Obituary: The Emir of Bahrain

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The Independent Culture
YOUR OBITUARY of the Emir of Bahrain [by Adel Darwish, 8 March] contained some errors, writes Mansoor Al-Jamri. The Shia in Bahrain are not migrants from Iran. Instead, more than 90 per cent of them are the indigenous Arab people of Bahrain, known as Baharnah. They have inhabited Bahrain for more than 3,000 years and speak only Arabic. They are described - amongst many references - in the book Personal Column (1960) by Sir Charles Belgrave, who administered Bahrain between 1926 and 1957.

Second, it is not true that the majority of the 40 members of the Shura Council appointed by the Emir in 1993 and then in 1996-97 were made up from the elected members of the 1973-75 National Assembly; instead there are only a handful.

Third, your writer explains the current political crisis in terms of frustrated children committing arson. He probably does not know about the series of petitions since 1992 calling for the restoration of parliament. These were sponsored by all sections of Bahrain society, not only the Shia. They preceded riots and any stone throwing.

The obituary photograph was not of Sheikh Isa, but of his son, and successor as Emir, Sheikh Hamad. We apologise for the error.