeland, and did what had not been done by other rulers and kings i.e. a real reconciliation with the people and main actors, by giving the sovereignty and real authority back to the people.
The third observation: Thus, Bahrain would have passed the most serious political movement in its modern and contemporary history. History, and the people of Bahrain, will remember this king, and no other, the one who was able to take the country and the people to the safe side, and who overcame his fathers and grandfathers mistakes over the past decades against the brave people of this country."