King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain has been in a lenient mood lately, or perhaps he's seen the wisdom of acceding to the prevailing disposition of his people. Either way, the king has responded to massive street protests by freeing 23 people accused of trying to oust his island nation's Sunni Muslim monarchy—a monarchy that the king himself reigns at the head of.
That's some pretty down-to-earth behavior for a monarch.
The exuberant crowd above has assembled at Pearl Square in Manama to celebrate the release of jailed brethren from police custody. Welcome home festivities include fervent chanting, Facebook photo opportunities and a round of crowd surfing.
Now, wonders Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, when do they break into a rousing rendition of "God Save the King"?