A tale of two information ministers in the Arabian Gulf

January 2, 2010

Manama : They are both in charge of managing the broadcasting of television programmes in their respective countries.

However, while in Bahrain, Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammad Al Khalifa, the culture and information minister, has won praise, in Kuwait, Shaikh Ahmad Al Abdullah, came under fire from MPs and thousands of disgruntled tribesmen.

Bahrain’s First Lady Princess Sabeeka Bint Ebrahim Al Khalifa said that Shaikha Mai’s efforts deserve to be lauded.

Shaikha Mai, given the culture and information portfolio in November 2008, has called for an overhaul of Bahrain Television to make it more competitive in the region and more attractive in Bahrain. “It gives me great pleasure to express my profound gratitude to Shaikha Mai for her efforts in developing Bahrain Television, particularly in highlighting the achievements and accomplishments of Bahraini women,” Princess Sabeeka said in a statement carried by the official Bahrain News Agency and several newspapers.


“We look forward to further achievements in the media and culture sectors under the responsibility of Shaikha Mai,” she said.

Shaikh Ahmad in Kuwait City however has been receiving thorns instead of roses.

Kuwait has become gripped by vociferous calls for the grilling of the information minister for the alleged delay in taking action against a controversial television channel.

Al Sour earlier this month broadcast a programme charging that many of the country’s tribesmen were not original citizens and broke the law by holding dual nationality.

The programme sparked a tempest in the country and calls for the resignation of the information minister even though he took the channel off the air and the security authorities arrested the channel owner, who is still being investigated.

But several MPs said that the information minister should either resign or face questioning next week. Media reports said that the government could dismantle the information ministry to avoid the grilling of the minister.


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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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