Tag Archives durazsiege

Congratulations! #DurazSiege is One Year Old.

Congratulations! #DurazSiege is One Year Old.

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Yep. One year. A full city of over twenty thousand souls has been under siege for one full year, since 20 June 2016. How about that? It must qualify for a world record of some kind and I know that this is the reason it is really in place, to pin yet another browny point on Bahrain’s incredible levels of advancement in this modern age.

So, bear witness, I am rather thankful for the siege. There are so many benefits that I would want it to continue ad infinitum and encourage other villages, towns and cities not only in my beloved Bahrain to tread this path, but everywhere else in the world too.

Here are just a few things that the #DurazSiege provides as benefits (in no particular order), please feel free to add your own in the comments, let’s show our gratitude:

  1. No pesky visitors to drop in on you unannounced
  2. Experience the life of an expat in your own country
  3. Be in your PJ’s immediately you get to your home with nary a worry to consider
  4. Test the canniness of food delivery guys to get to your home
  5. Food delivery guys get double-tips if they get to your home; thus, solidifying their employment
  6. The quiet, especially now that the helicopter is no longer buzzing 24/7 overhead for the last month, give or take
  7. Actually getting friendly with the check-point Bobbies.
  8. Knowing the check-point policemen by first name. For some, we’re getting to know and ask after their families too.
  9. The excitement coming from the randomness of checking one’s ID.
  10. Taking fun bets with your family in your car or home as to what style of chicane to be expected at the check points on any particular day
  11. The fun to have with noob policemen at checkpoints (you can spot whether the guy is a noob at the point by the length of the patiently queueing cars)
  12. Studies in patience.
  13. The effectiveness of a car’s A/C
  14. Vastly improved sign language skills; us residents have become experts at hand gestures that convey whole sentences between patiently queueing cars transmitted through the rear-windshield or even the rear-view mirrors (latter only to the über experts in the field)
  15. Above also applies to eye-rolling techniques as methods of communication with one’s neighbour as to a current situation
  16. Expertise at predicting travel times through checkpoints and chicanes.
  17. Deep breathing techniques to quiet the mind and achieve Zen while waiting to get to your home; we can confidently teach yogis our techniques that even with a lifelong study they can’t achieve. Talk to us. We have mastered this.
  18. Expertise at navigating the Internet on mobile phones
  19. Expertise at saving mobile phones battery lives with ease
  20. Becoming adept hummers and singers
  21. Unchallenged expertise at air guitar
  22. Killer seated dancing moves

What about you? Please contribute your special findings and / or developed skills while gaining access to the Kingdom of Duraz.

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Is the #DurazSiege at an end?

Is the #DurazSiege at an end?

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I woke up with a start two or three times last night and couldn’t figure out why….

Then it dawned on me.

The quiet.

No police helicopters buzzing overhead at low altitude.

In the vicinity of Duraz, we see and hear helicopters flying at relatively low altitude day and night. Every single day since the Duraz Siege started almost a year ago exactly. Last night, I think, was the first time in a year that we didn’t see or hear a helicopter overhead. Their noise, after a while, is maddening.

The #DurazSiege is more than “inconvenient” checkpoints. The state of mind it creates and the terror it permeates through the community it is imposed upon will take a very long time to heal.

Is it over then? I’m not sure.

People were not harassed yesterday and cars were left to pass without drivers being stopped to show their IDs at checkpoints, but police presence at all the traditional locations is still very much apparent. I know that what is happening inside the village is much worse than simple checkpoints. My thoughts and feelings continues to be with them.

One day, there will be forgiveness and we will move on. Hopefully. Though we should never forget the terror that such inhuman measures create.

This could all have been resolved with dialogue. And the results of that dialogue would have been much more palatable to all, and much longer lasting and provide for more stability than any imposed police or military measures.

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DurazSiege True Stories: Day 301

DurazSiege True Stories: Day 301

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I was barred from walking through the checkpoint at Oxygen Gym to my house which is just 300 meters away last night due to the ongoing #DurazSiege.

The policeman insisted that it is closed for all traffic, including pedestrians, and I have to go to the main checkpoint at the entrance of Avenue 36. That is a roundabout walk of about 3km to gain entrance to the besieged area.

Where is the sanity in this?

Explaining to him that I have been walking through this very checkpoint every single day for 301 days without a problem was to no avail. He finally relented and let me through with a stern warning not to try to walk through this point again!

Welcome to my – and those of some 20,000 other souls’ – life.

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