BBC’s “Crossing Continents” does Bahrain

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Bill Law will be persona non-grata for a while in Bahrain I guess after this program and his Telegraph article about our fair isle.

Unrest in paradise
direct link to radio program which might be customarily removed a week after it is broadcast

Bahrain is increasingly featured in holiday brochures as a relaxing winter-sun destination for the weary north European.

The image Bahrain projects is one of a wealthy, progressive and open society – an evolving Arab democracy.

But there is a different story behind the prosperity and glitz.


BBC Radio 4’s Crossing Continents was broadcast on Thursday, 26 July 2007 at 1102 BST.
It will be repeated on Monday, 30 July 2007 at 2030 BST.

Presenter: Bill Law
Producer: Linda Pressly
Editor: Maria Balinska

  • jayjerome
    27 July 2007

    Mahmood, I listened to the linked radio program segment– and the interview of the fisherman and his wife was enlightening… She was complaining she didn’t have enough food to feed her children. No kidding… she has 12 of them. If you want to eliminate poverty in Bahrain, the solution is obvious — cut down on the birth rate. Throughout history societies that have too many male children have problems — wars, unrest, crime. Forget the ‘Just Bahraini‘ buttons — start handing out ‘Just Condoms‘ buttons — no, just hand out the condoms, and the sectarian tensions in your country will subside…

  • bahrainiac
    27 July 2007

    JJ is correct on the birth rate issue. However, the program did accurately portray the situation. The key is the coastline, or it’s lack there of. This is the root of quite a few problems: fishing, tourism, land prices….

  • yvonne dettwyler
    27 July 2007

    JJ of course you are right. However your Just Condoms button a no go for the same reason as …. please click onto this site: the end of Zionism. Hold your horses before you curse me, think for a moment the Arab world blamed for large families, yet would anybody dare giving the same advice to the people the other side of the fence?

    Have a laugh: In the 7oies at some public festivities in Cairo smart vendors sold a new type of children balloon with great success. Guess what? Children dressed in their finest tried hard to blow up the new balloons: CONDOMS. Cairenes laughed their heads off.The poor parents at a loss, had no idea what this was.

  • abu arron
    28 July 2007


    True, fewer cildren will help with the financial situation of any family. However, there are two main obstacles to such a strategy.

    1. Religious “constraints”. I’m not gonna get started on the relevance of such an ancient doctrine in today’s world.

    2. Future investment. Namely, the more children you have, the more to contribute to your old age expenses. Without a realistic pension old people can/will go hungry and need their extended family to provide assistance.

    I do worry about the fate of those families (predominantly in the villages) of Bahrain with enough kids to fill a few Suburbans.

  • Ammar
    29 July 2007

    i agree with the above to a certain extent; however, the view of the country is towards that of growth and expansion in a modern way, and leaves all that is traditional or “old” behind. Traditional fishing villages can forget about having any sort of subsidy, and can instead expect their shores taken away, and lands around it filled to potentially scare away any fish in the immediate vicinity. But this is not just about fisherman; there are a lot of other sectors not portrayed here; the farmers, the gardners, the pearl diver?! where did all of them go?

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