Honey, I’m hoooome!

2 Nov, '06

unblock mahmood's den order - small

We’re back!

Thanks again… to everyone, and to Dr. Yateem, the undersecretary of the Ministry of Information and the Minister for proving that they are understanding and reasonable people.

I’m not sure how many countries in the world that a citizen can go and meet such high up people, discuss issues with them in a calm and open manner, while those officials knowing full well that that person in front of them has mercilessly criticized them in writing and on several occasions (the latest of which is just this morning!) and they still do not take things personally, but keep professional and find a to diffuse such a situation as this; but there couldn’t be many.

So regardless of our differences, I am honoured to have met these gentlemen and thank them once again for their efforts, and hope that they will continue to accept criticism without taking them too personally, for the good of Bahrain. And invite them, to jump in and comment and rebut any argument and article I put forth here, and hope that I too would be good enough to accept their criticisms with the same spirit.

So that page of our story is over… I’m now looking forward to the new page, one in which we can benefit from each other’s experiences, and can discuss matters which affect our country and our countrymen with the same understanding exhibited in this situation.

The next step for us, gentlemen, is to enact those 6 points suggested by the RSF which I have submitted to you and hope that they will be put into your consideration for any new legislation concerning the internet.

I am available to continue our discussions at your convenience.

Thank you, once again, to everyone.


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Comments (102)

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  1. Suad says:

    Congratulation Mahmood =D

  2. River says:

    Congratulations Mahmood…..truly glad for you and all of us readers…

    Take care,

  3. B says:

    What about the other 5 websites on the blocking order?

    Not everyone has open-door access to these officials and we know it. Countless other websites remain blocked but just because no fanfare and not many people get their nickers in a twist over it, remain ignored and blocked.

  4. mahmood says:

    That’s got to change B, because if this situation demonstrated anything then it demonstrated that to be quiet is not conducive to positive change.

    The guys at http://bahrain-uncensored.com will now concentrate on this very problem and I unhesitatingly offer them my full support in their noble endeavours.

  5. Congrats Mahmood. You have made a point but I doubt ‘they’ have learned their lesson from it. I sincerely hope this drive to raise the margin of freedom of expression in Bahrain continues to build up. Unblocking your site doesn’t mean that we are a free and open society. It doesn’t mean that you or I are safe to express our views without the worry of being dragged to jail. It doesn’t mean that we are not treated like children and being told everyday what we have the right to read and learn and what we don’t. Mahmood, life in Bahrain isn’t white or black and you of all people know it. You were loud and you had every right to be. You made a lot of noise – too much noise in fact – and they didn’t want the headache. The bottom line is that they didn’t lift the ban because they respect your freedom to express your opinion. And this is a dangerous thing. It means that they can block you again if you don’t behave!!

  6. Lorena says:

    Alfmabrook ya Mahmood!im very glad 🙂


    Sorry Mahmood, what professionalism you are talking about?! If they had the slightest of that, they wouldn’t have act with such indecisiveness; issuing an order and then retract it in couple of days without a real change in situation.

    If there was a law and you broke it, by publishing those articles, then you should be taken to court otherwise nothing of this nonsense should have happened.

    The removal of those notorious articles about bandergate doesn’t mean that you didn’t break that law and it shouldn’t change anything in the case and if this was really their objective behind that act they could have called and asked you to remove them peacefully before blocking the blog and threatening to take you to court.

    I still think that we are dealing with bunch of stupid people who know only how to take stupid decisions and then change their mind when they face the consequences.

    Pissed off from calling these clowns professionals,
    Hassan Alkhuzaei

  8. well there goes my “free mahmood” t-shirt enterprise

  9. unJane says:

    Welcome back, Mahmood! Your diplomatic skills are to be commended. Mine are a little more along the lines of Hassan Alkhuaei. I’ll have to brush off my old Berlitz tapes and work on my Arabic so I can read more of his opinions.

  10. Bahrainiac says:

    MABROOK!!!!!!!! 8)

  11. That is a brain fart! says:

    “I’m not sure how many countries in the world that a citizen can go and meet such high up people, discuss issues with them in a calm and open manner!!!!

  12. Mahmood,

    One more question I should shoot before drawing my final conclusion on your meeting with those clowns.

    – Does the removal of those articles about Bandergate mean you have changed your mind about the gag law and if not why did you remove them?

    Don’t you think that they were successful in passing their message to you and to the blogging community behind you? The message says “You are free as long as you learn how to bow and accept any stupid law that restrains by force your freedom of speech?

    Hassan Alkhuzaei

  13. mahmood says:

    Hassan, Amira, et al:

    Does the removal of those articles about Bandergate mean you have changed your mind about the gag law and if not why did you remove them?

    Hassan, I don’t fancy looking at the world through vertical bars of steel, thank you very much. I work better with those bars as far away as possible from where I am.

    Have I changed my mind about the gag order? No, I do no agree with it one bit as I think it is draconian and stupid to expect that people would just shut up because there is a law which says so, but if a government authority ready and willing to throw that law at people and it doesn’t bother them too much by making whole families destitute, then I would rather live and fight another day, on MY terms rather than theirs.

    Why did I remove those articles? To acquiesce to their request. Momentarily. My agreement is that those articles would be removed and sequestered until such time as the law is repealed, then they will find their normal way back into the stream. And yes, the reason I did agree to do so was to escape being (a) thrown in jail, (b) drill the road to abject poverty by being sued, or any of the other million reasons there are.

    Don’t you think that they were successful in passing their message to you and to the blogging community behind you? The message says “You are free as long as you learn how to bow and accept any stupid law that restrains by force your freedom of speech?

    Oh come on Hassan… What did *I* learn from this experience? Blog anonymously! What the hell can they do if I or 300,000 people did just that and ALL they talked about on their blogs was bandargate?

    YES. They did shut me up, as they did you and all the national papers in Bahrain. They bloody well can’t shut anonymous users (new or old) up.

    Ask yourself this: what do you think they asked for when I walked in to their office, and what did they get by the time I walked out?

    I am sorry I disappointed you and others “for not standing up to them” and telling them to bugger off I’m not going to move a millimeter from my god-given right to criticize and talk about whomever I want, when I want, how I want.

    But you weren’t the one in the firing line with a 6 x 8 cell awaiting your pleasure.

    I am happy with my decisions and shall live by them and will CONTINUE to fight the fight; but on MY ground, and MY way and on MY time.

  14. Mohammad says:

    as for this gentelman u r talking about: he is what u said. so the piont as u said again: how many of this kind we have?.

    after all: well come back..to your den..shall we could u : lio..?

    Mohammad Fadhel xxxxx

  15. moclippa says:

    First of all, Congratulations Mahmood on the removal of the gagging order! I hope you emerge from this experience both stronger, wiser and more adamant in your cause.

    Sorry Hassan, I have to agree with Mahmood myself. In consideration of the fact that he would do more good for both the country and his family by avoiding being sent to jail or facing law suites. While our belief in social martyrs is all well and done, some of us don’t want to be a sacrifice to a cause, but rather the people that keep the movement running.

  16. I am rather impressed Mahmood; you worked out a good compromise, one of the more honorable legacies of Arab culture.

    However, I am with Amira on this one. While it makes sense to not “interfere” in the investigation, the topic itself and its social implications ought not to be off limits.

    In the grander scheme of things, you proved that the government is indeed, afraid of its people. But it needs to be afraid enough to pursue justice and preserve peace, rather than take the easy way out and control who knows what and when.

    Given your description of their interactions, ie- acceptance of criticism, I am encouraged. However, until we in Bahrain have an independent judiciary and a responsible and respectable media, tensions like what transpired these past few days (actually several weeks now, if you look at the larger issue) will be the norm.

  17. حسن الخزاعي says:


    I’m sorry that you misunderstood my questions and responded to them as if they were attacks criticizing your decision to acquiesce to MOI’s orders to avoid any legal action that might be taken against you and to bring your blog back to light.

    I highly praise your openness and transparency and might even go further than that and call your decision an intelligent one as I’m one of those who don’t think loosing their freedom for a post in a blog is an act of bravery or courageousness but rather stupidity and a sacrifice for nothing.

    The only take I have against your last post is the new anomalous tone that is nothing like the Mahmood we know.

    And of course still pissed off from calling those clowns PROFESSIONALS!

    Hassan Alkhuzaei

  18. Mohammad says:


    take it easy my friend.. Either/Or is not the golden role here..

    take it easy..

  19. Abu eyad,

    What are you talking about?!

  20. Yousif says:

    Congrats Mahmood. I’m sure any sane man would’ve done the same to avoid jail time. Looking forward to reading your future posts.

  21. mahmood says:

    Hassan, habibi, it is best to pursue a “win win” situation. I would love to discuss my decision with you some time… I hope you’re coming over tonight?

  22. BuZain says:

    Congrats Mahmood. I kind of felt exactly what Hassan has expressed when I first read about your meeting with the MoI gang and the conditions for unblocking your blog. I would’ve loved the scenario of you standing up to them and their unjust order. But on a second thought, I agree with your justification and I believe you made the right decision. Welcome back.

  23. Hanan says:

    :yes: Well done Dad! Congratulations 😀

  24. B says:

    Have I missed something here.

    All articles related to “Bandargate” have been deleted??

  25. Jamal AlYousif says:

    All my life Mahmood, I have never seen you back down in front of a confrontation. You remember when we were kids? Most of your cousins were crossed with you, most of the time, over your stubbornness in agreeing on certain things their way. Even if it means them ganging up on you and boycotting you! you stood your grounds firmly then, but at the end it is they who always come back wanting to befriend you again!

    Just a few words of support Mahmood. I always admired what you stood for and believed in and I know your consistency in perusing things. At the end of it all you have Injustice in the cross-hair viewfinder, don’t you and they think you repented, huh!

  26. B says:

    Were the tea and biscuits good?

    Oh and were they professional before or after they threatened you?

    Congratulations on the honour of being gagged!!

  27. can we talk now says:

    mabrook, mahmood..
    in response to some of the posts above, i have to put in my two cents worth..aside from the fact that you don’t want to be looking out from behind vertical steel bars and thinking of your children, i think it is important not to miss the big picture..

    1. mahmood t.v. does a lot of good by providing a forum for exchange between people of different cultures and it is very important that it remains in place. the scandal in question is not the only topic that was discussed, and it would be a shame to cut off your nose to spite your face..

    2. change happens slowly, it doesn’t happen overnight. we still have a reactive system of management which is extremely personal. you can’t fight a system if it does not operate in a logical legal system-like way when the tools are not there to aid you.

    3. there are two ways to get what you want. well there are probably more than two, but only two options here, IMO. you can go in like gangbusters and shout what you want or you can saunter in and discuss and be willing to make compromises. in the first situation you make enemies and lose in the long run (win the battle, lose the war). in the second, you move one step closer to your goals without creating resentment. it takes longer but everyone gets to keep their face, no eggs on anyone and the door is open for more negotiation in the future.

    4. my motto in life is.. you have to pick your battles. think hard about each and every cause, weigh the pros and cons and make intelligent decisions. being a hardhead costs one credibility. give and take.. think about what is being offered and what it costs and make intelligent decisions. what is the use of throwing oneself into the fire to make a point???

    keep up the good work, Mahmood.. in the big scheme of things, you did the right thing..

  28. Jasra-Jedi says:


    Lots of attacks Mahmood, eh?

    I actually think that you won this round, hands down. They have to renege on their position, and are now having to justify why you and not the others. They are being inconsistent and also wish washy about the basis for the gag. So .. by playing the game with civility, you have actually won it…

    Look at the final result. YOur blog is unblocked, and just because we cant discuss what cannot be mentioned ;), that doesnt mean that it never happened, does it? Or that what was discussed didnt take place?

    As for everyone else who has an issue with the way that you worded your post, I think it is prudent to let them know that it is only the winner who can ever afford to be so gracious and generous!

    Either way, Mahmood 1, MoI 0.

    Onward and upward.

    We have other pressing issues to discuss. And it is always better to fight fire with water … not with fire.

  29. Ingrid says:

    phew, unblocked and with a great new look no less. (unless it was like that before the blocking to which I have to confess I was awol for a while)..thank you gentlemen for being fair and confident inspite of disagreements and critique. That ought to give one hope right? Welcome back to the world of blogging because I cannot imagine you being able to not write online after doing this for so long. Not to mention all your loyal readers who have to get their fill somewhere somehow. There’s only one Mahmoud’s Den and it’s good to see it back in business!

  30. zoemirai says:

    Soooooooo god to have you back!

  31. Osnath says:

    Mahmood you did the right thing !
    Those that are critical of your action ” shut up ” this way you can face the brass from the outside later, can’t do a damn thing from behind bars.

  32. Redbelt says:

    I am as stubborn as anything..

    If I had just cause.
    I still would choose my battles.
    Just like you did Mahmood. I’m proud of you and I think its a point to you, for sure, not the otherway round.
    I applaud you.

  33. الماحوزي says:

    Since you Start youre Blogs And You Think Youer Self Superman Of Bahrain Bloggers! But After This Every One Knows Now You Are Superrat Of Bahrain Bloggers!!!!!!!!!!!

    😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod: 😆 :grinnod:

  34. alfanan says:

    Alf alf alf Mabrook Mahmood 😉 You have truly made history. 🙂

  35. مبروك على العودة

    نتمنى منك المزيد و إلى الأمام دائما

  36. lizardo says:

    well comeback Mahmood .. 🙄

  37. Sandeep says:

    Welcome back Blogfather! I must say that the best part ofthis entire exercise was that all of us now know how to unblock websites! Thanks Mahmood and yes you have got a break now! Get back to work! I may sound mean but that’s the truth, I bet all of us don’t even check our mails but check your blog in the morning.


  38. Blayde says:

    Congrats Mahmood :yes:

  39. Lujayn says:

    A smart man chooses his battles, and you are one smart, practical cookie, Mahmood. I’m glad you took that route. Foolhardy intransigence would have been detrimental both to you and your cause. I definitely don’t think you sold out; you proved that there are forces to be reckoned with out there, and though you’re a regular guy, you managed to get under their skin. That’s enough for now.

  40. NewMe says:

    كما أنت رائع دائما
    مبروك عودتك إلينا من جديد
    ولكن ماذا عن المواقع الأخرى
    هل يوجد أمل؟!
    أتمنى ذلك…
    يعجبني احترامك للقوانين الذي يدل على شخصية واثقة تتعامل برقي لافت
    الشطارة ليست في تجاوز القوانين
    ان التصرف بحضارية ونبذ الغوغائية والتطرف أي كان
    هو ما نحتاجه في زمن طغت عليه العنصرية وازدواجيه المواقف
    ان نحترم القانون وان يحترمنا القانون
    ليس تنازلاً ابدا بل رقي عن التعنت والتزمت الذي لا يسمن ولا يغني من جوع
    لديك رسالة تحملها على عاتقك
    ليعرف الآخرون ان التمدن ليس مظهر بل تصرف
    كم احترمك لاحترامك لنفسك
    اجدك نموذج جميلا يحتذى به
    سأظل أتابع
    دمت بحب

  41. anonymous says:

    مبروك على رفع الحظر …. Ùˆ ما عليك من الانتقادات محد يبي يجوف نفسه بين يوم Ùˆ ليلة متبهدل في النيابة العامة Ùˆ المحاكم Ùˆ خراب بيته ايي على سبة مقال …. Ùˆ كفاية انك تكتب Ùˆ تستعمل اسمك Ùˆ تنشر تفاصيلك Ùˆ قلة سووها Ùˆ كتبو بهالصراحة Ùˆ باسمائهم الحقيقية …. Ùˆ على الطاري بس حبيت اسأل بتبيعون بادجات بس بحريني؟

  42. Siham says:

    Mahmoud: “To acquiesce to their request. Momentarily. My agreement is that those articles would be removed and sequestered until such time as the law is repealed, then they will find their normal way back into the stream. And yes, the reason I did agree to do so was to escape being (a) thrown in jail, (b) drill the road to abject poverty by being sued, or any of the other million reasons there are”!

    I am sorry to tell you Mahmoud that you will never be free when you think like this!!! If you are not welling to sacrifice, you don’t deserve to be free!

  43. can we talk now says:

    you can believe in a lot of things but that doesn’t mean you have to be willing to sacrifice your life for every single one of them.
    a lot of people truly believe in gender equality, does that mean every man who believes in it has to sacrifice himself for that cause? or is it enough that he treats the women (mum, sister, daughter, colleague)in his life with the utmost respect as equal human beings, brings up his children to respect those values and speaks up when he sees a woman being discriminated against?

    i repeat as i said before: YOU HAVE TO PICK YOUR BATTLES… not every one is to die for… a person is wise IMO when they can tell the difference!

  44. Ibn says:


    I am sorry to tell you Mahmoud that you will never be free when you think like this!!! If you are not welling to sacrifice, you don’t deserve to be free!

    You are wrong.

    Mahmood has already sacrificed alot just being part of this horrible ordeal. What is worse than being persecuted, than the ambiguity of getting persecuted? Living day by day, night by night, only guessing what the all-powerfull executive branch or member of royalty or government will do to you tomorrow, all on a stupid whim.

    I cannot think of any better type of mind-f*** than that.

    Anyone who is willing to put up with this deserves a medal, a sculpture made in his image, and free supply of baklava for the rest of his life.

    Mahmood is a model for the rest of the Arab world, indeed, the rest of us. And as of now, he’s one of the few people here taking all the heat.


  45. Acad Ronin says:

    Glad you’re back. And Bahrain takes a small step forward.

  46. a Duoist says:

    “Over his body and his mind the individual is sovereign.” – J.S. Mill

    ‘Be free,’ Mahmoud.

  47. moryarti says:

    mabrook and welcome back …

  48. mahmood says:

    thanks guys, again.

  49. Fatman says:

    x slaps y in the face
    y is sad
    x gives y anti-slap cream
    y is happy

    A wise man once said: Don’t be afraid of a dog that doesn’t bite. Case in point.

    >>Ibn: …is a model for the rest of the Arab world, indeed, the rest of us. And as of now, he’s one of the few people here taking all the heat…

    Give me a break. Do you spend all your days behind the computer screen because I can think of tens of people in this tiny Bahrain of ours who’d be much more deserving of that medal for being fearlessly vocal and for suffering years of imprisonment, torture and terror. None of that made them budge an inch. They too have families and loved ones.

    Perhaps if you rubbed shoulders more with the grass roots of society instead of spending all your time doing so with keyboard warriors you’d be more politically aware than you currently are.

    Giants don’t bend in the face of opposition if they are convinced that they’re fighting for a universally righteous principle. A few decades ago, an old man stood in his 5x5m house and heard the thunderous screams of thousands outside chanting his name and promising to sacrifice themselves for him. He turned to his friend and said “If all those people where to one day shout ‘Death to x’ I wouldn’t budge an inch.”

    But regardless, everyone is free to choose how and when to fight and although there’s no way I can agree with the blog owner’s decision, it is in the end his decison and it is his blog and he can do whatever he thinks is right.

  50. layal says:

    غبت فتره عن النت ولما رجعت تفاجئة بالخبر
    لكن الحمد لله علي السلامه


  51. Suad says:

    I don’t agree with those who criticized Mahmood and thought that he lost his battle.

    Being right, defending our positions, takes an enormous amount of mental energy. Needing to be right encourages others to become aggressive and defensive and puts pressure on us to keep defending.

    We believe that it’s somehow our job to show others how their positions, statements points of view are incorrect, and that in doing so, the person we are correcting is going to somehow appreciate it, or at least learn something. WRONG!

    I believe in a “Win-Win” strategy, and in choosing our battles wisely. Pissing them off all the time will not help us in achieving our goals. We win people by logical, civilised conversation and not by being stubborn and aggressive.

    What will happen if Mahmood insisted on not removing those articles?? His web site will remain blocked, he will be dragged to jail and there will be no room for the change we are looking for. “Suicide bombing” is not the right way to enforce our message, it is a stupid reaction. Yes .. It attracts the attention of others but this attention is a permanent one.

  52. Suad says:

    Permanent = temporary (correction)

  53. Sadek says:

    I am glad that one of the liberal and intelligent blogs is back in the public domain. Its unfortunate that one of the cleverest and enlightened voices had to be banned, even temporarily.

  54. Hassan Ali says:

    Wellcome back Dear mahmood & Congrats


  55. Silver Girl says:

    Congrats Mahmood =D

  56. mahmood says:

    Fatman, and your real name, telephone number and home address are what exactly? Courageous enough to share?

  57. Aqeel says:

    Mr Al Yousif….

    Welcome back to the WWW

    Just wanted to remind you that 22 dayes to kick the funny Parliament out.

    very glad for the unblocked decision.

  58. Fatman says:

    >>Fatman, and your real name, telephone number and home address are what exactly? Courageous enough to share?

    Look bro, you’ve beat that horse to death. You don’t post anonymously, we get it. My goal in life is to propagate ideas, not plaster my name everywhere, hence the reason why I don’t use my real name and why your string of thought is flawed.

  59. Ibn says:


    Do you spend all your days behind the computer screen because I can think of tens of people in this tiny Bahrain of ours who’d be much more deserving of that medal for being fearlessly vocal and for suffering years of imprisonment, torture and terror. None of that made them budge an inch. They too have families and loved ones.

    Mr Fatman, my statements were not designed to elevate Mahmood to the status of demi-god. Of course there are others who have suffered alot more, and are probably in prison for politcal dissent.

    But weather we like it or not, The Den generates alot more awareness than anything else I have seen in the Bahraini political arena. They try to shut it down, and they realised its not going down without some noise. And it is that very fact Mr Fatman, that makes this blog, as well as Mahmood its owner, valuable for the fight for freedom in the middle east. Because they wont go out quietly. Others have because they have copted out, or were brave but simply lacked all the capital in resources and awareness from other people to support them. I am sympathetic to them.

    Perhaps if you rubbed shoulders more with the grass roots of society instead of spending all your time doing so with keyboard warriors you’d be more politically aware than you currently are.

    I think that is true of everyone for every arena – better to be on the ground than to type away. Unfortunately Mr Fatman, unless you are willing to foot the bill for my round-trip to Bahrain as well as room and board for, oh, say two weeks, you’ll have to wait until I finish school and make some money. Until then, you’ll have to deal with me on my laptop. 🙂


  60. الظاهر أوتعوا
    كان لمصلحتهم إبقاء هذه المدونة ومشروع هذه المدونة لأنها تلهي الناس عن المصيبة الحقيقية
    الظاهر حاقد وحاسد هو من وشى وشوش وزارة الإعلام لإغلاق هذه المدنونة
    بس أوتعوا وإعادوا فتحهها

    والبحارنة والسنة حبايب وطول عمرهم حبايب

    عقبال بقية المواقع
    موقع حقوق الإنسان واللي يتكلم عن المجرم الحقيقي والمنتهك الحقيقي لحقوق الإنسان

  61. mahmood says:

    Fatman, bro, get a life.
    Fatma, you can join him.

  62. نسيت أقول شيء
    الدول المتقدمة مافيها أشكال اللي قابلتهم
    فالدول المتقدمة بالتالي مواطنوها لا يقابلون أشكال كالذي ذكرتهم

    فالدول المتقدمة لا تسمح بوجود متآمرين على الوطن في وزاراتها وإداراتها

    فأشكال الذي ذكرتهم متآمرين لا يحظى بمقابلتهم إلا ناس من هذه البلدان مساكين مغلوبين عن أمرهم

    والتعبير عن الرأي وأياً كانت الوسيلة و بلا قيد بلا شرط حق إنساني موجود في ميثاق الأمم المتحدة لحقوق الإنسان واللي وقعت البحرين على أمثاله لتكون عضو في لجنة حقوق الإنسان في الإمم المتحدة هي وسبع دول عربية كحيانة

  63. Suad says:

    Cool down Fatima 🙂

    لا يمكن أن ننعت كل موظف أو مسئول في وزارة يقوم بتطبيق قوانين سنتها الحكومة بأنه متآمر. يا ليت نتخلى شوي عن أسلوب التحريض والتعصب ونكون موضوعيين أكثر.

  64. Esra'a says:

    Give me a break. Do you spend all your days behind the computer screen because I can think of tens of people in this tiny Bahrain of ours who’d be much more deserving of that medal for being fearlessly vocal and for suffering years of imprisonment, torture and terror. None of that made them budge an inch. They too have families and loved ones.

    Look, at all times, we need to stick together. I agree with you that there are many efforts that go unnoticed and thus under-appreciated, and some bloggers or activists receive more support than others. But instead of waiting for someone else to shed the light upon others who go through worse than what Mahmood has gone through, why not start something yourself and wait for others to follow your lead?

    One of the people taking most of the heat I’d say is Mohammed, president of the Bahrain Youth Society For Human Rights. By far one of the bravest, intelligent, and outspoken Bahrainis who is also well-traveled and trained. I don’t see anyone praising this young man for his courage and dedicated to his crucial work.

    Despite his very young age, Mohammed contributed a lot to Bahrain and its human rights organizations. He’s one of the most active individuals I know, but he hardly receives the credit he deserves within Bahrain. Outside of it, you have no idea how good of a representative he is. I met him in a conference in Cairo and have since looked up to him as a great example to how young Bahraini men and women should be. He does a great job encouraging youth activism, too, and serves as a great inspiration to me.

    Sadly, you never see anyone blogging in his favor in order to encourage him. I’ve tried doing so, but I also want to protect his identity at all times because he’s under enough pressure as it is. He’s constantly threatened, harassed, and he’s often away from our beloved Bahrain in order to speak of this country’s status abroad. Yes, he’s critical of what happens within the country, but his love for this country and admiration for its people is apparent.

    I am working on a network that will keep him and those like him protected. There are many youth activists in Bahrain who go unnoticed, discouraged, ignored, or silenced through threats. We need to support these people. We need to stick together, advise them when it’s needed, and offer our encouragement, love, and protection. We need to know what happens to whom and why. Bahrain Uncensored will work towards this, even though we will have to practice some form of self-censorship in order to avoid being too direct in our approach and suffer the fate of the blocked websites. We need to be smarter and choose what we include in that website wisely. But more than that, we need involvement and support from the local community, especially when it comes to protecting our identities for the sake of our safety and the safety and reputations of our families.

    We are not trying to start a revolution. We are not trying to overthrow the government. We merely wish to protect certain unalienable rights, and at least have more dialogue between government officials and the citizens. Meaning, before websites go blocked, we at least need a system of warnings in which we can discuss with the decision makers why the site is blocked and what we can do to protect the privacy that the government might need. And if it’s for the sake of national security, we might comply. That means we can progress through having better relationships with those in power, rather than allow our websites to thrive on insulting them or threatening their positions. Doing that won’t work. Many tried and failed, and the results were disappointing.

    This doesn’t mean we’ll bend over and take whatever the government says up the ass. This means we’re willing to work things through dialogue and through having them explain why certain information can’t be revealed, rather than just threatening journalists and bloggers to stop talking about it for no apparent reason other than the fact that it’s “top secret.” If it affects us, and if it plays a role in Bahrain, we reserve the right to know and we will protect the citizens’ right to know. The government has to understand that, and at the same time we want to take this opportunity to understand the government and where its decisions are coming from.

    Once again I repeat that we wish to threat no one’s position, and we wish to do all of this while maintaining the respect required for this project and information source to be successful as opposed to dangerous or scandalous. We will not insult the government and those in power, we will just question unfair policies and I don’t think that’s threatening anybody.

    In sum: 1) More activists will be appreciated and known, 2) They need to be protected and ways to re-open their organizations or websites will be suggested, 3) We want dialogue, not threats or danger, and 4) We need your involvement in achieving our aims.

  65. Yusra says:

    This is definetly the best news i’ve heard in quite some time now.

    Keep Blogging Mahmood. You’re the best.

    Kind Regards
    Yusra Allaith

  66. Abu Joori says:

    Mabrouk Mohammed. 🙂

  67. Jasra-Jedi says:

    Mr Fatman ..

    I dont understand why you are so angry at keyboard warriors? Or why you are making assumptions that noone of us on this blog contribute in any way, shape or form in the real world of Bahrain’s evolution? If you are really so angry at Mahmood, and if you think he was a traitor to the cause, why dont you start your own blog, real life publishing entiry/paper/radio station and fund raise for a campaign that you beleive in? Then you can be a hero at your hearts delight ..

    Ibn .. I thought your response was civil and funny and was on the nose! Am glad that you are a keyboard warrior .. at least it gives us all a sense of community and belonging .. the only voice of opposition in Bahrain today is a violent one. Mahmood gives the rest of us a voice ..a liberal, open minded, pro freedom of speec, pro evolution voice.

    I am not interested in Revolution. I want Evolution. Mr Fatman .. when you offer me something that I can subscribe to and support you, I will join your brigade. Until then, leave Mahmood alone. He has already contributed a significant amount for the morale of Bahrain …

  68. Fayrouz says:

    Welcome home Mahmood 🙂

  69. haddad says:

    I respect Mahmood\’s decision to be pragmatic in the face of a real risk. What I don\’t understand is, what threat was Mahmood really facing? Would they really dare throw him in jail? I thought Mahmood was best friends with the Crown Prince. He stuck a \”Just Bahraini\” badge on his bisht, and the CP personally told him to keep blogging and not worry about any trouble. Or am I imagining things?

    I am delighted that MTV is back online, but let\’s not treat it as a victory for free speech. The ministry was the clear winner in this case as it has continued blocking sites, and there is one less blogger today talking about Al Bander.

  70. Fatman says:

    I’m not angry, I’m saying don’t fall into the trap of living in a fantasy world. Don’t be like the general and his lieutenants who get all the epaulettes, but who sometimes have a skewed view of what is actually happening on the battlefield. You don’t have to agree with me, you don’t have to like me, but at least be aware of my opinion.

    >>why dont you start your own blog, real life publishing entiry/paper/radio station and fund raise for a campaign that you beleive in? Then you can be a hero at your hearts delight ..

    Bro, you’ve more than likely come across my work at one point or another without knowing it.

    Esra’a, thanks; that was nice.

  71. Ibn says:


    Bro, you’ve more than likely come across my work at one point or another without knowing it.

    … What? You designed the traffic light?

    Dude – come out of the closet already since you’re so adamant about it – and cut this Mr Mysterious crap – you’re not on a first date with anyone here.


  72. Anonymous says:

    Don’t mock the Fatman. He is a man who tells us he has a self declared mission “in life to propogate ideas” – how many of such selfless intellects do you come across in a lifetime? Its obvious that the Fatman is someone Very Important. If only you knew you’d treat him with the respect he deserves!!!

  73. mahmood says:

    Okay let’s put this to bed and get on with our lives, this is particularly for those people aggrieved by my decision to find a way out of a situation that I judged to be not to my liking:

    1. I am no hero and I don’t want to be one.
    2. I did not want to “make a stand” in the way that you have designed for me; I judged the situation would escalate and there was a possibility of my being further harassed. I did not want that, and I found a way out.
    3. The way out I feel for me personally would allow me to live and fight another day. Who one is not very important. The site was available immediately after the unblock, but that’s not the issue, the issue is finding ways in which I could get the ministry to see the futility of its archaic ways. Time will tell if I had succeeded there.
    4. If you don’t agree with my decision, that’s fine, that’s your prerogative, but please don’t design romantic endings for me. You were not in the situation I was in and you know nothing of the background to my decisions, so be gracious enough to give me the benefit of the doubt.

    I welcome the opportunity to have your views on the site, and truly continue to look forward to reaching them. We all have a job to do, so let’s get on with hit rather than getting into this unneeded spiral.

    And I hope you get the chance to practice what you preach in the future. And you can rest assured that I shall stand by you.

  74. Tariq Khonji says:

    There is also the the philosophical argument about whether you should protest a ‘stupid law’ within the boundries of the law or outside them. If you break the law to protest what you think is bad legislation, you are showing that you have no respect for laws.
    The other option is to try to change the law, instead of ignoring it.

    So which is better? Anarchy or a society based on laws?
    Although granted, it is quite difficult to change the laws here.

  75. B says:

    محمود اليوسف، ما له وما عليه
    رُفع الحجب عن عرين محمود، الذي لن أجرأ على تسميته عرينا بعد اليوم ولي في ذلك أسبابي الخاصة التي لا أود التصريح بها الآن. رُفع الحجب بعد أن استنفر المدونون والصحفيون قواهم مطالبين بإلغاء القرار حتى أن جرائد يومية، كالوسط والوقت وGDN، نشرت أكثر من موضوع عن القضية ذاتها وأعطت ضوءً أخضر لصحفييها للكتابة عن القضية بحرية تامة ومواصلة الضغط على وزارة الإعلام من أجل التراجع عن قرارها القاضي بحجب المدونة وربما مقاضاة صاحبها.

    المسئولين في وزارة الإعلام وكما عودونا دائما أكثر غباءاً من أن يتمكنوا من دراسة عواقب قراراتهم الساذجة والمرتجلة عادة، وكما حدث في قضية “بحرين أونلاين” الذي حُجب ثم تم إحالة مديريه (علي عبدالإمام، حسين يوسف وسيد محمد الموسوي) على النيابة العامة واعتقالهم لأكثر من أربعين يوما، الأمر الذي شوه صورة ديمقراطيتهم المزعومة لأبعد الحدود وأثار موجة استياء واحتجاجات واعتصامات أمام مكاتب النيابة العامة من أجل فك سراحهم.

    تحت الضغط أطلق سراح الثلاثة وبقت قضيتهم مفتوحة إلى يومنا هذا، إلا أن أحدا لا يتحدث عنها الآن فلا تحقيقات ولا محاكمات ولا أي شيء، فقط صمت كصمت القبور فقد أدرك المسئولون سذاجة قرارهم ذاك أو ربما وصلتهم قرارات من جهات عليا لإغلاق الملف وسد الطريق على قوى المعارضة المافتئت تحاول فضح مزاعم الديمقراطية في البحرين.

    وبعد اجتماع مع وكيل وزارة الإعلام، د.عبدالله يتيم، قرر رفع الحجب عن عرين محمود شريطة أن يتخلص من كل المواضيع الخاصة بفضيحة تقرير البندر وكذلك فعل فعاد موقعه للنور مرة أخرى. انتقده البعض لتنازله عن حقه في الحديث عن تقرير خطير كذاك خصوصا بعد أن كان قد صرح سابقا في أحد مواضيعه بأنه سيطالب برأس المتهم الرئيس في ذلك الملف، الشيخ أحمد عطية الله آل خليفة!

    صاحب العرين اختار أن لا يكون أسدا وذلك حقه كاملا ولا يجب أن يلومه أحد على استخدامه، فقد استخدمه حسين مرهون صاحب “مداس آية الله” قبله، عندما كتب بأنه لن يتحدث عن التقرير بعيد صدور قرار منع تناوله مباشرة وكذلك فعلت أنا في الزرنوق فلم أكتب شيئا عن التقرير أبدا ذلك أني أدرك تماما معنى أن تكون أسدا في ديمقراطية عريقة كالبحرين!

    غير أن الخوف قد استبد بمحمود اليوسف لدرجة أنه خرج من ذلك اللقاء ليكتب مادحا النظام الذي قال عنه “لست أدري كم دولة في العالم يتمكن فيها مواطن عادي من مقابلة مسئولين على هذا المستوى” واسترسل ليمدح مسئولي وزارة الإعلام بعد شكرهم ووصفهم بالاحترافية وعدم أخذ الأمور بصورة شخصية!

    وهذا ما أخذته عليه فإن كان من حقه أن ينجو بنفسه من مضايقات النظام بالتنازل عن نشر ما لا يروق لهم فليس من حقه أبدا ولا أراه ضروريا البتة أن يضلل القارئ بمديح كاذب ليس له مثيل غير ما يكتبه طرزانات الصحف اليومية الذين لا يجيدون أمرا قدر إجادتهم للمديح المبتذل.

    الأمر الآخر والأكثر أهمية من سابقه هو أنه في الوقت الذي امتدح فيه جلاده نسي أن يشكر ولو بشكل خجول من وقف إلى جانبه والسبب الحقيقي في تراجع الوزارة عن قرارها، ففي حين وجه شكره لسعادة الوزير ووكيله واسترسل في وصوف مطولة عن حلمهم وأناتهم واحترافيتهم وروعة نظامهم لم يكلف نفسه عناء شكر الصحفيين الذين ساندوه وكتبوا عنه ونسي أو تناسى الصحف التي خصصت مساحات كاملة لقضيته، فلم نجد اسما لصحفي كتب عنه ولا لصحيفة في المضوع الأخير الذي نشره بعد عودة مدونته.

    تحية ود،
    حسن الخزاعي
    المنامة المحروسة

  76. mahmood says:

    At least be factual Hassan.

    If you bothered to read the article properly you would have noticed that there are not one, but TWELVE articles about bandargate still alive and kicking on the site, including the one asking for Ahmed bin Attiyatallah’s head. All you have to do is look.

    What I agreed to, and I mentioned that specifically, is the temporary quarentining the articles (4 of them) since the gagging order went into efect.

    Further, I have thanked all of those who stood by me several times, over several articles. I suggest you re-look at what is written.

    Finally and getting back to your personal grudge about my description of the meeting with the MoI… well, you might be a person who kicks your enemies (and friends?) when they are down, I do not descend to that level.

    Grace, you see, if a good thing.

  77. Tariq Khonji says:

    Further to what I wrote above…it’s the ‘two wrongs make a right’ falacy.


  78. MooDy says:

    Welcome back Buddy … 😉

  79. عزيزي محمود،

    أرجو أن لا تأخذ الموضوع بحساسية مفرطة فلست أنا من يركل أصدقاءه ولا حتى أعداءه فأنا لا أجيد الركل أصلا.. ولكني أعطي لنفسي الحق بانتقاد ما لا يروق لي وأظنك تتفق معي بأن هذا مما يقع في دائرة حرية التعبير التي ننادي بها.

    يبدو بأني أخطأت عندما قلت بأنك حذفت كل المواضيع المتعلقة بتقرير البندر وأعدك بتعديل المقال والتنويه إلى أنك حذفت ما بعد قرار المنع فقط، وأرجو أن تقبل اعتذاري عن هذا الخطأ الغير مقصود.

    أما عن شكر الجهات الأخرى التي ساهمت بفعالية في خلق رأي عام مؤيد لقضيتك فهذا ما لم نقرأه، على الأقل ليس في مقالك الأول من بعد رفع الحجب، وإنما اكتفيت بشكر عام ثم بشكر وكيل الوزارة بالإسم إلى جانب مديح يتناقض كلية مع ما كنت تقوله في الوزارة ذاتها!

    أرجو الإشارة للمقالات الأخرى التي شكرت فيها الصحافة والصحفيين بالإسم كما فعلت مع الوزير ووكيله وأنا على استعداد لأن أقدم اعتذار علني آخر.

    يبدو عليك الاستياء الواضح من انتقادي لمديحك الذي وجدته غير لائق أبدا بكاتب حر، فهل يا ترى غيرت نظرتك في وزارة الإعلام وعدلت عن تسميتها بوزارة التضليل كما اعتدنا قراءتها دائما في مقالاتك؟! ولو حقا عدلت عن تلك النظرة أليس من حقنا كقراء أن نعرف وجهة نظرتك الجديدة قبل أن نفاجأ بديباجة المديح إياها؟!

    تحية ود،
    حسن الخزاعي

  80. mahmood says:
    العزيز حسن، بالنسبة للتهمة الأولى، فإعتذارك مقبول طبعاً.
    بالنسبة لتسمية الأصدقاء اللذين آزروني، الرجاء الإطلاع على المقالات التي تلت رفع الحجب.
    أما عن تسميتي المفضلة لتلك الوزارة فهي لا تزال “وزارة التضليل”

    أخشى يا صديقي إنك قرأت في “المدح” أكثر بكثير من المضمون. أما عن الإنتقاد فإنتقد يا صديقي فليس بإمكان أحد أو شيئ أن يتحسّن بغيره Ùˆ أنا أدري أن إنتقادك مراده نبيل.

  81. العزيز محمود،

    أشكر لك تفهمك الكامل وسعة صدرك وتقبلك للنقد الثقيل ولكن ثق تماما أن ذاك إنما حبا فيك وإصرارا منا على أن تبقى براقا كما عهدناك دائما.

    أود أن ألتقيك قريبا غير أني ذاهب في رحلة عمل غدا الأحد قد تمتد لأسبوع أو أكثر.. لكني سأجهد أن أتواصل معك بعد عودتي لنرتب للقاء قريب.

    تحية ود،
    حسن الخزاعي

  82. Taal Umruk policy! says:

    To every Barbari and/or Ras Roomani.

    I think that what Mahmood did was the right thing.

    he was forced to kiss some ass, and he did with a smile:-)

    so please everyone do not be harsh on the guy!

  83. ws says:

    I’m just glad you’re back Mahmood. All this stuff about how you should have handled the situation, that’s a bucket of crap. no one’s a ‘hero’ and it doesnt have to be a ‘true dream end’ with the emotions connected to it and all, it was either acting rationally or acting like you have nothing to lose and not caring for your future being (not forget your family of course).

    There’s a time and day for everything, and you’re right, time will tell how this all plays out.

    one thing’s surely different though, I’m for sure supporting you more and will be checking your blog more often ! 🙂

  84. Suad says:

    ليس دفاعا عن محمود ولا حتى عن وزارة الأعلام ولكنني فعلا مندهشة لماذا أعجبكم هجوم محمود اليوسف على الوزارة لاتخاذها قرارا لم يكن في محله ولم يعجبكم أن يشكرهم حينما قاموا بتصحيح الخطأ وإعادة الأمور إلى نصابها؟؟ قد تقولون بأنهم لم يكونوا ليتنازلوا لولا الضغوط ولولا التنازل بالتخلص من المقالات موضوع القضية. ولكن ما الضير في ذلك ؟

    إذا كان خصمك ضعيفا وأدرك منذ البدء انه لن يخرج منتصرا وأفسح لك المجال لتتغلب عليه لأنه لا يريد مواصلة معركة سيخرج منها بالمزيد من الخسائر .. إذا كان كبرياءه لا يسمح له بالتلويح بالهزيمة واختار التفاوض فلماذا لا تمنحه الفرصة طالما أن ذلك سيحقق لك مرادك؟ ماذا كان الهدف منذ البداية من الضغوطات التي مارستها الصحافة ورسائل الاحتجاج؟ ألم يكن رفع الحظر عن الموقع؟ ألم يتحقق ذلك؟

    ماذا بعد ؟ هل على محمود اليوسف أن يخوض معركة كداحس والغبراء حتى ترضوا عنه ؟؟ لماذا دائما نفكر نحن العرب بان النصر لا يتحقق إلا بقطع كل وسائل الاتصال والوصول إلى طريق مسدود عوضا عن التفكير باستراتيجية بعيدة المدى؟

    في رأيي بقدر ما نجحت وزارة الأعلام في إيصال رسالة لمحمود وغيره من المدونين بان الحجب هو عقاب كل من تسول له نفسه بكتابة ما يخالف أمزجتهم بقدر ما نجح اليوسف ونجحتم كصحافة ومتضامنين مع القضية في إيصال رسالة مضادة بان ذلك لن يكون سهلا ولن يمر مرور الكرام.

  85. larie says:

    Who, I’am glad indeed 🙂

  86. Moli says:

    Hi Mahmood,

    From a french expat that has been living & working in the GCC & bahrain for a while, glad to see your blog’s back! I don’t necessary agree with its material, but freedom of speech… ahhh, freedom of speech…
    Hope this adventure won’t propulse you as the “free bahraini”, and that we will still enjoy your intuitive reflexions.

    With pleasure, awaiting to read you again, congratulations !

  87. US_Male says:

    Hi Mahmood and everyone else from a guy in the USA. I just found this site so I don’t know everything that has been going on here yet. I just wanted to say that I think the Internet is a great thing because it gives people all over the world a chance to get to know each other. Usually all we know about each other is what we read in the news. I wish happiness to you all.

  88. lara says:

    glad you free again, heard about your arrest in dutch blog somewere. Its a shame things like this happens. take care

  89. أستطيع أن أفهم قيامك بحماية نفسك .. و لا أحد يستطيع أن يلومك على ذلك ..

    لكن أن تمدح جلادك !!
    شيءٌ يُثير العجب .. على الأقل ينبغي عليك توضيح الأسباب .. لأن الحقيقة مُغايرة عن ما تقول ..

    لو كُنا في بلد يستطيع فيه المواطن أن يناقش حكومته بهدوء و روية في جلسة يطمح ( الطرفين ) فيها للتوصل إلى حل .. لكان شأننا شأن آخر !!

  90. Teflon Religion says:


    Ref the critisism of your actions

    To badly Paraphrase a Christian saying “Forgive them for they know what they do”

    Hot heads and hot talk, but very little real action on the real problems of Bahrain, just Regurgitate the rhetoric round the blog.

    Good on yer mate !!

    When some some of these kids learn

    “there is a time to duck and a time to punch”

    the world will be a better place



  91. حمدالله ع سلامتك
    أتمنى أن تكون حرية التعبير لدينا هي أرضنا وفي نفس الوقت مخرجنا الوحيد للحريه… دائما

  92. aussiefem says:

    Glad to see you back.

  93. Butterfly says:


    What’s wrong with your website, links to old posts!

  94. mahmood says:

    nah, Hisham updated one of his articles that sent a trackback… nothing to do with me!

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