While we were busy

23 Nov, '06

three Bahraini children die by smoke suffocation in Salhiya because parents could not afford electricity

Three little children are no longer with us.

Three little lives snuffed due to smoke inhalation.

Because their parents could not afford to pay the rent & utilities bills, their electricity was cut off. They lived and died by candle-light.

While Bahrain reaps over US$1.6 BILLION dollars a year from oil revenue.

While there are US$8 BILLION in glamorous housing and development projects underway at this very moment here.

While over 200 people fight it out for a chair in an impotent parliament, each spending anywhere between $30,000 to astronomical figures for the pleasure.

While 93% of land in Bahrain belong to private individuals.

While over 40,000 families await subsidized housing.

While Bandargate continues to eat the fabric of this society.

3 innocent children, aged 3, 4 and 5, two sisters and a brother are no longer with us.

God bless you and may Allah spread his mercy on your parents.

via: JaddWilliam, Manama Republic, Babbling Bahrania and Madas Ayatollah

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Comments (35)

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  1. Bernie says:

    There are no excuses, non at all.

  2. no comment says:

    God Bless the King and his UNCLE!

  3. can we talk now says:

    its really a tragedy.

    children that age should not be left unsupervised, electricity or not. i just want to cry when i read about stuff like that. children have the RIGHT to be safe at all times. that means they are not left alone for any reason. no matter what. never. ever. ever.

  4. Costa-guy says:

    لا حول ولا قوة الا بالله

    الله يصبر أهاليهم

  5. Ameena says:

    It’s a tragedy
    May Allah bless their parent’s hearts I can’t imagine the Mother’s Condition right now

  6. Bernie says:

    Ameena, I have to admit to not even thinking about that. She must be completely distraught.

  7. “children that age should not be left unsupervised, electricity or not. i just want to cry when i read about stuff like that. children have the RIGHT to be safe at all times. that means they are not left alone for any reason. no matter what. never. ever. ever.”

    I thought the same thing at first…then I thought again. It’s easy for us to say something like that, but put yourself in the mother’s shoes. Her husband was away, to earn money for the family they claim. She has four children, no electricity. She has to eat and feed the children right? People have to work. For how long will people accept to babysit other people’s children? They may put up with it for a few weeks or a few months at most, then, in most cases, they will eithher make a fuss or refuse to do it. This may very well have been the case in this particular incident.

  8. can we talk now says:

    we need laws in our country to protect the rights of minors. every month its something new.. child abuse, fire, children crossing highways… god help their parents.. i cant even imagine how devastated they must be..

    this should not happen to any child..

  9. can we talk now says:

    Tariq, yes, you’re right,
    that’s why we need an infrastructure to support families who need help with their children we need laws to protect the children and we need parents to plan their families.. having a child is a huge huge responsibility, of course it is hard.and it is something no parent should ever have to go through,.. parenthood is never easy and not to be entered into lightly ..or too often..IMO..

  10. lizardo says:

    i loved the post

    for sure the king al7een will give them a MAKRAMA and return the electercity for them … oh my god i love the goverment so much

  11. mahmood says:

    Parents do have a responsibility for the safety of their children. That’s first and foremost. Leaving such young children on their own, locked into a flat without electricity and lighting candles to provide light is an invitation to a definite disaster; unfortunately, this is exactly what happened.

    Who’s to blame though? It doesn’t matter at the moment. Three innocents have paid for the carelessness of the parents and the failures of the government and society with their lives. Unfortunately, they will not be the last to do so.

    As far as I am concerned, after blaming the parents directly for this disaster, I also levy blame on the Ministry of Social Affairs for not providing for this desperate family. I do not know what procedures they follow to list these families, but this one definitely needs financial assistance.

    Further, it is still unclear to me whether it was the Ministry of Electricity itself that disconnected their electricity due to nonpayment, or is it the landlord that used this device to force the family to pay their rental arrears? If it is the Ministry, then find the bastard who disconnected them and fire him, if it is the landlord; however, who took it upon himself to use this method to force collection, then he should immediately be presented to the courts and a charge of manslaughter levied against him.

    An invistigation should clear things up.

  12. interesting says:

    as usual, lots of finger-pointing and blame being thrown around. whats amazing though is no one offers any solutions yet again. anyone can sit and complain – those who decide to do something about it are few and far between though.

    set up charities, hold fundraisers, do something. just don’t sit there and complain. its disgusting.

  13. Pamela says:

    wow, this is heartbreaking. Does Barhain have a Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)? We have that here in Colorado. I donate every year. It is intended to be used throughout the winter months.

  14. anonymous says:

    hmm… her husband wasn’t away on business like the newspapers said. He went to the philippines to find another wife. He had abandoned his family. The neighbors say the kids were always on the street, and always hungry. This is one of the saddest tragedies; it’s about personal responsibility. It’s about providing for your family. It’s about having someplace to turn to when life turns tough.

    Where was this man’s family? Why didn’t they help this woman and the poor children? Aren’t they their own flesh and blood? Where’s responsiblilty?

    Where were the neighbors? Random acts of kindness are out of fashion I presume?

  15. When one gets right down to it, it is an epistemological thing. (Be careful/thoughtful when you look people in the eye on the street.)

  16. Hajji Hmagi says:

    Kan eye add anozer whilewhilism, to the onez mentioned?

    While the fabric of this society gives signs to erosion and decadence in other ways:

    3 innocent children, aged 3, 4 and 5, two sisters and a brother are no longer with us.

    In the West, women left their households and went to work in response to more hands being needed or the loss (including absence), altogether, of the household bread winner. But unlike there, in this locale, women tend go out essentially to let three children each perish in this manner or in worse manners or greater numbers each year.

    Mind you this is not the end of craters in the heart of this nuked society. Unfortunately there is a lot worse and a lot more to expect, at the going rate of erosion of our value system.

    But if it pleases few strongmen and strongwomen around, any price is all to small.

  17. Hajji Hmagi says:

    I should have added:

    And I know of many instances where Western women left their jobs and stayed home with the children when their husbands came to work here in the Gulf. They would not consider taking even part time employment.

    Other instances included women (mostly American) who stayed home to educate the kids the same curriculum, as qualifies them for going to college in their respective countries – as they joined their husbands here too.

    But, our Women’s Supreme Council may have been the very culprit who aided, abetted and/or counseled the very acts which killed these three children.

  18. mahmood says:

    Isn’t it too early to get high? Or is it a Friday thing? I’m just wondering as you’re not making sense at all.

    What are you going on about?

  19. Hajji Hmagi says:

    Hi Mahmood hope your gaining recovery fast,

    I am sorry I may have lost my calm (high) on the bad news of course. Evidently, alas, it is too late, not too early. Women should stay at home if ever they produce children.

  20. Hajji Hmagi says:

    But the Women’s Council has been responsible for all forms and counts of harmful fads in this society and has been busy financing all sorts of harmful acts, including acts which have lead directly to the breakup of families. I am aware they did so without even bothering to do the necessary due diligence.

  21. mahmood says:

    Thanks Hajji. That’s an interesting concept you espouse for women to stay at home if they choose to have offspring. While the idea does have some merit, it shouldn’t be forced on them to do so.

    Care to give examples on how the Women’s Council harmed women and society?

  22. Butterfly says:

    كالعادة .. الزوجة .. الأم هي المسئولة عن كل مآسي الأسرة!!!!! وكالعادة ننظر إلى المشكلة كما تبدو على السطح وليس الجذور!!

    ماذا بوسع أم لأربعة أطفال أن تفعل لتعيل أربعة أبناء تركها زوجها المتزوج من ثلاث نساء ومازال لديه الوقت والمال للهو في تايلاند و الفلبين؟؟؟

    ماذا بوسع أم لأربعة أطفال أن تفعل وهي تعمل بكد من الساعة العاشرة صباحا حتى العاشرة مساء كل يوم لتؤمن لأبنائها ما يسد رمقهم ، لتقوم بمسئولياتها كأم وزوجة وفوق كل ذلك لتحل محل مكان زوج لا يعلم كم من الأبناء قد أنجب!!

    ماذا بوسع امرأة وحيدة أن تفعل في الغربة؟ لا أهل ولا أخوة ولا أصدقاء وأين تذهب بأطفالها؟ تعير الرضيع لصديقتها لتهتم به أثناء خروجها للعمل وتترك الآخرين بين ايدى القدر لأنها لا تجد مكان آخر يأو يهم .. أطفال يلهون طوال اليوم عراة في الشارع دون رقابة ولا متابعة.

    من يساءل الزوج عن إهماله؟ اى قانون يقف في وجهه ليقول له : لا .. لا يمكنك أن تتزوج بأخرى لان حالتك المادية متدنية ومواردك المادية لا تكفي لإعالة أسرة واحده فكيف بثلاث أو أربع؟ من يجبره على الإنفاق على زوجته وأولاده إن لم يفعل؟ لا أحد!

    مرحبا بكم .. فأنتم في البحرين .. في وطن لا قانون فيه يحمي المرأة من تسلط وظلم الأزواج، في بلد يرفض الشعب فيه قانون للأحوال الشخصية بحجة انه ينافي تشريعات الإسلام والمذهبين السني والجعفري، في بلد يريد فيه بعض الرجال الاستمرار في نزواتهم والعيش في زمن الجواري والعبيد!

  23. mahmood says:

    والله صدقتي يا أختي… للأسف لن يكون هناك رادع لهذا النوع من الرجال لأن كل ما عليهم أن يقولوا هو أن الشرع سمح بتعدد الزوجات، فمن أنتم لتطلبوا ضمانات بالنفقة Ùˆ الحضانة Ùˆ التوجيه أو أي شيئ آخر من واجبات الآباء؟

  24. Butterfly says:

    “العيال أتيي ومعاها رزقها” هاذي طبعا العبارة المعتادة اللي بتسمعها لو انك جادلتهم في موضوع تعدد الزوجات وكثرة الإنجاب، ونعم بالله .. لكن المسئولية، التربية، الضغط النفسي على الوالدين، علاقة التعدد وكثرة الإنجاب بالطلاق وتشتت الأسر، انحراف الأبناء، الضغط السكاني وتأثيره على توفير الخدمات الصحية والتعليمية وغيرها ليست ذات أهمية.

    حتى لا ابتعد عن الموضوع، بصراحة شعرت بغصة في قلبي وانأ أقرأ موضوعك ، فلقد عايشت جزء من الماسآه لان منزل الأسرة يقع بالقرب من منزل شقيقتي، وأشفقت كثيرا على المرأة المسكينة التي زاد شقاءها بخسارة فلذات أكبادها.

    وأستفزني جدا رد “حجي حمقي” الذي يطالب النساء بالمكوث في بيوتهن متى ما أنجبن!!

    هل تعتقد أن كل النساء يعملن بمحض إرادتهن؟ أليست هي الحاجة أحيانا؟

    ثم إننا لم نعد في العصر الحجري يا حجي .. من أعطاك الحق لكي تقرر عنا متى نعمل ومتى نلازم بيوتنا؟

  25. Meggie says:

    What a tragic business. But this can and does happen everywhere. People just don’t realise how rapidly toxic smoke builds up during a house fire, or how quickly folk are overcome by it. The presence of polyurethane furniture fillings, banned in the EU some years ago, makes the whole situation many times worse. The victims probably just slipped away in their sleep, oblivious to the danger. Early warning smoke detectors can help, although convincing poverty stricken families to replace the batteries at regular intervals is no small task. We can put strategies in place, but we can never achieve 100% safety for all.


  26. can we talk now says:

    this is what happens in a society that undervalues its children. when there are no laws to protect them.
    yes, women need protection and that is precisely why we wanted the family law to organize relationships and establish rights. the law that so many sheep went out to object to.

    and yes, men should not marry so many wives, 100%, definitely not when they cant afford to, but on the other hand, what can any woman expect when she marries a man who already has other wives and children and is not even supporting them?

    it isnt about finding a babysitter for the children one continues to have, its about family planning in the first place. today, nobody expects others to take care of their children for them like in the good old days, so it is a good idea to weigh whether one can provide prospective children with the simple basics before one decides to have another one and another and another one….
    children do not deserve this. they deserve to live a safe life.

    having lots of children one cant afford is not a sign of manhood, it is a sign of irresponsibility!

  27. Kanku says:

    Honestly Mahmood some people should answer for this, mainly the guy looking for some new snatch.

  28. Ash says:

    In Britain, it’s simply illegal to leave children unsupervised by an adult. It still happens, though, and occasionally with tragic results. No amount of legislation will ever solve the problem of feckless parents, nor those occasions on which extraordinary circumstances may result in an unsupervised child being left alone.

    Also, we have this saying that “it takes a village to raise a child”. If a woman (or indeed a man) ends up raising children alone, for whatever reasons, then it’s inevitable that situations will arise when s/he is unable to be with them 24/7. S/he may have to work for a living, or s/he may fall ill, or s/he may simply not be able physically to cope with – say – getting in the shopping with 3 or 4 young children in tow. So extended families, neighbours, friends and, ideally, government-funded assistance (nurseries etc) are also needed.

    People everywhere have a tendency to look the other way when someone is in difficulties and then to condemn that person when they eventually they “fail” to cope alone and unaided.

  29. entrtnd says:

    It is a tragedy yes, but what needs to be addressed here is accountability and responsibility. If this incident happened in a developed country, the mother would be jailed for life for a number of counts, negligence and man-slaughter – for THREE counts. Regardless of their social status and lack of finances, if the mother had the sensibility to drop off her youngest to a neighbour, why not do the same for the other three? When will parents here realize that there is no room for error!?

    How many have you seen idiot parents driving around Bahrain with their INFANT in their lap holding the steering wheel? Or worse, their child in the passenger seat, standing, with his/her head out the window? Is the government to blame for this? This is no social injustice, but sheer negligence.

    Or how about this – father is financially distressed, ie, very low-income job, poor housing…etc. What does he, he marry 3 women, have 6 kids each, ensuring that all 21 people depending on him live below poverty. Who do you blame for such stupidity? Definitely not the government.

    Parents – WAKE UP, think sensibily and take care of your kids.

  30. Hajji Hmagi says:

    I intend to reply, I need more time to make things very clear. Thanks for the challenge, Mahmood and الفراشة. Keep coming back. I will post as soon as time/workload allows.

  31. can we talk now says:

    I agree 100%. too many irresponsible people have no concept of what it means to be a parent, and the children suffer. when an incident happens, then they cry.. there should be laws and support, but ultimately it is the parents’ responsibility to ensure their children are not neglected. what happenned is a crime.. a crime of negligence

  32. Hajji Hmagi says:


    as previously promised. sorry did not have time. I thought this was most authentic and far more impactful than the best analysis any wiseperson can make anywhere, in today’s time and age. Thank you SoulSearch!

  33. Hajji Hmagi says:

    Here it comes again, so soon, with such intensity and heartfelt agony=> http://soulsearch78.blogspot.com/2007/03/typical-work-week.html.

    We all know it has been simmering down their and never left the bone-marrow. Nor is it ever likely to. We also know that it is all common and snowballing by the day, as the world turns to be increasingly capitalist.

    Funnier or more pitty still is that my ex felt so aggrieved as she never needed to work as she raised our five and had all the money she need/wanted to spend on all and various without there ever being a limit or questioning!

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