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A Bahraini F1F, the Bahrain GP and how we see it..

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  • #159899
    BasCB
    Participant

    I think this article by Nick Kristof offers pretty relevant issues about the tasks before Bahrain to unite and move forward: http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/is-this-apartheid-in-bahrain/

    Don’t be fooled by the title (he himself states it is different), the article is full of him stating, that he is still new to the country and I would not say it is biased. The opening sentences show he is respectfull of the royal family. And he defenitely states, that calls for ousting them are very counterproductive for a solution.

    Have a look at it LAK and think about the issues. IMHO they do need to be adressed.

    #159900
    LAK
    Participant

    I apologize for not replying sooner, every time I want to write a new situation arises and I can’t seem to keep up! I think I can safely that the whole Bahraini population is emotionally drained! We’ve reached a point that people are starting to get fed up with the situation.. We all want reform that will move the country forward but turning the nation into a standstill is not the way to do it! Today is supposed to be race day! We all should be watching the first F1 race of the season, and I’m beyond devastated that we’re not and I apologize on behalf of the true Bahrainis who do not support violence, chaos, nor the loss of lives but support dialogue, peaceful negotiations, and respect. I’ll try to briefly sum up of what has been happening before replying to the comments then if needed I’ll write a detailed post on what’s been happening in the nonF1 section when I can..

    It’s been almost a month since the start of the protests on the 14th of Feb. and since the forces were withdrawn the protestors were allowed to roam freely as they wish. Literally not a single person from the police not even traffic police to give them their complete freedom. They have spread their tent city illegally to the surrounding areas including the Bahrain Financial Harbour! They weren’t getting the reaction they wanted by further pressuring the Government so they decided to move around with their protests literally choosing a new location every single day! Blocking the main roads and stopping people form carrying on their daily lives, going to work, schools, even getting to the hospitals. Just to show you the extent of their movements, they even went to residential areas on Friday aiming to go to the Royal Court, the residents weren’t happy at all and were ready to defend themselves as they had enough of them! Gladly the police were there to prevent any clashes between the both sides. Disappointed that no clashes happened, they decided to head directly to the King’s palace and protest there! Some of them came dressed in the white cloth traditionally used to wrap dead bodies hinting that the are going to be attacked, but like the previous day to no avail, there were no riot police from stopping them instead they were greeted with hospitality from the palace giving out dates and water lol! Nothing shows our King’s generosity and tolerance more than that..

    This is never the Bahrain we know and the true masks of the protestors have fallen, they are the real perpetrators, and their agenda is way more bigger than their so called ‘demands’. They’ve become a national joke known for their dramatic lies to gain international attention to add validity to their claim and aid their hidden political agendas. If they really want their demands they would’ve agreed to have a national dialogue and demand their rights through legal ways. (The government gave them many of their demands: announced 20,000 jobs, announced the building of 50,000 houses, released prisoners according to their demands, the housing repayments were slashed by 25%, they reshuffled the Ministers and introduced new ones as part of the reform (2 of the shuffled ones are Shias, one was even part of the opposition a long time ago) the King also gave out a monetary amount of 1,000BD equivalent to 1640 pounds to every Bahraini family, and still they’re not happy I don’t know what more do they want! Funny and sad that many of them who are calling for the death of the royal family still ran to receive the 1000BD from them!) Even the opposition are divided between some who want the dialogue and the few who aren’t, and the majority of their followers who are just confused between listening to their senses and listening to the few of them that have made their agenda clear and it has nothing to with Bahrain! Their argument is growing weaker by the minute, and we’ve since gained International support pro-dialogue from the US, UK, and neighboring Gulf countries.

    As I type now the protestors’ latest act was to block the roads early in the morning to prevent people from going to work and cause further disruption, they put up tents on the 6th of March in the Financial Harbour an area not far from the Pearl roundabout to further annoy the government and were asked to remove them. Today their agenda was to block all main roads and prevent people’s normal daily lives. Bahrain is a small country and we all use a main road to get to work and they closed it off freely blocking the roads with their cars, chairs, and barriers! And prevented anyone that tried to pass them. After their huge disruption today, the police had to intervene as several roads were closed off because of their protests and hundreds of people couldn’t get to school or work! My nephew had to drive back home he studied all day long yesterday for a test today and he couldn’t get to school! I’m watching the daily morning show on Bahrain TV and half of the presenters couldn’t get to work! Many on twitter complained about not getting to work. Most insisted on getting to work no matter what saying that as Bahrainis we will not allow the protestor’s disruptive acts stop us from helping our country! These are 2 of the latest tweets from the Ministry of Interior (@moi_bahrain) :

    -At 07:58 some protesters attacked unarmed security forces, one sustained serious head injury and the other was stabbed

    -Until 09:48, 14 members of the security forces had sustained injuries

    (Omg ! :O Just saw the videos of what happened on the news and I saw a protestor run over a police with his car with my own eyes! Luckily the police man rolled off the car!) Found a video link WATCH HERE: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-571007 Oh another video now being shown of the protestors chasing the police cars away! WATCH: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-571008

    Oh dear! This is getting out of hand, Bahrain needs the law to be applied! We cannot tolerate this anymore, the protestors have proven themselves unworthy of the King and CP’s kindness and tolerance! Here’s another longer video from CCTV cameras http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1pmai6O0N0

    Even newer news from the Information Affairs Authority on twitter (@IAA_Bahrain):

    -a group of protestors halted police patrol car, forced the driver out of the vehicle before beating him and then setting fire to the car.

    -#Bahrain Protestors stopped an ambulance and obstructed its path. This violated international laws related to emergency vehicle movement.

    I’m sure I left many things out that I forgot to mention like politicizing the health and education sectors, but it will be a never ending post :s so I will go ahead and answer the questions, and then write up a detailed update later on in the non F1 section of the forum..

    @BasCB Thank you, if you are a Muslim you might understand how the Sunnis and Shiites can disagree religiously but as you said this should not be the focus because in Bahrain the Sunnis and Shiites have been living in unison for years! So why ruin our strong ties and bonds? We were never this way, why change now? Just to clarify not all Bahraini Shiites agree with the opposition. In the end we are all Bahraini citizens who want the same major changes, so why don’t the opposition agree to dialogue and then we can all go back to being friendly and peaceful, after all Bahrain was ranked as the friendliest country in the world in 2009! (http://www.forbes.com/2009/11/30/worlds-friendliest-countries-lifestyle-travel-canada-bahrain-hsbc-chart.html)

    Not all the police are “imported”, many of them are Bahrainis, who were brutally attacked by the protestors! One of them was ran over by a jeep and sadly passed away :(, one lost his fingers, and many were stabbed by knives and swords. Today 14 of them were attacked by the so called peaceful protestors (see above, notice the tweet said they were unarmed!) Regardless of their origin, they are human beings as well and attacking authority with weapons is not acceptable in any country in the world, and they weren’t even arrested, except for the one who ran over the police man with his jeep! In most countries simply assaulting an officer is a punishable crime, so I think they have been let off quite easily here..

    As you said a democratic government shouldn’t be biased towards a certain side, and in Bahrain the ministers were always a mix representing all sects. They aren’t appointed based on their sects, but on their achievements and credentials. In fact, the newly appointed Minister of Housing used to be part of the opposition and he has been the Minister of Works before all this for a few years. HRH the PM never had the same cabinet for years, the people under him have changed dramatically over the years so he isn’t stagnated as one may think and has achieved many international awards that praise his efforts to make Bahrain what it is today. (Will mention them in detail is response to @JCCJCC’s comment).

    I dream of celebrating when all this is over with a successful Bahrain GP with full grandstands as you’ve said, and I’m a 100% confident that we will :) Bahrain has always been a peaceful and civilized country and as Bahrainis we can never live like this, it’s not part of our history to have turmoil and unrest, so I’m confident this will end soon because this is not the Bahraini way of living..

    @Icthyes Thank you for your comment. Regardless of what this region is called, democracy is practiced in a way that suits us. There is no one mold that fits all like many in the West like to think. Having a Monarchy that attends to the people’s needs through a Parliament suits us more because we have more stability this way and it’s actually for our own benefit. You may ask how? If Bahrain becomes a democratic country or a Monarchy that has no constitutional power like the UK, Bahraini citizens would have to pay taxes, pay for healthcare, pay for education, etc.. Now we don’t do any of these, so having the system we have in place is for our benefit..

    @bosyber Thank you so much for taking the time to read and understand what I’m trying to get through.. Exactly, not every Arab country is the same, and thankfully we are headed in the right direction. The use of force and the loss of lives is unacceptable by all even the government realized that and withdrew their troops which we never saw around Bahrain before. The CP and HM the King have been working nonstop, they met several times with the heads of all political parties and already made changes which I’ll go into later. HM the King and the CP paid several visits to the Gulf countries around Bahrain and met with international officials. The CP addressed the country for a second time insisting on dialogue backed with international support as the only way forward, while the stubborn opposition continue to intimidate the government by testing their limits, but the government are being smart by not falling into their playing victim trap like they did the first time as they are clearly asking for more clashes as this is their only way to gain international backing against the regime. (I’ll mention them in the detailed update post later on) Hopefully all this will get resolved soon and the truth will prevail. I’m confident that we’ll come out of this stronger, better, and more united than ever and we can show the world that we managed to solve it in a civilized and peaceful way :).

    @cubejam At least you found some of it interesting..

    @Ned Flanders lol thank you.. I hope you understand that Bahrain is certainly not by any means lead by a dictator.. People who don’t know the violent history of the opposition may easily misjudge the way the force was used against them. In Bahrain we have been very lenient with their years of violence and acts of terrorism (burning tyres on public roads, attacking police cars (they’ve killed a policeman last year by burning shops down, etc.. A WikiLeak which confirms this: http://wikileaks.ch/cable/2007/12/07MANAMA1113.html I can send you a disturbing youtube video which shows what they usually do check the ireport videos I’ve linked above to see what happened today!). Basically to the world they may seem ‘peaceful’ but anyone who lives in Bahrain can tell you that these ‘peaceful protests’ aren’t as peaceful at all but a way to get the media’s attention to be on their side and they’ve succeeded, how else will they topple the regime and gain International Support (which they are losing by the minute)? But the Bahrainis have woken up and we’ve been described as the #silentmajority on twitter and have made their voices heard in three rallies that are the biggest our tiny island has seen! The latest one was 450,000 ppl, (the first was 100,000, 2nd 300,000 ppl) all pro-government, in support of our current leadership, and we are asking for very similar reforms that the opposition want but aim to do it through dialogue and not spreading chaos by disrupting the jobs, hospital, roads, schools, etc…

    @xtophe Thank you for your comment, hundreds of prisoners were released according to the demands of the protestors. They are the same people that have terrorized our country in the past years, but the King is known for his royal pardons and did so to ease the tensions. Also one of the main oppositions was allowed to enter Bahrain again after being banned from Bahrain for a few years. He was held by the Interpol in Lebanon and the Bahraini government lifted their ban on him so he was released to he was freely allowed to return to Bahrain. What did he do? Fuel the fire and increase the rift between the two sides. Some of the opposition are trying to call for dialogue, but he still remains and calls about his political society to not accept peace at all. In fact, he announced his loyalty to the Iranian regime and announced that he wants to create another country in Bahrain! If you read what happened today above you would know that they are not peaceful at all but want to gain the sympathy and International support to gain power and topple the regime! But we all know the truth and as true Bahrainis will not allow this to happen to our beloved peaceful island.

    The CP, the government, the Bahraini people (pro-government and the majority of protestors who are moderates) are all pushing towards national unity through dialogue. Their efforts are being disrupted by very few heads of 2 or 3 political societies who are refusing dialogue. Today we have international backing and their argument is weakening by the minute. Today’s incidents showed their true chaotic agendas. Their lies are no longer believed nor tolerated. Good will come out of this because more people are siding with the government and don’t want to be associated with such shameful acts.

    The two legislative don’t have balanced power to protect the ruling government. The opposition are the ruling majority in the parliament and their loyalty to another neighboring country isn’t really a secret. This can change as this is one of their demands and the CP is willing to put this topic up for negotiations, but where are they? Why aren’t they discussing this with the CP if that’s what they want?

    @bosyber You couldn’t be more correct, a lot of work needs to be done to establish true equality. There is a reason that they are unhappy, but the whole of Bahrain agrees with about 80% of their demands! We also have the same needs, but did we illegally protest? I really hope we do maintain peace here because people are starting to lose their patience and feel terrorized by the opposition. People who have condemned the use of force earlier are now begging for the use of force! It seems that the patience is about to run out if the government doesn’t use force to stop this chaos from continuing.

    @Cat in a Cardigan Thank you so much for your heartfelt comments, really appreciate them. I think by allowing the protesters to protest illegally by taking advantage of the rights of the other Bahraini citizens freedom and rights (disrupting roads, hospitals, roads, etc..), continuing their death chants of treason and even illegally marching to different Ministries, residential areas, and even the King’s palace yesterday is way more than giving them their rights to freedom of speech. They have committed multiple acts against the law but the government is being tolerant and refraining from punishing them. To be honest I think Bahrain’s true colors are showing, we are just too nice and friendly to people who don’t deserve our kindness and stab our backs by their hidden political agendas. But I want to insist that I remain positive and trust our leadership 100% and know that the opposition’s position is weaker than ever! Yay :D Finally the truth is prevailing faster then ever. We will emerge united from this :)

    @dansus Thank you for your comment. I am beyond sincere and hurt that they managed to tarnish the image of my beautiful country, but now their true agenda is clearer than ever and people now know the truth plus we’ve got International support.

    @Asanator Thank you so much for understanding, really appreciate it! You really spoke my mind, thank you for realizing that not every Arab country is the same. God bless.

    @JCCJCC No need to apologize for asking questions. He was appointed by late leader and stayed. There are some who think that but what I’m trying to say is many of the Bahraini people love the PM, he has done so much for this country’s economy and is the reason of Bahrain’s success today. He developed the country since the 70’s and we’ve come a long way! It’s not only the Bahraini people who agree to this, he has been recognized Internationally for his efforts:

    – UN Habitat Award About the Award

    -Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Lawrence Technological University Read the full story

    You can read more about his achievements here: http://www.bna.bh/pmawards/new%20web%20pages/index.html

    He is also loved because he’s a people’s person. He’s very close to the people and is known for his visits o the community and charismatic and noble character. People will never forget his generosities and achievements and remain loyal to him regardless.

    Good question about the Bahrain GP it is definitely a national event. Of course not all people can afford to attend as with any other country, but Bahrain is a small country so everyone benefits when the F1 circus is in town. From shops, restaurants, and hotels, to shipping companies and business, everyone benefits from it. It also benefits the economy immensely and generates a lot of local revenue. So you could imagine that the business community is not happy at all.

    @BasCB Thank you linking that article we’ve all read and commented on it. It finally showed that he is starting to ask the right questions in his final tweets such as why are 95% of the people in the roundabout are Shia if this was supposed to be a Bahraini thing, and why the death chants. He asks in the end of the article tell me what I got wrong, so at least he’s willing to listen to the other side :).

    Wow can’t believe I finally answered all the questions finally! Today has been a exhausting day, which should’ve a national celebration of the successful hosting of the biggest International event of the year, the Bahrain GP. The problems we have today didn’t start a month ago, they were there under the surface ready to pop, so in many ways I’m glad that everything is out in the open and the true faces of people are showing. Hopefully we will come to our senses ASAP as we are a peaceful and friendly society and simply do not know how to live in unrest. I have 100% faith that our government are going to make the right choices since now the International community see who the real instigators are (a few head people of the opposition), and the Bahraini people will emerge stronger and united than ever. Looking forward to celebrating the Bahrain GP in unity, peace, and prosperity bigger and better. You all complain it’s boring anyway and are happier off starting with Australia, so maybe this is actually working out for the better! :)

    Sincerely

    LAK

    #159901
    BasCB
    Participant

    LAK, we have tweeted about this already.

    I think you are being shown only what your Government wants you to see. The video of protestors running over “unarmed” policemen with that voice over is a nice example.

    While the voice over tells you how bad these people are (piecefull protests of running into people by car) it does not tell you nor show you the complete picture. I had a close look at it. This is showing what happend AFTER the police shot that man close up with rubber bullets (that much for unarmed police), small wonder the protestors panicked and fled (inclusive the guy in that car).

    Look at the link I send you to how officials have put up lists of unhelpful people with Journalists and human rights activists (native Bahraini) being beat up by groups of people as a result.

    Lets get this clear. While protesters blocking roads and “hurting the economy” might be very uncomfortable and costly for the elite, it should never be “illegal” to do so. A right to strike is one of the main freedoms, even if it is often misused (see France public strikes mania). These protesters see that your government is just waiting for this to blow over or crush down on them, so they are trying to make their voice heard.

    Violent protests is what we saw in Tunesia and what is going on in Libya right now. Clashing with police who want to get you to stop protesting is pretty normal.

    As for the Saudi troops moving in to protect you. That were exactly the reasons given for Warshaw Pact forces movinginto Czechoslovakia in 1968. Or later into Poland. And at numerous other occasions. In reality it is about the Saudi and your other neighbours being afraid they will lose control at home themselves.

    Oman is also having troubles, for the same reasons as you do. Better educated people now come to realise, that they want to have a real influence over how the country is ran. Surely unemployment has to do with it. Sectarianism might be part in it but probably not that important, as shown by what happened in Tunesia, Egypt and other countries.

    Let HRH the Crown Prince really get going with reforms and your country will be all the better for it in time. Moving in troops to suppress this while the world is watching horrors the Libia of Japan is definitely not the solution.

    #159902
    Ned Flanders
    Participant

    What Bas said

    #159903

    Today’s development:

    Bahrain declares three- month state of emergency

    Just seeing more reports of death and violence on the news as I write this. Stay safe, LAK.

    #159904
    Hare
    Participant

    Hey LAK. I’m curious, but your nick does seem to be initials. Do the A and the K in your name stand for Al Khalifa?

    I’m not familiar with all Bahrain by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve wondered since you made your very emotional and moving statement on this thread some time ago.

    While you don’t appear to be closely related to the ruling family, and statistically I guess, many wouldn’t be. It would in some part in the eyes of some show good reason for your loyalty and perhaps make it easier to people to place you in the picture of Bahrain we’re all learning about from yourself, and other sources.

    This is not to say your loyalty to your King isn’t based on the good reason and good sense that you’ve explained here previously.

    However, if your name isn’t Al Khalifa, then it adds next to nothing at all as it wont carry any meaning to us without knowing more context. But it’s a question worth asking.

    Either way, I do hope you’re safe, and wish for you and your family’s safety. This is a tumultuous world at the moment, and I for one, would much rather a more settled landscape than what we’re seeing in your country, NZ, Japan, China, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and many other places that are suffering but with a lower profile in the western media. I wish you all the best for you and your country :)

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