Coming together around the Formula 1 Grand Prix
April 20, 2013 § Leave a comment
Tomorrow, spectators from around the world will converge on the Bahrain International Circuit for the Gulf Air Formula 1 Grand Prix. Over the past few years, the Grand Prix in Bahrain has been exploited for political purposes; but I count myself among those Bahrainis who see it as a way to come together in support of reconciliation.
The international attention drawn to Bahrain during the Grand Prix offers the unique opportunity to showcase the many things that make Bahrain a special place. Indeed, the honor of becoming the first Gulf country to host a Grand Prix came about precisely because of the economic, political, and social reforms implemented by Bahrain following the enactment of the National Action Charter and the Constitution of 2002. We can use events like this to continue to build national unity and consensus on how we can enact additional needed reforms.
Those using the publicity surrounding the Grand Prix to sow division and participate in violence are only undermining the national interests of all Bahrainis. When international visitors come to Bahrain, they spend money in Bahraini restaurants, stay in Bahraini hotels, and patronize a variety of Bahraini businesses. This means jobs and economic opportunities for all of us.
Moving forward, it is my sincere hope that we can use important international events rally in common cause for our country. I’m very much looking forward to this year’s race and please be sure to check out the Embassy’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates throughout the weekend.