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Baba Isa – Father of the Nation

“Saturday 6th March 1999, a normal day in Bahrain, children were in school and men and women were at work on a lovely spring day.

In the afternoon, Bahrain Television for the first time in its history, disrupted the regular programmes to air the Holy Quran – something no-one could fathom. There seemed to be a feeling of unease and people wondered what was happening. Later in the day news presenter, Mohammed Al Shorooqi came on air looking disheveled and broke down as he announced “the Emir Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa has passed away and will be buried this afternoon in Hananiya graveyard”.

People froze in front of their television screens in complete shock and swiftly made arrangements attend the funeral. Some drove, children came on bicycles and many men and women walked to the cemetery. Hundreds of thousands of weeping citizens and residents poured out onto the streets to pay their last respects to a man they loved. In Islam women do not usually go to the cemetery but tens of thousands of women turned out on this sad day. The entire nation was in mourning and many businesses remained closed for days. People were so affected by the news that many remained in denial for days.

Baba Isa

Shaikh Isa was the eldest son of Shaikh Salman bin Hamed Al Khalifa and the brother of Khalifa bin Salman. A family loved and respected by all Bahrainis for their kindness and genuine concern for the people.

The only comfort people got from the loss of the Emir was the legacy he left in his son Hamed bin Isa, the King of Hearts who has won over the people through his dedication and devotion to Bahrain”.

(This story was narrated to me by a Nasser M.K who was 17years old at the time).



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