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The Typically Arab Politicians’ Way of Resolving Differences of Opinion

How to alienate sympathisers to your cause

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Like just about everybody in Bahrain, I’ve been caught in traffic due to roads being closed either by physical objects, oil spilled on the road or a combination of both. The end result of course is that the demonstrators want their message to be received by those in charge that they have legitimate demands and they will do whatever they can to disrupt daily life to get those demands addressed.

Fine. Ok.

But guys, why should you endanger the road users in this manner? What you’re doing is simply bolstering the position of those who oppose you and turn those who possibly sympathize with you into new enemies!

I completely understand that you have legitimate demands and those are being brought out in the open on a weekly basis in the various authorised and unauthorised demonstrations and gatherings, why do you have to resort to an activity that not only inconvenience road users, but put them in jeopardy as well?

There are other ways to get your message across in a peaceful manner without endangering others. I don’t mind you inconveniencing me to make me aware of your needs. I completely understand inconvenience, but when it comes to putting me in danger that’s a bit much.

So quit this please before you alienate many people who once were your supporters. Find other ways to make your voice and demands heard.


Oh the irony! Anwar calls the BBC yellow!

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Read these gems, but please hold your laughter!

Why the BBC ‘has let down Bahrain’s people’

By Arthur Macdonald, GDN, Posted on » Wednesday, November 02, 2011

MANAMA: The British Broadcasting Corporation moved from being a globally respected news organisation to joining the ranks of the yellow press during the unrest in Bahrain.

That is the view of Akhbar Al Khaleej Editor-in-Chief Anwar Abdulrahman.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Bahrain Chapter of the International Advertising Association meeting yesterday at the InterContinental Regency Bahrain, in Manama, Mr Abdulrahman said that the BBC had let down the people of Bahrain with its coverage.

“I have respected the BBC in the past but they seem to have had a mental change,” he said.

“What they said over the unrest turned them into yellow journalism. I suppose they were in competition with the Sun at that level of coverage and now we have a BBC that we can no longer trust.

“I hope we, as human beings, learn and repair our standards because the coverage of the BBC was damaging to Bahrain in the eyes of the world.”

He added: “The BBC broadcasts its news bulletins in every language. If only a few Bahraini teenagers burn tyres in the streets to hinder traffic, for the BBC this is big news.

“However, when the house of the most distinguished Bahraini woman journalist Sameera Rajab was attacked with Molotov cocktails last week, the BBC did not utter a word.

“I seriously question its integrity.”

To illustrate the differences in perception between the Arab world and the West, Mr Abdulrahman related the incident of a Bahraini student staying in the UK who one day found that the lady serving them in the cafeteria had disappeared.

On enquiring, he was told that she was facing some family problems. So he decided to visit her.

“Thank you for coming to visit me,” she said. “I am facing enormous problems. My husband has run away with another woman and, secondly, my 18-year-old unmarried daughter is pregnant. These are facts of life I have to face.”

Suddenly she started crying and said: “But what is really tragic is that my dog has died.”

I don’t particularly give a damn for Anwar Abdulrahman being at the head of not one but two so-called “newspapers” in Bahrain. What I do give a damn about; however, is that an organisation like the IAA not only gives him the time of day but provides him with a platform from which he spreads his filth. The IAA must’ve been desperate for a mediocre comedian to entertain them during one of their lunches. What they have done with him being there is miserably failed their members and wasted yet another opportunity to raise the level of their Chapter and its membership with something worthwhile to listen to and learn from.

This joker entertained his crowd by branding an ancient and one of the most respected media edifices in the world as yellow journalists, then he goes on to contend that “the coverage of the BBC was damaging to Bahrain in the eyes of the world“. I suppose on Planet Moron™, in which he is a founding member, that would be a believable contention, on Planet Earth; however, it just leads to hilarious, rolling on the floor, leg-cicking mirth. What does damage this country’s reputation in the eyes of the world is him and his likes obfuscating the truth and creating such tall stories to support their unsupportable positions. The damage that Anwar Abdulrahman & Co have done to this country is untold, and time, being the merciless judge it is, will one day serve them their deeds in life or chiseled on their headstones for eternity.

But Anwar being on a roll doesn’t stop at those ridiculous contentions of course, oh no, he continues by insulting the Western world in general and the the UK in particular by what he believes to be a “funny and poignant story” which he typically attributes it to yet another of his imaginary sources to bolster his tenuous position.

Journalism? Ethics? Truth? Humanity? Those facets are as far away from him as they could possibly be, but in Planet Moron™, he’s the dog’s bollocks!


Art, and the Tender Process

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How do you think the Tender Board or its stipulated processes would go about evaluating the following painting, had it been a subject of tender to paint a woman, for instance?

Any suggestions?

Well, an “evaluator” who most probably would have no clue about art in the first place might give this painting a 1 out of 10 for effort, and would object to the style of painting as it does not and will not represent the person to be painted. Why they didn’t just opt for a photograph in the first place is another subject altogether, they want a painting for goodness’ sake.

So they do their “research” and identify three or four companies to bid for this project. Yes, I know, bidding to execute a work of art. Stay with me please. They don’t tell them any parameters other than “we want to commission a painting of a woman, and it must be ready in three weeks”. Or, they screw up the whole process by actually providing you with an outline, and demand that you use your artistic ability to paint within those lines! They never, ever, offer a clue as to how much their budget would be, but would rather get the companies fortunate enough to be selected through their arduous research slug it out, forgetting – willingly – that such a painting which would satisfy their requirements could go for anything between BD5 to probably several million. Oh, I forgot, they actually invite those hapless bidders to come for a meeting to technically evaluate their bids. As if we’re building a house or car or some other product which can be quantified and qualified without too much effort…

The pressure is always on beyond that as well. They usually want a miracle and delivery yesterday, only for the award of such a tender to surpass the must deliver by date!

So you wait. And wait. And then the Board opens the financial tenders and make the bids known. Then you wait for weeks some more and then be notified that your bid failed on technical merit!

What? Are you serious? I think us as artists would find it very heart-breaking if our competitors win on creative merits, and although it’s sad but we tend to accept it because we know that that particular competitor might have assigned a better and more appropriate director for that project, fine, but for all that’s Holy’s sake, my paints and dyes and brushes are exactly the same as, or as similar as can be with all the other bidders, so what exactly are the metrics used to “evaluate” the bids?

I’m glad that the guy who painted that weird picture above is dead. Regardless, he would probably be turning like a mis-aligned bloody turbine shaft in his grave non-the-less because of a hint that he might have failed a Bahraini Tender Board evaluation due to a fucking technical merit!



We submitted a site for the eContent Awards this year and completed the required steps – except for one. They just called me to encourage me to complete the process. What is it that the eContent want us to do in order to be eligible for the award?




“Why do you lie?”

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Get this: The GDN publisher Anwar Abdulrahman objects to Jackson Diehl article in the Washington Post published on 3 Jan 2011. Rich? Of course!

I like how he almost always starts by a historical reference to probably demonstrate his intellectual superiority. This time, he invokes the ghost of Lord Northcliffe‘s rather insipid quote of “the power of the press is very great” – he might as well have invoked Fred Flintstone’s “yabba dabba doo” for all the difference it would make to his “column”. The latter quote might have even been more appropriate as it would be uttered just before indulging in his favour pastime of resolute brown-nosing.

Typical of the man, he leaves the essence of Deihl’s piece an engages in a hatchet job against the man himself:

It is important here to explain to readers a little about this man.

Jackson Diehl is a recognised and vehement Zionist supporter who strongly opposes President Obama’s rejection of Israeli settlements expansion.

In fact, The Zionist Organisation of America recently praised his “powerful opinion pieces”.

His track record on Iraq is equally questionable, for Diehl’s columns as the Post’s foreign affairs ‘guru’ were wrong on just about every key issue.

He didn’t seem to consider that serious problems might arise in the aftermath of invasion. When they did, he not once acknowledged that his own analysis had been totally flawed, but instead blamed poor execution by the administration for everything he failed to foresee.

Having explained something of this journalist’s background, based on solid information obtained from the most reliable sources, I ask the Post’s key executives how they have allowed their respectable newspaper to sink into such a quagmire?

GDN 11.1.11

and then he doesn’t stop there, he runs to the principal to tell and to:

In fact, I also implore the American Embassy to protect the reputation of its Press by vigorously pursuing this matter with Washington Post top brass, who should root out such lying and irresponsible journalists.

Maybe the outgoing US Ambassador or his Press Attaché would come over and comment on this request. Not speaking in their name for a second, I would rather think that it’s not in their mandate to monitor nor to pursue matters such as these with a paper’s top brass. Regardless of how vigorous their pursuit might be, I would hazard an educated guess that they would be chased and hounded out of any press offices in the States if they even dared suggest such a thing. They probably would rather be nailed to a cross in the middle of Times Square rather than suffer such a fate. But our interesting learned gentleman forgets that the press in the States is generally not available for sale and corrupt practices like his very own publications are.

He continues with this choice insult:

It is universally known that an average American’s knowledge of the outside world is limited – and that includes its intelligentsia – but for one of the country’s top newspapers to display such ignorance of global events is unacceptable.

I feel very sad at the base standards of such American reporting, which is even reflected to some extent in Newsweek magazine, where a cartoon was published depicting the general political awareness of Americans.

I should think that rather than the US Embassy and the Press answering to his first fervent request to curtail the press, they would take more umbrage with the above ridiculous statements. What they will do about it remains to be seen.

Remember what I said before about the value of good press in a country? Well, Mr. Abdulrahman’s article copiously demonstrates what’s wrong with our press and how we will never progress sufficiently with crap like this being spewed about in it. Just keep in mind as you read his comment, please, what journalistic ethics he employed to come up with that tripe.


No Improper Names Allowed!

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It’s 11.1.11! I wish you the best of the best of the best on this auspicious day my friends. Yes, we Bahrainis ARE numbers mad. Or just mad. Whichever makes you happy.

In that stream, here’s some hilarity for you, courtesy of the doyen of journalism and the protector of the National Honour™

PARENTS in Bahrain could soon be banned from giving their newborns names that are deemed unacceptable by the government.

The aim is to prevent children being ridiculed for having an “improper” name, which MPs believe could cause psychological strain.

Members of the Shura Council voted in favour of the proposal yesterday as they debated a draft law to protect the rights of children.

The vote means that all newborns’ names will have to be registered with the government, which would issue a birth certificate stating that the child’s name had been accepted.

Shura Councillors approved the relevant article in the child protection law, but did not discuss punishments for parents who choose “improper” names – or whether children will be able to take against their parents if they are unhappy with their name.

The article states that parents will not be able to select names that contradict religions or are likely to cause psychological problems for children.

GDN 11.1.11



No matter, let’s play a game – as this is 11.1.11 – and name a few names that you have come across in Bahrain that you think the government will think inappropriate.

While we’re at it, let’s consider the following respected Bahraini citizens and vote on the possibility of their names being sanctioned had they been born in this great country:

Khathlan Dabh Jalood Rowaili - خثلان ذبح جلود رويلي


Abed Ajham Anfoos Anfoos - عبد اجهم عنفوص عنفوص

For the record, my serious position on this is that this is a germane individual freedom issue and the government has no right to interfere in it. I hardly think that any person would name their child improperly, but if they do, then allowing the child to change that name to anything else s/he wishes should be made significantly easier. I know at least one person who change his name from “Sameer”, which he found frivolous and “light” to “Ahmed”. I rather like Sameer actually, much more than the plain Ahmed. But that’s me. I’m sure you came across many who changed their names for one reason or another too. Having the government poke their nose into this as well, is, well, improper.


Endemic Corruption, part deux

The 2009 Audit Report
A couple of days ago I went on about the endemic corruption beleaguering our government‘s organs. Today, with the Audit Bureau Report for 2009 being made public and being subjected to initial analysis by the press, I was wrong in choosing that title. I should have called it the Complete and Utter Collapse of the Government’s Ability to Run This Country instead. And the Audit Bureau’s report does nothing but confirm this fact.

Yalla. Time for either a mass resignation by the government – which is the honourable thing to do, a vote of no confidence by the parliament and kick them out, or the King to put them out to their engorged and well grassed pastures.

I don’t care whichever solution is eventually taken, as long as it’s just done so we can go forth and make something of our future rather than continue to see vast amounts of funds misappropriated, the majority (if not all) the government ministries being mismanaged and we continue to beat that old drum of hail this and hail that while the whole world continue to point and laugh at us.

You know what? Maybe that’s too much to ask – well it isn’t really but I recognize that my demands are completely unrealistic as they will never come to be realized though you and I know that doing anything less is just feeding the fallacy of everything is hunky dory. How about HM finds the top three offenders in that there report, fire them and investigate their mis-accumulated wealth and re-appropriate it to the state treasury?


Killing with impunity

And not only that, get the bloodied survivors to sign a no contest agreement to absolve the killer and his sponsors to boot.

SURVIVORS of a tragic bus crash that killed three Bahrainis in Jordan have reportedly signed documents absolving the driver from responsibility.

Caravan owner Saeed Al Durazi, who is still nursing his wounds in a Jordanian hospital, said driver Ali Najaf was staying in a hotel with the remaining survivors arranged by the Bahrain Embassy in Amman.

Forty-nine Bahraini pilgrims, including 38 women and two drivers, were travelling on the bus owned by Bahrain-based Al Dalal Caravan to the Sayeda Zainab shrine in Damascus, Syria.

The accident happened on Thursday at the Al Zarq’a area when Mr Najaf attempted to avoid a truck hitting the bus, according to the Jordanian Embassy in Bahrain.

It is thought he was surprised to see the vehicle, which was reportedly changing lanes, and swerved to avoid it.

However, the bus ended up colliding head on with the truck and overturned several times.

GDN · 26 Dec 2010

There are many such international bus transport companies operating from Bahrain, most of whom are ill equipped to safely transport goats, let alone people for journeys to places as far as Mecca, Medina, Jordan, Syria and Iraq, which are usual destinations for these operations. They survive on cutting costs by hiring sub-standard and inexperienced drivers and goodness knows what other trade-offs in safety and comfort are incurred in their greedy chase for quick profits.

As far as I know, there are no rules governing such operators either. Or if there are, they are not applied. Punishments, of course, are never meted out for transgressions.

Instead, what we get is just as happened here: a clear case of negligence in which the criminal company, its owner and the driver should be strung up or at the very least beggared, to pay for lives lost and livelihoods destroyed and make a strong example of in order to ensure that like-operators take safety seriously and invest in better staff, better training, better equipment and better practices.

So who’s to blame?

Well, let me put it another way. Who’s responsibility is it to oversee enterprises in a country to ensure that they operate within the law, within published guidelines and within mandatory safety parameters?

Yes. It’s the government department or departments which are charged with all of these elements, so they are to be blamed first and foremost. With them abrogating their responsibilities, people were killed, and will continue to perish because of their gross negligence.

The second are the operators. It is very much their responsibility to ensure that their equipment, drivers and operations are conducted with safety and comfort in mind.

Third, and most importantly, are the very people who use such services without questions just because they are cheap! Not only that, they continue to look for even a cheaper deal, without much regard given to the safety, comfort and reputation of an operator.

It is no surprise at all that the combination of these factors result in deaths and will continue to do so. However, the real tragedy is not just the unfortunate loss of life, it is the condoning of such an event and even readily attributing it to fate and God’s will.

“The driver came to me crying in hospital saying that the memories of the tragedy were haunting him,” said Mr Al Durazi from his hospital bed.

“I told him that God has chosen that this tragedy happens and crying wouldn’t rewind time and that he is not responsible or else I would have him arrested myself.

How revolting.

The Public Prosecutor should immediately get involved here and raise a case of criminal negligence on both of these jokers. Those documents they got signed absolving their responsibility should be immediately declared null and void, and the owner of the company and the involved driver should be put on trial.

Doing anything else is just irresponsible and unacceptable.


The idiocy of the GDN

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What comes into your mind as you view this page:

Poor children. And poor reporter who had his piece diminished by this ludicrous placement.

A case of peanuts for monkeys I wonder?