Knowledge key to success says top intellectual
Manama, January 9, 2012
Although the world had changed, the way to success still was to work hard, gain knowledge and take life seriously, said a renowned Bahraini intellectual.
Anwar Abdulrahman, editor-in-chief of Bahraini newspaper Akhbar Al Khaleej, was speaking at the Economic Development Board's (EDB) 14th conference for government public relations and communications staff at the Gulf Hotel yesterday (January 8).
He explained how he progressed from learning English as a scholarship student at the Bapco school in 1957 to becoming a salesman at M A Almoayyed at 19 and taking over the Al Hilal Bookshop with Ebrahim Almoayyed in 1970.
In 1973, he went on to co-found Al Hilal Corporation and in 1976, under the tutelage of the late Mahmoud Al Mardi, Mr Abdulrahman spearheaded the launch of Bahrain's first Arabic daily newspaper, Akhbar Al Khaleej.
Two years later, the same group launched the Gulf Daily News.
In 1977, Abdulrahman and Ronnie Middleton established the Al Hilal Publishing Group, which publishes a range of newspapers and magazines, including Gulf Construction, Gulf Industry, Travel and Tourism News, Oil and Gas News, Arabian Knight, Gulf Weekly and The Gulf.
Abdulrahman explained that to be successful it was imperative people take responsibility for their achievements and study and not leave it solely to the government.
"In this changing world, we can't say what the government will do for us, it's you who will change the government and the country and will establish a healthy citizen," he said.
"We were from a generation that worked hard and took life seriously and for the last 50 years worked in leading positions everywhere, it's the legacy of Bapco school that dominated this society.
"If you don't take life seriously, then life won't take you seriously. Do you want to be a doer or a receiver? Do you want to be an achiever or a receiver?"
Abdulrahman said the world had changed from a "thinking" and "reading" society to one that was dominated by information technology.
He said when he was in publishing in the 1970s, people around the world were readers and thinkers.
At that time Britain published almost 700 new books everyday and thousands of copies were sold each year, but now it would be a challenge to sell even 800 copies of one book, he said.
"Unfortunately, we are not living in the era of the giants, we don't have the best singer, musician or writer," he said.
"No region has great thinkers, there is a new age, it is called information technology and this new religion is dominating the world.
"India's income from IT services has reached $30 billion a year because they have young men that take life seriously and they have young girls that say we have to survive. The best way to survive is to gain knowledge and work hard.
"We need to take life seriously. As we pray five times a day, it's a time we need to give our minds to think what I can do that I haven't done and is there anything I can produce? What you can discover, no computer can make."
Abdulrahman said since he was 15 he had read at least 52 "serious" books a year and encouraged others to do the same and become people of intelligence.
"If you have the interest to read and to achieve you will, interest will change your whole horizon," he said. "We need to give ourselves the chance for the art of reason and the art of logic. If you accept these two thoughts, then your road will be easier."
The EDB meetings have been held since 2009 they have been held to establish co-operation and networking among government communicators and to build their capacity.
Nineteen government communicators, who successfully completed an international advance public relations programme at the Bahrain Institute for Public Administration, were presented with certificates by EDB chief executive Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa at the event.
EDB national communications director Isa Abdulrahman said another batch of students was expected to begin the programme in the coming months.
He said other courses for government communicators were being held to build up their capacities. Another EDB initiative was to establish a common working system in the various ministries to facilitate strategy-making. – TradeArabia News Service