Ish ma birfday!

23 Feb, '11

(sorry for the bad rappy title!)

It’s my birthday today and there are a lot of things that I’m blessed with at this point in my life. The numbers might indicate that I’m forty-nine, but believe me I feel much younger. Okay, maybe forty-five!

Seriously though, I’m thrilled to celebrate my birthday this week in Bahrain, it’s not all doom and gloom, even with some people unnecessarily killed in the process, this is an exciting time for Bahrain. I’ve said before that this country has changed for ever since #feb14. It’s people have risen and voiced their concerns and they shall be met. Maybe not all in one go, but as time goes by, they shall. No longer will they be side-lined from important decisions and may they always be much more involved in politics and draw the path they want their country to tread. It’s no longer a one-man-decision. Bahrainis – regardless of where they stand on the issues – can now walk tall and hold their heads high.

With the release of the political prisoners last night, at least the 25 wrongly accused of terrorism by the state, my birthday is so much sweeter now. I’m thrilled for their release, particularly my friend and fellow blogger and webmaster Ali Abdulemam.

You know what will really be a great thing to happen today as well? Unfettering the Internet in this country, unblocking all the blocked sites and never again resorting to draconian measures against opinion writers of all colours, be they bloggers, columnists or journalists.

Back to my birthday, as I’m on a diet at the moment, my staff were considerate enough not to get me a traditional birthday cake, what they opted for instead is a roast chicken! What a brilliant crew I have. Fantastic!

My birthday "cake" is a chicken!!

I wish every single Bahraini – regardless of where they stand politically – the best of health, wealth and happiness.

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Comments (53)

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  1. Bonsaimark says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY FIREND!!!

  2. Amira says:

    Happy Birthday Mahmood!

    Excellent points as usual. I have been scratching my head over Bahrain’s censorship polices, for quite a while and find myself getting more and more confused by the minute.

    While the government has “allowed” us to play freely online and say and write what we want, I continued to observe repression of free speech in a more subtle manner.

    1. They can deny it all they want: but the Internet was slowed down to a crawl.

    2. Several sites were blocked: Bambuser: which enables u to live video stream from your mobile phone

    3. Lulu live streaming: Lulu doesn’t exist; What happens in Lulu, Stays in Lulu

    4. Crowdvoice.org, which curates news and videos, has been blocked

    5. Bahrain TV has continued to spew sectarian strife

    6. Govt officials continue to ‘lie’ even when the King, Crown Prince, and top leadership have acknowledged that there were deaths and something did happen – something which is being investigated

    But yes, it does look optimistic and enjoy your birthday!

    • mahmood says:

      I know, this policy must be fought tooth and nail. It does nothing but regress this country and divide its people.

      While we’re at it, let’s fire all those meddling middle managers who see themselves, quite wrongly, as the saviours of our nation and defenders of its faith!

    • Reader911 says:

      Hi Amira

      You may already know it.

      I would like to tell you, that your blog/website is even blocked in Saudi Arabia!

      Have you been meddling with Saudi politics? LOL

    • exclamation mark says:

      It has been said that the Ministry of Interior warned those people living in the Lulu Tower opposite to the roundabout about taking any videos or photos. Is that true? And if it is? what are those people upto?

      • mahmood says:

        In the papers this morning, so it must have some shade of truth in it… can anyone say “freedom of expression” or at least whisper it?

  3. Bernie says:

    Happy birthday Mahmood, have a wonderful time.
    Another Piscean, it’s mine on Saturday.

  4. Happy birthday, Mahmood, and congratulations with the peaceful and courageous political upheaval. May things go your and Bahrain’s way for the year to come.

  5. ahmed kaiksow says:

    Dear Mahmood,
    Many happy returns!
    I check your blog regularly as I find it a place of sanity, and I tell all my Stateside friends to check it out as an example of the best of blogs from Bahrain.
    I have to say that I am disappointed that there was no comment from you on the Crown Prince’s meeting with the usual suspects aired on our Orwellian Channel 55. The main message I got from his speech was that we have a sectarian fault line that is responsible for these protests, and warned his in situ audience of dire consequences for them if this sectarian divide was allowed to continue (they’ll lose lots of money). Firstly, he must know that this is not purely a sectarian divide, and even if he’s in denial of this fact, making it the central issue in resolving the uprising is just plain wrong, and leads me to believe, to my astonishment, that NO ONE from the ruling elite is serious about looking at themselves in the mirror. I had hope he was perhaps and exception given his excellent educational credentials and his visible contributions to the welfare of the society. Silly me
    I hate to spoil your birthday, but last night we took a giant step back!

    • mahmood says:

      I know what you mean. The whole dialogue must change and for that to succeed the real problems must be identified and their framing must be done without resort to sectarian motives. People are getting more aware of this now, hence the greater support for these reforms from all sectors of society.

      Thanks for your wishes and support Ahmed.

  6. Robert says:

    Happy Birthday Mahmood. 49 eh?….does wisdom improve with age???

    All the Best

    Robert

  7. Majid says:

    Mahmood
    Didn’t know that you are older than me, only now when I saw you celebrating your 49th birthday!! I thought we were the same age when we were studying together for the Tawjehia 😉 .. Thanks God am only 47, but look 27 
    Happy birthday old man
    Majid

  8. Reader911 says:

    Happy Birthday

    Would like to share the following from NY Times.

    Interesting Comparison:
    http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/02/23/world/23bahrain-map.html?ref=middleeast

    Interesting Article too:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/world/middleeast/23bahrain.html?ref=middleeast

    • mahmood says:

      Very interesting indeed! Thanks.

      I wonder how long the petition against Michael Slackman to be put up and attacks against him to start!!

  9. Happy Birthday. May the coming year hold much happiness and countless blessings.

  10. Ali says:

    Ok fine, quick Birthday wish while we’re at it… my birthday was last week (the day of the attacks) so I am yet to celebrate it!

  11. Don Cox says:

    Happy Birthday Mahmood !!!!!

  12. Kate says:

    Wishing you a very happy Birthday Mahmood! I am glad to see that all sides out there are talking which is a positive step forward. Tony and I have been thinking about all of our friends there. Enjoy your special day, I hope that Frances has made a fat free cake!!!!!!! Kate and Tony x

    • mahmood says:

      many thanks guys! yes, there is progress, the prisoners have been released for the most part and there are inklings of movement. I just hope that this movement is not in the negative direction.

      thank you and Tony for the good wishes.

    • Reader911 says:

      Actually the sides are still not talking

      Sure, there are open invitations for dialogue all over the media with all sides, from the government

      but the opposition are very cautious, they have been fooled before, and this time for dialogue to start they have a set of very strong demands

  13. peacefulmuslimah says:

    Happy Birthday! 49 is a great age! I have enjoyed it for the past 4 years 😛

  14. PanzerJohn says:

    Best wishes and good luck to you.

  15. Steve the American says:

    Happy Birthday, Mahmood! You’re at the threshhold of Fifty. Savor your 49th year, which is the last year you can look yourself in the mirror, squint your eye hard, and convince yourself you’re still young, still in the Front Half. Once you turn fifty, you can’t fool anyone anymore, not even yourself. You’re in the Back Half. So, let ‘er rip now.

    • mahmood says:

      I suppose this is the time to pack up and visit the world!

      Nah, let me stick around here a bit longer and help my country move forward.

      • Steve the American says:

        Most 49 year olds buy a little red sportscar to see if they can get one last glance from the hot young chicks. Just one.

  16. Shiraz says:

    Happy Birthday Mahmood!

    May you and your loved ones always enjoy the blessings of health, wealth, wisdom, liberty, and love.

    Dang! You don’t look a day over 29!

  17. YoYo says:

    Happy Birthday Mahmood,

    and many happy returns and inshallah many more years to come.

  18. Dan says:

    Happy Birthday, Mahmood! Live long and prosper!

  19. exclamation mark says:

    Happy Birthday Mahmood! you should have put a couple of candles on that chicken and made a wish 🙂

  20. exclamation mark says:

    Mahmood,

    Check this out, and Happy Birthday again:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGSm2IL9Xt8

    This is Dr. Tareq Al Suwaidan, a Sunni preacher… close to the Islamic brotherhood…

  21. Ash says:

    I’m a day late but hey! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAHMOOD! All the best to you, your family, your staff and your country for the coming year.

  22. Cleareview says:

    I wonder what would happen to Amira and you Mahmood if Bahrain becomes under wlayat alfqeeh?? Amira as I understand it.. women have no rights? no inheritance rights? 3dna layam il jahleeya .. what a pity.. i honestly feel sorry for you.. hmm ..should I?? with all the hate you have towards me? ..

    7sbna allah wn3m allwkeel..

    • mahmood says:

      That won’t happen my friend. It has been publicly declared by Sh. Ali Salman of Al-Wefaq on countless times and in a clear form that they not only will not seek Welayat Al-Faqih in Bahrain but actively oppose it. More-over, he stressed that they do not seek any kind of religious-based governance but a civic one. I don’t think that anyone was any clearer than this. So both Amira and myself won’t have anything to fear as far as that’s concerned.

      I’m not going to touch upon your assertion that “welayat alfaqih” is the return to Jaheliya because I find that assertion completely wrong and distasteful, other than it being sectarian and as far from the truth as can be. Unless, of course, you assert that Islam itself robs women of their rights?

  23. Muzafari says:

    Sorry for being late, I wish next year you and Bahrain will be in a better situation and celebrate with Bahraini’s without even thinking of all this.

  24. Cleareview says:

    I was not born yesterday,save it for your broadcasts.. now you say you do not seek a religious-based governance.. and that’s what you are preaching to the world.. with your Bahraini flags being raised for the first time EVER..both you and I know that all you have been carrying were yellow or black flags.. All an orchestrated performance.. bravo! excuse me if I hold back my applauds..
    Didn’t mshaim3 say clearly and publicly that he is backed by hizbolla? or was that on Mars?.. or your saying ali salman is one thing and mshaim3 is another?.. are we with the government?..against?..overthrow?.. or was it kill?..

    then you say they are looking for a “civic” governance where exactly do you see it being “civic” there is no Utopia.

    As for the Jaheleya.. I was referring to the laws regarding to women.. When Islam came and gave women their rights..a right to inherit to say the least.. your laws took them back to Jaheleya and oppressed them.. so please don’t insinuate that I am distasteful, there is nothing distasteful about the truth..

    You know what I find distasteful?.. “altuQya” thats the hate that has been harboring towards me all those years..also what is distasteful is all the hate and anger being preached to young souls.. innocence robbed hatred bestowed..

    distasteful.. is the condition the roundabout is in.. and it is certainly not “civic”..
    distasteful.. are tiles adorned with the faces of the king PM and CP used in toilets..

    distasteful is how the doctors that take an oath and nurses turn back patients in need of chemo because of their faith, and you call me sectarian? what do you say to that?

    distasteful is how protesters decide to protest whenever and wherever they feel like.. disrupting life.. what do you say to that.. very “civic”

    No other rule would give you half of what King Hamad has given to his people..

    I wonder how many individuals preaching hate at the roundabout registered for the 1,000 BHD ($2,662) mkrma ??

    it simply bothers me to stoop down. but someone has to do it..

    • mahmood says:

      I’m not sure what’s clear about your “Clearview” because your vision is very much clouded by hate. And for that, I don’t have time for you and your ilk. What I shall dedicate myself to is to ameliorate the feelings of fellow Bahrainis to reach a situation where we all are happy with. You don’t belong on that platform. So buzz off and let us do the necessary work without your inane and disingenuous distractions.

    • nat says:

      you really disgust me “clearview”. it is exactly people like you who Bahrainis are revolting against. puppets with this culture of entitlement. are you afraid that in a real democracy, people like you will not have a chance to compete? and what is this thing about makrama? how low! people dont want a makrama. they want their rights

  25. Cleareview says:

    “Puppets with this culture of entitlement”…

    a puppet? me? controlled by whom..? Iran?.. il7mdlilah I am free
    no one but God controls me.. my opinions are not pressured by others.. no one is forcing his/her view on me.. I don’t get threatened and forced to go prancing about around a roundabout..
    I don’t drag innocent children into politics..

    the other stuff i simply wont other with..

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