Belonging


high resolution video here on Stage6

Thoughts on belonging and patriotism and their relationship with a person’s locale.

Though I recognise that there are other aspects to consider – which you are more than welcome to discuss here – and are just as valid, my thinking is that a person cannot get that feeling of “belonging” unless he has an appreciation for his environs and its history.

This was supposed to have been uploaded yesterday, as is traditional with my Friday Video, but unfortunately Batelco prevented me of doing so due to their unreasonable “broadband” limitations.

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18 Comments
  • um naief
    22 September 2007

    i would agree to some extent, but i think it goes deeper than that. i appreciate the history here and the environ, but i still don’t get that sense of belonging. there are days, but mostly they are few and far between.

  • Shaima
    22 September 2007

    Very nice report.

    One other thing that is also crucial to protect the national heritage of any country, is the people occupying that land. People in Bahrain are under threat with more and more secret and highly confidential plans (let us not forget the Bendergate scandal) to naturalise them with foreigners who do not have any sense of belonging and knowledge of the country. Such naturalisation, and recruitments of illiterate people will surely not help our treasures.

    Well done once again.

  • re.Loaded soul
    22 September 2007

    A well presented report, and I would agree to what you said, Yousif. But I will add one more thing. I think it is not only we should save these “treasures” from constructions or what have you, but we need also to emphasize its importance to the coming generations, and not only mentioning it as just another corner on Bahrain’s map. People tend to not appreciate these things, unless they are nourished about the value that a given heritage has and what does it mean after all.

    Looking forward for your next report 🙂

  • Jonathan
    22 September 2007

    I think that I have a problem with patriotism overall. The sense of belonging is ok as long as you don’t use this feeling to act against others who do not have your collective memories. History is present all over the world, but it does mean that you (or any other person) is better than the other.

    Patriotism is not a feature of history. History is important, but humanity and empathy is more.

  • Hanan
    22 September 2007

    Mahmood, where did you get the music in the background? Is it on line?

  • so be it
    22 September 2007

    Mahmood, I think you should consider attending this conference in December:

    http://www.archaeologyconferencebh.com

    it would be wonderful if you did some reporting from the event for your readers, this is a major event in the international academic world for one thing, so maybe it will convince some people that foreigners actually are not so oblivious about Bahrain’s past and culture as it may seem. well, at least not all foreigners 🙂

    hope you can make it!

  • lorena
    23 September 2007

    Bravo Mahmood!… super .. i belive in the same .. is all about bright and high bildings around bahrain , is all about all this marinas and so on … one day bahrin will be only fancy bildings .. with out history :(… it was your son Arif the one was on the camara? good Job!!

  • ash
    23 September 2007

    It’s an interesting subject. These days peoples all over the world are increasingly encouraged towards a “horizontal” sensibility rather than the “vertical” one that derives from history and ancestral connection to a particular place. This drive is largely political and seems motivated by globalisation and the desire of Big Business to render everywhere vulnerable to its inroads and exploitations. I think it’s very dangerous to take it so far. People need a sense of history and connectedness, and who will care for a land if its own people no longer feel a sense of connection to it?

  • ash
    23 September 2007

    @ Jonathan – “History is present all over the world, but it does mean that you (or any other person) is better than the other.”

    I don’t think that’s the point at all. I love my country’s history – not because I think it’s “better” than any other country’s but simply for its own sake, and because my ancestors made that history. There’s nothing competitive about it; it’s just the sheer joy of walking over my native landscape and feeling my roots going down into it for thousands of years. Lots of people all over the world feel exactly the same way about their own home countries. If I love Britain and Mahmood loves Bahrain and my friend Juan loves Mexico in this same way, what’s the problem? The lands differ but the love is the same.

  • moonshallow
    23 September 2007

    Mahmood! Well done once again. Guess there are people like you who care for these national treasures as you said. From tree of life to the burial mounds you have shown your concern… Cheers! 🙂

  • layal
    24 September 2007

    لما امر بقرية عالي ومدينه حمد
    اشعر بالاسى علي هذا الارث التاريخي
    كان من الممكن ان تصبح هذه المنطقه قبله للباحثين والمهتمين والسياح لو تم استغللها بالصوره الصحيحه
    لكن نظل بين نارين

    اعجبني الموضوع

  • Bernie
    24 September 2007

    Interesting Mahmood and curious we have a similar problem here in that history is no longer taught correctly in our schools.
    English children are now taught a very small proportion of our history and mostly modern history.

    My point is that if a child doeesn’t learn about the history of his/her country then that child will grow up with a homogenised lack of identity and belonging.

    This leads to a lack of understanding why our heritage is so important in my humble opinion.

    Thanks for a fascinating video blog.

    Btw that camera is very cool isn’t it. 😀

  • mahmood
    24 September 2007

    Indeed it is! I absolutely lurrve it so far 😉

  • moclippa
    24 September 2007

    Well seeing as we’ve destroyed our system of reef’s, most of our natural springs (as a consequence also much of our unsupported indigenous plant life) and our local wildlife due to a philosophy of “modernization first, environment later”. And since we’ve already paved over a large amount of the mounds to build places like Hamad Town, I don’t know how hopeful I am towards them maintaining the burial sites.

    Even the Tree of Life, which as you highlighted once, is suffering major degradation, with the graffiti, broken branches and knifed in messages (not at the hands of the government, but a combination of primarily indigenous people and US military personnel/expats, and government neglect).

    Of course, there is a distinction between the environment, and archaeological history…. but in this case I think they are both relevant to your argument here: That we are systematically paving over our history at the helm of a bulldozer; and in doing so, erasing both our own identity, as well as that of future generations.

    This is all good and well on its own, but do you know if there are individuals in government (ministries) or organizations doing anything to try to change our trajectory? Are we seeing any discussion of this in parliament (or are we still too busy trying to legislate morals and figure out which sect has the bigger dick)?

  • Proud Bahraini
    24 September 2007

    Nice a very nice topic, The mounds are important non the less but I think we should focus on the future instead of looking on our history.

    Bahrain’s History is filled with true and false stories, filled with facts a n myths, with elders talk and young street talk, Bahraini Identity is the person of the future, with lots of changes no one knows the person of the future any more.

    I’d love to see a face that all Bahrainis agree that he is the perfect Bahraini.

    Who are we?

    Persian?
    Arab?
    Portuguese?
    Indian?

    Are we Bedouins?

    What are we?

    I’d love to know the Blood line of Bahrainis, but how important is it?

    is it going to help in our development?

    Heritage, History, Religion.

    What is the Bahraini heritage?

    Or lets put it this way who is the perfect Bahraini?

    what is his religion?

    What is his cultural Background?

    So lets not fool our self and try to unite our selves now.

    lets educate the kids to not hate, to be free with them self and who they are and accept others as they are.

    Lets teach the kids to be free, lets teach them to fight for their freedom.

    and more than that.

    But in Bahrain there is voices that will never be heard, no matter ho loud they shout, just because of their heritage.

  • moclippa
    24 September 2007

    Proud Bahraini, while you make a point in terms of looking towards the future and highlighting education… your questioning of Heritage leaves a lot to be desired. What Mahmood is highlighting is an integral part of Bahrain’s history… it doesn’t matter if you are any of the races listed above because none of them are entitled to the mounds, they are the legacy of the Dilmun civilization.

    This isn’t a question of the “blood line” of Bahraini’s… rather the the blood line of the country itself. Nobody was looking for the “perfect” Bahraini here, and I think you were probably too preoccupied with something else and skewed what Mahmood was saying entirely. I would get into a discussion with you about the idea of the “perfect bahraini” and my thoughts on your points… but since you are talking about something totally unrelated, I’m not going to hijack this thread.

  • mahmood
    24 September 2007

    Thanks Moclippa, on both counts.

  • Hunyadi Janos
    25 September 2007

    Very good Mahmood. Really good.

    And I think all of its components boil down to:

    The place where you feel most comfortable. The place where you have peace of mind. The place you love the most.

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