15 seconds of fame = 1 billion?

3 Jun, '08

Hardly, but a twit at the municipal council is vehemently opposing it for some farcical excuses, wrapped up in Class A Xenophobia. Here are some of Mr. Hameed Al-Basri brainfarts which he is using in the hope of putting the kibosh on the project:

it would result in the area being “invaded” by foreigners with different cultures and moral values

He also wants the land to be used for more “useful” projects which could benefit the surrounding villages:

“It could be used for a public park, car parks for residents or a government housing project,” he said.

“But the Northern Municipal Council members have taken the worst decision and that’s approving an investment project without properly studying it.

“I am worried that nearby neighbourhoods, whether in my constituency or Daih village, where the project would be built, will be invaded by people from different nationalities who don’t understand our culture and moral values.

“That’s not all. The area will see more traffic jams, more than what is making people complain at the moment.”

Aha. Okay, I agree that the country needs to revamp the road network and consider the traffic in 25, 50 and even 100 years from today, and they are doing a lot of roads network expansion now, much to the chagrin of a lot of drivers, but one hopes that with these developments we’ll be much better off in a few months’ time. But this ludicrous objection to a huge investment of over a billion dinars is, well, ridiculous. Having an elected councillor whose main job is to suggest solutions to zoning and the various other municipal matters object to such a lifeline in his area is insane.

He doesn’t stop there of course, he’s now dug himself a hole so he must proceed to dig even deeper:

Basri Class A BrainfartMr Al Basri said just because the investor was promising residents jobs, it did not mean the project should be approved.

“What jobs can the project offer? As security guards or ushers, or cleaning plates after the rich finish their food?” he asked.

“In the end, the area’s unemployed will not get good salaries because the investor is not there to offer high salaries, but to make a profit.”

He said that from his experience and the projects he has approved in the Seef District, Sanabis and Daih, only 100 Bahraini jobseekers had been employed.

While 100 jobs created is much better than none at all, and while his suggestion that of those 100 the majority received menial positions might be true, what he should be concerned with, especially in that area of Bahrain which is renowned for “skirmishes” with the police in almost every single weekend, he should be happy that projects are being considered for that area and that its local residents are receiving the benefit of coming out of unemployment. But he ain’t happy.

Mr Al Basri hoped other councillors would review their decision and stop the project.

Well, thankfully someone from his own party is rejecting his brainfarts wholesale:

Municipal councillor Hameed Al-BasriHowever, Northern Municipal Council towns and villages development committee chairman and the project’s area councillor Sayed Ahmed Al Alawi said that Mr Al Basri’s push to halt the project would not affect it.

“We are both from the same municipal bloc – Al Wefaq – but Mr Al Basri has never given me a call saying that he has a problem with the project,” he said.

“I have talked with Al Wefaq bloc president and area MP Shaikh Ali Salman and he was in support of the project, saying that he would work on securing the benefits for the people, which I am also currently working on.

“So far, we have managed to reach an agreement with the investors to have a public park and a mosque built.

“The hotel will not offer alcohol and will abide by Islamic and traditional values.

“The investor has agreed to our terms without any fuss, so why is Mr Al Basri – who is approving similar projects in his constituency – upset?”

Mr Al Alawi said that the Royal Court had recommended the project and when it came to the council, it was just a formality to look at it.

“This project has been supported by the government, so it wouldn’t leave the area without a proper infrastructure and other services. On the contrary, it is an opportunity to have new roads, sewage networks and other facilities in the area,” he said.

“Mr Al Basri should quit fighting the project because he will not change our decision. He should instead focus on getting public services from investors in his constituency.”

In short, he’s told by his colleagues to shut the hell up and not to be such a complete eejit.

I hope he listens.

Incidentally, if you want to see some very nice pictures of current and future projects happening in Bahrain, scoot on over to my friend’s Fred Haentjens’ Flickr set. Well worth having a look.

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  1. Real Estate Bahrain? « S as in Saudi | 6 Jun, '08
  1. Hassan Alkhuzaei says:

    Mahmood, well it is obviously a huge project. but what will I – as a resedent of that area – will get out of it.

    A decent job, hell no, there are thousands of expats waiting in the queue and they will for sure get the job because we know how it works here.

    And we know – as well – who can afford to live in these new projects, it is not us, definitely not us (an average Bahraini income for thirty years all together is less than the price of a one bed room apartment in such a project)!

    Why should I approve such a project when the only thing I will get from it, is a threat to my identity (yes a threat, when I live in a country where I cannot use my own language and when I look strange if wear my national or traditional dress or practice my customs, then it is a threat. When I’m a minority in my own home country then this is a threat).

    In no time and directly after the work on this project commence the rental prices in that area will be rocket high, higher than what they are right now and rich will get richer while the poor will not be able to rent a room to live in.

    Obviously you couldn’t think about this possibility, because you can’t think about how people manage to pay their rents when prices jump; you have you own villa and you cannot think about the others who cannot afford to buy anything in their country.

    These lovely looking sketches, don’t mean nothing to us, nothing more than more Impoverishment to the people of this country, but for a small minority (I hope you are not one of it) it means more income.

    I believe you need to know much more than business and economics and to try for once to be humble and get down to earth, to where people live, to understand how they feel.

    Hassan

  2. mahmood says:

    If you would look at the bigger picture, you might actually pull yourself out of the rut you feel yourself in and go get a good job or a better education (or re-education) in order for you to take advantage of such projects.

    As for this project’s possible benefits, let me share with you a little titbit of information; this project is by Ahmed Janahi, the same person who started the whole building revolution in Bahrain. He started with building the A’ali Mall, then the Bahrain Financial Harbour, then the Omani Blue City, and also Marina West. If we just take that last project alone and look at what it has done and is doing to Bani Jamra and the surrounding villages, it might shed some light on what you might expect Uptown to do to your area.

    Since the start of Marina West (and I hope I’m not letting out any secrets here), Ahmed and his company have donated a lot of money to the Northern Municipal council, to the villages in the area and has also donated to the clubs and other institutions there. As much as possible he has provided good jobs to the people of the area with the construction company (Al-Hamad in Marina West’s case) and anywhere else they could. I know that they will also be building a social centre for the area on their own expense.

    I am sure that if anyone in the area approaches Marina West for sponsorship of study or whatever, they will gladly look into it.

    Why do you think that is?

    I’ll tell you why. Because number one they are a Bahraini company, the second thing is that they don’t care what your colour or sect is and they really believe that the only way they can succeed is if their neighbours are successful too, and this has been proven in every project they handled. I should know, I’ve worked with Ahmed and his brothers since the early 90s supplying them to computers etc. and know their family since the 80s.

    So my suggestion to you is to look at the larger picture. Even without Ahmed’s intervention to make YOUR life better, the building of such a major project in your area is a dream come true to you. It will offer a multitude of jobs right at your doorstep which if taken wisely, will open the doors to you and yours to be able to afford not just one flat in that development, but many more.

    Forgive me for looking at the bright side of things!

  3. Mahmood, I go with Hasan,

    Really, other than cash going to Hawameer’s pockets, and the nationalization of those 100s of thousands, prices going up & we go poorer,

    Is that going to make us richer or just make the name of Bahrain with it’s “wise leadership” go up?

    Enough of names & titles! People want to live Mahmood…

    Including us 😛 😀

    Cheers!

  4. mahmood says:

    Is that going to make us richer

    Son, nothing is going to make you richer other than hard work.

    Bringing out this excuse that we can do nothing for ourselves as we are completely subjugated is rubbish or very very close to it. You create your own luck and circumstance.

  5. Ali78 says:

    Mahmood, this is the reason why I hate democracy, its people like these 2 above who open their mouth and hear that crap! #%#$% democracy and let’s shove money and education down these people’s throats!! idiots.. its gonna take decades to change such mentality in Bahrain I’m afraid..

  6. Ali78 says:

    ..and while we’re at it, go get a proper education and come back and I myself will be more than happy to employ you and seat you inside an air-conditioned office with your own phone/desk/pc and pay 700BD got it?? I dare you! dont tell me also that you cant afford proper education, we got public school graduates going around the world on government sponsored scholarships getting the best education out there and come back to pretty good packages! If you and your friends/neighbors won’t do it then I will get others to do it! You stay with your low-level aspirations and live with sub-200BD wages, do I care? NO!

  7. Sam says:

    I’m afraid I disagree with Hassan’s mindset.

    This is a huge undertaking and will no doubt create employment opportunities both directly & indirectly, and more importantly, create hundreds of new homes for people to either rent or purchase irregardless of race/origin/skin colour!

    Hassan you seem to think properties are purchased with loose change in your back pocket. The majority of people (me included) do not have a spare 60,000 dinars to buy a small one bedroom apartment. You usually need to take out a mortgage with a bank and repay them in installments over several years (with interest ofcourse) – HOWEVER, because of our culture of discrimination, you’ll find that lenders ensure mortgages are less viable if you so happen to be non-Bahraini! Some banks such as ‘The world’s local bank’ go as far as making it a policy that you need to be Bahraini to even qualify for a loan!

    Expats can’t even purchase property on the free market here! They can only buy into certain developments that have been “certified” as fit for foreign consumption by the government.

    I live in a country where I cannot use my own language and when I look strange if wear my national or traditional dress or practice my customs, then it is a threat.

    Are you kidding me?! There is absolutely NOTHING to suggest speaking arabic, wearing a thoub & gutra, and being muslim
    is in any way under threat! Quite the contrary in fact!

    All in all, I find your post to be smeared with bigotry and intolerance.

  8. Teacher says:

    Funnily enough, the harder I work the luckier I become. . .

  9. ammaro says:

    two things about this article;

    1- the logic used to argue against this project is total rubbish. you dont argue against a major project in a developing country trying to invite more investors and people in, with xenophobia. you also dont disregard that the project opens up opportunities and jobs, no matter what they may be.

    with that being said, however:

    2- i do disagree with the location of this project. i think the area is pretty tight already, and with every thursday night after payday, the area gets ridiculously crowded as people go to Geant for shopping. Any exhibition that opens up, again, total crowds.

    That does make life a living craphole for the residents, as well as people trying to reach the so-called exhibitions, shopping malls, and anything else. Bahrain is getting too congested. These projects need to have distance between them, it doesn’t make much sense shoving them all together in one tiny spot. The infrastructure isn’t ready for it, and I doubt any significant improvement will be done to cater for it efficiently. Why can’t they move this project a good 2 or 3km west? That would make much more sense, imo.

  10. Lee Ann says:

    Wow…has life gotten so fast paced that our once much enjoyed and raved about “15 minutes of fame” have now been reduced to a paltry 15 secs? I knew fame was a fleeting thing but its practically gone supersonic.

    I have to agree with ammaro…seef area is already a nightmare…why add fuel to the fire? I read the other day that Hidd is getting a mall sometime soon…I cant imagine why little ol Hidd needs a mall…but I do know with the extremists living among us over here…much mayhem will be caused at the thought of all that immoral and decadent activity that will no doubt be enjoyed within it. I think if anyone wants to spend money in Hidd…it should be something less grandiose and unneeded and more in line with helping the people of Hidd…after all, people in Manama and elsewhere are not going to forsake seef just to come shop at the mall in Hidd…so basically it will be Hidd people shopping there…and just how much shopping would that add up to to warrant such an expense? sorry for the ramble and sort of off topic remark.

  11. Hassan Alkhuzaei says:

    It’s really sad, that whenever we open our mouth and criticize what you are saying here then only answer we get is “go get an education”!!!

    I hope you do not consider yourself the only enlightened/progressive/open minded and educated person on this land.

    Now let’s talk about what these kinds of projects brought to the people of this country:

    I don’t know and don’t really care if they are donating a lot of money (how much is this “a lot”?) to the municipal council as I’m ill-fated enough to live in that very area and I have seen how properties and rental prices gone up dramatically because of that stupid project. End of day, Mr Janahi might be donating to build better roads but he’s taking the right away from the people of that area to live in homes and apartment. Mr Ali78, was offering us BD.700 as a great salary and he honestly thinks it’s because his daddy will take care of all his needs and will not need to buy a house or an apartment, I just would like to ask him if this great BD. 700 is enough to cover mortgage instalments for a small apartment, not to mention the other necessities???

    I’m sure you don’t care and you will tell us to go and get educated (as usual); I’m sorry guys, but you’ve been born rich and you will never understand these people needs, people like you care about the nice roads only, because they have big nice cars and looking forward to try them on those new roads, great experience ha?!

    Ammaro, who mentioned xenophobia here, I don’t really care if there are a million foreigner live here or even the whole world population as far as we are – the Bahrainis – keep our culture/ language and identity and as far as it doesn’t affect us in a bad way. We are talking about land development that impoverish the people and creates more bourjois like many of the guys here. We are talking about our right to live.

  12. Um Mohammed says:

    I totally agree with Hassan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    All a person needs in this country to get a decent job is a Wastaaaaaaaaaaaaaa and all that crap about equal oppurtunities is superficial!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am an MSc holder and will start my PHD soon. I work in a ministry just because I could not get the Wastaaaa to work in a place that suits my education…… Now tell me life in this country is fair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Um Mohammed says:

    You are 100% right Hassan. We were not born rich like these guys, and we have to fight for our rights everday….
    These rights include getting an equal opportunity like those foreigners in housing, education, and even treatment…….

  14. Sam says:

    I work in a ministry just because I could not get the Wastaaaa to work in a place that suits my education

    You should be thanking your lucky stars you’ve got a full-time job and a source of income.

    I don’t know and don’t really care if they are donating a lot of money (how much is this “a lot”?)

    Lets put it this way, “alot” being more than what your local governorate would ever part with in a lifetime!

  15. chanad says:

    Have to side with the critics on this one.

    what he should be concerned with, especially in that area of Bahrain which is renowned for “skirmishes” with the police in almost every single weekend, he should be happy that projects are being considered for that area and that its local residents are receiving the benefit of coming out of unemployment.

    This project is not the first in the area. There have been countless malls and other construction projects built in that Seef area in recent years. And despite your logic, it is the areas directly adjacent to these projects that have seen the most anti-regime agitation: Sanabis, Daih and Karbabad.

    It would appear then that these projects are actually the cause of the antagonism (regardless of whether that resentment is justified). Why? Because it makes the huge wealth gap in this country apparent and brings it right in to their homes.

    Before, if you lived in these villages, you knew your area was deprived, but it wasn’t until you went to, for example, Riffa, that you noticed the difference in living standards. But now, a Sanabis/Karbabad resident needs only look out of her/his bedroom window and see the rich and wealthy playing in front of them, driving around in their fast cars, wearing their designer clothing. Their coastline was taken away from them for this. The huge inequality on the country’s distribution of wealth is driven home to them on a daily basis.

    Who do these projects benefit?: foreign capital + mostly foreign labour + rich customers

    If malls and high-end residential projects could help the unemployment problem in a mjor way, we would have seen it by now given all the investment we’ve had already.

    I suggest building a park, or a proper sports facility for the area.

    An anecdote: I remember taking photos at a protest a couple years ago, near the very site where the Up Town project is to be built. As the fireworks were going off, the riot police were going around chasing people with sticks and firing tear gas, and all the by-standers in the vicinity cleared the area and sought cover. They did not want to get caught in the mess.

    The only people who did not leave were the kids playing football on an empty ground (now being converted in to some commercial building or residential tower or something). The football players did not bat an eye towards the clashes,.. even though the wind was occasionally blowing tear gas on to their playing area and the riot police jeeps were driving by right behind their goal posts — literally. For them, football was a better way to spend their time.

    The point: If you want kids to stop fighting with the police, create some proper (cheap and accessible) recreational outlets in the area. Not that it will solve issue entirely, but it will do a lot more than another luxury residential tower.

  16. Hassan Alkhuzaei says:

    chanad,

    You are talking to the sole beneficiaries of these new malls and residential towers, they are the ones who’ll be buying expensive designers goods from those malls every weekend, they’ll be taking their kids to play in those outrageously priced parks (at least from the point of view of an average income guy) and even if they don’t have to buy or don’t have kids, they’ll have nice new expensive cars with three to four digits number plates to show off every evening!

    Mahmood is very fond of Mr Janahi’s projects; claming that they guy’s donating hell a lot of money to those deprived areas (will get to the reason behind those donations later on). This is the bright side of the thing; this is the only side he could look at, but purposely turns a blind eye to the environmental destruction caused by these projects and what it means to those who make their living from the sea. Pay a visit to those areas’ coastline, for god’s sake, and find out from the fishermen what had happen to their only source of income because of your friend’s great projects; or better forget about those losers and live your life and enjoy your time in the new malls!

    I agree with the guys that those great projects open up lots of opportunities and new jobs; great jobs like the two receptionists in the front desk of Marina west! Other opportunities are for construction companies, a sector that employs close to none Bahraini.

    Have I mentioned anything about the burden that these great projects put on the poor infrastructure of the island? How many megawatts of our electricity will be consumed by those air-conditioned malls and towers and how many power outages residents of those underprivileged adjacent areas will have to suffer every summer (these great projects face no power cuts if you haven’t noticed yet)? How many hours will be lost from their personal time every single day trapped in traffic congestion created by rich people mad for a shopping spree or eager to take a tour in their newly built yachts?!

    And going back to the donations thing, we all know the purpose behind them; it is solely to pacify those poor people and to clean the area a bit, so it’s easier for him to sell.

  17. mahmood says:

    Thank you Hassan. Permit me to only agree with you very slightly as I – from my own experience and humble background – depended on myself to get where I am today. For that I am eternally thankful for my late father who has had to keep multiple jobs in the same day in order for him to pay for my private education. Without that solid foundation, I think it would have taken me longer to get to where I am today. I should also thank him profusely for the way he brought us up: accepting and respecting others regardless of their religion or background, and taught us also the value of self dependence.

    Success is not a bourgeoisie exclusive trait. Success comes mainly through hard work done smartly. That “smart” bit comes with education and the openness to the world.

    Um Mahmood. Give me a call. I’m looking for employees at the moment, so if you do have the traits I am looking for, I have no problem in not just matching whatever you get from your current job, but appreciably increasing it too. And you don’t need wasta, we’re an equal opportunity employer.

    Chanad, I’m glad you’re still around. I don’t agree with you either. The country does need development and like it or not, this is the only way not to just sustain prosperity, but include others in the wave too. All they have to do is hold on tight and work hard to ride it. The opportunities available today are much better than it has ever been. The market is hungry for talent and there are jobs waiting to be filled.

    To give you an example, I have advertised for web developers and designers for three days (today is the last day I think) in both Al-Wasat and Al-Ayam. I am very sad to tell you that although I intentionally advertised to get Bahrainis who can read/write/understand Arabic, I did not receive one single applications!

    I advertised previously in the GDN and got tens, even from outside Bahrain, but again, not from a single Bahraini.

    The salary I was going to offer starts at BD500. But no takers. I guess they’re all busy complaining and moaning and looking for pity rather than doing something constructive. I hope you will not come back to me that they can’t afford to pay the 200 fils to buy the paper.

    I agree with you that parks need to be made available for people to enjoy themselves. I know again from personal experience that this has been done in several areas of Bahrain, a lot more need to be created. In old Zinj, a lovely garden was re-planted and an area of it was set aside and make into a basketball court, handball and small 5-a-side football pitch. The kids in the neighbourhood use it on a daily basis. Just behind that area, a big area was just fenced off and levelled to create two football pitches, complete with cement benches on the side so people can sit and enjoy the matches. Other areas have been set aside and some have been misappropriated, like we’ve seen in Busaiteen not so long ago. But at least now, we see some municipal officers are actually doing something constructive with their time.

    If we want more, we should petition the richest man in Bahrain to get his managers to provide more areas where communities could use. That person is not the prime minister by the way, but Imam Hussain! The Ja’afari Endowment controls huge tracts of land which have fallen to disuse, if only they could be cleaned up and made available for communities to use, we all would be better off. What they do do; however, is evict poor disabled and blind tenants from their properties for failing to pay a rent of just BD30 in one situation!

    Yes, the government should be petitioned too in order to provide similar areas and to register those lands to the Ja’afari endowment, but that last part is a separate issue.

    Getting back to the main issue at hand here, yes, it housing is very expensive. Yes the constitution guarantees a home for every citizen. Yes, the government and ruling family must correct their ways. But for god’s sake, don’t expect me to condone the offering of begging hands and continuously seeking pity and going about getting my political rights by burning tyres rather than continuing my education and getting a job that could sustain a standard of living I strive for.

  18. mahmood says:

    they are the ones who’ll be buying expensive designers goods from those malls every weekend, they’ll be taking their kids to play in those outrageously priced parks (at least from the point of view of an average income guy) and even if they don’t have to buy or don’t have kids, they’ll have nice new expensive cars with three to four digits number plates to show off every evening!

    Jealousy is corrosive, Hassan. Get out and do something about your circumstance. It’s their money, not yours, and they are free to do with it as they please.

    but purposely turns a blind eye to the environmental destruction caused by these projects and what it means to those who make their living from the sea

    I agree that the moment you break ground and dump down it a pile of cement you are destroying the environment. It is the benefits that a reaped from this process and how it is done that you should care about. That is, find the balance in everything you do.

    Or are you of those people who would rather go back to the donkey and cart, live on the donkey’s shit for agriculture and building of fire to cook on and go to sleep at sundown? I am sure you are not, you already have a computer and an internet connection, so I assume you are typing your words in an air conditioned office or room in your house, both of which contributed to the environmental destruction of Bahrain of yore.

    As to the fishermen’s problems. Yes I agree. They should be given ample access to the sea in order for them to fire their engines and going out to sea to catch their daily bread. Fishermen; however, don’t throw their nets at the seashore to do their fishing. So harbours created for them at strategic locations around the island should more than service their needs.

    I don’t see these projects by the sea (Marina West, Durrat Al-Bahrain, Amwaj) contributing to this particular problem so I don’t know why you brought that up in this conversation.

    If you are intimating the other issue of the occupation of beachfronts, then I have always been and always will be of the opinion that developments should be restricted on the beach and that all beaches should be public property.

    great jobs like the two receptionists in the front desk of Marina west! Other opportunities are for construction companies, a sector that employs close to none Bahraini.

    Ah you forgot to include in that great investigative list of yours the following:

    – Salesmen and women (all of them)
    – marketing director
    – sales director
    – managing director
    – secretaries
    – plenty of architects and engineers

    Go look for yourself. You might also want to talk to a financial adviser, who is a Bahraini – on how YOU could afford to buy a unit or two.

    (no I am not a salesmen for any of the properties mentioned nor do I receive a commission from them, but I am seriously looking into possible investments there)

    Have I mentioned anything about the burden that these great projects put on the poor infrastructure of the island?

    I agree. This is the most important part in the whole equation and it is the one thing that should be immediately addressed so that the country and its economy does not suffer. I do see some movement in this regard with the reactionary building of roads and removal of roundabouts throughout the island. I also recognise that as Bahrain is ancient, cutting roads and widening them is not an easy fete, but it should most certainly be looked into.

    As for the electricity requirements, I made a movie about that which I invite you to have a look at. It’s available here:

    http://gbps.tv/2008/05/20/powergen-middle-east/

    Maybe it will shed some light on what the Bahraini government is considering for the future.

    And going back to the donations thing, we all know the purpose behind them; it is solely to pacify those poor people and to clean the area a bit, so it’s easier for him to sell

    Again, you sound bitter, and completely wrong.

  19. Hassan Alkhuzaei says:

    Mahmood,

    I don’t want to get personal, so I’ll ignore your first paragraph.

    I’m afraid I don’t understand what you mean by education. Please define education for me for I don’t seem to comprehend what you are trying to say here!

    Is a guy with a degree in chemistry, biology, mathematics, physics, literature, history or geography educated or not? A guy with this kind of qualification will most probably not make it to the private sector and the only option available to her/him here in Bahrain is to work as a teacher, BD. 500 for the rest of her/his life. Now because of this unplanned development, the properties prices is definitely out of these guys reach, hence the only option is to rent and again because of that unplanned development that you are so fond of, the rental prices has gone up severely to the limit that a guy with BD.500 will pay at least 50% of his income for the rent, leaving him/her with a very tight budget for food, transport and education for his/her kids.

    The other options available to them are to live with their parents or commit suicide!

    Now can you imagine the social implications I’m taking about here, would you please pay a visit to our courts to find out how economical hardships affecting the families and causing device.

    Well, the education you may be talking about is to get a private education, sorry to tell you that most Bahrainis cannot afford that with the salaries they are on (the latest official figure from our wise government was that 80% of public sector employees are below BD. 400) even in private sector the picture is not that bright, though much better. The latest figure shared with the public is that only 7000 Bahrainis in private sector earn BD.1000 or more (you know that BD. 1000, is not that much these days, don’t you?!).

    Or education for you means to get IT/Business/Accounting degree, and I agree that people with these majors can get into the private sector quite easily and with nice packages as well, but I don’t suppose you ask everybody to take degrees in these fields only, for there are individual differences and Bahrain university will accept limit numbers in those collegs (they can’t afford to study in private universities some the same reasons above) and even if every single educated Bahraini managed to get a degree in those fields we’ll end up with a supply more than demand.

  20. Hassan Alkhuzaei says:

    I don’t see these projects by the sea (Marina West, Durrat Al-Bahrain, Amwaj) contributing to this particular problem so I don’t know why you brought that up in this conversation.

    Yes I totally agree, projects created BY the sea, changing the map and mess up with the reefs don’t contribute to the destruction of the environment! Maybe you need share with us the environmental studies done for those projects to prove it.

    Ah you forgot to include in that great investigative list of yours the following:
    – Salesmen and women (all of them)
    – marketing director
    – sales director
    – managing director
    – secretaries
    – plenty of architects and engineers

    I happen to have close friends working for ASTECO and know who their staffs are and if you like I can give you a list of their nationalities and the other Bahrainis (from one race only) got their jobs there (it was very fare as usual and no one got his position for his relation with Osman or anybody else in that company).

    Again, you sound bitter, and completely wrong.

    truth is always bitter, and I’m completely wrong because th guy claims otherwise isn’t that the only proof you have?!

  21. mahmood says:

    Truth is quite often beautiful! Bitter to some, of course, but that’s dependent on the eye of the beholder or receiver for that matter.

    What I mean by education is a relevant degree and the ability to think critically to offer solutions to problems. Therefore, all the examples you gave constitute – hopefully – an educated and an employable person.

    I don’t want to defend Marina West or Asteco. They can do that for themselves. But if as you contend that all of their employees are Sunnis (which is a sect, rather than a race) I can certainly talk to them and get them to offer a response here. It would be interesting, I am sure. So let me call them and will post the result of my conversation here by the weekend.

    I am saddened by your description of the teachers. Unfortunately they – most of them according to various research conducted locally in the Gulf, Bahrain or the Middle East – are of the bottom percentile of their graduating classes; hence, the knowledge they impart is not of the standard it should be. Hopefully the Educational Reforms will take care of this (although I am not holding my breath for that to happen any time soon) and at least it is recognised that a deficiency exists in that department.

    Now Hassan, you talked of the negative aspects of the impact of this particular development and generalised it on all of the others. I would like you to tell us of any that you regard as positive impact, if they exist. Alternatively, what do you think the solution to these issues you raised are?

  22. loki says:

    I really really really hope this doesn’t go ahead. This is NOT what bahrain needs. Bahrain needs affordable housing for ordinary people not mega projects that will bought on the primary market by investors and then sold to foreigners.

    Xenophobic I don’t think so (hey! i’m Saudi). Tell me what is the strategic benefit of this nonsense. More FDA? yeah, sure. Bahrain needs to develop, it needs more office space and housing. But hideous monstrosities such as this that most of bahrain can’t afford to work or live in isn’t the answer. I would rather do without. One of the reasons I like living in Bahrain is because I can actually see beyond 200 meters in any direction without staring at steel or glass.

    If I wanted a place full of mega projects I would have moved to Dubai.

  23. Lee Ann says:

    “Other opportunities are for construction companies, a sector that employs close to none Bahraini…”

    I would just like to comment on this…I have been working in a construction company for the past year and a half…during this time frame several Bahrainis were hired…every one of them quit within a very short period of time. The record was 15 minutes for one girl…she was there just long enough to realize it all looked pretty boring and was out the door….another guy lasted just 10 days…again…he said it was boring. Our project manager has threatened the main office if they send one more Bahraini to him…he has had enough of their lax attitude. There are about 50 people in this site office…there is only one Bahraini among them…he has lasted the longest. He also finds it very boring but he has a new wife and new baby at home and one on the way…so he says he will deal with boring in order to bring home the bread. That is what a true responsible worker does…he grits his teeth and gets the job done so he can collect a salary at the end of the month. My personl experience tells me that many many Bahrainis just dont have that kind of work ethic…so before commenting in that fashion…maybe you might consider if there are “next to none” Bahrainis in the construction field…its because they choose not to be there….hmmm?

  24. loki says:

    On a side note, its been mentioned here and elsewhere about the quality / willingness / attitude of local work force (or gcc for that matter). Something which has a ring of truth to it. How do projects like this change things? well, they don’t.

    Investing in education and training is more likely to solve this problem than mega complexes like this.

  25. Just me says:

    How about this for an unpopular suggestions:

    ALL large property development in Bahrain should cease immediately until the government publically produces a 30-year urban development strategy and plan.

    The implications of these projects are huge. The fear expressed here is legitimate given the absense of a clear strategy and investigation on the impact these projects have on society, traditional life, transport, grid power. These fears should be addressed and a national consultation needs to take place. To argue these impacts here is based on speculation, anecdotes, and our personal views of the world.

    Sorry, but the argument against immigration is not xenophobic. That is a very superficial response to why people fear the effects of immigration particularly when they question the government’s immigration policy in the first place and the complete obscurity of it.

    But has a credible independent party actually studied the effects of development?

    Sorry Mahmood’s analysis is far too simplistic for my liking. You’d think Bahrain is the meritocratic land of opportunity – where success and elbow grease go hand in hand. I’m sorry, everyone playing the real-estate market knows how the big contracts grid allocation are given, how priorities are set, how laws are waived.

    Tell me what the government’s welfare and development agenda is when just yesterday the kind Minister, Al-belushi stated there is ZERO poverty in Bahrain???

    ZERO

    The bourjois looking up , will never look down to see those they are treading on.

  26. Just me says:

    Ok so there a “2030 National Planning Development Strategy”

    What is this?
    Where can I read it?
    Who was consulted?
    Who are the stakeholders?
    What were the main conclusions?
    Has an impact assessment been conducted?

    THIS IS NOT MY VISION OF THE FUTURE

  27. mahmood says:

    http://mahmood.tv/index.php?s=skidmore&x=0&y=0

    should be a good start for you Just Me.

    g’night!

  28. Just me says:

    There needs to be a non-governmental national stakeholder response to this study to critique every detail of it.

  29. Lee,

    Sorry to say that I feel you are super-exaggerating by your 15 minutes of “boredom” & your 10 days of also “boredom”… If things were like what you say this girl would not have finished college because they would get bored of what the tutor says & quit the job! She could have done some fresh coffee in those 15 minutes in the kitchen & came back to her seat before she could even start writing her resignation letter 😀 in my previous job I sat for over a couple of weeks of “total boredom” on a chair without even a table wondering “Why did they hire someone in the time they have no work for him???”

    I know people who’s job is to go from a department to a department chatting & laughing because they had nothing to do for WEEKS in the time they get a sub-250 dinars salary that is not enough for paying their rental fees & needed his wife’s salary to buy food & other needs for their daily living & for their children education & various needs. He graduated with a high GPA with a BSc degree in CHEMICHAL Engineering, but guess what? Because he couldn’t find a job with his “talent” simply because he got a job in “another field” that “ruined” he past education, making him therefore start from “the zero”, totally fresh with no “engineering needs” in an office that doesn’t even care what qualification he holds! Just because he didn’t get THE WASTA as I went to a company & asked about my experience, I was a fresh graduate then therefore I was replied with “Sorry, we need people with experience” & tried in the interview to show the IT Director & the Human Resource that I am not qualified to take the job with questions he asks that had nothing to do with the whole thing; although “I was called for an interview” & no interviews would be called for if they didn’t pass the primary requirements of education & experience. I was even asked what my expectations I had from their company, I said that my expectations from (the new company’s name, hint hint hint!! 😛 ) are so & so & so… The IT Director poked him with his shoulder & said “See!? He scored a point on you now!”… I wasn’t chosen & a person from that person’s nationality was chosen instead, to know that he wanted to bring him to work with him instead of me & others! I had another chance – once again – but with THE WASTA, and when I knew that I’ll be headed by the same person I rejected the whole job offer because of my wish not to be headed by someone like that person whom I would suffer discrimination from him & the rest of the employees of his certain nationality!

    Sorry guys, I am no racist, I am no sect or nationality hater, but instead when I see others discriminate me & act with me as if I am not welcomed & as a source of annoyance I believe we all should act towards such actions, as we are all human beings, all have feelings, motions, inspired by others & also get affected by the treatment we receive. We also get affected by seeing others with the big fancy cars & their big fancy homes get “better” chances, not because they are better but because… They have WASTA! 😀 throw talent a side, 80% of the bosses – especially none Bahrainis – don’t like talents those reasons: Because they don’t need it, as a talent is not equal to the daily doing of jobs, therefore the talented person will ask for “CHANGE”, and what those big-old-fat beaurocrates fear most? CHANGE!!!!! Simply, everyone there will either throw everything they have on you so you don’t get time to “change”, or simply make your life hell & get you to become a “skip goat”, a “trouble maker” & a “tyrant” on the system that will force your to quit your job. Of course, a WASTA will make a difference here in this point! Especially from someone in the inside!

    Sorry again, but this piece of text was written by an angry person who suffered much after seeing the truth of life her right after graduation within the time of his search for a “decent” job! & decent here is more than just $$$$$, it’s also about the environment & the people!!!

    See-ya! 😀

  30. Sam says:

    And you don’t need wasta, we’re an equal opportunity employer.

    I’m glad you mentioned that. It’s quite worrying to think how the younger generation today are STILL in total belief that they needn’t make the ‘right’ choices because of their intention to string pull.

    What I mean by education is a relevant degree and the ability to think critically to offer solutions to problems.

    I’d probably call that being formally educated. Education I think is primarily informal and involuntary. It happens continuously and starts with your home life and upbringing. Personally, I’d say I learn a hell of allot more at home than I ever did at school – the reverse might be true for others.

  31. And oh yeah, read my latest Arabic-posted blog to know why I am so pissed off 😛

    Good night 😉

  32. Hassan Alkhuzaei says:

    But if as you contend that all of their employees are Sunnis (which is a sect, rather than a race)

    Mahmood,
    I may need an education or re-education as you’ve hinted somewhere here, but this doesn’t prevent me from differentiating between sect and race!

    When I said all their Bahraini employees are from the same race, I meant the same race not the same sect as I believe the discrimination in Bahrain is on so many different levels, it starts with the class (a bourgeoisies from well-known families or a commoner), then by sect, then by race (Arab, Holy or 3jmi) and it doesn’t end here of course as it gets down to colour and looks (yes colour) to religious orientations and so on (you may ask yourself here, why most of the girls working in private sectors are unveiled while the majority of Bahraini women are veiled?, with the exception of Islamic banks which discriminate against the unveiled.!!!

    The record was 15 minutes for one girl

    Lee,
    Before judging the Bahraini girl who left your esteemed establishment in 15 minutes (though we don’t know if it is really true or not), let me ask you a simple question:
    How much is your housing, transport and education allowances?
    I bet your housing allowance alone is more than the average Bahraini family income. This might give you a hint why she and others left so quickly.

  33. mahmood says:

    I thought about that after I commented, and thought that you might have meant that they only employ people of Persian descent, but I gave you the benefit of the doubt. Thanks for disabusing that notion.

    I don’t really know what to say to you Hassan, you seem to have issues with everything but offer no solutions. I would be more than happy to read some of your solutions and engage in further conversation to lead somewhere, hopefully a better place for all of us. But you seem to have already prejudged my position and that of others and have put us automatically in a pigeon-hole which we strongly feel that we do not belong to. That’s your prerogative. It is mine to tell you that you are wrong and you need to dust off that “us and them” attitude, at least between US, and offer some solutions to the outlined problems here.

  34. Hassan Alkhuzaei says:

    Mahmood,

    I don’t think I have an “us and them” attitude, I personally have interviewed so many different candidates for vacant positions in our company and not even for once felt I have anything against anybody of any race, colour, religion or nationality (if you would like I’m more than happy to supply you with a list of people I vote for along with their background); but in point of fact it is the other way around, people of specific class, race or nationality are prejudging us (take Lee above as an example of how expatriates think of us, they don’t even call us Bahrainis they rather call us locals, for them we are like native Americans or Australian aboriginals, we are an endangered specie, an uncivilized people) and I don’t even have anything against bourgeoisies, it is just they think of us as an uneducated muggers who’re putting sticks in their development wheel while their wheel is about to smash us!

    We can start suggesting solutions, when you start admitting that there is a problem!
    Please go back to your justification of the suffering of the fishermen and try to read it by their own eyes and see how arrogant is that?

    You think “Fishermen; however, don’t throw their nets at the seashore to do their fishing.”, is that really what you think??? How about the hundreds of families who live on traps built on the seashores (it is called 7adrah in Arabic if you don’t know)???
    Most of these guys cannot afford to buy a bout to throw their nets far from the shores or sometimes don’t know how to do it that way (there are specializations in the way people fish as well, specializations for those uneducated people!!!).

    Pay a visit to the northern shores of the island and see what had happened to those traps and think about what may have happened to those who used to make a living out of them and try to link it to the millions your friend is making from his mega projects. If you could – for once perhaps – think this way and if you could think about what those unfortunates have to suffer for you to enjoy your coffee in one of those malls and if you could ever stop blaming them for their misery and asking them to get educated as if it is the magical word that will resolve all their problem; if you could ever do anything of that then I’ll suggest some solutions.

    Just a hint about education, in all nations and even in the most developed ones there are uneducated people (according to your definition of education), but still they are still contributing greatly to the national GDP of their nations, they are the farmers, the miner, the smiths, the fishermen … etc. in those countries they don’t kill the fishes and blame the fishermen if they didn’t have anything else to do, they don’t destroy the arable lands and blame the farmers if they died from starvation!!!

  35. mahmood says:

    Hassan, you might not think it of yourself, but you are a bigot. And one who is mired in guilt-tripping people and continue to look for pity rather than actually suggesting solutions. I’ve met quite a number of “glass half empty” kind of people throughout my life, but none approaches your status.

    You can classify me as an uncaring Bahraini all you like, it won’t change my outlook and my actual work to make this a better place for you, all residents on these shores and future generations. So once you’ve woken up from your self-pity and self imposed stupor and thought a little of the situation, please do offer your solutions. I am not holding my breath, but will still listen.

    The world is moving ahead, and the mega construction projects will carry on unabated. It is our job to ensure that those projects actually do good for the community and the investors who drive them. Yes, changes to the infrastructure must be done, and the increase in population must be considered, but telling us to completely eradicate these projects in favour of impractical parks to replace them completely is not the solution.

    Let me share with you a solution which you – hopefully – will consider. In Montreal, Canada, the municipal council there insists on providing 5% (it could be 1%, I can’t remember) of the investment of a building to be used for recreation or art within the same building site. That could be a dedication of part of the land to parks, gardens, fountains, works of art, statues, etc. I think something like this would be workable here in Bahrain and one that will beautify the country. This is a much better solution that losing both, the investment and the opportunity to better our community and environment.

    I don’t want private beaches. I have continuously stood against that. I don’t want private islands and again I have steadfastly refused any justification for someone robbing part of our islands for their private residence. I am against Umm Al-Naasan being declared a military area, because it being the 3rd largest island in our archipelago it could certainly provide for ALL the housing required for low and middle income families who have been festering on waiting lists for more than 17 years, and I am against the various dredging operations which destroy the environment in the gulf when there is plenty of land-space available on the main islands to be developed. But, I also recognise the exceptional need for that operation, and as an exception, it should be managed correctly to limit its effect on the community and the environment. I do not advocate stopping progress and regress back to the donkey and cart simply because that method of life is better for the environment. The world cannot afford that way of life any more and neither you nor I can stop progress. What we can do is demand that it be properly and transparently managed.

  36. mahmood says:

    “Percent for Art” information is available here.

  37. Hassan Alkhuzaei says:

    Mahmood, I wrote this befor your last comment, so I’ll post it and reply later on to your latest comment.

    ==========

    I’m sorry guys if I sound pungent in what I’m going to say here; enough is enough and I have had it with “go get an education” garbage, and have couple of things to say here to put an end to this pure drivel!

    I want to talk about what’s knowledge, what’s education and what kind of threats to our identity this kind of developments brings; haven’t you noticed yet that most educated bourgeoisies cannot write properly in their own mother tong (i.e. Arabic) and cannot even read without fumbling? I’m sure you have and just in case you haven’t yet or you don’t want to believe what I’m saying, I would advise you (in case you can read Arabic) to take 10 minutes of your valuable time to scan the blogs of these guys to appreciate how good their Arabic is.

    If this is the kind of education you want us to pursuit to fit in your new/progressive/developed society, then we’re regretful to let you know that we like better to continue to be uneducated.

    whereas us the uneducated proletarians, the sons and daughters of those great uneducated wage-workers, salariats and jobless fathers and mothers, reserved our own identity and managed to learn how to read without fumbling and write properly in our own language and even to learn a bit of a second language, that bit is as much as necessary for us to communicate with others and to use it as a tool to grasp knowledge.

    And then we are being called the uneducated and the bourgeoisies sons and daughters are the educated ones!!!

    WTF

  38. mahmood says:

    I have had it with “go get an education” garbage

    Getting an education is not garbage. And couldn’t be emphasised enough. So rather than being pedantic about it, acknowledge that this particular problem does exist in our community and it must be resolved by keeping kids in schools and create an environment for them at home to show them how important it is to get a good basic education in order to get into the workforce.

    I see from Alwasat today that they’re confirming the opening of the polytechnic and teacher’s college will occur later on this year. This is a good first step which hopefully will produce better teacher and better people who could actually get into the workplace and stay there.

  39. mahmood says:

    I want to talk about what’s knowledge, what’s education and what kind of threats to our identity this kind of developments brings; haven’t you noticed yet that most educated bourgeoisies cannot write properly in their own mother tong (i.e. Arabic)

    I don’t agree with your view that culture, traditions and ways of life are static entities. Had they been – and thank goodness they aren’t – the Arabs would have disappeared from the face of the Earth a long time ago.

    I would be very interested to know what source you use to comprehensively assert that

    most educated bourgeoisies cannot write properly in their own mother tong

    It would be really interesting reading, in any language and regardless of “tong”.

  40. Hassan Alkhuzaei says:

    Hassan, you might not think it of yourself, but you are a bigot

    Well, yes I’m a bigot because I care about others and I’m an extremist because I stand against your millions making projects on the cost of the poor people livelihood.

    And naturally you will keep on looking at the half full glass as far as your pocket is full, but will you try to look at the same glass with an empty wallet and come again to make out if we’ll continue to disagree?!

    please do offer your solutions. I am not holding my breath, but will still listen.

    My solutions start with paying a proper minimum wage, not the official BD.150 and not even the great BD.500 you offered for the vacant positions within your company (you know it is not enough for anybody to live with dignity in Bahrain and it is nothing compared to the profits of those big companies), and to pay income taxes inline to your profits from those mega projects, and to provide your expatriates employees with health cover so they don’t compete on beds with us in our free hospitals. These are, but few suggestions for you to think of.

  41. mahmood says:

    Hassan, companies based their pay scales on the required output of the employee, not to the sounds of sad violins. I know several people who earn thousands of dinars month and in turn they create many multiples of that for their employers. I also know many who earn two hundred dinars a month and are a complete and utter liability to their employers costing them hundreds if not thousands a month simply because they cannot get rid of them because they are Bahraini.

    500 dinars might not seem much to you (I don’t know how much you are making, but whatever the number is I hope you deserve it and I wish you luck in your job, seriously) but it is a lot for a lot of people, like recent graduates for instance. Do reject this figure if you like, I am sure a lot of our fellow Bahrainis would find it quite a nice package to take home after a month’s work.

    As to the wallet, my principals don’t change dependent on its weight. And I’ve experienced quite a variety in its content and weight over my lifetime.

    What you should ask for are laws through which it would be relatively easy for employers to hire and fire at will, this will increase competition and will improve the job market tremendously. Yes, if the firing was done illegally then the employers should be taken to court, before you (or anyone else) jump down my throat.

    As for the taxation bit. Yes, we need tax, but not in the way that you are advocating.

  42. Hassan Alkhuzaei says:

    It would be really interesting reading, in any language and regardless of “tong”.

    Yeah I couldn’t agree more, so let’s all learn English only and forget about the reactionary Arabic (or is it the language of the uneducated thugs?!)

  43. mahmood says:

    you know it is not enough for anybody to live with dignity in Bahrain and it is nothing compared to the profits of those big companies

    Are you suggesting that people who are unemployed or those who do but earn less than you think sufficient are people without dignity?

  44. Hassan Alkhuzaei says:

    Hassan, companies based their pay scales on the required output of the employee, not to the sounds of sad violins.

    Well this is called pure selfish capitalism, you only care about your benefits and forget about others. Yes companies should base their pay scales on the required output, but also on the living standard of the country they’re operating in. I wonder why the guys work for McDonalds in the states get more than those who work for the same company in Bangladesh, though the required output is the same for both?!

    I also know many who earn two hundred dinars a month and are a complete and utter liability to their employers costing them hundreds if not thousands a month simply because they cannot get rid of them because they are Bahraini.

    No I don’t believe they are a complete liability, they keep them because they need them to get more work permits for even cheaper workers. They pay them BD.200 and get 10 other permits for workers whom they’ll not pay more than BD. 600 a month. so they are still making money out of those Bahrainis.

    You see we both understand how it works and how they make it up for that so called lost, but the difference between us is that I cover both sides of the story where you want to focus on what supports your view only. I’m sure we both and everybody else who reads what we are writing here, know how greedy are the business owners on this island.

    Do reject this figure if you like, I am sure a lot of our fellow Bahrainis would find it quite a nice package to take home after a month’s work.

    a lot of our fellow Bahrainis would find it quite nice package not because it really is, but because they don’t have any other option.

    As for the taxation bit. Yes, we need tax, but not in the way that you are advocating.

    How do you mean not in the way I’m advocating?!

  45. Just me says:

    Well I offered a solution.

    Start with this 30 year national plan that no one has had access to or seen!

    We can then decided what its flaws are, what is wrong with the business models and planning in it.

    We are all MUGS in this game, because the government is doing, we are shouting, no one is listening!

    How can you have solutions to a problem that has not been fully defined, studied, or acknowledged?

  46. Hassan Alkhuzaei says:

    people who are unemployed or those who do but earn less than you think sufficient are people without dignity?

    I’m sure you know what I meant, so I’ll really appreciate it if we don’t play these kinds of games with each others.

    When people feel they are needy, then a bit of their dignity is taken from them, when they are forced to queue up for BD.50 from our wise government every single month, then another bit of their dignity is being taken away from them and when they are forced to go though those difficult moments try to justify to their kids why they could buy them the toy the promised then another bit of that dignity is being taken… and so on

  47. Hassan Alkhuzaei says:

    They pay them BD.200 and get 10 other permits for workers whom they’ll not pay more than BD. 600 a month

    I meant to say They pay them BD.200 and get 10 other permits for workers whom they’ll not pay more than BD. 60 a month.

  48. mahmood says:

    No I don’t believe they are a complete liability, they keep them because they need them to get more work permits for even cheaper workers. They pay them BD.200 and get 10 other permits for workers whom they’ll not pay more than BD. 600 a month. so they are still making money out of those Bahrainis.

    Ah, I see, so you advocate using Bahrainis as bargaining chips, or even worse, pander to and condone embezzlement. Brilliant.

    Well this is called pure selfish capitalism, you only care about your benefits and forget about others.

    I sort of understood that you are against the idea of capitalism and you are stuck in the mid-70s with your socialist ideologies. But let’s just go beyond that and concentrate on your idea that business is just “take” which I completely disagree with you on. Business is a give and take relationship as it sustainable otherwise. Your ideas that businesses somehow take unfair advantage of their workers is also a policy – though exists – is not sustainable.

    a lot of our fellow Bahrainis would find it quite nice package not because it really is, but because they don’t have any other option

    What an asinine and idiotic observation! Do you really believe what you’re typing? There’s no hurry, take your time and think of it a little before you respond.

  49. mahmood says:

    Just Me: Well I offered a solution.

    Start with this 30 year national plan that no one has had access to or seen!

    I agree.

    That plan should be made available for all to see and discuss. It is an existential issue to be sure, but development cannot be contingent on its public availability.

    I believe that some benefit of the doubt should be given that the EDB or whoever controls it is exercising caution in its approval or various projects, or at least keep those development within the planned route. Seeing the pictures they released and how Manama is perceived to look in 30 years’ time, the project we are discussing here is a miniscule part of that plan.

    Continue to call for the report’s release, yes, but in parallel, carry on responsible investment and development which benefit the local economy.

  50. mahmood says:

    I’m sure you know what I meant, so I’ll really appreciate it if we don’t play these kinds of games with each others.

    I’m not playing games, but I note your assertion that you are. I hope that the game you’re playing is the Devil’s Advocate, not taken too far of course, and that you are re-evaluating your position.

  51. Sam says:

    companies based their pay scales on the required output of the employee, not to the sounds of sad violins.

    That cracked me up!

    they don’t even call us Bahrainis they rather call us locals

    Hassan, why the sudden political correctness? I don’t suppose you’ve ever heard Bahrainis call their fellow country residents ‘expats’ or ‘ajnabis’ ?

    There’s nothing derogatory the term ‘local’. I live on the same island as you therefor I’m local!

    laws through which it would be relatively easy for employers to hire and fire at will, this will increase competition and will improve the job market tremendously.

    I’d go further and make it compulsory that minimum wage applies to ALL! That way employers would be forced to consider merits of the individual and allow Bahrainis to compete freely against their counterparts.

  52. Hassan Alkhuzaei says:

    Ah, I see, so you advocate using Bahrainis as bargaining chips, or even worse, pander to and condone embezzlement. Brilliant.

    On the contrary, this is what you’re really doing with Bahrainis and this is why you keep what you called pure complete liability within your organizations.

    I sort of understood that you are against the idea of capitalism and you are stuck in the mid-70s with your socialist ideologies.

    There are many people who are stuck in the mid-ages ideologies, so I wouldn’t find it wrong or shameful or anything to believe in an ideology that goes back to the mid-70s!! and I really pity you if you judge ideas by their age.

    What an asinine and idiotic observation! Do you really believe what you’re typing? There’s no hurry, take your time and think of it a little before you respond.

    One of our great sociologists called Ali Alwardi (I’m sure you haven’t heard about him before because he writes in Arabic), said once that he writes for those who read what he writs not for those who can only read what’s in their minds.

    I don’t think you read what I typed, so I’ll try my best to simplify it for you once again. Is BD. 50 a nice package? I’m sure we both agree it is not, but still thousands upon thousands of Bangladeshis, Seri Lankan, Ethiopians, Indonesians come to Bahrain to work for this little money, not because it is nice but because they don’t have any other option.

    I hope it is clear for you now and please forgive me as, I’m unlike you, uneducated bigot.

    I’m not playing games, but I note your assertion that you are. I hope that the game you’re playing is the Devil’s Advocate, not taken too far of course, and that you are re-evaluating your position.

    I don’t play games either, and I’m nobody’s advocate, I only speak out for myself and say what I believe in and will only re-evaluate my position if and only if I find anything wrong about it.

  53. Um Mohammed says:

    Hassan I agree with all what you have said!!! May be others do seem to see the glass half full because they have everything……………..

    We see it as half empty because we are in need!!!!!!

  54. Hassan Alkhuzaei says:

    SAM,

    Hassan, why the sudden political correctness? I don’t suppose you’ve ever heard Bahrainis call their fellow country residents ‘expats’ or ‘ajnabis’?

    Bahrainis call you “expats” or “ajnabis”, because there isn’t any other description can be used to refer to all of you, we cannot refer to you by your nationality as if we are going to do so then when addressing you I would need to say something foolish like “to all Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Americans, British, south Africans …” it will take me ages to list all nationalities here, so we use what is common for all of you, “Expats” or “Ajanib” go it?!

    If you would like to be referred to differently please let us know and we would be glad to use whatever you suggest. As for us we are Bahrainis and like to be called so even if you think “There’s nothing derogatory the term ‘local’”, we still like to be called Bahrainis. simple as that.

    I’d go further and make it compulsory that minimum wage applies to ALL! That way employers would be forced to consider merits of the individual and allow Bahrainis to compete freely against their counterparts.

    I agree with you, with one more legislation to prevent “Expats” in senior positions from getting work permits for their relatives, mates, wives … etc when there are Bahrainis can do the job. 🙄

  55. Sam says:

    As for us we are Bahrainis and like to be called so

    I’m sorry to disappoint you Hassan but I’m Bahraini. Why on earth would you falsely assume otherwise? Was it because I can identify societal ills and find fault with ourselves? Or was it because I disagree with your discriminative train of thought?

    We’re a diverse community. Celebrate it, don’t fight it!

  56. Hassan Alkhuzaei says:

    I’m sorry to disappoint you Hassan but I’m Bahraini. Why on earth would you falsely assume otherwise?

    I didn’t assume otherwise because you disagreed with me, it’s just your nickname that made me think that way, and also in one of your comments you said “I live on the same island as you therefore I’m local” and I believed you were talking about yourself, which made me presume that you are not a Bahraini.

    Anyway I’m sorry for that, but this doesn’t change anything and still think my argument is valid, you cannot compare “locals” with “expats”, it is just wrong comparison for the reasons I’ve stated above.

    your discriminative train of thought?

    please let me know where I have been discriminative, point it out please?

    I love diversity and cannot live without it, but all am asking for is fairness or when a person asks for justice in front of a bourgeoisie, then it is considered to be discrimination???

    Have I said anywhere here or elsewhere that I hate expats or don’t like this sect or that race or have anything against a particular group of people or anybody else? I’m sure I didn’t, I’m just defending my right to live with dignity in my own country for god’s sake, is that a crime?!

    I either accept all of these destructions called developments and approve small minority monopoly of businesses and bless their stocking up of the millions and impoverishment of the majority of us, or I’m an uneducated, idiot, bigot, sectarian, chauvinistic and racist?!

  57. mahmood says:

    I’m an uneducated, idiot, bigot, sectarian, chauvinistic and racist?!

    Apt descriptions of you and I’m glad I didn’t say them, but now that you mention them, there is plenty of truth in your descriptions.

    Anyway, I’ve just come back from a meeting with Marina West. I have looked at their employee list and that of Asteco and from what I have seen, they employ with complete blindness to sect, race or colour.

    I have further been advised that the level of investment they have put in the community, specifically in both Bani Jamra and Budaiya exceeds BD 1 million. I am sure that we can’t expect you to send them a note of apology for your outbursts against them, nor do I expect an apology from you to the readers of this thread. But it should further expose your bigotry, racism, sectarianism, idiocy and chauvinistic attitude.

    On the whole, I think you exposed yourself well enough but I am thankful that you explained that you are talking only about yourself and your beliefs, so I would appreciate it if you would stop using the word “us” in your responses and most certainly do not include other Bahrainis in your diatribes.

  58. Hassan Alkhuzaei says:

    Apt descriptions of you and I’m glad I didn’t say them, but now that you mention them, there is plenty of truth in your descriptions.

    I didn’t expect to hear otherwise from you, thanks anyway. I may add that these descriptions fit anybody who wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his/her mouth.

    Anyway, I’ve just come back from a meeting with Marina West. I have looked at their employee list and that of Asteco and from what I have seen, they employ with complete blindness to sect, race or colour.

    Where is the proof to what you are claiming here? I challenge you to provide any proof for what you are claming.

    Enough with the egotism, you just want the people to believe what you say only because you said it!

    from my side, i can give the names along with telephone numbers of their employees for people to find out by themselve.

    I have further been advised that the level of investment they have put in the community, specifically in both Bani Jamra and Budaiya exceeds BD 1 million.

    again there is no proof here, just claims.
    BD. 1 million? It is not hard for me to find out, but I strongly doubt it knowing that they were facing financial hardships financing their own marina west project the thing that delayed the work for more many months.

    But it should further expose your bigotry, racism, sectarianism, idiocy and chauvinistic attitude.

    I’m still waiting for you or any other reader to point out a single instance where I’ve shown any bigotry or racism?! But this would rather expose your hypocrisy when you talk about human rights and freedom of speech and your intolerance to criticism.
    You feel free to criticize the others but don’t want anybody to criticize you, and you show lots of care about human rights when it doesn’t interfere interest, but when they do you hell with humanity!

    In all of my comments above, I have never called anybody idiot because I know they have the right to disagree with what I say or think, while you didn’t spare an insult, and I believe this should further show your true metal.

  59. mahmood says:

    It’s mettle, not metal. But anyway. Oh yes. Proof. Feel free to give us your version of the story and I invite anyone to go and visit their sales centre in Bani Jamra to meet the people there for themselves, it shouldn’t be too difficult. They’re also open in the weekend.

    As for your invitation for people to expose your bigotry and racism, you can start here and carry on down the list. But I don’t expect you to find the references, others would see them very readily.

    Now with my capacity to accept criticism, knock yourself out. I’ll even read what you have to say.

  60. Hassan Alkhuzaei says:

    Is that the best you could come up with?!

    Anyway, I’ll try to prepare an appropriate response to all of your insults, and that would be in Arabic of course, proper Arabic not 1st graders one (if I could find the time to do so, remember I have to work and cannot depend on my daddy’s money as he didn’t have any).

  61. Just me says:

    I believe that some benefit of the doubt should be given that the EDB or whoever controls it is exercising caution in its approval or various projects, or at least keep those development within the planned route.

    – BENEFIT IF THE DOUBT – come on – you call that a solution?? You ask for a solution and when it comes to the crux of it, you support unfettered development. Why does the EDB deserve benefit of the doubt? The EDB is a government outfit that is supporting and encouraging the unregulated capitalist system and land grab in Bahrain – they do not have a welfare agenda, a poverty reduction program.

    Seeing the pictures they released and how Manama is perceived to look in 30 years’ time, the project we are discussing here is a miniscule part of that plan.

    VEry frightening, you call this $1bn miniscule in size. this is scary….. we don’t want to be dubai…..WE DO NOT WANT TO BE DUBAI….

    Continue to call for the report’s release, yes, but in parallel, carry on responsible investment and development which benefit the local economy.

    NO not carry on. That is not a solution. You really think they will publicaly release this report for consultation? honestly? So shall we just wait till the damage is done?
    Capitalism + no democracy (transparency, accountability) = oligarchic capitalism + unfair distribution of income

    Seriously, i’m baffled by such naiive mentality.

  62. Ali says:

    To those who believe that education will give better feature for the people, he don’t know how the riches is created in this countery, and he is acting like if this is a well orgnize countery and every thing is just systematically, they are telling us you are where you are because of you not because of whome you are???

    there are simple things you need them to be rich in this countery, like family name and sectors ,,etc, but at the end, the only cause for you to be rich or have good position is the government , if it want, you will be, if they dont sorry pal you wont just like this, you are talking about ahmed janahi, let us talk about another janahi, essam, can we say how he get rich? after he had been kicked out from his old work, just a qustion by the prime ministery “where is essam” this is not to say something bad about essam, but to explain how the bussiness is going on in this stupid countery, another examble of this how to make the richs poor, look to Abdula’al and what prime minister did for him just to make him poor and yes at the end, he is after the airport project

    mahmood
    please, i might understand your relation ship with some hawameer in this countery and to salman bin hamad, but readers here need some respects, telling the truth is some thing good pal

  63. Just me says:

    Pointing out spelling mistakes is a cheap shot.
    I’m sure you wouldn’t like anyone to pick out the multitude of errors in your arabic blog. Doesn’t deny anyone the right to express themselves.

    We are the majority in this country, but treated like Blacks in 50s America. What we are seeing in terms of poor work ethos, high school failure or drop out rates, high unemployment levels is mostly governmental but partly a collective aspirational crisis as a result of decades of perceived discrimination. As Hasan said, we’d appreciate the decency that at least a blanket approach of blame is not used to apportion people’s misery.

  64. mahmood says:

    I’m enjoying this. I’m the bad guy! I am so bad now that I am also naive to believe that there is a smidgen of good that is in this country! I am so far from the truth because I am not asking for the immediate overthrow of the government! I am hawameer’s friend and protector and stepper on the proletariat. I am a bourgeoisie!

    I am so loving this! It is as if I have never stood with what I believe is right and have not championed various causes which I think is very much germane to this country and its people.

    Brilliant.

    Listen guys, let’s take a deep breath and think about this a little shall we?

    What is happening here? A business development has been proposed and government approved to the value of one billion dinars in a part of the capital. The project has not only received the blessings of the king and his government, but also by what is supposed to be the main opposition party, Al-Wefaq.

    The government with the various eyes completely affixed to its every move is (should be) very cognizant of the fact that it needs to provide the required infrastructure for these approved projects. Knowing that the money is coming from investors in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, this is an inward flowing investment that will help the local economy and invariably a lot of the community will benefit from this development.

    The situation with the infrastructure and the time period that the project is being built will be difficult with what these building projects entail, but looking just a little into the future should make people realise the aggregate benefit of these projects.

    I realise that these projects carry a negative impact for the environment and the surrounding areas, at least initially, but it certainly could be managed properly by creating a partnership between the developers, the community its in and the government. Shouldn’t we then call for such a partnership and even demand an oversight committee be formed rather than just vehemently and blindly oppose these projects? Especially as these projects are actually financed and built by private business rather than the government?

    Come on guys, the country would die and everyone would suffer if we just stand around complaining rather than welcoming investments and hold our parliament and government responsible for creating the legislative infrastructure to ensure their success, rather than shout and scream and protest to chase them away.

  65. mahmood says:

    We are the majority in this country, but treated like Blacks in 50s America.

    What did the blacks do to free themselves, oh high and mighty one? And how could their experience be emulated to emancipate yourself?

  66. chanad says:

    Quite an amusing exchange! But the argument has become way too heated to be useful now.

    I must say though Mahmood, you have certainly painted yourself as the liberal bourgoisie hammour. It’s only because I know you personally that my opinion is otherwise. The one basic point I feel is that we need sustainable development,… and the development we’ve seen so far is all but sustainable. It is based on an endless supply of cheap foreign labour, and an endless supply of land reclaimable from the sea. That is why the next time someone proposes building a luxury residential tower, the burden falls on the project sponsors to prove why it is useful for Bahrain,… rather than citizens having to explain why they don’t want it.

    Let me add, that I’ve worked for the types of companies that provide the capital for these types of projects (way back in my neo-liberal days, haha). And while the CEOs and PR execs are keen to paint a friendly picture (and may genuinely believe it, like I did), when it comes down to it, the only thing the investment committe/board of directors care about is profit — that’s all. The Concept Papers and Information Memoranda are all about the bottom line (profits)… all the other environmental/social responsibility stuff is weighed purely in terms financial benefit, if at all. The financial models used to decide whether the project goes ahead takes into account only profit. Social or environmental costs just don’t fit in. The only type of environmental/social due diligience that is conducted is what is required of the law in the country — and in bahrain, that’s very little.

    The initial investors have an investment horizon of, say 7-10 years. The long term effects that these projects cause on the society and environment (and on their own businesses) will only really be seen after 10 years,… and by that time the investor have sold his share and run off with the profits. That’s why the execs don’t care about the sustainability of their projects.

    Anyways, I know we don’t see eye-to-eye on this, so no point in me harping on any more!

    But two really important issues have been raised on this thread which just aren’t talked about enough.
    One was what you said about the Ja’afari Waqf being one of the biggest hoarders in the country. I agree unreservedly that citizens need to put more pressure on the awqaf boards. And there’s the even more sensitive issue of Khums donations. We’ve all heard about the various shuyookh who supposedly have bundles of assets lying around in bank accounts received in Khums donations. They too need to be scrutinized and redistributed.

    The other issue is that of hadhra fishing traps that Hassan pointed out. These traps are very much equivalent to farming land, owned, and handed down from generation to generation (or sold,… or possibly ended up as a waqf!). The reclamation of the land must have had a major effect on the coastal communities (were the owners compensated, iwonder?). Are there any studies about how the communities have changed since?

  67. Ahmed says:

    This is one of the most interesting debates i ever read.

    While everyone here tries to claim objectivity, I’ll be honest and personal. Here’s my story.

    I graduated froma private school in Bahrain. I was afforded this luxury through loans taken by mother and father. My parents sacrificed over 65% of their salaries to educate me and my brother.

    Once highschool was over, parents went into financial difficulties and i wasn’t able to travel abroad to continue my education.

    I had to work from 8 AM to 6:30 PM as a sales excutive at one of the banks here in Bahrain, for a salary of BD 180.

    My car was a BD 200 cressida that my dad got for me.

    It wasn’t air conditioned, so i always had a few spare t-shirts in my car to change as a i drive from one customer’s premises to another.

    But after i saved a few Dinars, and with further help from my parents, i joined one of the institutions in Bahrain, paid for it, and studied part-time from the 6:30PM till 10PM at night.

    I finished my diploma, and i opted to skip the bachelor’s degree and go for a post-graduate degree. (I don’t want to share specifics to conceal my identity)

    I studied for my post-graduate degree using a long-distance course, it couldn’t have cost me more than BD500 in total for three years of study. Books were photocopied off of friends, and alot of help material was from the internet.

    I graduated with the highest marks in the entire GCC.

    By this time i changed professions a number of times, my salary was BD700 by now.

    After my graduation by a couple of months i was handpicked by a Bank in Saudi Arabia, they contacted me. No wastas, nothing.

    My salary is now over BD3,000. Yes, no typos here.

    Hassan, I never looked at the glass being half empty, I always supported the King and Al-wefaq, because this give and take is good for the country. The King is not perfect and certainly Al-wefaq isn’t so.

    There are no absolutes in life, except for death. Everything is relative and based on your perspectives.

    Al-Quran says is3a ya 3abd (for English speakers: If you shal work, I will work with you) and tafa2alou bel khair (always be optimistic and you shal find what you desire).

    Now, that means we should ALWAYS see the glass as half-full, so we can seek to fill it.

    The turning point in my life, was a beautiful one. All the students in my class, including myself, were complaining about the lack of opportunities, secretenriasm, racism, corruption, etc. The teacher told us “you might lack the opportunity now, but when the opportunity comes, you must be ready for it”.

    Now Hassan, asks yourself this, are you ready for the opportunity when it comes??

    Those projects give us and a lot of Bahrainis plenty of opportunities in the future, I suggest you plan on seizing those.

    Hassan, you also mentioned that degrees in Biology, Physics, Chemistry, etc, are forms of Education. While that is true in the literaly sense, it isn’t quite so in the environment that is Bahrain. Mahmood’s stated “relevant education”, and this is key. If you don’t have the right tools for the trade, simply change your tools, or in this case re-educate yourself. I’m afraid this is the same garbage you are used to hearing.

    You also asked for proof of you being racist or whatever, well it’s quite clear in every response you make. You thought Sam was an expatriate because of his nickname, you said that one of the companies was racist for not employing Bahrainis (because and i assume Bahrainis from a foreing decent aren’t Bahrainis). All i can say is SHAME on you. I consider anyone living on this soil as much as a Bahraini as I am regardless of whether they were born here, or were given the nationalities upon their arrival. I pride myself for a country rich in culture and different traditions, we have a choice of who we want to be, or what group to join.

    You speak of dignity, what kind of dignity or self-pride allows a person to stay at home unemployed? What kind of dignity and pride allows a person to burn property at the cost of others’ well being?

    On a side point, I agree with Chanad almost completely here. Why are the monies belonging to the matams in Bahrain souly dedicated to food, renovations, decorations and paying mullas their salaries? Why aren’t they doing more for the community like building schools, hospitals, or those parks that some of you mentioned? Why aren’t they sponsoring students who deserve scolarships but couldn’t get any because of one reason or another? I guess Al-wefaq and Al-Minbar should answer these questions, shouldn’t they?

  68. mahmood says:

    Ahmed thank you. You are an inspiration for a lot of people. More power to you and I wish you the best now and in the future.

    Regarding waqf: (endowments) another thought I would like to add to the mix is another question which I would like you to consider: Where are the projects which are financed by Shi’a money? Why is it, even though we have tens of multimillionaire and even some who probably are billionaires, in the area, we do not see them employing their money to build these cities and other real-estate development?

    Most of the projects I have come to know are financed by Sunni individuals and companies with the money coming in from Saudi, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE.

    Shouldn’t we demand that the endowment committee, the khoms collectors and the rich Shi’a families put their money in projects in the community so that they too generate wealth and a better way of life? Where is that money hiding?

    Yes a lot of those families are industrialists and traders, and some of their monies are employed in their factories and businesses, but I think, personally, they should bring the money out and start investing in the community by doing large projects like these. Giving money to the maatems to buy sheep and rice in certain times of the year is not an investment. Utilising that money to generate opportunities is.

    There are too many faces to this problem, if you like, but blaming the government and the ruling family should not be the exclusive activity. We need to look at ourselves and ask hard questions of those who lead our community because we have a right to share the wealth too.

    Maybe it IS time to impose personal and corporate tax. That way at least we would know that hiding money sees the light and gets used for the better of the community. And it is very much high time to regularise the collection of alms and khoms. At least audit them and only allow those who are registered and authorised to actually collect those funds.

  69. Been There, Done That says:

    I think people in Bahrain need to thank their lucky stars for even getting a dollar of investment. Guys – we are lagging behind most of the Gulf when compared to volume and rate of investment happening elsewhere – even Doha makes us look like a joke these days!

    So be grateful that someone actually sees Bahrain as an opportunity. In fact, its amazing with all the political turbulence, with all the corruption scandals and an increasingly restive population (which some of you have so eloquently demonstrated), that there are projects, investments and development taking place.

    A final point – I have to say I am impressed with Ahmed’s story and delighted for what his own efforts have achieved for him. But he is not the first and there are many examples, I myself have been a Bahraini living overseas for the last 10 years. Upon realizing that the little island could not offer much, I looked elsewhere, and today sit in a comfortable situation. I see around me new Bahrainis arriving here everyday, young, energetic and ambitious. I am sure they will succeed. This is the key, Bahrainis have several options facing them:

    1. They must stop complaining and embrace the status quo
    2. They must accept that they will never see or receive the comforts afforded by governments in other GCC countries
    3. They must stop asking what government will do for them and what they can do for Bahrain, their communities and their families
    4. They must understand that it is through hard work and hard work alone that they will achieve and progress, this is relevant across the education and career paths
    5. They must embrace the concept of “rugged individualism”, a concept of self struggle to achieve devised in the Great Depression of the 1930s, and seek opportunities and not wait for them to show up at their door step.

    AND lastly, if Bahrain is not giving you what you want, then leave, the GCC is a US$500 billion economy and you have the advantage of not requiring, visas work permits or anything that stops you from immediately showing up and finding work. Take advantage of this, we are a small nation, a small economy but we are surrounded by the highest concentration of wealth on the planet…..

    Good luck and God bless….

  70. Sam says:

    if Bahrain is not giving you what you want, then leave

    Whilst I agree with some of the points you’ve raised, I don’t feel so strongly about ‘walking’. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say ‘If your not happy, then just leave!’ I’m sure it’ll come as no surprise that many have done just that in disgruntlement & disappointment. Bright sparks who have left these shores and have done fantastically well abroad. The government acknowledge this fact & have said it’s a real issue that needs to be tackled. They don’t want gifted individuals leaving the country.

    You will always get people who feel governments have failed them or that society has failed them, but the response should never be “well just sod off !”

  71. mahmood says:

    Sam, I agree with BTDT. Imam Ali said:

    الفقر في الوطن غربة والغني في الغربة وطن

    That translates to “Poverty in one’s home is estrangement and wealth abroad is home.” Roughly meaning that “home is where you hang your hat” and not bound by a geographical location, or even a passport or identity card.

    Great nations have been made by immigrants, look at the New World and look at the countries immigrants hailed from, both – in most cases – benefited. Look at how Indians especially have made homes for themselves in all corners of the world and flourished. So I don’t see any shame whatsoever for someone to follow his or her dream abroad if opportunities are not available here.

    There are opportunities available here of course, if one would just accept the positive and work hard at elevating oneself. These projects will provide a plethora of careers, not just jobs. It just needs a pragmatic person who will go and investigate and grab opportunities by themselves rather than depending on bankrupt hearsay normally heard in mosques and majlises.

  72. Ahmed says:

    Mahmood, it’ll be really interesting if you can make a piece about education in Bahrain. Although it’s free, it’s apparantly not everyone’s cup of tea. I’m not surprised, look at the students in the government school who take 15 minutes to gather around to stand in a line under the hot sun for another 15 minute speech. If that’s how you start your day, then, well, how’s the rest of the day going to be?

    I don’t want to dwell too long on this since it’s irrelevant to the topic, but didn’t know how else to raise this issue.

    With regard to Sam’s point, yes it’s absolutely annoying when someone tells you what you should do with your life, especially telling you to leave !

    But the fact remains, that sometimes leaving is the best option; whether you came up with the idea yourself or not is irrelevant. You are also right, the only response shouldn’t be to sod off ! While leaving is an option, so is staying. It’s a dynamic formula based on the variables of one’s life rather than an absolute solution.

    I mean when Muslim scholars preach that you should travel all the way to China for knowledge, if you have to, why is it so difficult for those listening to consider the nearby Gulf regions for work?

    I have another story to tell, of a very close friend of mine, who is now happily married, with a beuatiful daughter, and living and working in Dubai.

    He was a drunk, yes a DRUNK ! His beautiful baby daughter sobered him up though, and he chose to continue his education at the age of 28. By then he was merely a typist or something, and was a highschool drop out.

    He is now one of the holders of many degrees, including a number of post-graduate degrees as well. He found his admirers and employers in Bahrain more than loving and thankful for his work, but he too found better opportunities for himself and family abroad.

    There are many cinderella stories out there despite all the problems and issues discussed in Bahrain. I believe that while we should seek solutions to remedy these problems, we shouldn’t neglect that there are many opportunities for success. It’s all about your own approach to things and what you believe in.

    I wish everyone the best of luck, and i hope the investments continue pouring in

  73. Lee Ann says:

    Wow….I was basically called a liar by not one but two posters….my facts about the two bahrainis can be verified personally by calling the Nass office in Diyaar …the one near Amwaj islands…17471305…ask for the project manager…then ask him about employing bahraini workers…and about those two specifically. See whether I need to lie to point out the obvious.

    Also, I cant comment on expats salaries…only on mine. I make Bd300…I use that Bd300 to pay all my bills and provide for my 5 kids…thats it. I dont get a housing allowance…free car…nothing…so dont jump to conclusions just because Im not Bahraini….Im struggling to make ends meet just like over half the population…which I feel gives me a right to comment or complain about any damn thing I want to in this country. And dont answer back with…if you dont like it just leave…remember my salary…not conductive to 6 airplane tickets outta here…otherwise I would be gone in a heartbeat….but until then…Im here and Im telling it like I see it.

  74. mahmood says:

    I believe that while we should seek solutions to remedy these problems, we shouldn’t neglect that there are many opportunities for success. It’s all about your own approach to things and what you believe in.

    I agree. The issue is – and I must confess that I have fallen into this trap myself several times – that people tend to look at things in either black or white, no shades in between, and that’s what gives them the impetus to blame someone or something or some entity for their misfortune. I strongly believe that it’s not like that, we can and should multitask. There is no harm whatsoever in standing by your ideals, demanding your rights but also take note that you need to make money to live and even prosper. Looking at it like this will give you another perspective which could – if used properly – expedite positive change.

    Lee Ann I salute you for what you are trying to do and to raise your children as best you could. I hope that other more beneficial avenues open up for you.

  75. Sam says:

    “home is where you hang your hat”

    I understand. I was just venting my frustration at those who are all too quick to show you the door for airing disagreement or dislike.

    Maybe it IS time to impose personal and corporate tax.

    If introduced, I think it might really have the potential to transform this country and increase living standards for all those who live and work here. It might even change the leecher/seeder relationship between society and govt.

  76. If introduced, I think it might really have the potential to transform this country and increase living standards for all those who live and work here. It might even change the leecher/seeder relationship between society and govt.

    Like what’s happening in Jordan?

  77. mahmood says:

    Qassim, what’s happening in Jordan, please elucidate.

    Sam, introduction of taxation denotes the necessity of representation, proper representation. I think those in power fully recognise this; hence, this attitude of “gifts” rather than rights. But it will happen. Dubai is publicly considering the provision of value added tax to compensate for the reduction of customs fees. I guess it will fly there without too much fuss. But here, well, it might be a different story.

    It’s not what we’re talking about here though, but to tie it with the topic at hand, taxation, if introduced, could certainly be used to create the infrastructural projects required to sustain these developments. But they will not be introduced without wrenching more political rights for the people.

  78. ammaro says:

    hassan; I wasn’t replying to you, and my comment about xenophobia wasn’t aimed at you, it was aimed at Hameed Al-Basri’s worry about foreigners invading his land in the original article (hence the words “two things about this article“. don’t be paranoid, not everyone is attacking you.

    I for one understand and see around me the consequence of such big projects. In a perfect world, they would contribute to the people of the town they are built in, of the country, but here in Bahrain things are a little skewed. A project gets built right next to your house and you have zilch to show for it. That’s the unfortunate truth, but then that’s just the reality we live in. It sucks, but then life’s a bitch. You find your own way out of it if you can, or drown.

  79. anon says:

    هممممممممممممم مادري من وين ابتدي ما خليتو شي بس عندي جم شغلة ودي اقولها:
    اول شي هالمشروع زين اذا بيفتح ابواب للزرق حق هالمواطنين اللي صافين جدام وزارة العمل و يستلمون اعانة البطالة
    2. علشان تتسهل امور هالمشروع الحكومة لازم تشوف لها صرفة حق الخدمات اللي عليها طلب وايد مثل الكهربه Ùˆ الماي …. الصيف للحين بأوله Ùˆ من الحين قاعدين نقره فالجرايد عن انقطاعات فبعض المجمعات مب بس فالكهربه حتى فالماي. Ùˆ هني الحلول الترقيعية التمبريري مب مقبولة اذا الحكومة ناوية تستقطب مشاريع عقارية زيادة لازم تفكر فحلول جذرية تنفع هالمشاريع Ùˆ المواطنين
    3. بالنسبة للتعليم لا تقصون على نفسكم التعليم فالمدارس الحكومية مب ذاك الزود لكن مثل ما يقول المثل الجود من الماجود و الواسطة تلعب دور حتى فالبعثات و لحد ينكر هالشي
    4. حق البعض اللي دشو على الوضع السياسي الوضع السياسي فالبحرين بصراحة مب ذاك الزود البرلمان اللي عندنا بدل ما ينفعنا ضارنا … مصاريف Ùˆ مخاسير عالفاضي Ùˆ نواب كل همهم لبس هيفاء Ùˆ لا نانسي عجرم مالت عليهم
    5. تبون اصلاح اوكي ما في مشكلة بس الكل لازم يتنازل السالفة لازم يكون فيها اخذ Ùˆ عطا Ùˆ لين اقول الكل اقصد هني الحكم مع بقية الاطياف السياسية … Ùˆ قضايا مهمة يجب تسويتها مثل التجنيس Ùˆ وضع قانون يديد للجنسية ينظم العملية اكثر
    6. حق اللي يتحلطمون …. اوكي الوضع فالبحرين مب ذاك الزود مقارنة باخوانا فالدول الخليجية الثانية كل اللي ابي اقوله ان من حقنا ان نطالب برفع المستوى المعيشي لكن ضمن الحدود المعقولة اللي موارد الدولة تقدر تغطيها اما ان تكون عندنا نفس الامتيازات اللي يتمتعون فيها اخوانا يعني هاذي شوي قوية ان قدرنا عليها سنة او سنتين ماراح نقدر نستمر على هالوضع اكثر اليوم درام البترول صك ال130 دولار لكن دوام الحال من المحال باجر الله العالم يمكن يدق بنفسه Ùˆ ينزل
    7. زبدة الحجي ان الحمد لله على كل حال صدقوني احنا احسن من غيرنا للحين التعليم Ùˆ الصحة ببلاش Ùˆ الاسعار اللي تفرضها الحكومة رمزية Ùˆ ما تمثل التكلفة الحقيقية لتقديم هالخدمات حتى اسعار الكهربه Ùˆ الماي مدعومة من الحكومة … في بعض الخدمات اللي يبي لها متابعة Ùˆ حلول جذرية مثل الاسكان بس بعد اعيد Ùˆ اقول احنا احسن من غيرنا
    8. حق اللي يطالبون بفرض ضرايب على المواطنين اقول لهم توها الناس على هالشي و بتفرضونها على من؟ من زود المعاشات يعني؟
    9. بالنهاية بعد اعيد Ùˆ اقول حمدو ربكم على النعم اللي منعمها علينا صج عندنا بعض المشاكل لكن صدقوني اقولها للمرة المليون احنا احسن من غيرنا Ùˆ اي اقصد من الناحية السياسية -على العيوب الموجودة فالعملية – لكن نبقى احسن من غيرنا على الاقل الحين الناس تقدر تاخذ راحتها فالحجي Ùˆ الحكم فنفس الوقت صار متقبل اكثر لاراء الناس …. الخدمات عليها بعض الملاحظات Ùˆ من حق المواطنين انهم يطالبون بخدمات ممتازة …. لكن بعد نبقى احسن من غيرنا
    10. حق اللي بيتصيدون فالمياه العكرة الرد بارز لهم من الحين اي نعم تعلمت فمدارس خاصة Ùˆ الحمد لله مستورة فلحد يقعد يقول هالكلام كاتبه واحد ولد عز ما يحس باللي احنا نحس فيه … للمعلومية اعيش ففريج اذا طق المطر عليه تطفح فيه المجاري من اول خمس دقايق … لكن بعد حامد ربي على كل حال
    جني شوي طولت بالهذرة بس ما عليه استحملوني شوي

  80. 6. حق اللي يتحلطمون …. اوكي الوضع فالبحرين مب ذاك الزود مقارنة باخوانا فالدول الخليجية الثانية كل اللي ابي اقوله ان من حقنا ان نطالب برفع المستوى المعيشي لكن ضمن الحدود المعقولة اللي موارد الدولة تقدر تغطيها اما ان تكون عندنا نفس الامتيازات اللي يتمتعون فيها اخوانا يعني هاذي شوي قوية ان قدرنا عليها سنة او سنتين ماراح نقدر نستمر على هالوضع اكثر اليوم درام البترول صك ال130 دولار لكن دوام الحال من المحال باجر الله العالم يمكن يدق بنفسه و ينزل

    أخي الكريم،

    ما الذي تقصده برفع المستوى المعيشي؟ المعاشات؟؟؟؟ الحكومة لها سلطة رفع المعاشات في القطاع الحكومي فقط، Ùˆ لا الخاص…

    الإعانات؟ تتم لناس دون ناس – خصوصاً لحديثي الجنسية… الخمسين دينار لا تساوي 1% من دخل يوم من البترول…

    Ùˆ في الوقت ذاته ترتفع النسب المئوية من استقطاع المعاش لتصل إلى 9% بحلول 2010 أو بعد هذا بقليل، صدقني، مسألة وقت… أضف على هذا الضرائب القادمة… يعني صرنا مثل الأردن، 15% رايحة على ولا شي! 😀

    على فكرة… فلوس البترول ما بتوصل الينا، بس تروح لمشاريع الف Ùˆ باء Ùˆ جيم من الناس… هذا إضافة إلى اراضي البحرين!

    Ùˆ خلاصة الكلام، لو ظلينا نتكلم لبكرة ما راح يغير شي من الواقع الذي سنشهده Ùˆ الذي منه سيتضرر المواطن Ùˆ قطاع الأعمال الصغيرة أكثر من غيرهم 😀

    مع التحية،،،

  81. Well Ahmed, I am sorry that you have to go through all those hardships to reach to where you are right now and like everybody else here I wish you all the best. However the fees your daddy and mommy had to pay for your private education is certainly more than many families annual income and these whom I’m talking about. I am talking about families that can hardly feed their kids let aside provide them access to private education.

    Now let’s further investigate those figures you provided in your comments.

    My parents sacrificed over 65% of their salaries to educate me and my brother.

    If you have done your private education in one of the cheap to average private schools (in terms of cost, for your parents must been very stretched in your education budget to take you to one of the expensive ones), so let’s say the fees of that school was something around BD.1000 per semester, with a bit help from basic mathematics, two semesters a year = BD. 2000 or BD.4000 for two kids, and dividing the BD. 4000 by 12 for the monthly cost of your education, leaves us with BD. 333.33 a month.

    And again with basic mathematics help and knowing that they had to pay 65% of their combined income for your education, we can easily find out that your parents combined income was around 512 and 820 fils only (so I would say each one of your parents used to make around BD.250/month).

    And after paying the fees for your private education, they used to live with 180 a month and from that BD.180 left for them, they had to pay for housing, transport and food and I suppose they wouldn’t be able to even give you any pocket money!!! (bare in mind that I haven’t calculated the interest on those loans and if did, they would have basically needed to barrow after paying the fees of that average cost private education).

    But after i saved a few Dinars, and with further help from my parents, i joined one of the institutions in Bahrain, paid for it, and studied part-time from the 6:30PM till 10PM at night.

    Even though they are left with nothing, they could still manage to be by your side again and help you with your part-time studies!!!

    couldn’t have cost me more than BD500 in total for three years of study

    I’m not surprised that you’ve I graduated with the highest marks in the entire GCC, because I’m sure you are very smart and the grade you manage to attain is very great. For god’s sake what kind of post graduate degree that cost BD.500?!

    The King is not perfect and certainly Al-wefaq isn’t so.

    So I suppose you’re saying that I’m pro-Alwefaq here, where the hell you brought that from?!…. Ooh I’m sorry, they must have been teaching the logic the other way around.

    Well, fuck Al-wefaq too, it is one of our problems inciting sectarianism unconsciously.

    Al-Quran says is3a ya 3abd

    I have never come across this verse in any quran I ever read in my whole life.

    in this case re-educate yourself

    I thought we have done with this re-education thingi!, well, if you really work for one of the Saudi banks, then you must have had me so many times as a consultant helping you and your colleagues to run the business properly. I haven’t been talking about myself and I don’t to, so please spare us the bragging part.

    You thought Sam was an expatriate because of his nickname.

    Well, again going back to the kind of logic you’ve been studding I am not surprised. Mistaking somebody for being non-bahraini in a country where the majority of its inhabitants are non-bahrainis is some sort of racism. Brilliant, this is the most interesting definition of racism I have ever heard in my entire life.

    because and i assume Bahrainis from a foreing decent aren’t Bahrainis

    is this again, something you’ve learned in those schools?, to put words in others’ mouths and assume it’s true. Where the hell I said anything like this?! Dear, if I criticize a firm for hiring people on basis other than qualifications then this is not racism and it doesn’t even mean I have anything against those people whom they’ve hired. Didn’t I said many of them are close friends of mine???? Do I hate my friends then???

    Guys, you either read what I type here or chose to continue to read what’s in your brains and prejudge everything I say and then I have other more important businesses to take care of.

    Aaal al-wefaq aaaaaaal

  82. mahmood says:

    Hassan, what would an ideal situation be like to you? What political and social system would satisfy you? From re-reading what you have written, you seem to advocate a socialist nanny-state where everyone gets rewarded regardless of output. Amy correct here?

  83. Ahmed says:

    Hassan, your assumptions about the school fees are wrong. You assume that my parents earned their first salary on the day the annual fees were due, you should have included savings from work earned in previous years.

    The post graduate degree that cost BD 500 for three years is the kind where you only pay for examination fees and books. Since books are borrowed from friends, that leaves examination fees. At around BD60 per exam, multiplied by 14 exams, well that’s equivalent to BD 840. Subtract 5 examinations due to various exemptions, then you’re subtracting BD 300. That leave’s BD 540. Visit http://www.accaglobal.com and find out for yourself.

    I haven’t assumed you’re a supporter of Al Wefaq and neither did i imply that. I am a supporter of Al-wefaq (or atleast have been) and that is what i stated.

    You don’t know the kind of logic i’ve been studying. Regardless, I haven’t given a definition for racism, i merely stated that your comments imply to some readers that you are.

    Thank you for wishing me good luck, i appreciate that. I wish you all the best too.

    However, you have an issue with trust and truth. You questioned Lee Anne, Mahmood and myself about a number of points we mentioned. If you think we are not truthful, then you have no need to debate us, as it would be a futile debate.

    I am humouring your thoughts, because I believe they are genuine, and deserve to be debated. I also find that many share your points of view.

    Further, we are responding to what you have typed. If our responses seem irrelevant to you and at a tangent to the points you’ve raised, maybe you haven’t set out your points of view as clearly as you believe you have.

    If i haven’t responded to any of your other points or assumptions, it’s because i feel they are irrelevant to this debate, and frankly quite insulting.

    Further, you haven’t added any value to this debate since your first outbursts, you haven’t answered any of Mahmood’s questions, and you haven’t debated any of my suggestions. All you have been doing is accusing us of lying or being arrogant, complaining about one thing or another, and being defensive to every response we’ve made.

  84. Lee,

    I for myself didn’t call you a liar, I just found it quite hard to believe that story which was very simplistic and put all the blame on those lazy Bahrainis. I find it quite hard to believe it because I on the other hand know and see every fucking day Bahrainis working under the heat of sun for sub BD.200 a month and they don’t run away (you may pay a visit to any petrol station and you’ll see 10s of them and please be kind and tip them). Now this is pure racism, when you think that most Bahrainis are spoiled and cannot take any hardship – even if it is just boredom – and they are anything but productive and this is a think I can never accept. So please stop it here and don’t call us names so we don’t say more!

    Coming to your BD. 300 and your 5 kids, I think this is a crime to bring you over here for this small package and without any allowances to cover for you and your kids health, schooling and housing. It is a crime against the Bahrainis before it is a crime against you and your kids, basically because you will be competing with us on free and subsidized facilities we have here, from a bed in hospital to desk in a school. This is just for your employer to make more money.

    If you tell me that you don’t or won’t take your kids to government schools and use only private hospitals, then I will strongly doubt that you are on BD. 300 without any allowances, so kindly don’t force me to do some more simple mathematics.

    thus, we don’t want to deny Mr Nass, and the rest of bourgeoisies, the right to develop his businesses and to maximize his wealth, we just don’t want to be on our account. Having a big family like yours with small package like yours is a crime against me and you for Nass company to make more profits. This is what I don’t like and don’t approve and will stand against the rest of my damn life.

    Mahmood, I am stupid as you’ve said so many times here so don’t expect a solution from a stupid guy like me; I have promised though that my response would be in Arabic and in my blog, and man it will be shocking for I haven’t been called so many names just for disagreeing with somebody’s else views.

  85. anon says:

    reply to 82
    اوكي باعترف المعاشات عندنا فالبحرين متدنية و لازم الحكومة تشوف لها صرفة مع هالموضوع . بس زيادة الراتب مب الحل المناسب لان هالزيادة راح تقابلها زيادة فالاسعار . الحل ان الحكومة تصرف بطاقات تموينية و توجه الدعم حق الشرائح اللي تستحق هالدعم اكثر لان حسب النظام الحالي الكل اللي محتاج و اللي مو محتاج قاعد يستفيد من المنتجات اللي تدعمها الحكومة. او ان الحكومة توسس شركة عامة لاستيراد المواد الاساسية علشان تساهم فتخفيض الاسعار و تقدم هالمنتجات باسعار مدعومة بس بعد المشكلة في هالحل ان الكل اللي معتاز و اللي مو معتاز راح يستفيدز
    2. بالنسبة لاستقطاعات المعاش … اللي اعرفه Ùˆ صححني اذا كنت غلطان ان لازم الحكومة ترفع من نسب الاستقطاع حق التقاعد Ùˆ التامينات الاجمتاعية علشان لا يصير عجز فالهيئتين
    3. على طاري القطاع الخاص الحكومة ما لها اي سلطة مثل ما تفضلت بالنسبة للمعاشات Ùˆ الامتيازات اللي يحصلها الموظفين اللي يشتغلون فهالقطاع … في حل بس راح يكون مكلف ان الحكومة تقدم دعم لرواتب موظفين القطاع الخاص اللي رواتبهم ما تتجاوز حد معين بس هالحل مثل ما قلت راح يكون مكلف Ùˆ غالي
    4. بالنسبة للامتيازات اللي يحصل عليها المواطنين Ùˆ بينهم حديثي التجنس … لازم السلطة التشريعية الدايخة بدل ما تنشغل فامور تافهة مثل لبس نانسي عجرم انها تحط قانون يديد للجنسية مشابه للي موجود في قطر او الكويت … الجنسية تكون انواع بالتأسيس Ùˆ بالتجنيس (Ùˆ التجنيس بعد يكون انواع) Ùˆ تصدر الحكومة شهادات جنسية توضح فيها شلون اكتسب حاملها Ùˆ بكل صراحة الجنسية … الانتفاع بالخدمات الحكومية بالذات السكن لازم يكون بالتدريج يعني بعد مرور فترة من اكتسابه الجنسية …. ادري في ناس بتقول عنصري بالطقاق لان عيال الديرة حقوقهم ضاعت Ùˆ السبة عمليات التجنيس الغير مدروسة
    سلامز

  86. فالبحرين مب ذاك الزود مقارنة باخوانا فالدول الخليجية الثانية

    I believe this is completely fraud and kind of the propaganda the regime succeeded to spread among many of us.

    Bahrain’s GDP per capita ($34,700) is even higher than that of Saudi ($20,700) and that of Oman ($19,100).

    We have a GDP per capita that’s 67% more than that of Saudi and 81% more than that of Oman. Now don’t please tell us that Bahrain is poorer than the other gulf states so we shouldn’t ask to be treated like the other gulfies, we are actually richer than some of them, it is just the distribution that’s not fare here.

  87. Sam says:

    Oh the soft sounds of that beautiful stringed instrument 🙄

  88. Lee Ann says:

    Hassan

    Once again you have me wrong…all my kids are in govt schools…private education is still a dream even for some of us non Bahrainis…I couldnt afford private health care if my life depended on it(and a few times it has) and Im not here in Bahrain on any kind of package…I was married to a Bahraini for 20 years. Im newly divorced and this job was my first job. So now you can remove your foot from your mouth and stop tiring yourself out jumping to all sorts of conclusions about people based on a few written posts. btw Ive lived here over 20 years….I have seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears Bahrainis refusing to do and complaining about any sort of job that requires showing up on time…staying the whole day…and actually doing something more productive then talking on their mobiles or reading the paper. I know that not all Bahrainis are like that…but a fair share of them seem to believe the govt owes them something and until someone comes and knocks on their doors and gives them everything they “deserve” to have as Bahraini citizens…then they will continue to bitch and moan and make the rest of us want to puke. Nobody but nobody in this life gets anything for free…if you get something for free…its probably worthless anyway…which I might say speaks volumes at the state of the free education in this country and the free health care. When something is free you usually get what you “paid for” so to speak…in this case nothing for nothing.

    The govt doesnt seem too interested in educating its children properly and allowing them the opportunities to face the market place head on…the govt seems more interested in feeding its people just enough to make them feel that nipple is always gonna be there to take care of them…when in reality…it will dry up just like every nipple that ever fed anything. So stop the bitching and moaning about what you dont have and try being happy for whatever the hell it us you(general you not specifically you) do have…then go out and work for whatever else you need. If you are one of the few lucky ones that has a good financial life…then think about giving a hand to some Bahrainis that dont have similar opportunities…when you all realize that the govt isnt too intersted in helping you all live financially secure and loan free lives…then maybe you will concentrate less on expecting something from them…and more on expecting more from yourselves. Sorry to sound harsh…but living in a country in which a majority of the native population seem to feel that the slver spoon they apparently were born with…was ruthlessly stolen right out of their mouths at some point…but they are always in hope of having it reinserted….if they just wait it out long enough….eventually makes even a broken record sound better in comparison. sheesh!

  89. mahmood says:

    Hassan, you’re not just stupid, but you are also a grade-A ass hole too. You are not living in Bahrain, but in your own personal la-la land, so do stop using the Royal WE and US, you do NOT represent US and we could do very well indeed without you. You can take that erudite Arabic post and flush it. I am sure it will only expose your bigotry, racism and narrow-mindedness, so please, for your sake, don’t embarrass yourself any further.

    Lee Ann, don’t give Hassan the time of day. he claims to be a “consultant” in the financial sector, what I would like to know is which establishments he supposedly consulted for in order for me to avoid them all if at all possible. If they believe such a bigot and enact his so called consultancy, then there is absolutely no hope for them in this world.

    I am absolutely disgusted.

  90. Nasser says:

    Well i’ve been following this debate.

    It is a shame Mahmood that you have to descend to name-calling by calling Hasan and A**hole. I don’t use those kind of words and I wouldn’t want my children to read them either. Really there is not much point arguing with you…Chanad, Just me, Hassan, Qassim have debated with you, put you choose to ignore the main thrust of the argument and pick on the details forcing the debate to get reduced to trivialities.

    A leopard doesn’t change his skin; in all the debates you’ve had on your blog one thing is certain:

    you’re a die-hard neo-liberal buffoon

  91. Been There, Done That says:

    Well said Lee Ann, “nothing for nothing”. You are correct, people need to realize that from the government’s perspective that all these things are forms of control. You don’t need to rule with an iron fist to subdue a population, there are things mightier than the sword. The destruction of any viable middle class, through conditions that are conducive to poverty, ignorance, disease and neglect are all forms of control. What you are left with are a broken and divided people bickering amongst themselves, which really is a case in point when you read this blog.

  92. Ahmed says:

    there’s an arabic saying, it goes:

    نعيب زمانا والعيب فينا وما لزماننا عيب سوانا

    roughly translates to: we blame time or life as a whole, when we should be blaming our selves, and life could only be blamed having us live in it.

    Make of that what you will.

  93. mahmood says:

    It is a shame Mahmood that you have to descend to name-calling by calling Hasan and A**hole.

    Nasser, it’s quite interesting when you keep quiet when he calls a number of those patiently debating with him liars, hypocrites, traitors and a whole plethora of those choice words and you choose to lurk, and when I chose to describe him in the vernacular, which is a legitimate way to describe Hassan as far as I am concerned, you get up on your high horse and go off your rocker.

    Excellent. You were waiting to pounce, you did, but landed in your own mess.

    You can go back to lurking now and let the debate continue.

    Hassan, we’re still waiting for your answers, but be brief and stay on topic.

  94. Nasser says:

    when he calls a number of those patiently debating with him liars, hypocrites, traitors

    I needed to verify this statement. I ran the Find command on those three words and they don’t come up under Hassan’s postings.

    Maybe you THINK he is swearing at you, but in actual fact I think you’ll find your the only one doing so.

  95. like it or not says:

    in the end of the day this project is going to happen whether you like it or not. as a result the price of all the land in its vicinity is going to skyrocket. if your still unhappy when its complete sell your land to house and a huge profit and move somewhere else.

  96. amazed says:

    I think there is quite a bit of egoism in this debate.

    I think people are not listening to each other here and things have become personal when they should not have become so. (it is sad to see mahmood go down that road especially when he put in red ink “Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument” in the post a comment field..sorry mahmood if this was slightly offensive but just to remind you as we like your blog)

    As mahmood was saying..I do believe that hard work and being positive pays because that is what God has promised and as a muslim one should believe and keep on working with a strong faith. Tawakul we call it.

    As hassan was saying..I also think that there is extreme injustice and discrimination in Bahrain which makes it unfair to blame the youth of bahrain for their negativity as their hard work does go in vain due to their sect, race, family name accent..etc. this negativity and attitude does harm them more than they realise however it is unfair for those that have been blessed to enjoy the fruits of their own labour to look down upon those who have not. it is also unfair to pacify them by saying nothing can be done.

    we should help each other rather than foster mistrust and personal vendettas. in countries where there is no discrimination youth still go down a wrong road and do mistakes and need to be directed and helped. In Bahrain it is worse because they actually do suffer injustice.

    it would be nice to see both side of this story, mahmood and hassan, instead of arguing working together to help those who suffered injustice or discrimination to find jobs, to pick themselves up, to show them examples of people who worked and earned their living. You cannot change their negativity by just condemning them. you have to dip their finger deeper in the glass so they can actually believe that it is half full and that if they work they may reach that half.

    there is a lot of blame to go around however I think if we rather than shout at each other try and work together even on a small scale things can get better. I don’t want to sound hippie but I have seen some bahraini web forums (where you can find a lot of rubbish) open up a small forum for helping people find jobs and although a lot of the jobs seem to be out of reach of the poor people in those villages quite a few got jobs and it made me happy to see that forums are finally helping people to make their lives better.

    now imagine people like mahmood and hassan who seem to know bahrain more than the villagers in those web forums (where they just collect job ads) imagine organising a few recruitment events in these villages (rather than in the Sheraton) with a few speaker from different fields with their own stories and a few willing companies who like to break norms. how much of a positive change would that bring? I dont know but I reckon it would at least open more horizons for these youth and give them some greatly needed motivation in face of the discrimination they have suffered.

    I know it may sound dreamy but my point is to put our energy in good use rather than descend in to shouting condemning and blaming.

    we should keep on trying harder!

    Salam

  97. mahmood says:

    I also think that there is extreme injustice and discrimination in Bahrain which makes it unfair to blame the youth of bahrain for their negativity

    Amazed, that statement would be more appropriate for other spots in the world, Zimbabwe for instance. Not Bahrain. We do have injustice and discrimination, but I would not use “extreme” to describe them.

  98. amazed says:

    ok delete “extreme” from my previous post. and then what? are you listening to what I am saying? was most significant point in my post?

  99. mahmood says:

    Yes, it was the most significant part of your post as the other points raised have already been addressed. If you care to rephrase what you said and come up with a position of your own, I would love to engage you and laud your efforts at fostering collegial relationships.

  100. amazed says:

    That’s sad. oh well back to our own lives then.

  101. Ali says:

    for those who think study will work in bahrain, read this report in alwaqt newspaper today and find out how the system is managed

    الوقت – خاص:

    قيل ”إذا لم تكن تعرف أين يجب أن تذهب، فكل الطرق تفي بالغرض”. إنه يوم الأربعاء 4 يونيو/ حزيران الجاري. منذ الساعة السابعة والنصف صباحاً، حتى الثانية والنصف ظهراً. الطقس عند حرارة تصل 40 درجة مئوية. واقف عند بوابة وزارة التربية والتعليم. مرابط كل ذلك الوقت. كأن وقوفه يقول، إذا لم يكن أي شيء يفي بالغرض، فلا فرق إلى أين تذهب أو أين تقف. يحمل لافتة مكتوب عليها ”أنصفني يا سعادة وزير التربية. أحمل شهادة جامعية وأعمل حارس أمن في مدرسة”. دخولاً إلى الوزارة وخروجاً منها، كانت سيارات الموظفين تخطره، يلتفت إليه صغار الموظفين، يطالعونه بنظرة تنصف غرضه، ثم يعبرونه في صمت مكسور، لكن كبار الموظفين، يعبرون، فلا يومئون ولا يطالعون. ممعن هو في الوقوف، كلما اشتدت عليه الشمس، سلَّم لها جبهته وكلّف لها أمره. لعل الشمس تفي له بشيء من صهوة الغرض.

    يوم آخر جديد، الخميس 5 يونيو/ حزيران الجاري. الساعة السابعة والنصف صباحاً. حرارة الجو نفسها، يصاحبها لهذا اليوم غبار يميِّز طقسه. واقف عند البوابة نفسها. اللافتة نفسها. السيارات نفسها. الوقوف نفسه، الشمس والحروق والصهوة نفسها، الموظفون الصغار أنفسهم، والكبار الذين لا يومئون ولا يطالعون، والغرض نفسه.

    يقف محمد عند بوابة وزارة التربية والتعليم، لا ليقوم بحراستها كما يفعل عند باب مدرسته دائماً، هذه المرة يقف ليستجدي، يستجدي وقفة من سعادة الوزير، طمأنة، كلمة، إيماءة، أي شيء يمكن أن يخفف من حدَّة الصهوة، لكن شيئاً من هذا لا يحدث. ”يطوف بي سعادة الوزير دخولاً وخروجاً، لا يستوقفه استجدائي المعلّق على رقبتي، ولا تطرف عينه جهة شمسي”. محمد واحد من عدد من حرَّاس وزارة التربية والتعليم، ممن يتوفرون على شهادة جامعية. حصولهم على الشهادة الجامعية لم يكن سهلاً، لم يكن متوافراً لهم، كان مكلَّفاً، لكنهم كانوا يصرون عليه ”من قرية النويدرات أنا، عمري 31 سنة، والدي مدير مدرسة متقاعد، إخوتي معلمون ومعلمون أوائل، أنا ابنٌ لعائلة تقدر العلم، اقترضت مبلغ 10ØŒ000 دينار لأكمل دراستي الجامعية، ظننت أن الشهادة هي الطريق الذي سيصلني بغرضي، تكبدت عناءها وذلّ الدَّين، أنهيت دراستي في تخصص علم النفس من جامعة بيروت، احتضنت شهادتي وقلت في نفسي اليوم أتممت عليّ دَيني. مددت يدي وقلت هيت لك يا غرضي. ومنذ ذلك اليوم وأنا أمد يدي نحو غرض وشيك. ذهاباتي كلها انتظار. وما زلت واقفاً في الطريق”.

    محمد واقف يستجدي غرضه. غرضه ليس طموحاً فوق العادة، ليس استملاكاً ولا استهلاكاً ولا منصب ترف ولا وجاهة. غرضه حقّ أولي بسيط. حياة ملائمة فحسب. الاستجداء ذلٌّ قبيح. لكن العوز ذلٌّ أقبح. هل يمكننا أن نستعين على قبح بقبح آخر؟! بقاء العوز مع امتلاكك القدرة والمؤهل هو إمعان في القبح. إذا لم يكن أي شيء يفي بغرضك، فلا فرق بين أن تكون في قبح يستجدي لك، وبين أن تكون في قبح يقف بك. لا فرق سوى أن الأول، كان طريق محمد الأخير، أو هكذا يقول ”لا أعرف إلى أين، لكن لم يعد في وسعي أن أحتمل أكثر، طرقت كل الأبواب، ناضلت من أجل غرضي الذي هو حقي. عوقبت لأني لم اسكت عن طلب حقي. تم نقلي هذا العام بين خمس مدارس. كأنهم يقولون لي، إذا لم تكف عن الطلب، لن نكف عن العقاب. صبرت على كل هذا، لكن أكثر ما آلمني هو ما قاله لي أحد المسؤولين في الوزارة: أنت ناطور، وستبقى – طول عمرك – ناطوراً، وشهادتك ضعها في درجك؛ لأنها لن تنفعك”.

    اختار محمد أخيراً طريقته الأخيرة، أن يأتي ممثلاً نفسه بنفسه. لم يستعن بواجهة من جمعية مرخصّة أو تجمع غير مرخَّص. ربما تجنباً للوقوع في تهمة التسييس. تلك التهمة التي تسبق كل تحرِّك يطالب بحق لا يتحرَّك. تحرَّك محمد لوحده. يحمل هذا التحرِّك من جرأة الذهاب، ما لا تتوفر عليه جرأة العقوبة. استعان محمد بالشمس. بالشمس فقط. كيف تتحمل هذا الحر يا محمد؟ يجيب ”عدت بيتي بالأمس، وقد وجدت الدم يخرج من أنفي، من شدة ما تأثر بالحر والغبار، لكنني سأصبر”. وإلى متى أنت صابر في اعتصامك يا محمد؟ يجيب ”إلى أن ينصفني غرضي”. قالها لي، فغادرته أنا، وبقي – هو – واقفاً..

    بعد قليل. يسقط محمد مغشياً عليه من حرارة الشمس والتعب والألم. تأخذه سيارة الإسعاف بعيداً عن اعتصامه. كأن الشمس، قررت أن تنصف وقوف محمد، أن تريحه من صهوتها الحارقة، لأنها تعلم أن عيناً غيرها لن تلتفت إليه..

    لا نجد أقوى من الشمس لوصف الحقيقة، كانت شمس محمد شهادته، لكنها ليست شهادته الجامعية، شهادته في الشمس، حقيقته في الشمس، وقوفه في صهدتها، لقد رأوا شهادته في الشمس، وأنكروا الحقيقة، سقط محمد مغشيا عليه، لكن ليس مغشيا على المسؤولين الذين يريدونه ناطوراً. كان ناطوراً في شهادته، لكنه هذه المرة كان ناطوراً على الشمس، كي يؤمّن لها طريقا عبر جسده، لتقول حقيقته إلى سدنة الوزارة.

    كان الفيلسوف ديوجين يحمل قنديلاً في عزّ الشمس ويقول للناس أنا أبحث عن إنسان. وكان محمد يحمل الشمس على جسده ويقول لمسؤولي الناس أنا أبحث عن إنسان!! إنسان يشهدني وينصف غرضي، فهل الشمس لا تكفي لتروني؟! أم أن الشمس ما عادت تقوى على أن تمثل الحقيقة العارية؟!.

  102. loki says:

    “Hassan, you’re not just stupid, but you are also a grade-A ass hole too”

    wth?? Mahmood, you opened up the debate.

    I know its your blog, but perhaps one could expect you not to get worked up and start hurling insults. I noticed you removed “intelligent, informative” from your banner. Talk about sinking to someone else’s level and starting to dig.

  103. mahmood says:

    I went over the top there and I apologise.

  104. ammaro says:

    not related to the topic; Mahmood, i seem to be having issues reading some of the comments, they seem to veer off towards the right and out of the border, so some of them are cut off. all comments from #16 till about #99 are cut off; does anyone else have this issue?

  105. mahmood says:

    ok in FF, did you clear your cache?

  106. (The dust is starting to settle 😛 )

    Nothing to add, just the line above!

  107. Oh My says:

    Wow! Best debate ever. Exposed mahmood for what he truly is… a lot of hot air!

    He is easy to condemn the people for their protests but never heard him condemn the violence committed by the government and riot police. the furthest he goes to is condemn the events themselves saying oh its horrible that violence happens in Bahrain but never is able to directly blame the government for their violence and torture. Well he obviously is waiting for the day when they knock on his door and give him a well deserved position and salary for his canny services.

    In fact this so called blogger fighting for freedom and human rights is able to demand freedom for a detained Saudi blogger and give regular updates on him whilst his own countryman Bahraini blogger Abdullah Mohsin is not an issue for him even though he has been detained since December last year over the mysterious and magically “stolen weapon” case and he is in a dire state in prison due to his health problems. why is he not an issue? Well he obviously is an “uneducated” blogger who did not work hard enough to not be shot at, caught and tortured! He could have used his time more wisely by getting a “proper education” rather than waste it being a relentless activist for the unemployment committee. Did I also mention he is too polite and doesn’t call people names and maybe that is why he is viciously tortured in his prison.

    mahmood you are a hypocrite! Now you can indulge yourself in brainfarting by calling me names..since you’re gonna become one of the governments brainfart producers very soon anyway might as well start with your blog readers.

  108. Oh My says:

    And I can’t wait to read Hassan’s “Arabic” response..He has one of the best Bahraini blogs ever! His writings are pieces of art and a true representation of Bahrain today.

    Go Bani Khuza3a!

  109. bigot? says:

    Hassan, you’re not just stupid, but you are also a grade-A ass hole too. You are not living in Bahrain, but in your own personal la-la land, so do stop using the Royal WE and US, you do NOT represent US and we could do very well indeed without you. You can take that erudite Arabic post and flush it. I am sure it will only expose your bigotry, racism and narrow-mindedness, so please, for your sake, don’t embarrass yourself any further.

    Well it seems Mahmood is the bigot here! Just because someone disagreed with your opinion, sheesh!

  110. mahmood says:

    whilst his own countryman Bahraini blogger Abdullah Mohsin is not an issue for him even though he has been detained since December last year over the mysterious and magically “stolen weapon”

    Abdulla Mohsin was not detained for his blogging activities, unlike Fouad. Abdulla blogged anonymously, not many people knew who he was. Abdulla also stopped blogging more than 6 months before he was detained. So you will forgive me for reserving judgment on this particular issue, even though I asked for humane treatment of all detainees and called for their release immediately the observing doctors declared that they might have been exposed to torture.

    You might want to use the pretty good search function on the site to find the information for yourself, should you wish to do so of course.

    Thanks for your comments.

  111. Ray says:

    I readup this full debate… in the end I have to agree with Mahmood(wise old’ man),

    Mahmood – Looking towards the future, Bahrain’s eco. growth. who with his blog has championed many a cause towards highlighting Bahraini citizen’s & their issues.

    Hassan – Looking at every investment as an extension to his pocket ! In short “A useless bigot ! ”

    The rest of the idiots supporting Hassan, are just here lamenting the sad state of affairs they really have got themselves to blame for, none else. Hardwork pays off, learn to make it a habit & get sucessful, not whine about who’s investing & why the shares of a big investment shouldn’t be an extension to your own pocket !

  112. Ray,

    “Us”, “who “agree” with “your Hasan” and whom you have called as “

    Looking at every investment as an extension to his pocket ! In short “A useless bigot ! “

    ” reflects nothing but your “inner way of thinking”, where you call someone with a lack of “usefulness” when you have nothing to reply them with, other than a reply of reason & debate – and calling us IDIOTS is not helping & useless as well! Try convention, it works better when you try to make someone change his / her mind about something! Being called IDIOT will not help a bit in delivering Mahmood’s thoughts!!!! At the contrast, we will become BIGGER BIGOTS than the BIGOT you have just mentioned! It’s a matter of human psychology you know… Even if your thoughts were correct!!

    I don’t want to get into the “file” once again… But I have a series of articles that states “Bahrain is not for the Bahrainis”, we believe that the land of our beloved Bahrain DOES NOT BELONG TO US ANYMORE! Maybe you don’t feel that because you are not one – if I am not mistaken, not been handled a red booklet recently – those investments are not going to be target for the normal humble Bahrainis who “work hard” day & night to pay their debts for the banks in order to get a car or a piece of land to get another loan to build a house and another to get his son / daughter to college and another to get him / her married and another fo… OK! Those people who work hard WILL NOT BE AS BIG AS THOSE WHO WOULD BUY THOSE BUILDINGS! IN BAHRAIN IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE PROPER CONNECTIONS AND / OR BEEN DECENDED FROM A CERTAIN RACE / FAMILY YOU WILL NOT GET “THE CHANCE” TO BE WHAT YOU DESERVE! RAY!!! THAT’S THE FACT HERE IN BAHRAIN & I DARE ANY ENLIGHTENED BAHRAINI WHO KNOWS HOW THINGS GO AROUND TO PROVE THE OPPOSITE! Because I know I will hear alot of “no no no” here & there,

    Then tell me why; why a “certain sect” here in Bahrain are not allowed to “work hard” & join the army, for example???

    Much to be said but I don’t have time for this. Hope this doesn’t last longer.

    Bye bye!

  113. Just me says:

    Hardwork pays off, learn to make it a habit & get sucessful, not whine about who’s investing & why the shares of a big investment shouldn’t be an extension to your own pocket !

    …but its ok that alkhalifa can keep filling thier huge pockets with the limited assets of this country.

    ..yes so final conclusion of this debate: those against this investment are uneducated whingers hindering the progress of this country. Those for this investment are the progressive hardworking success stories. Funnily enough all private-school educated but who cares.

  114. I used to live in Bahrain. When I graduated, I came back to Bahrain and found a job. I made BD 450/mo. It was okay, as a fresh graduate, living with his parents. I did, however, feel the resentment Bahraini’s had for expats ‘stealing’ the good jobs. Namely, jobs they are not qualified to do. No, not because they can’t do it.. it’s because they tend to focus on certain disciplines and there are plenty others that need to be filled.

    So, I left, to pursue my ‘dreams’ in Dubai. It is far tougher to make it here. That 450BD could hardly get me through the month. I toughed it out (I actually made BD 400/mo. in my first year here).

    I worked hard. I worked very hard, for every fils I made. I still think about going back to Bahrain and actually opening up shop there. I love the country beyond recognition. I just don’t feel a lot of sympathy for the Bahrainis who complain about how tough life is. If life is tough in Bahrain, get out and make your fortunes elsewhere. Otherwise, tough it out and better yourself where you are. I just don’t understand this victim mentality.

    I’m doing okay now, thankfully. I’m self made, so I’m happy and more satisfied. Yes, every time a new major project comes up in Dubai, it drives prices higher. It makes it more difficult for me to pay the rent. Yes, prices go up and out of control. You know whaat, I either move out or find a better source of income.

    Put out or get out, is all I can say.

    Much love to Bahrain. It gave me a free world-class high school education. I am coming back. I just hope that MP’s like Hameed Al Basri don’t get in the way.

  115. mahmood says:

    Just Me: but its ok that alkhalifa can keep filling thier huge pockets with the limited assets of this country.

    No it’s not okay, but that is not the point of discussion here.

    Just Me:yes so final conclusion of this debate: those against this investment are uneducated whingers hindering the progress of this country.

    It might be your conclusion, it’s up to you to make of it what you will. I certainly do not think you are correct in that assumption. And again it is not the crux of the discussion here; you might want to re-read the main post.

    Just Me: Funnily enough all private-school educated but who cares.

    I suspect that you are one of us. At least, you have/are enjoying excellent education at one of the world’s top universities. Would you now give that up and come to the street level and leave all of that behind? Hardly. And I would never condone that action should it ever be considered, let alone taken.

  116. mahmood says:

    Well done Dubai Entrepreneur!

  117. Ray says:

    Qasim Ahmed A. Rasool >

    To your reply “try using convention”… instead of calling you guys bigots…

    Well you seem to have a very warped sense of thinking & identity… & trying to reason with you is what alot of the above people have been doing already, all you have been doing is… waffling about alot of other nonsense.. unrelated stuff to the point of this discussion.

    What’s heartening to see is how many people have actually seen the light & posted their experiences on how they attained that success that’s proof enough…!

    Why don’t you try walking through the front door of this project’s recruitment division & give it shot… surely you can’t advocate every opportunity is being discriminated against… if you have what it takes surely you will get that chance…

  118. Rez says:

    just admit it guys hard work PAYS OFF whether you like it or not. Don’t go all racist over the subject because this kind of talk is whats driving down progress in any country.

    If African countries can do it what makes us any different???

  119. osama says:

    sorry i will write in arabic

    السلام عليكم ..

    قضيت أكثر من ساعة في قراءة الموضوع، وأريد أن أشارك بالنقاط التالية:

    أولا: الأستاذ محمود اليوسف، أظن أنه ليس من اللائق أن تصف من يخالفك الرأي بنعوت يستحي المرء أن يفكر بها فضلا عن كتابتها

    ثانيا: أظن أن الموضوع قد خرج عن محوره الأصلي وهو رفض الممثل البلدي (المثل الشرعي للناخبين) إقامة منشآت سكنية خاصة بدعوى أنها لن تفيد أبناء دائرته ماديا، كما أنها ستسبب لهم ازدحاما مروريا. وأرى أن هذا حق ديموقراطي – في الأساس – كفله الدستور والأعراف الديموقراطية في جميع الدول التي يكتب بها المدون لغته.

    ثالثا: هناك فهم خاطئ فيما يخص التعليم، فالتعليم – كما أحسب – – ليس لتفريخ موظفين فقط، أو هو طريق للإثراء، وإلا فإن جلّ أصدقائي غير الدارسين لا يحق لهم أن يكسبوا أكثر مني، وهم كذلك!!
    وإذا كان ذلك كذلك: فإن التعليم ليس هو المشكلة الرئيسة هاهنا، نعم هي من ضمن سلة مشكلات يعيشها الشاب البحريني.

    رابعا: التعليم الخاص: مخطئ وغارق في التيه من يحسب أن المدارس الخاصة هي أفضل من المدارس الحكومية. أقول هذا بعد تجربة لي في التعليم في إحدى المدارس الخاصة باهظة التكاليف، ولقد وجدت أن معظم طلابها مهملون كسولون، تافهون في تفكيرهم، لا يتعدى نظرهم سيارة آخر موديل، وتلفون آخر موديل، وحذا آخر موديل. فأصبحوا بذلك طلبة آخر موديل. وما زادني حيرة هو ضعفهم في اللغة الإنجليزية، فهم فقط يتحدثون بلغة (سلانغ لانغوج – slang language)
    هم فقط يحصلون على فرص أكثر من غيرهم للدراسة في الخارج

    خامسا: أما ما يتعلق بالراتب والكفاح لأجله، فأنا قد درست في جامعة البحرين وكنت أعمل براتب 70 دينارا لتغطية تكاليف الدراسة. بعد التخرج لم أجد فرصة كالمعتاد، لكنني لم أيأس فعملت في نفس الشركة بدوام كلي براتب 180 دينار. الآن أعمل براتب 600 دينار، لا تكفيني لنصف الشهر، علما بأن لدي طفلة وسيارة سني – مو آخر موديل – 2001

    ختاما: أقول أنني كنت أن النظام هو من يسيره الحاكم، لكنني توصلت أن هناك طبقة برجماتية تكونت من السنة والشيعة وهي بذلك ليست طائفية. لا يهمها سوى الربح ولو بعرق الكادحين. طبقة لا ترى سوى السحاب حيث تصل منشآتهم، وترفض أن يشد ثوبها من هم على الأرض ملتصقون؛ لتتوسل لقمة

  120. mahmood says:

    Thank you Osama.

    Allow me to disagree with what you have posted. For one thing, the councillor in this case is not of the constituency where the project is planned, it is in a neighbouring village.

    Second, he was the only one who objected, while his compatriots at the council – who all belong to the same political bloc I believe – were all for the project. He was the only objector.

    While I agree that some students, regardless of school are more interested in things other than studying, and I do not fault them in that, it is the nature of teenagers, I absolutely do not agree with your characterisation of students in private schools. You are unfairly generalising. As I absolutely do not agree with your opinion that private schools are absolutely not better than government run schools! You need to study your facts a bit more thoroughly before jumping to such conclusions. Don’t get me wrong, I fervently wish that your view is correct, that would have been great for the country and everyone concerned, but no, you are very wrong on this account too my friend.

    I must congratulate you on your hard work and your ability to go against odds to reach where you are. You are an example that must be emulated. More power to you.

    I suspect that part of your success must be attributed to greed, which is a healthy thing and without that particular trait, a lot of people will just stand still. It is the same faculty that those people whom you harangue have subscribed to. Alas, they probably did not know when to push the stop button and got drunk on their success. So be more kind in your view of them. If you read “Merchants of the Gulf” a very good book that was (is?) banned in Bahrain, you will understand that the very people you have a quarrel with started from very humble beginnings and have worked extremely hard to get where they are today.

  121. anon says:

    “I suspect that part of your success must be attributed to greed, which is a healthy thing”

    No mahmood, i disagree with you. striving to make one’s life better is not necessarily about greed but could be the be in the pursuit of happiness or could be the responsibility of feeding one’s children and family.

    reading through the heated comments I had a sense of a the old class structure being ever more accentuated in Bahrain. its not merely the poor vs the rich but it is a proper class system where each class has a distinctive economical and social status and its own culture even.

    I think working hard and getting rich is not something to be ashamed of. In Bahrain there are many rich and wealthy people who are loved and adored by all because they do not subscribe to this class system just because they have extra cash in their pockets. they live with the people on the street and mix with them. they share their joys and sorrows. one name springs to my mind is Hajji Hassan Al Aali who passed away recently. In his life and still now he has built new houses for people, rebuilt old houses, sent their children to universities home and abroad, took care of their sick and looked after the needy..he walked their streets while still making millions..certainly God bless his soul as he showed that you don’t need to be in government to make peoples lives better. no poor guy would feel that hajji hassan was being greedy in gaining his millions. so why do these same people have hatred towards other big wealthy names? it is simply because those others are greedy.. greedy because they are not just increasing their fortune for that is not a sin but they are making other peoples lives and especially the poor miserable. these people are buying and selling property and shooting prices up the sky with no care to what it does to others..one day owning your own house would have been a dream to work for for some of there poor folk.. now it is impossible with the prices these hawamer are setting.. and oh does no one learn from economic crashes that one day some may pay more than they bargained for..

    in bahrain being rich is not and was never a sin..but when greed starts to ruin other peoples lives that’s when people don’t appreciate the “big investments”..

    anyway i thought that it was unfair by some to take a shot at mahmood just because he has his own business and God has bestowd him with a bit of wealth (which is incomparable to a hamoor has obviously) in the end it is God who makes you rich or poor but it is your moral values that set your position amongst people.. mahmood didn’t hurt anyone! on the contrary he has a kind heart and is doing good with his blog. he just needs to clean up his language maybe 😛

  122. Rez says:

    It’s no wonder there are people stuck in the middle ages such as Hasan Khuza3i and his cronies. They just cannot accept the fact that if we don’t grow with our country we will die out. I think the koran has the best line for you people

    ان الاعراب اشد كفر ونفاق

  123. I love Bahrain says:

    To anon@123, Haji Hassan is indeed loved by a lot of people in Bahrain and he deserves their love because of the good deeds he’s done over the span of his life. I would like to point out one important thing. Haji Hassan used his “Khoms” which is 20% of what he earned for accomplishing these deeds. For what I heard of the size of his wealth I don’t think he spent it all in Bahrain as his Khoms would be in the hundreds of millions. If only the Bahraini Shia merchants would spend their Khoms in Bahrain on the poor in their villages we wouldn’t have so many poor in Bahrain, and a village like Aali would be paved in marble.

  124. Guys,

    For your note;

    my “points of view” they were “calculated in a political point of view” more than an “economic point of view”, which would be wrong to scale many others opinions with the way I gave my opinion, this was made for clarification! And this goes specifically for Ray.

    Dubai Entrepreneur;

    You were like an expatriate there in Dubai, right? I mean, you are not an citizen of the UAE nor have a passport with certain rights & certain responsibilities, and correct me if I am wrong! You should have the same rights of those who come from any where else in the world, but hey! You still have another home, still have a place to get back to if – لا سمح الله – a war happened there – for example – you can simply leave the country & get back where you came from, in the time UAE nationality holders “can’t”, LOYALTY – and I mean loyalty to the country, not to the rulers – is the real difference that should be considered between those who deserve to be given the nationality of a certain country or not, in the time the government is getting more people into Bahrain illegally & give them Bahraini Passports; therefore having the same rights of free eduction, free health care and other “free” things… Seems innocent so far? OK! But when these New Bahrainies add an extra problem to the limited sources of health an education in which such increase of population “was not planned for”. Since 2001 Bahrain’s population has doubled!!!

    I don’t want to take much time in this again, but once again, I believe that those in power are looking for “ready made options” with no real well to have a plan for empowering Bahrainies except making them “the ones who follow” other than “The ones to be followed”, and I am not speaking in “short-term” where that Bahraini is a fresh graduate, but on the longer terms where those people have spent like 10 years in the industry. And if you said that “no other country did that” I would say “did you see a country with 600 thousand Bahrainies (and with the expacts 1 million something) and have such rich sources of oil???”

    That’s in short,

  125. BTW Mahmood, off the topic:

    You never shed the light on those 44 “fired” from Batelco, or just I couldn’t search your blog well…?

  126. Sam says:

    Qasim, your post has nothing to do with the main post but I’ll react nevertheless.

    loyalty to the country, not to the rulers – is the real difference that should be considered between those who deserve to be given the nationality of a certain country or not

    Rubbish. How exactly do you measure “loyalty” ? Counting the number of mugshots on your bedroom wall? The amount of times you make “loyal” references to the country in every day conversation? A measure of loyalty is NOT a criteria for Bahraini naturalization.

    therefore having the same rights of free eduction, free health care and other “free” things…

    Well of course – That’s how it should be done in a non-discriminative way. Who are Salmaniya or any other public service to question a Bahraini’s citizenship status?

    Qasim FYI:

    Bahrain resident: Someone who lives and/or works here.

    Bahrain citizen: Your a citizen of Bahrain either through birth, or marriage, or naturalization etc.

    Bahrain passport: IT IS ONLY A TRAVEL DOCUMENT! If you do not hold one, this does not mean your not Bahraini. Many people here have never applied for their passports because they’ve never left this island. People from all parts of the world have never applied for their passports.

  127. Mahmood,

    I know very well that there is no “loyalty measurement tool” but the when i is mentioned in the constitution that gives the right for the Bahraini passport for those of “certain conditions” rather than distributing passports in newspaper, black bags & in “bulk” for you-know-very-well reasons in you-know-very-well-when-times. In the constitution Mahmood the right to get a Bahraini “nationality” – referred by you as a “travel document” and used by “others” as a proof of identity & rights in a “certain geographical piece of land”…

    Those certain conditions include staying of Bahrain for the past 25 years for none-arabs (if I am not mistaken) and 15 for Arabs. Other conditions apply – which are not present in my mind at the moment – and they all seem fair for me, because 15 & 25 years are enough to develop some kind of “relationship” between the person & this land; in which his children will grasp the Bahraini culture, and then can be called “real Bahrainies”.

    Rubbish. How exactly do you measure “loyalty” ? Counting the number of mugshots on your bedroom wall? The amount of times you make “loyal” references to the country in every day conversation? A measure of loyalty is NOT a criteria for Bahraini naturalization.

    Mahmood, that’s exactly what those who trick themselves doing so thinking “being loyal to their country”, in the time they are loyal to people, not a home. When times of hardships come it’ll be very obvious who’s-who.

    Well of course – That’s how it should be done in a non-discriminative way. Who are Salmaniya or any other public service to question a Bahraini’s citizenship status?

    No one has the right to question your or mine or anyone’s loyalty. It’s a matter of that “traveling document” info stated within that makes life harder for those who have been going through hard times in Salmanya with it’s limited resources & capabilities; by bringing people from outside – thinking they will be loyal to some other people – give them houses that were suppose to be given someone else – consume water & electricity that is already suffering from outages; and the list goes on…

    (You didn’t reply on my little off-topic comment @ my previous post. Would be nice if you do 🙂 )

  128. Sorry guys!

    That wasn’t for Mahmood, that was for Sam 😛 😀

    Cheers!

  129. mahmood says:

    Qassim, it was Sam who you should have replied to, not me. For the record, I agree with Sam, generally.

    As to your off-topic question, I’ll ignore it.

  130. You are right Mahmood,

    And about that article, no problem!

    Personally, looking forward Hassan’s reply in his blog!

    Cheers all 😉

  131. noone says:

    BTW Mahmood, off the topic:

    You never shed the light on those 44 “fired” from Batelco, or just I couldn’t search your blog well…?

    you want mahmood to criticize the policies of some of the people he meets at the club?!! you don’t seem to understand how mahmood operates then!

    Interest its all about vested interest.

  132. mahmood says:

    Like this for instance, “noone”, very pretty observation. I chose not to discuss that issue because I have not followed it, therefore, without me having the facts, I did not form an opinion. And having someone like you or Qassim try to dictate the conversation is simple pressure that I do not appreciate.

  133. noone says:

    Like this for instance, “noone”, very pretty observation. I chose not to discuss that issue because I have not followed it, therefore, without me having the facts, I did not form an opinion.

    You have my respect brother. I apologize.

    peace!

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