Time for the hare to wake up and win Gulf race!
Vol XXVII NO. 341 Thursday 24 February 2005
By Amira Al Hussaini
I am green with envy every time I fly back to Bahrain after a few days in one of the neighbouring Gulf states and I really don't know why.
As a Bahraini, I should be proud of the developments and huge leaps forward being taken by the likes of Dubai and Doha, which is following close at its heels and not the miserable melancholy soul I am as the plane circles to land on the dusty tarmac of our only runway at Bahrain International Airport.
I should be proud to recall that what was sand and desert a few years ago in our neighbouring countries is skyscrapers and multi-faceted glass and concrete buildings and breath-taking world-class resorts today - which testify to the burgeoning trade and forward thinking that is embracing the future and its challenges at full speed.
Why am I so envious? Is it in keeping with the Arab mentality that makes us jealous of our neighbours' successes and excesses and happy for any of their shortcomings, in the hope that we may one day beat them to the finishing line?
This reminds me of the story of the hare and the tortoise. Do you remember it? Well, let me entertain you with its Gulf version.
Bahrain has always been ahead of the times, the pioneer in introducing education, democracy, empowering women, building a modern infrastructure and diversifying its economy, to name a few.
It has been the heart of the region, its commercial and banking hub, its transit port and was the first Gulf country where oil was discovered.
It was the first in this and the first in that.
Then, like in the fable, the hare looked behind and saw the slow and sluggish tortoise trying hard to cross the start line.
As in the fable, the hare decided to go for a nap.
Just like in the fable, the hare wakes up to see the tortoise sweating its way to the finish line.
But not like in the fable, just as we thought that the era of discoveries was over, the hare springs into action and pulls a trick from the hat - we now have another first to gloat about until the end of time.
After all, like it or hate it, we were the first country in the Middle East to successfully attract and host a Grand Prix.
Cheers hare. I knew you would make a comeback!