All hail King Salman bin Hindi

28 Dec, '06

Kingdom of Muharraq

In an unprecedented move, a separatist coup declared our beloved island of Muharraq an independent kingdom presided over by His Honourable Majesty King Salman bin Hindi, the erstwhile loyal governor of that island.

Muharraq, the mother of political movements in Bahrain, the location of the first ever educational institution and the exclusive entrance by air to Bahrain has been taken over by a separatist movement which ceded it from the main archipelago.

Bahrain is now bereft of its main entrance point by air, and much more importantly, we have now lost a major part of our heritage, and the denizen of multiculturalism and anti-sectarianism to a despot intent on reversing those two main facets which we all – as Bahrainis – were once proud of in our island of Muharraq.

King bin Hindi, on his declaration of independence, has also declared that Shi’a, especially those of Iranian origin, and Indians and other icky labourers are henceforth not welcome in his kingdom. That is actually very ironic because those who can understand Arabic would interpret His Majesty’s family name as “the son of an Indian”, so I guess when he is anointed proper he might choose another nom-de-regine to be thenceforth known by.

King bin Hindi has also demonstrated his astuteness to reach his declared goal of a racially pure Muharraq, has banned any land and property transactions by “foreigners”, that is, anyone who is not demonstrably Muharraqi of the fourth degree; people who speak with the Hidd tongue are condoned provided that they plead complete and utter allegiance to his Majesty and sacrifice one of their daughters in his honour. If a Hiddi house does not have any daughters, then their maid will do – especially if she happens to be Indian.

As Bahrainis we cannot accept this situation. Muharraq is the jewel in our crown, the pearl of our existence and the pride of our history. How can we condone such a heinous step? This is an island so ingrained in our blood that we can never regard ourselves as true Bahrainis unless we have drunk from her sweet water, or at least made the pilgrimage to Shuwaiter’s sweet factory and bought some of his Royal Halwa, without which no Eid could be celebrated and no occasion is ever complete.

How can we accept such a situation when we celebrate the major parts of our culture in that island? How can we remember the pearl diving without mentioning Muharraq? How can we experience the greats of our literature and song without thinking of Muharraq? How can we even go on our holidays or conduct our business without partaking of its modern(ish) airport facilities?

No no, this cannot be. I am absolutely shocked and dismayed by this development, and declare myself now and for ever a Muharraq Freedom Fighter to liberate that great island from the tyrannies of bin Hindi, that usurper, and bring it back to the mother island and restore it to its place of pride in our kingdom.

Hail Muharraq! And off with bin Hindi’s head!

correction: sorry, I have linked to the wrong article originally, the link is fixed and it goes to the correct Arabic article in Al-Wasat newspaper of Dec 28th, ’06. Humble apologies.

English translation: Google translation of the newspaper article linked above

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Comments (36)

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  1. LiB Team says:

    Do the ones born in Muharraq count as Muharraqis? Plus until you liberate the beloved island, will we “Bahrainis” be required to apply for visas? Where is the nearest Muharraqi consulate? What the hell is going on?

    Happy Eid to you Mahmood and everyone.

  2. Chimi^ says:

    WTF?

    This is nothing short of absurd, insane and shocking.

    Trouble isn’t far now, is it?

  3. Wolfwood says:

    What does this mean for people who were born in Muharraq but live elsewhere on the island? Does this mean their birth records are invalidated?

  4. mahmood says:

    Unfortunately Wolfwood, that doesn’t seem to count. You cannot even claim parentage birthrights either.

    I suggest that we create a new society called The Destitute Persons Whose Fathers and/or Mothers Were Born in the Island Formerly Known As Muharraq (TDPWF/MWBIFKAM for short) and retake our Muharraq!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Mahmood,

    If you go back couple of months, you will remember that Khaleefa when he visited Muharraq he said the same, he told the Muharraqis not to sell their lands to “outers” as there is an iranian plan to change the demography of Muharraq. I am sure you remember that! of course, his words now are taking action. and of course, he meant Shiats. and he forgot the politically motivated demographic change in the whole country, lead by him and his king!

    The guys are breathing with sectarianism!

  6. Maverick says:

    or at least made the pilgrimage to Shuwaiter’s sweet factory and bought some of his Royal Halwa, without which no Eid could be celebrated and no occasion is ever complete.

    Love the humor in this para. 😆

    If a Hiddi house does not have any daughters, then their maid will do – especially if she happens to be Indian.

    What about Aradis? What if we don’t have housemaids? Can we borrow one or send him a camel or horse instead or some chickens and baid buyuth? 😎

  7. can we talk says:

    regardless of whether the area in question is an area with rich heritage or a back street, this is discriminatory and unconstitutional. I was surprised that until yesterday, only Aljamri had even mentioned it and that there was not a big stir all over the press.
    a seller can choose not to sell to a particular buyer, but it cannot be a matter of policy. this is not the first time such stupidities have been mentioned, however, and they were also not commented on in the press.

    I don’t recall which areas, when government housing was being built for the needy, locals from that area were demonstrating and i think some municipal councillors were speaking about how the houses should and would only be for people from that municipality.
    just as unconstitutional. if you’re first on the list for a house and one comes up, you should get it regardless of which area it is in.
    we tend to be complacent and easy-going even when someone makes outrageous statements, which probably encourages idiots to utter more stupidities.

    and this is a governer.. what sort of vision can one expect from imbeciles!! off with his head!

  8. Yousif says:

    You can read HRH King Bin Hindi’s reply on Akhbar al Khaleej today

    http://www.aaknews.com/Articles.asp?Article=191176&Sn=BNEW
    (Arabic)

    Pretty diplomatic reply.

  9. Ameer Or Prince says:

    Mahmood,
    Can I apply for a work visa since i work there and my whole day is almost compleltey spent there?

    Another clever and smart move by the Majesty and his puppets.

  10. can we talk says:

    I dont think it was diplomatic. i think it was beside the point.

    there are problems, granted. you want to keep labourers out of the area, ok. it is not sectarian, i believe him. they want to maintain the character of the area, also a valid point if it can be argued it has heritage value. his solution, however, is not valid.

    they can make restrictions on how land is used through strictly applying zoning laws, eg. no apartments, no rentals, no businesses without permits, no unacceptable use of land. they can say no sale to foreigners, (it was a piece of madness to allow estate sales to non-resident foreigners in the first place), but they can NOT differentiate between people based on city of origin. what does that even mean in this small country, where muharraqis have moved to Riffa and Manamians have moved to Budaiya? how does one become “min ahliha”? a voucher from one of the in people? a wasta? what?

    his response is just as stupid as his original comment! what he did is explain the problem and say that his solution was not sectarian. so? the problem with his solution is not that it is sectarian, but that it is discriminatory and unconstitutional!

  11. Ozzy says:

    I hope this news better not be true..I have a plane to catch next month.. 😉
    P.S: Why is it that everyone in bahrain claims to be individually strong, why cant they just be one nation and instead of dividing Muharraq and claiming it part of the “Brain Fart” try to work with the whole nation..Besides i think its the Government itself that keeps on remimding people “Hey U know what your ancestors are from Iran so it dosent matter if u hold the citizenship you are from Iran”
    I think the government itself has divided the people instead of uniting them,it wants its people to fight amongst themselves and yet they can enjoy all the puppet show going under their supervision,so as no one can question them of what they are doing except for pulling the strings.

  12. rocknroll says:

    ha ha hilarious mahmood . bloody good.
    Expect more stuff from you in the new year

    By the way ole chap seasons greetings and all that

  13. KHAL says:

    الأسباب الحقيقية وراء هذا القرار هو تحجيم وتضييق على تيار المعارضة (الشيعة والسنة) ومنتسبيها من التملك في مناطق تعتبرها الحكومة دوائر موالاة

    شخصياً أتوقع أن تصدر قرارات مماثلة -ولو بشكل سري- من منع البيع والشراء إلا بإذن الحكومة في مناطق كالرفاع والمحافظة الجنوبية مثلاً

    كل ذلك حفاظاً على هيمنة تيار الموالاة على هذه المناطق والحد من إمتداد فكر المعارضة، لتكون في نهاية المطاف محاصرة في مناطق معينة

    ألف مبروك للمحرق نيلها الإستقلال
    وسلاماً على البحرين 😆

  14. mishmish says:

    Nahnu who cannot read Arabic- yet – can we have it in English please so we understand what’s going on ( the newspaper article or at least the gist of it )

    Shukran

    m :-X

  15. A learner of Arabic says:

    No no, this cannot be. I am absolutely shocked and dismayed by this development, and declare myself now and for ever a Muharraq Freedom Fighter to liberate that great island from the tyrannies of bin Hindi, that usurper, and bring it back to the mother island and restore it to its place of pride in our kingdom.

    Jihaaaaaad! Free Muharraq! 😉

  16. Bahraini says:

    Sectarian apartheid

  17. mahmood says:

    mishmish, here’s the Google translation of the original article to English.

    The gist of the situation is that the government appointed government of Muharraq – the Honourable Salman bin Hindi has decided – some say non-arbitrarily – that no property can be bought or sold in Muharraq island without his personal say-so. This, he claims, is to “protect” the island of Muharraq’s culture and status.

    It comes as no surprise that before the elections this past November, a big bruhaha happened in Muharraq when some people claimed that Iran was buying property etc in order for it to meddle with the forthcoming elections in placing their (Shi’a) supporters in staunchly loyalist areas. The prime minister visited the area and he too gave his royal directive (never published in the Official Gazette, hence never enacted and could never be regarded as law) to not sell any property to “foreign meddling forces” in that area of Muharraq.

    Soon after that, vigilantes attacked Shi’a owned houses and businesses by plastering salicious notices on doors telling residents to leave the area because the “good people of Muharraq” didn’t want Ajam (people of Persian descent) and Shi’a in their midst.

    Salman bin Hindi’s is the latest brainfart in this saga.

    In other words, this is officially sanctioned discrimination and sectarianism. And of course it should be fought at all levels.

    Capiche?

  18. Sadek says:

    Sounds like we are learning rather quickly from our brethren up north aka Iraq. Some parts for this sect and another one for another and the foreigners in the “Green Zone”. Where does Amwaj figure, or is it “offshore” ? :grinnod: Soon we will have ghettoes for all the undesirables, bring them out in the morning from their fenced Gulags, let them build our houses, clean our streets and clear the sewage, and send them in hermetically sealed pick-ups in the evening, and lock them up for the night.
    A very dangerous road indeed. Lets hope wiser and saner counsel starts thinking.
    Muharraq is a jewel and should should retain its uniqueness. As a first step perhaps the governor should try to reverse the population drain by making it a more attractive place to live in, some would call it gentrification – clean up the place, rebuild some of the run down houses, etc. In other words, work on it – rather than empty and counterproductive narrow populist and empty statements.

  19. KHAL says:

    I think Alriffa’, Askar, Awali, Hewar, The Southern Areas, and the whole “loyalist areas” are NEXT!!

    Capiche?

    :yes:

  20. mahmood says:

    Sadek that situation has been tried and tested, but ultimately failed. See South Africa for answers in that regard. Workers, regardless of who they are and where they come from have to be treated with respect and should be integrated within society. What we have here (in the Gulf/ME) is pathetic. So don’t let me start on that topic, I will never stop. Suffice it to say that the hermetic seal as you succinctly put it is very valid for this situation.

    As for the gentrification issue, I wholeheartedly support you in this. This too has been done in countless cities around the world: Canary Wharf – London, Leith Walk – Edinburgh, and many others that escape me at the moment, from run-down hovels to the “chic” place to be. And Bahrain’s areas, all of them, lend themselves to this concept.

    Unfortunately, our own experience is rather lacking; when we have something to celebrate, we just destroy it in the name of “modernisation” and it loses its soul and spirit; Khamis Mosque, Bahrain Fort and soon, the Manama Souq.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I can’t believe that bin Hindi can make such a statement! Can he actually enforce such a ban?

    The Prime minister together with certain sectarian figures in Muharraq have been repeating the false claim that “Iran is infiltrating Muharraq by buying property” which seems utterly absurd! Why would Iran be interested in buying a “da3oos” in Muharraq? The way I see it, the only motive behind scaring Sunni Muharaqis with such claims is to promote a ban on non “pure Arab” (ie non-bedhouin origin) Muharraqis to buy land in their own city.

    And the question remains, since when was Muharraq a “pure Arab Sunni” stronghold? If “son of an Indian” is planning on cleansing Muharraq, then he will be kicking out many of the residents of Freej elBin Ali, Freej el hayaj, Freej Kareemi, 7aleh etc..

  22. chan'ad says:

    We shouldn’t be surprised, as this is not at all a new concept to Bahrain. You can’t live in West Riffa without permission from the Royal Court, so for years it has been maintained as a strictly non-Shia town. Yet no one seems to care about that. And you can’t buy land in the south of island unless you have a certain last name.

    (A fitting tribute to Muharraq though Mahmood — long live 7alwa shwaiter!)

  23. naddooi says:

    Iran buying up land in little old bahrain? Don’t they have bigger things to worry about, like nuclear power? They going to really bother with a small island?

    Can you say pa-ra-no-ia?

    Seriously, if certain people would concentrate on more positive methods of maintaining their power, like trying to solve the issues that worry and concern their people, instead of scheming, deceit, threats and violence, they wouldnt have to be paranoid! :no:

    After all, i don’t believe many people would turn against someone they genuinely love and respect!

  24. Joker says:

    الموضوع أكبر من بن هندي يا جماعه… على قول المثل العماني Ùˆ راعي المعنى يستعنى

    Mr. State-the-obvious would say: Mahmood do you think this is the “bandar gate” prophecy unraveling?

  25. Govt Employee says:

    I work for the Government, and let me tell you King Bin Hindi doesn’t have the right to anounce what he did… See Fahmi Al-Jowder’s Article on alayam.com – Secondly, King Bin Hindi was appointed by the Crown Prince to a Committee to protect old buildings and areas in Muharraq, it doesn’t give him the right to break the law …. the Land Registration Law to be specific gives the slrb.gov.bh the right to register land not bin hindi….

    Now, the idiot (BinHindi) is taking this a step too far… and I’m surprised no one said anything yet, till Fahmi … did… The Committee is supposed to protect old houses like sh. isa bin ali, mohamed bin faris, and new houses like the place the amir of qatar was born in etc…among others and support Culture and Heritage (Sh. Mai) who’s been restoring them mostly with private sector donation money.

    Here is another tidbit Mahmood, the Governor’s term is only 4 years, he was appointed on the 20th of April 2002 again source legalaffairs.gov.bh – Decree (9) of 2002. So his term expired… and there you go more information to have fun with and call for his head…. I’m usually more reserved with comments but hey … this is gone too far… honestly.

  26. mahmood says:

    Thank you Government Employee, and thanks particularly for the valuable links and the tidbit.

    As the gentleman’s term has official expired, this is a perfect opportunity to send him off to greener pastures, and replace him with — dare I say it? An elected governor?

    Joker, I don’t agree that this is a manifestation of Bandargate. I rather think that it is a case of bad judgement, that bin Hindi chose the old way of resolving (insisting on his position, no matter how tenuous it is, and maybe owing to his conditioning from his service in the military) rather than doing the humane and politically expedient way of admitting that he was wrong, act contrite and people would themselves lift him on their shoulders and demand that he stays for another 4 years.

    As it is, I don’t think anyone would shed a tear for his departure, if and when that eventually happens.

  27. V K Pandamatingisasighttosee says:

    Dear Kind Sir

    I found your website by googly-googling and I would like to request your help as the GDN did not print my letter.

    I have some queries I would humbly like to put to your good organ. I have accepted a job offer in the new State of Muharraq and I am currently working as a tailor in Salmabad (Kingdom of Bahrain). I am not permitted to bring my family to live with me in Bahrain as I earn BD50 monthly (before productivity and rent deductions). Will the same apply in the new State of Muharraq? I went to the ministry of immigration yesrerday and they told me to ‘naff-off, we don’t govern the new State of Muharraq, get back to making our cheap suits’ which I did not quite understand but I think it means they cannot advise me. My current sponsor also wants to deduct the cost of my NOC from my salary, is this allowed?

    Also will my new employer be entitled to deduct my return air fare from the first 5 months of my salary in the New State? Does the New State have an e-portal I can peruse (like the really helpful one the Kingdom of Bahrain hasn’t got)?

    Also I have been working for the same sponsor (not the one on my CPR) for 27 years. My friend says I can apply for a Baharini passport, but I just want my leaving indemnity, which my sponsor says I forfeit if I move to the Bin Hindi area of Muharraq (where my new job is). My sponsor also said that ‘your butt will never have been worked so hard and so many times as will be the case in the ‘Bin Hindi’ region of the New State. What does he mean? Butt is a family name in India.

    Sir, I don’t want your stinking Bahraini passport, I just want to keep some respect and basic human rights. And my leaving indemnity so I can spend some money on feeding my kids properly.

    Thnak you Sir for your kindness and please, please help me. I cannot turn to another soul, as I don’t have any one else who cares about people in my situation.

  28. mahmood says:

    Unfortunately, Mr. Pandamatingisasighttosee, you’re out of luck owing to these infernal holidays and the newness of the Kingdom of Muharraq, their Ministry of Immigration is obviously closed and though I have tried my best to get you answers, I cannot get through to anyone.

    That, I just discovered was because the Kingdom of Bahrain has given exclusive communications rights to Mutelco who abjectly refuses to sign a sharing agreement with the Kingdom of Bahrain’s Batelco and also insist that anyone dialing Mutelco’s number from Bahrain must now use the new IDD granted to the newly formed Kingdom of Muharraq, which is +972.5. But when I called, I got an irate gentleman from Tel Aviv who took umbrage with me insisting that the number I dialed was in fact registered to the new Kingdom. I shall try a little later and let you know my findings.

    I tried to get through to their website, but as you might imagine, the Kingdom of Bahrain has disconnected their DNS servers and at this particular moment, their website has been disabled, as you can see from the following screen-grab:

    So all information channels at the moment are unserviceable and as the three main causeways into the New Kingdom have also been reportedly blocked pending the installation of toll- and passport-control booths, the only way to get to the New Kingdom is through chartered boats, the charges for which have multiplied 10-fold as of 10am this morning.

    My advice to you at the moment is to stay in the Kingdom of Bahrain, pay whatever your good sponsor demands – which is his or her inalienable right of course – and continue to work diligently for minimum pay. I am told that when the new Muharraqi Dirham comes into circulation it will be rather cheap, and whatever you earn here in the Kingdom of Bahrain could very well allow you to buy a barasti by the beach in the New Kingdom, thus plonking your stake to be honoured with a Kingdom of Muharraq passport within just 17 years from that point.

    Good luck to you my erstwhile friend, and I fully understand and support your reasoning for wanting to catch the wave early in the New Kingdom.

  29. V K Pandamatingisasighttosee says:

    Dear Kind Sir

    You have been most gracious and one thousand and one blessings be upon you are your family. Bahraini’s are so friendly to us here. We can never repay you enough….

    Good luck to you my erstwhile friend, and I fully understand and support your reasoning for wanting to catch the wave early in the New Kingdom.

    Actually Good Sir, being a hardy tailor, I was tempted there by the opportunity to catch the ‘weave’.

    V K Pandamatingisasighttosee

  30. Anon says:

    News like this cannot be good – What about all the expats that have bought property on Amwaj island? (which is apart of muharraq)

  31. mahmood says:

    I don’t think the good King bin Hindi regards Amwaj as being in the “real” Muharraq as it is filled with foreigners, those from the Kingdom of Bahrain included. So they’re pretty safe there. In fact, I hear that Ossis is building a landing strip and helipads just in case they’re needed!

  32. Joker says:

    We’ve been giving the benefit of the doubt to people that don’t deserve it for a long time now. Its right there in the report, “separate ethnically residential areas” as an integral part of the bigger plan.

    Mind you, that the decision follows the “hush hush” conspiracy theory that big bad iran was interested in properties in muharraq.

  33. mahmood says:

    Joker, you could be right. And Abdulrahman Al-No’aimi agrees with you too.

    Arabic link

  34. AJJ says:

    I hear Sitra has now declared itself the ” Islamic Republic of the Island of Sitra ” and is going to hold demographic elections after Ashoora. It is a bit short of cash at the moment and so they will take the opportunity to have a whip round at the same time.

  35. Thogba says:

    Part of Al Bander plot

  36. F says:

    I find this amusing!

    Pretty soon, we’ll define the borders around my area, Saar, and raise our own flag.

    :biggrin:

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