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A message of love...

Rasul Gamzatov, a famous poet from Avar village in Tsada in northeast Caucasus, was a treasure-trove of wisdom. He said, "If you fire a bullet from your pistol on the past, the future will fire shells from its cannons on you."

He also famously said that "whoever satirises his country is like those who satirise their mothers".

These are, in fact, two citations among many others, which paved way to his great novel My Country. This work symbolises his boundless love for his country.

A few days ago, I visited the Indian city of Bangalore following an invitation from my Indian friends. I noticed with great pride and admiration their love and gratitude towards Bahrain. They also expressed their love for our land, its water, markets, food - and above all its people.

And, believe me, their feeling was not a momentary passion. It is the result of several years of productive work alongside Bahrainis; after living with them, understanding them and loving them.

Bahrain is like its icon, the palm tree. If you love it, it will embrace you. It is like a sunflower whose joyous face always beams at those who love it.

Bahrain has a long history and civilisation, yet it's a virgin land that sprouts myriads of wheat spikes, and every spike bears one hundred grains of wheat.

I feel honoured whenever I listen to my friends from Bangalore cherishing their memories of Bahrain. This is a feeling I always bear in my heart, while watching them work professionally and honestly. They have spent their life - from youth to retirement - nourishing our land and augmenting our economy, working day and night tirelessly. Their genuine efforts have developed our kingdom and given peace of mind to all Bahrainis.

No Bahraini can deny this.

No-one can deny that these good people have not only worked for Bahrain, but also did it with immense love and passion. When we address their work we refer to a spectrum of professions - ranging from the highly qualified doctors, engineers, teachers and accountants to skilled technicians and semi-skilled workforce.

Expatriates have played such a crucial and substantial role in Bahrain's economy that they deserve full rights of citizenship. They are not even enrolled in political parties or in trade unions. Ironically, they are more cordially attached to this land and its people than our own political parties and trade unions!

A shameful irony well expressed by Gamzatov, "Whoever satirises his country, is like those who satirise their mothers."

My friends in various parts of India - who have bolstered our economy with their hard work - love Bahrain and always express their gratitude towards it.

Dear friends in Bangalore who have tasted our waters, and kept the taste in their eternal memory, you love Bahrain, and Bahrain loves you too.

Bahrain is vast in the domain of love, though it is humbly small in the domain of geography. It loves every person who has worked on its land - people from India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Egypt, Lebanon, and many other countries.

Bahrain is the Mecca of love for many people around the world.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:Sep 13, 2013
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