Twittering Bahrainis

8 Dec, '09

twitter-backgrounds-images-themesI’ve never believed in Twitter myself for quite some time. I think I was a very early adopter, but like a lot of people, just couldn’t get the hang of it as I didn’t understand it – put more simply – I couldn’t get myself to beat it into how I think it should be used!

But again as in several times before, I remember my youngest brother‘s advice:

“don’t fight the machine, it’ll always win! find a way to work with it rather than against it.”

Once that has sunk in and I invested the time to actually use it as others have by following, reading, listening and exploring – basically lurking – I’ve come to love the bloody thing. I even got an iPhone data account from Zain just so that I can just quickly have a peek while I’m out of the office.

There are many people whom I follow and feel that I have been enriched by their selfless contributions, pointers, links, and wisdom. I also have garnered many “tweeps” / or Twitter people / aka friends who make the experience really fun.

It’s also a great source of inspiration for articles to post here; for instance, the last two prior to this post have come directly from people I follow on Twitter.

There are many tweeps in Bahrain, the new “lists” feature makes it easy to track and follow them. Many of these lists have been created of course. Husaainoo has the largest list at the moment with 267 Bahraini tweeps. Judging by his activity on Twitter, I would hazard a guess that there’s a fair chance that he will keep this list updated. Another Bahraini tweep lists is maintained by the indefatigable Bahraini Social Media Guru (shame he works for $atelco!) is Ahmed Zainal’s which I personally follow.

khalidThere are a number of Bahraini government officials actively using Twitter as well. It’s intriguing following them, because through their tweets you get to know what they’re up to (as much as they would like to divulge of course) and you even get to a level of familiarity with them. This makes them a bit more touchable and of course reachable too – without a legion of secretaries and functionaries! By inference, this familiarity rightly or wrongly lulls you into a sense that the government could possibly be doing some good! By officials sharing their daily routines, wisdom, axioms and just helpful and personal banter, you actually begin to even – dare I say it – like the government and discard some of the various conspiracy theories which we Bahrainis just love to create and maintain.

I think this is a fantastic trend and it should positively be encouraged. I do know and continue to hope that even when their presence becomes more widely known and they face some anger or apathetic comments and transgressions as they most surely will in this open and (so far) uncensored space, they will not be dissuaded from continuing to share their experiences and connect with people through these social media tools.

nezarTherefore, I salute first the Minister of Foreign Affairs Shaikh Khalid Al-Khalifa and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Nezar Al-Baharna for being the highest ranking Bahraini officials to embrace Twitter and hope that others will soon follow in their steps.

To celebrate this, I have created the Influential Bahrainis Twitter List which you are welcome to follow. But please be aware that this is my personal list, primarily, you can certainly let me know if you wish to be included and you are most certainly encouraged to nominate people, but do not expect them to be automatically included. I freely confess that inclusion/exclusion/amendments will be completely arbitrary based on my own arbitrary criteria. With that said, please do give me some recommendations.

Oh, and please feel free to follow me on Twitter too!

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Comments (7)

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  1. Bader Kamal says:

    Wonderful Post Mahmood. I agree with your younger brother as I am trying to convince my Dad the same. I love the Bahraini community on Twitter. Very friendly, welcoming, and keep in touch on many levels. It is a great platform to make new friends and keep in touch with old ones. I have made countless friends in Bahrain through Twitter.

    Follow me @baderkamal on Twitter.

  2. bahraini4eva says:

    Instead of twittering, ministers and high level gov’t officials should just open their doors and be more accessible to people. I honestly don’t think that twitter is a big deal for a society as little as Bahrain’s, but it is fun to use.

  3. Very informative post, thank you. I’m happy to be your Tweep buddy 🙂 I’ll for officials as well. Great stuff.
    Suhail
    (http://twitter.com/SuhailAlgosaibi)

  4. Hussain says:

    Good Post Mahmood! I personally have had the same feeling towards twitter, in the sense that what should i do with 1 line? It felt as though a facebook status would do the same job. But you are right, if you work with it, it will work with you! Thanks

  5. Hussain Husain says:

    Inspired by this whole Twitter post – I finally set up a twitter account! For anyone in bahrain who would like to be my Tweep (http://twitter.com/hhusaini)

    Ciaoooooo..

  6. Thank you Mahmood for the mention. However, I am a proud Batelco employee and will always be loyal to this great company.

  7. mahmood says:

    No “however” about it Ahmed. I’m hard on Bateclo because I – like many Bahrainis – love it and hence expect quite a lot more from it, more than any other company.

    Think of it as عتاب الحبايب!

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