With eggs on some faces, Hayfa sang!

Hayfa Wahbi sang in Bahrain inspite of objections from Islamist MPs In spite of the “severe” objections from Islamist MPs, Hayfa sang last night at the Gulf Hotel and thrilled the audience who filled the hall with all tickets sold!

What does this demonstrate? Does it demonstrate that the MPs have no authority whatsoever, or is it that the government chose – in its wisdom – to simply stall and ignore them completely and do nothing to let the concert go on?

To me, I think it clearly demonstrate the at the very least the MPs did not choose their battle wisely, they rushed things, polarised opinions, stepped on multiple toes and in the end, the lady sang despite all their objections, resolutely poking her fingers in their wandering eyes while thanking them, even subliminally, for making her show a memorable sellout concert.

Hang on, maybe it was that in the first place, both Hayfa and the MPs were in cahoots. It was a planned PR and marketing exercise to ensure that the tickets – even the expensive ones – sell out completely!

Smart! Those MPs are very very smart!


  1. heraish

    The Mp’s need to learn the rules and play by them. That is the way for them to influence the situation. Build consensus. I agree with the analyses overall.

    On another note

    According to todays gulf news in uae ajman wants give liquor licenses to non-muslim residents so that they only can buy alcohol. T

  2. I

    So how do they tell Muslims from non Muslims? Does it specify the religion on the CPR card, or equivalent? If not, how can someone tell a Druz Christian Arab from a Muslim?
    The liquor companies in Bahrain have something similar. They have signs saying that they won’t serve to Muslims. In effect that translated to they won’t sell to anyone wearing traditional Arab dress. If someone dresses in jeans and t-shirt, no problem. Otherwise you have to ask the enterprising Indian to get your booze for you.
    Good publicity for Hayfa all this ranting in Parliament. Does anyone know the ticket prices? I was told that some tickets sold in the hundreds of dinars, and not on the black market either. I have no way of confirming this. Any comments?
    Did any of the MPs stage a demonstration outside the Gulf Hotel as threatened, or was it more empty gesturing?

  3. Nine

    One of the things Haifa did was to meet with some handicapped children while in Bahrain. She also contributed handsomely to local charities.

    As I had mentioned on an earlier post, Haifa does more charitable work in a single year than many would do in their entire life time. The many include of course, those very MPs who wanted to ban her!

    As for alcohol well this is not the issue here but since it is raised I shall take the opportunity and repeat my earlier statement that alcohol is a curse on humanity. The way forward however is not to ban it or introduce discriminatory rules on who should sell it or buy it but to make it more expensive. I call upon all governments all over the world to triple their taxes on alcohol and then to triple them again.

  4. Abu Arron

    To I, that must explain why the Saudi, who was rejected admission to the liquor shop, stripped down to his underwear in the car park and tried again. Points for initiative, none for aesthetic quality. Not a pretty sight – and it still didn’t work.

    Full credit to the Indian doorman. Despite a mammoth attempt by the Saudi, he stood his ground and would not be bullied.

  5. Anonny

    Are the MPs obliged to declare business interests, etc, as they are in other countries?

  6. I

    Regrettably, if you increase the taxes on booze too much all you tend to do is create a black market. Also, the poorer sections of the community , the migrant workers from, say, India, Nepal etc would take to making their own. This would be a great deal worse than them buying a cheap half bottle of Indian whiskey every weekend. If they did start making their own in labour camps, how long would it be before some Bahrainis started getting involved with racketeering and threats, shakedowns etc.
    What you could also get is distillation of methanol rather than ethanol and the subsequent medical problems, including death. Also, the whole operation including sales would go underground with loss of revenue for the government.
    It’s a fine line and a balancing act. So far the government seem to be doing a reasonable job. Restrictions or banning booze would severely curb tourism and investment in the country, which would not be of benefit to anyone. A great many families owe a livelihood to the hotel and catering trade and the spin-offs from it. Also, if alcohol was banned, there would probably be an exodus of expatriates. Some may welcome this, but think of all the owners (not the staff, the owners) of cold stores and small businesses that rely on expatriate custom.

    Just some thoughts. . .

  7. heraish

    I just bought King Hamad’s book ” First light: Modern Bahrain and its heritage”. It is an interesting read and is avaialble on amazon in English. It gives an idea of the King’s idea of Bahrain’s history and how it should progress. The book was written when he was a crown prince. His views are different from the MP’s. However the MP’s should try to seek common ground with the King and nudge him along for the benefit of the country.

  8. Costa-guy

    I think the blog is becoming more of an anti-islamic-party blog than a moderate blog that discusses all Bahrain or world topics to all people.

  9. Nine


    Yes what you are saying is all true. Banning alcohol or making it more expensive could and probably would create the sorts of problems you have listed. However, what is the solution?

    Leaving things as they are does not seem to be right. About 100 people are killed in the roads in Bahrain a year. I would say about a third are drink related. That is about 30 people a year. That is far too many. Think of those who were severely injured or of those women who were subjected to physical abuse by their drunken husbands? Think of those who damaged their livers! And that is all over the world!

    Banning alcohol would be bad. It would deny me my beautiful Amstal Light after all! However, making it more expensive would still allow me to enjoy it albeit, not as often! Apply that to all those fellow drinkers and surely we would have less dangerous roads and less hospital patients.

    So what?

  10. Costa-guy

    So what?

    why do we have to be against or “anti-” rather than “I respect your belief, let’s sit down and discuss it in a matter that all parties win”

  11. Nine

    Yes dear that is why I for one am grateful for Mahmood who has been most kind in providing us this free of charge forum to debate the important, and not so important, issues of the day. Let’s make use of it.

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  13. ammaro

    banning anything isnt a solution. if people want something, they’ll find a way to get it, whether through smuggling it, buying it off a black market, or through making their own product, and so on.

    the truth is that, whenever you ban something, you somehow make it more desirable. wierd how human logic works.

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