Well done Sayyed!

15 Jan, '12

Bahrain’s loss…

Is Australia’s gain
Is Canada’s gain
Is the UK’s gain
Is the USA’s gain
Is New Zealand’s gain

Where else are you going to force your people to leave to Bahrain?

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Comments (25)

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  1. mahmood says:

    ED NOTE: During the migration process the following comment was entered and failed to migrate; hence I’m entering it manually. Apologies for this failure:

    Originally Submitted on 2012/01/15 at 12:49

    Force people to leave Bahrain? Are you serious Mahmoud? Can you please try to be a bit more professional? I want to see Sunnis in Iran calling for the overthrow of the regime and lets see what happens there.. Oh i forgot.. they get hanged instantly.. no juries.. no courts.. nothing.. please remove your head from inside your behind and take a look at the big picture.
Sayed had whats coming for him.. u cant expect Bahrain to forgive him when he rallied against the government? Politics and sports dont mix.. And i suggest you steer away from it too and stick to writing about cats and the like.

    • mahmood says:

      ED NOTE: During the migration process the following comment was entered and failed to migrate; hence I’m entering it manually. Apologies for this failure:

      Originally Submitted on 2012/01/15 at 14:43 | by Bahrainiguy In reply to Mohammed.
      And are we using Iran as the bar which with Bahrain is compared? Why don’t we strive to be the best, rather than be satisfied with being a bit better than the worst? And if you look at the “big picture”, you’ll find plenty of countries where people can rally against their govt without being viciously attacked and having their lives ruined(or worse, taken) for expressing an opinion. These are the countries we should aim to be like…or even better than!
      And why shouldn’t Mahmood talk about politics if he wants to? Does it make you uncomfortable?

    • mahmood says:

      Who gives a shit about Iran? They have their own problems and they are most definitely not my concern. They are quite apparently yours. So go take that up with them and don’t throw that red herring here.

      You’re completely imbalanced by your own blindness and deafness that it’s a waste of time to take you up on anything. Once you’ve calmed down and are prepared to peel off those blinkers and unplug your ears, I’d be happy to have a discussion with you.

  2. Dana says:

    Yes Mahmood – be more professional. Clearly, someone whose frame of reference is Iran – such as the person at the top of the thread, has a lot he could teach you in that arena, and, it seems, in terms of tolerance, vision and objectivity as well.

    I too call for a return of cat stories – I think George could teach a few people a thing or two.

  3. Mohammed says:

    Spare us the sarcasm Dana..
    and bahrainiguy “you’ll find plenty of countries where people can rally against their govt without being viciously attacked and having their lives ruined(or worse, taken) for expressing an opinion.”… you failed to mention that the vicious attacks were in fact the police responding to a group of masked rioters hurling Molotov cocktails, improvised shooting devices that fire iron pellets and shrapnel along with the traditional cylinder explosions aimed at the police, for the police, main purpose is to KILL the police. What can you say about that bahrainiguy? Do you condone these acts by the rioters? Do you support them? Is this what you call peaceful rallying? Blocking roads and terrorizing people? And please, i am not comparing Bahrain to the barbaric backwards nation that is Iran, no i am not. I am saying basically, since the anti-government protesters mainly support the views of Iran, and i can say about half of them follow the Iranian religious scholars’ views (note that i said half of them was because not all follow the Iranian scholars, some follow the Iraqi or some others dont) then i think i can fairly compare the reactions of both Bahrain and Iran towards rioters and activists, since its so relevant to whats going on in Bahrain. Iran supported the anti-government rioters here in Bahrain whether you believe it or not, the facts are there, so theres no harm if we do some comparisons.

  4. DANA says:

    Mohammed, as you seem to be pretty well informed, why don’t you also share with us the percentage of protesters who are interested in the pursuit of democratic rights and values, and let us compare the reactions to protests in democratic nations.

  5. Mohammed says:

    We all want democratic rights and values Dana, all of us, not a single person in Bahrain wouldnt benefit from that. But you dont see us getting involved in organized rioting like we see today do you? There are other ways of asking for help, for housing, for jobs. Until we see rallying and protesting in a civilized manner, im afraid the police will continue to use all measures of force to maintain order and security.

  6. DANA says:

    Mohammed, democracy isn’t defined by asking for help, housing and jobs.

    I fully agree with you, any form of violence, organised or spontaneous, against any human being, is not right and should not be condoned. However, police and security forces should use appropriate measures to deal with such indicents, not ‘all measures of force’ as they deem fit.

    A fully professional and well trained police force would do exactly that and does in fact have rules and regulations that govern the use of measures and force. I believe the government has fully realized that the Bahraini police force needs a lot of help to improve in that area, and has thus asked a UK and a US expert for assistance in developing proper standards. Enough said.
    Or would you actually disagree with the government’s assessment – or that of the BICI report ?

    Aside from some people who may have resorted to more than moderate protest and indeed violent action, it is my understanding that there was, and still is, quite a lot of protesting in a civilized and peaceful manner. I am not so certain that this kind of protesting was dealt with appropriately by security forces at all times – in fact, the BICI commission established by His Majesty King Hamad clearly said so in its report, and if one cares to look, there is enough filmed material in existence to further substiantiate this.

    Again, would you disagree with His Majesty’s commission on this point ?

  7. somebody says:

    Mohamed: “There are other ways of asking for help…”

    That’s the problem right there. Why should ordinary people have to go, cap in hand, like little children, to ask a dictator to give them some pocket money? Who granted the dictator the right to control the purse strings (not to mention the foreign mercenary police force)?

    Bahrainis are sick of being infantilised: they want to elect their own leaders, police themselves, and decide for themselves how Bahrain’s oil revenues, land, and housing are distributed.

    Just like people in grown-up countries do.

    • Sardin says:

      I am not sure if you guys saw the Doha Debates, but during the Q&A, one of the audience members summarized the entire problem quite succinctly when she said that people shouldn’t be living off the stroke of a pen of one man.

      Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=5X5ljwDpkzk#t=1s

      That’s the fundamental issue, as you pointed out. Anyone defending a system that gives absolute power to a single man is undoubtedly short-sighted to say the least and has their entire work ahead of them.

    • Somebody who cares says:

      Great argument there somebody and I totally agree with you. However, we must consider the level of democratic education in Bahrain. selecting people that represent your view is simply not an option in Bahrain as most people vote on religious (sectarian) bases and not on qualification and the best example are those who get to represent us in the Parliament. I believe that if we give those elected the full power nowadays they will not take the country forward, rather we will all be doomed Sunnis and Shias alike. So, let’s open our eyes and minds and try to get red of the sectarian mentality that has stormed this country, and then we can think on electing our “leaders” just like grown-up people in “grown-up” countries. don’t you agree with me?

  8. Amal says:

    Hi all
    The point is Sayed was taken by police horrified beaten and god knows what else he faced.
    Alot of people wanted to leave and escape these events in bahrain , from day one pro gov people decided that the people should not really against government no matter how peaceful it was, couple of days ago a woman was threading samaheej and dair ppl that he will burn them if some thing happened to her husband ; point is you don’t kill people and humiliate them and expect them to stand still and wait until you train the police forces and bring them up to the level and if we do recognize that the forces are not up to the task that was trusted to them why do you keep quite and don’t ask for trails for those Who killed them!? Biased people always talk without thinking!! Wise up ppl

  9. Fahad Abdulla says:

    Mahmood – I think this posting is fascinating and actually raises a question that has been on my mind for sometime now. Maybe you can help answer it or figure out a way to answer it. But I think it would be striking to determine the number of Bahrainis who are living and working overseas, do you have an estimate by number and by country? Bahrainis hate leaving their homeland but a combination of economic and political pressures has caused them to emigrate and probably create one of the (if not THE) largest diasporas from the Gulf, becoming no different than the troubled Lebanese, Iraqis, and to a lesser extent other god forsaken Arab countries. I wonder what that number is…….

  10. DANA says:

    Interesting point indeed. Is that the conclusion a lot of Bahrainis will come to – pack up and leave ? Might gut feeling tells me that a lot would not leave, they will stay and resist, continue to protest.

    Not everyone of course can just pack up and leave, or has the kind of skills that allow an easy career path elsewhere. But perhaps students, medical professionals, teachers, athletes…. ? On the other hand, I imagine that quite a few people on all sides at least have an exit plan as Plan B…

  11. exclamation mark says:

    Quoting Mohammed when he says “We all want democratic rights and values Dana, all of us, not a single person in Bahrain wouldnt benefit from that. But you dont see us getting involved in organized rioting like we see today do you? There are other ways of asking for help, for housing, for jobs.”

    Guys, why is it when talking about democracy and democratic rights and demands, someone would bring up the subject of housing and jobs??? IS THIS DEMOCRACY???
    Do you think that people had been killed just asking for jobs and housing???
    Mohammed’s reply is a genuine specimen of how “the quiet majority” looks at things, they’re still behind in understanding the critical political situation in Bahrain, in fact this just adds up to the problem making it hard to reach to a resolution.

  12. DANA says:

    I agree Exclamation Mark — but there are so many different perceptions in Bahrain today, so many ‘realities’.

    Perception is highly individual, and can be altered by so many factors: beliefs, moods, fear and so on.

    In Bahrain there are those with a lot to lose, those with nothing to lose anymore, and many people inbetween – liberal ones, angry ones, worried ones, scared ones, and those who have transcended fear.
    The injured souls – God only knows how many sad, damaged, hurt, depressed, hopeless people there are around these days.. All have their perception of the ‘reality’ in the country.

    Add a sprinkling of retoric, a speech, a TV programme, a video clip here and there – and out comes a totally segmented and polarized society.

    A great great shame and tragedy – Bahrainis used to count as some of the most open and friendly people in the Gulf – and now, they are divided among themselves and all manner of animosity is at play.

    If tomorrow there was what each and everyone wanted – and peace n calm on top – you would still be left with a completely broken, divided society.

    Can it be healed ? Right now, that seems so impossible.
    But when/if one day there is a ‘normal’ again, whatever normal means these days, maybe people can remember that the reality is that everyone is someone’s son or daughter, mother or father; everyone loves their kids, everyone wants to be accepted and respected and live a decent life, with dignity.

    And, even today, despite the rifts, all Bahrainis love their country, and believe in one God, Allah.

    And in that, divided as they are, they are united.

  13. Just Bahraini says:

    Mahmood, it’s fascinating how almost anything you post can lead to these comments: people should be grateful/ democracy = houses and jobs/ what about violent protesters?/ what about Iran?

    I am not in need of a house or a job, I’m well-educated, I dont get brainwashed by clerics and yet I want to live in a democratic country where democracy includes true freedom of assembly and speech, a seperation of powers between legislature/ exceutive and legal branches, accountability, transparency, and equality before the law. And no, that’s not idealistic.

    I dont want to have to leave my country to live with dignity, and nor do I want to get on the streets and protest. Why is there not a more reasonable alternative? I’ve been waiting for forty years so the evolution argument is a little old now.

    From some of the comments, it seems that people could do with a Democracy 101 – perhaps you could consider writing about it one day?

    • mahmood says:

      I should do that my friend. I must confess that more often then not I end up with plenty of face/palm moments.

  14. somebody says:

    Somebody Who Cares – I think the sectarian issue is being overplayed, largely by the regime and its media, by singling out Shia for firing and (even more) discrimination, making baseless accusations about Shia Iran, etc. A classic strategy of divide and rule, used by dictators throughout the ages.

    Before February, I detected little sectarianism in the way ordinary Bahrainis interacted. Of course the regime discriminated, barring Shia from many ministries, army, police, etc. But most Bahrainis are good-natured and tolerant, certainly compared to other Middle Eastern countries.

    Don’t forget, there were Sunnis at the Pearl Roundabout too. And Sunnis arrested, beaten and tortured by the regime’s mercenaries (although absolutely nobody at a high level had any idea that this was happening, of course. Not an inkling. Glad we got that clear).

    In fact, this all has more to do with economics and resources than anything else. We all know who privately owns the southern two-thirds of the island, and 90% of its coastline; who bought the Financial Harbour for BD1, and who gets first dibs at the oil billions. Given these bald facts, is it any surprise that the regime keeps trying to distract attention from them by banging on about sectarianism, Iran, etc?

    If Bahrain were a genuine democracy, with free speech and a free, investigative press, its leaders would be forced to govern in a competent and non-corrupt manner. If they were unable to do so, this would be apparent to the electorate – through both the free media and their own experience – and they would elect new leaders who could do the job better.

    Frankly, given the huge wealth and small population of Bahrain, any non-corrupt government would be able to improve the lot of the average Bahraini simply by more equitable distribution of oil revenues, land (two-thirds of the island is currently off-limits) and housing.

    Whether an Al Wefaq government would do this, or would itself become corrupt and encourage sectarian strife, we have no way of knowing. But if they were disastrous, the people would be able to kick them out at the next election. What they do deserve is a chance: 67% of the 2010 electorate says so. And could things be any worse than the current situation?

  15. DANA says:

    Somebody Cares: Perhaps one could say that there were no immediate, obvious issues between the two sects before February – but I am not sure that it was all totally rosy — Mahmood for example ran an initiative under ‘ Just Bahraini’ in I think 2006 – perhaps he can elaborate more on that.

    Personally, I would say I was aware and yet I was asleep with my eyes wide open – since the mid/late late 90s that there were issues. Not that I ever saw any issues between individual Bahrainis – the issues were mainly being driven through marginalization of a part of the society.

    Yes, generally Bahrainis are friendly to each other — but some of the examples of sometimes overt hatred that we have seen in the past 11 months are quite scary – I don’t know how deep and wide these views are carried – and it would be interesting to find out exactly how deep the divide is.
    But I have a feeling its quite a bit more than a few hundred people – and I think even many of us these days have, among our groups of friends or aquaintances, people with whom we rather avoid discussing certain things, because the divide in terms of viewing the current state of affairs is so deep, we’d rather not even go there.

    Indeed, via the media, and of course prior marginalization, a perfect divide and rule has been achieved – however, I feel it has completely backfired as usually there is a winner in this kind of strategy – but in this instance, there is no winner. People are suffering – granted to varying degrees, but are affected in some way or other, on all strata of society, and I believe that the government too has lost. I would be very suprised if there are many in government or the ruling part of the Royal family these days who breathe easy and have completely carefree lives.

    I suspect that among the more liberal electorate in Bahrain however, there would also be unease about living under any potential elected government that they feel may turn the country into a very conservative direction.

    So, indeed, when we look at the lives of one side, and the daily protest, crackdown and all that, indeed, for them it could not get much worse.

    But you have another part of the population who still have it quite good and who would quite like to continue with the status quo, as, apart from the protests and unrest, their lives are fine, they enjoy good standards of living, affluence and opportunities – and while they may wish for some more freedom, they are more afraid of how the status quo of their daily lives, their affluence and influence may be affected if there was to be a different political status. And I am not just talking about the very wealthy, also about the liberal, affluent middle class.

    I think fear plays a huge part here. and fear is what the media was able to play on, to great effect.

    Making inroads will be a slow process, alleviating that fear or unease will be a very hard thing to do. Not sure it is possible in today’s Bahrain, unless it were to be done strategically, directed from the highest levels and with expert support by people from an international organization that has experience in such things from other parts of the world where societies were divided.

    In my view, its work for the time when Bahrain ‘returns’ (?) to ‘normal’, whatever normal will then mean….and whatever ‘return’ means.. And I am saying this in the hope that there will be a time when the country is calm again, when there is genuine, comprehensive dialogue and a solution that works for most people – as naive and illusionary as this may sound. I keep hoping for it, as I don’t want to imagine what the opposite looks like, ie an ongoing state of protests, crackdowns etc.- which is in not outside the realm of possibilities.

    In the meantime, it is left to the level-headed individuals in the country to reach out and prove through their individual daily interaction and action that indeed, a Bahraini is a Bahraini, first and foremost – not a Bahraini with a label according to sect.

  16. somebody says:

    I agree that we don’t want some kind of Islamic republic which would make life in Bahrain like that in Saudi or Iran. Bahrain’s history and present is, by the standards of the region, very open, tolerant and cosmopolitan, and it would be a tragedy to lose that.

    But there has to be real change, as opposed to cosmetic smoke and mirrors. As a starting basis for serious negotiations, you-know-who needs to step down. I think we all agree he’s had a pretty good run, and I somehow doubt that he’ll be penniless in retirement.

    Personally, I favour a constitutional monarchy, based on Britain. In that system, while power clearly and rightly lies with the elected government, the monarch has to sign into law all Acts of Parliament. While a British monarch hasn’t actually vetoed a law in centuries, he or she does have weekly meetings with the prime minister, and has the right to advise and be consulted. I’ve no doubt that if somehow a lunatic government took power and started trying to pass wacko laws, the monarch would have something to say about it.

    In Britain, there are fewer than 20 royals on the civil list (receiving large stipends and security from the government). People don’t just walk into cushy, high-paying jobs simply because they’re Prince Charles’s 3rd cousin. That’s an issue in Bahrain – the official royal family has to be trimmed to the monarch’s immediate family; we have a system now in which hundreds of people jump the queue based on their surname.

    Things cannot return to how they were. But I believe that the majority of Bahrainis would be willing to compromise on a constitutional monarchy, in which the royal family retained some status, influence and wealth, albeit significantly less than current absolute levels.

    Oh, and the foreign mercenaries have to be phased out – nothing is more guaranteed to piss people off than being beaten, teargassed, tortured and killed on their own streets, in their own houses, in their own country, by a bunch of foreign savages who can’t even speak the language.

    On the economic side, it is obscene that there are all these construction projects in Bahrain, but no Bahraini workmen, because the greedy multi-millionaire developers prefer to ship in Bangladeshi slaves on BD50/month (and half the time they don’t even get that).

    These people should be barred by the setting of a minimum wage of, say, BD500/month. For a living wage like this, and with better safety regulation, the ‘invisible Bahrainis’, who aren’t from wealthy families and don’t speak English, could find abundant work, and with it dignity and no compulsion to protest. Of course, the owners (we know who they are) would have to take a cut in profits.

    But they have to accept that things have to change.

  17. DANA says:

    Somebody: Agree.

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