Mohammad Sahwan: The Cultural Activist and Intellectual Martyr

”ŕŪŌ «Š”š«»”Ū - 2017-03-22 - 9:56 p

Bahrain Mirror: Bahrain has lost one of its sensible intellectual youths in one of the country's political prisons. Bahrain has lost the resilient martyr, Mohammad Mulla Hassan Sahwan, an exceptional figure in the Bahraini scene- a figure that might have been absent from the memories of the new generation, but was indeed existing throughout the historic resilient political pro-rights movement since the eruption of the Bahraini political uprising in the 1980s to this day.

Mohammad Sahwan was not a fleeting or unknown figure in the field of voluntary work, social and cultural activism in the island kingdom, as he was an artist that participated in theatrical festivals and local theatres in cultural clubs, especially on religious occasions and particularly in his hometown Al-Sanabes, which lies near the capital Manama. He also contributed to voluntary civil education in Al-Sanabes, as he owned a large library in his apartment that included many books of various orientations and domains. That is what made him stand out for he had a great passion for reading and dedicated time for that purpose in his daily life. He believed that reading is the first building block for change. He regularly attended book exhibitions inside and outside Bahrain, as well as cultural seminars and events. He also incessantly held a social cultural gathering at his place every Thursday night, which was attended by intellectuals, poets, authors, journalists, orators and activists. During this gathering that was called "Mohammad Sahwan's weekly assembly", discussions and dialogues were held regarding the cultural and political developments taking place locally, regionally and internationally.

On a separate note, Sahwan was also a fan of fitness. He was athletic and had a muscular frame. He earned a black belt in Taekwondo.

Sahwan was known for his youthful lively character, since he was close to Bahrainis of the younger generation. He was humble and kind to everyone around him. He cared for the less fortunate and the impoverished, and felt their pains and sufferings, as this was evident in his efforts on the ground and his theatrical works that addressed social as well as political issues.

Mohammad Sahwan strived for justice, equality, respect for human rights, particularly the rights of the poor and downtrodden, preserving national fortunes, and safeguarding the Bahraini identity. He sacrificed his life and even himself for the country, achieving the honor of martyrdom in his prison cell from sustained gunshot injuries in his head since 2011. He passed away on Thursday (March 16, 2017).

Arabic Version

Saeed Al-Sanabesi, Bahraini Writer


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