Shaikha Mai, prominent Al-Khalifa family member, was sacked from the office following her refusal to shake hands with Israeli ambassador.
Due to refusal to shake hands with an envoy from Israel, a top Bahraini figure and prominent member Al-Khalifa dynasty was sacked.
A Rai Al-Youm revelation indicates that Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa was purportedly fired by the Bahraini King, Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa. Shaikha Mai is the President of the country’s Authority for Culture and Antiquities.
Mai is alleged to have declined to welcome Israeli ambassador in Bahrain. the confrontation occurred in the funeral procession of Steven C Bondy, American ambassador to Manama.
Finding out that Eitan Na’eh, Israeli ambassador, was there, she allegedly also departed the memorial service and asked the US consulate not to release any photos of her there. The measure meant to avoid any further backlash against her from the royal family.
According to Bahraini insiders, the monarch fired Mai before she even got home from her international trip to Albania. Khalifa ibn Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa soon took her position.
“The government wishes to emphasize that the former president of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, served in government for over 20 years with distinction,” the Bahraini administration’s spokesman asserted in a statement following Rai Al-Youm report.
The statement went on to explain that broad reforms made this week across a range of government organizations come after the unprecedented cabinet shake-up in Bahrain’s history. It is important to avoid misread changes to leadership roles inside public sector organizations, it further noted.
According to a release from the Hamas spokesman a day later, Shaikha Mai’s reluctance to shake hands with Israeli envoy is a real expression of the Bahrainis’ sincere position in favor of Palestinian people.
Shaikha Mai; By the People
Al-Mayadeen claims that Shaikha Mai resisted initiatives to “Judaize” Old Manama neighborhoods. Bab Al-Bahrain in the city’s financial center and Al-Mutanabbi Boulevard were among the neighborhoods decided for the agenda.
Shaikha Mai has served as an executive for Bahrain more than two decades. She has been referred to be a controversial character due to her bold and exceptional positions. She formerly led several top cabinet positions including the culture and information ministries. Mai’s record has made her the country’s first female to hold such positions.
Shaikha Mai welcomed an Israeli rights activist and scholar to the Sheikh Ibrahim Center in 2021. Ilan Pappé is against the current annexation of Palestinian lands and has actually published about “the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.”
Ilan’s receive by the Bahraini official and member of royal family was an alarm for Al-Khalifa leaders who have already dealt with public challenges. Since entering the Abraham accords with Israel, Manama has faced public outrage due to remarkable empathy with the Palestinian brothers.
Al-Khalifa accepted the normalization treaty in exchange for privileges that never realized. Former US president Donald Trump guided a group of Arab countries into direct ties with Israel back in 2020. Along with Bahrain, UAE was also a main signatory to the agreement.
An Al-mayadeen report last year confirmed the public disagreement with the measures. Following the deployment of official ambassador to Israel, demonstrations erupted across the country. People chanted “together we stand against normalization” and called for the termination of the normalization process.
Israel also refrained from meeting the terms of the agreement following August 2020 announcement. Expanding the settlements and annexing more parts of the West Bank have sparked criticism by the observers in UAE. Other Arab nations have also expressed dissatisfaction with the developments.