Supporting Bahrainis = Supporting the GP – The Latest On Bahrain

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    Dear Fellow F1Fers,

    Finally here I am writing my forum post that I’ve been wanting to for months. Instead of making it one long post that not a lot of people are encouraged to read, I thought of posting bits whenever there is significant news or any developments. This way you can all be updated with the latest from Bahrain. I put it in the ‘Not F1’ section even though it has to do a lot with the Bahrain GP in case I post political stuff that has nothing to do with F1. Lots has happened, lots has changed, and thankfully it has to the better since my first forum post on Bahrain Yesterday was the first day without the State of National Security, and it passed incident free! No protests, no rallies, no death chants, nothing! I am so happy and proud that we have come a very long way, and yesterday was nothing but proof that we really have moved on. We felt we overcame this crisis, we felt our country getting safer, we felt the urge for reconciliation and unity. We knew we had it in us, but feelings were still raw and everyone was still hurt, yet still this need to never go back was strong in everyone. Doubts quickly haunted us of going back to square one as soon as the State of National Security was lifted, rumors spread that there were going to be protests all over the country. Yesterday came, and it was the day of hope, a day that proves to everyone who doubted the people of Bahrain that Bahrain is going to be just fine. A day that proves that the worse is finally over.

    Yesterday His Majesty King Hamad met with the journalists, media personnel, and social media bloggers, and in that meeting he announced the magic word: dialogue! (Will try and link the video of it once I find it) In the beginning of the crisis ‘dialogue’ was the magic word that relieved us all, it was our way out of this tangled chaos. When HRH the Crown Prince said dialogue, the whole country was behind him trying to make it work only to be hindered by the opposition’s devious political sectarian agendas. Now we are back on track towards dialogue and reform as the King officially set the date of July 1st to be the first day of national dialogue. We’re all excited that we will finally move forward and start to try and resolve what has happened. Reforms will be on their way inevitably and Bahrain will go back to being more united than we ever were because this time we are willingly going to do so. Anyone that dares to stop or refuse dialogue will simply be left behind. We are tired, hurt, and too scarred to think about going back to the protests and anarchy. We have made a pledge not to forget what happened so that we will never go back to it again. These protests have repeatedly emerged in the history of Bahrain mainly in the 50’s, 90’s, and this time was the worst of them all. They creep up every now and then because we make the mistake of forgiving and forgetting, but this time around we may get ourselves to forgive eventually but we will not forget for sure. We will learn, and analyze the situation, and put strategic plans so that we or our children will ever have to face the horrors of what we went through.

    Bahrainis are known for their friendliness, peacefulness, and tolerance, which makes the damage and scars of what happened much more magnified as we are not used to such chaos and turmoil. Bahrain is a country that is known for it’s unique multiculturalism and welcoming environment that makes everyone feel at home. We are so tiny, yet the people who make up the Bahrain are so diverse: Bahrainis of different sects, Bahrainis of Arabian Gulf origins, Bahrainis of Iranian origins, Bahrainis of other Arab origins, Western expatriates may of which lived for decades and call Bahrain home, Asian expatriates who work in Bahrain, Jewish Bahrainis, and Baha’i Bahrainis… We’ve got Mosques, Churches, Synagogues, etc.. It’s a very free society that respects everyone’s personal way of living. So to go from that to a country that is torn apart by sectarianism, racism, terrorism, vandalism, and violence was devastating to witness! What we went through was too traumatizing and scarring to be true. We all felt like we were stuck in this never ending nightmare that doesn’t seem to end.

    Who’d ever think our peaceful little island would witness Bahrainis brutally stabbing and murdering Asian expatriates slitting a tongue of one, and stabbing a few others! Ruthlessly running over two injured policemen several times until his dead body is morphed and twisted, and then taking turns in kicking the other dead policemen after going over his body by a car! Doctors denying Bahrainis treatment because of their sect or nationality leading to several deaths and many abuse cases! Doctor misusing certain medication to fake nerve gas exposure and other fake abuses. Teachers fueling sectarianism and allowing students to participate in protests during school hours to point where children were afraid of going to school because they’d be harassed! Vandalizing the University of Bahrain and injuring tens of university students many of which have sustained serious injuries and are lucky to be alive, some disabled for life! (See article below for videos and proof)

    Now to explain what exactly happened and all the truths and revealing proofs that have emerged from the investigations I will link you to this article written by a Bahraini F1 fan and is a message to the International Formula 1 community. This article beautifully illustrates exactly what happened and links it to how important the Bahrain Grand Prix is to the people of Bahrain.

    It simply is a MUST READ to any F1 fan, and to all my fellow F1Fanatics who read or commented on any of Keith’s articles about the Bahraini Grand Prix. I read the comments on this particular article and felt very sad and hopeless as I know my country is wrongfully blamed and framed to look like a dictatorship. Which I know for a fact is not true! Bahrain does not deserve this at all, it has given us so much, and the least we can do to give back is it defend our country. No I’m not blinded by the fact that I am a Bahraini, but why would I defend a government that attacks it’s own people? I may be slightly biased because everyone loves their country and wants to see it progress, but I’m not that blinded to defend a “dictator” or a “tyrant”. I know the truth will prevail, and it already is starting to prevail. By the time the Grand Prix comes around whenever that is, in 2011 or 2012, you will all be happy to have it back n Bahrain because you would have known that what you heard, read, and saw in the media were biased and exaggerated reports of the truth because they were mainly submitted by opposition supporters who were aiming and some still are aiming to ruin Bahrain’s reputation! I’m not sure whether ‘opposition’ is the correct term anymore because they have been acting like terrorists or enemies more than simply opposition. More importantly you see how the GP is actually a positive thing for Bahrainis to help them recover and rebuild.

    I won’t make this forum post anymore longer as the article I’m about to link is a handful, but is one of the best written pieces on the Bahraini issue and fittingly ties it in to why you should support the Bahrain Grand Prix which makes it the PERFECT read for you all.

    Here it is:

    Enjoy seeing all the eye opening videos!

    I’ll try to write another post with more videos that this article did not cover soon.

    Thank you again for caring about us Bahrainis and hope you realize after reading this article how beneficial and important is the Bahrain GP is to us!

    Kindest Regards,


    P.S. Hoping we get what we deserve on Friday. I know we deserve the GP and are ready for it, and that it will help us a lot to recover some of our losses. If it doesn’t happen I’ll soothe my F1 fanatic self and make it believe that it’s for the better, and that 2012 is a better time to host it.

    P.P.S. All the articles on the (the same blog as the article) are an excellent source of information on Bahrain. They are written by excellent writers who are active in the social media and bloggers which makes this new but popular website the independent voice of Bahrainis.

    Prisoner Monkeys

    We need a Like button. Keith, where’s the Like button?


    This sounds like more of the Bahraini PR twaddle that the government and every other ‘sizeable’ organisation has been trotting out for the last few months….”Nothing to see here, move along please” and yet the cameras and a number of respected journalists report differently.

    In all honesty dont see how F1 can go back. As somebody somewhere else said, “The Bahraini rulers have proven themselves to be a brutal and repressive regime with no qualms over killing its own citizens in order to cling onto power. The Grand Prix was bought and run at a massive loss by the same regime in order to raise their international profile and increase their credibility on the world stage, and the FIA should have no part in trying to help them do that anymore.”

    Ned Flanders

    LAK, I’m genuinely sorry to have to say this because the Bahrain issue aside you’re a perfectly reasonable guy/ girl, but frankly no one really takes much interest in what you have to say on the issue these days. You are, as Prisoner Monkeys is so fond of describing people, a persona non grata on this website, at least when it comes to the issue of Bahrain.

    To incessantly sing the praises of what is an undisputably brutal regime is bad enough; to constantly deride (and show absolutely no sympathy to the plight of) the largely peaceful protestors based on the actions of a violent few is just shameful.


    Whatever is really going on in Bahrain, it’s too late. To re-schedule it with no obvious slot in a long but compact calendar, to have to extend that to make it fit in, no. It’s not like the teams had a holiday instead of going to Bahrain, they were on track testing, testing, testing.

    If we’re going back, which we will unless something big happens, we’ll go back next year. Preferably racing on the Outer Circuit!


    I’d love to see the Bahrain GP back

    The media do exagerate things, all the time.

    I’m sure the people of Bahrain know a lot more about what’s going on there than we do and they are the main driving force behind bringing the GP back.

    But I would have to say it looks too late for the race this year. 2012 look like certainty, and I’m glad for it.


    @ Zadak – I’m sure the people of Bahrain know a lot more about what’s going on there than we do and they are the main driving force behind bringing the GP back.

    Yeah maybe the ones that have been whipped/beaten into line!

    Prisoner Monkeys

    You are, as Prisoner Monkeys is so fond of describing people, a persona non grata on this website

    Okay, one, I have only used that term once of late to describe Flavio Braitore. And secondly, do you know what that term means? “Persona non grata” means someone who is completely unwelcome somewhere. I think it’s really quite rude to describe LAK that way. To say he’s not welcome and his opinion counts for nothing – largely, I suspect, because his arguments make a case for a return to Bahrain a deeply unpopular notion on the blog – is rather ironically the same thing the government in Bahrain has been doing … and which you have been criticising them for.


    LAK, thanks for posting here. I hope you seriously consider what we have to say as well.

    It really was great to hear HRH the King announce dialog. But to see you write the first day after the curfew was perfectly fine is just not true. Look at reports, amongst others from Al Jazeera english.

    Sure you can say its staged, but why on earth would a Quatar based and funded news agency go to the trouble and fabricate that!

    Either the King is ignored by the government and security forces from Saudi Arabia, or he was just talking to make a nice image to present to the WMSC on Friday.

    And to see you write the dialog HRH the Crown prince announced earlier this year was thwarthed by the opposition is so far away from any real fact. How were they going to seriously discuss when the PM was always going to stay in place and you were bringing in foreign troups to assist a crackdown?

    There is so much wrong right now and all you say about how horrible the protesters are by blocking others from working and earning money is … no rather not write that down. Face it, I do not like public transport protesting here for better wages. But they have a right to do so and they do at times. In Bahrain there is a lot more to fight/protest for and had your government really started a dialogue and let peacefull protests run their course, the GP could have gone ahead as planned without major objections.

    The PM could have resigned, announced new elections where more than half the power will be by chosen parliament and would have shown the world how great a country yours is.

    Blaming it on Iranians financing the protests and then getting in reports to show how bad the opposition is because they STOPPED using Heballah and Iranian flags, to copy the Egyptians??? How should we understand that?

    Cant it not be a lot simpler, these people just want to change things, like in Tunesia, Marocco and Egypt and not be puppets of Iran?

    Very far from normal and not rife to stage a GP. Go ahead with the discussions and some real reforms to take away the need to protest (instead of just getting rid of people showing their discontent and those reporting it). Then stage a good GP next year.

    Ned Flanders

    I meant on the Bahrain issue. As I said, LAK is always a very friendly person, and I feel a bit bad for having said that.

    Of course, he (or she) is entitled to his opinions. But to keep criticising the media for the Bahrain mess, when countless media sources, human rights bodies and governments from around the world are unanimous in their condemnation of the Bahraini government, is just disgraceful in my opinion.

    And on the persona non grata thing- well, I don’t think I’d even heard of the term until you started using it, so at least now I know a new word…

    Edit- actually, persona non grata was an OTT term to use, and it serves me right for being a smart alec by trying to use it. But I still find LAK’s accusations pretty shocking and disapointing


    I think this post should have a new tag added “heated”!

    I don’t know enough to make a judgement on it, and neither do most people unless they are actually there. But then again, we have people who have seen the things go on, and people who haven’t.

    The thing I’m fed up with is the way Bernie is dealing with the situation, coming up with School boy like excuses like “F1 doesn’t do politics”, “F1 shouldn’t judge things based on morals”.

    As Mark Webber said, Bahrain has more important things than F1 to worry about right now.

    Red Andy

    As a very great man once said: Shut up, Flanders. :D

    LAK, thanks for your contribution. It is interesting to hear a different perspective on the protests. Not being there I can’t comment on the accuracy of the reports you cite, or indeed any others. There are vested interests in our “free and fair” Western media too, of course. Increasingly I feel that the protests are being used as a proxy by those who don’t want F1 in Bahrain because they don’t like the circuit, or perhaps (sadly) because they don’t want F1 races in the Middle East.

    Generally I don’t support F1 being used for political ends, whether those are for the protesters or the government. The decision to race should be taken on the grounds of logistics and safety. I doubt the GP will go ahead this year but I hope it returns eventually.


    it is a big article indeed, very well written, with supporting videos, testimonys, etc. A bit too much.. seems more like an article written by a publicity agency (just watch the sad music in the videos).

    Very few revolutions in our history were made without violence. The ones that were usually had the military support and/or no response from the government ( in other words, history was ready for that particular revolution)

    The questions here are:

    Is Bahrain a democracy? No

    Its people, what to they want? To be able to choose their government.

    Can they? No (question 1)

    What do the Human Rights Organizations say about the issue? Easy to find:

    “Human rights organizations criticize rampant abuses in Bahrain “

    “Human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Doctors Without Borders (DWB) criticized Bahrain on Friday for rampant human rights abuses related to anti-government protests”

    “DWB revealed that military-inflicted wounds were being used to identify protesters in hospitals for arrest and denial of medical care, leading many injured to avoid seeking medical care.”


    In this kind of issues it’s very hard to be able to trust either side; they know to well the importance of public opinion not to try to manipulate it and use it on their own benifit. So what do civilized people do to be able to form an opinion? right, human rights organizations…


    LAK, I appreciate your opinion and your passion for the return of F1 to your country, however I agree with others that your view does seem a bit skewed given the recent events and violence that has taken place as recently as today. What’s almost laughable is your citation of a blog within Bahrain as a valid source of news on the oppressive crackdown that’s taken place. The fact that they have The word independent in their name, does not make it so. Every trusted international news agency around the globe including, as BasCB points out, Al Jazeera have reported repeated, egregious, and ongoing violations of basic human rights. That’s not to say that there probably aren’t some anarchists out to make trouble and nothing else, but the majority of the protesters were nothing more than human beings in seek of a true democracy. In addition to these news organizations, most major human rights watchdog groups around the world have also independently verified the abuses that are occurring. I hope for your sake that your government makes good on its promises of a meaningful dialogue to bring about reforms, but I won’t hold my breath. Be well, and I hope to see you on the Candian GP live blog.

    Ned Flanders

    Look, you can disagree with the way with which I made my point, but for someone to argue that we can’t trust what we’re hearing in every single news agency that has condemned the regime is just daft. Plus, given that I’d already read a story that Keith himself has posted on Twitter about the regime violently breaking up more protests in the last 24 hours, I got the impression that I was being lied to.

    I for one find the likes of BBC, al Jazeera etc pretty reputable, and certainly a more reliable source than a lone F1 Fanatic who has made it very clear over the last few weeks that he/ she is extremely pro government.

    I assumed that by now we could all accept that the Bahrain government is in the wrong, and the question to debate now was whether should F1 return there. I find it more than a bit silly that threads like these keep popping up suggesting that the whole mess is the protestors’ fault, when it’s patently obvious that it wasn’t

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