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US State Dept Censures Bahrain

HM's Media Advisor Mr. Nabeel Al-Hamar, Esq. advised to get a better translator for his paper.
Some of our illustrious press carried a doctored translation in Arabic of what the US State Department spokesman said when asked about the deteriorating security situation in Bahrain. In some of the local press, Facebooked by his majesty’s media advisor and Al-Ayam Media Empire owner Nabeel Al-Hamar (see screenshot) said:

أعرب المتحدث باسم وزارة الخارجية الأمريكية فيليب كراولي خلال اللقاء الصحفي اليومي بالوزارة يوم 16 سبتمبر الجاري عن اهتمام بلاده بالأحداث الأمنية التي شهدتها مملكة البحرين مؤخرا.
وأكد كراولي في رده على سؤال صحفي بهذا الشأن، بأن الولايات المتحدة لديها ثقة بأن البحرين تتطور في طريق النماء والأمن والديمقراطية.

Al-Ayam · 17 Sept 2010

The spokesman for the U.S. State Department Philip Crowley during the meeting, the ministry’s daily press on 16 September for his country’s interest by security incidents witnessed by the Kingdom of Bahrain recently.
The Crowley in response to a reporter’s question in this regard, that the United States to have confidence that Bahrain is developing in the way of development, security and democracy.

undoctored Google translation

UPDATE:
Official Arabic translation via Radio Sawa which does express the same sentiments as in the original English text:

قلق أميركي من اعتقال عدد من عناصر المعارضة في البحرين
16/09/2010 01:02 (توقيت غرينتش)
أعربت الخارجية الأميركية عن قلقها من اعتقال عدد من عناصر المعارضة في البحرين على خلفية اتهامات بالسعي لقلب نظام الحكم في البلاد. وقال المتحدث كراولي:
“نحن على اتصال مع السلطات البحرينية وقد عبرنا لهم قلقنا حيال ذلك الأمر، وفي نفس الوقت لدينا ثقة استقيناها من المسؤولين في البحرين وهي أن بلادهم ينبغي ألا تختار بين الأمن والديموقراطية، هذه هي رسالتنا إلى الحكومة في البحرين.”

وقد تمت الاعتقالات قبل أشهر من الانتخابات التشريعية في البحرين.

Radio Sawa

Compare that with what was actually said and which is clearly available in the transcript of the source video from the US State Department’s website:

QUESTION: There has been a string of arrests of opposition figures in Bahrain in recent days. Human rights groups are also alleging police torture, and this is all seen as sort of a clampdown ahead of elections in a couple months’ time. Given the close relations between Bahrain and the United States, do you have anything to say about this?

MR. CROWLEY: This is something that we are in touch with Bahraini authorities and have expressed our concern. At the same time, we have confidence as Bahrain evolves that you don’t have to make a choice between security and democracy, and that this is the message that we’re sending to the government.

QUESTION: Do you have any reason to believe the government’s claim that these opposition figures were trying to sort of arrange a coup against the royal family?

MR. CROWLEY: I don’t know that we’re aware of any information along those lines for —

US State Dept transcript of Daily Press Briefing on 15 Sept 2010

So please don’t treat us like morons who can’t find sources or people who don’t have the intelligence to discern the truth when it’s staring us in the face.

If you need a Journalistic Code of Ethics to follow, or use as a guide to create your own, here’s a good resource which you might do well to consider.

Mr. Al-Hamar and his empire appears to follow the very same trend of his Egyptian friends.

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Leader by force, or just a farce?

My friend Dina brought this article up in her Facebook update which I though was utterly hilarious and very symptomatic of our Arab states. Have a gawk at this:

Mubarak. The world leader.

Yep, my friends. To the uninitiated, this picture is the ultimate for the Arab Umma. An Arab (as old as the Pharaoh mind you) is leading the world leaders! Yippeee!

BUT WAIT!

Do you not notice the bad cut and paste job in the picture? Do you notice the “halo” around the heads and very clear and inorganically cut bodies suggesting that they were just pasted there? How about the shadows and general demeanor of the Fab Five®? Does that not raise red flags?

Well, here’s the original:

Now do you notice the difference?

Absolutely ludicrous. Made even more so by this bad doctoring job was designed and published in the leading government paper in the largest Arab country. Yes, I know he might not have known about it nor sanctioned it directly, but believe me, this would not have happened if it’s not a condoned thing from the very top.

This is how things work in these here parts, people “take initiatives” like this because they want to appease those in power. Brown-nosing and sucking up is a stock and trade and has become an art form. Magazines and newspapers are nothing more than paid aggrandising machines rather than a tool for change to the better. If they were slapped by those on top for taking these fancies just once, they would not have continued to do such a stupid thing. So those on top must think that this is the way to go. This is the key to the populace’s hearts and minds. This is how they garner our love and affection. So yes, I do lay the blame on the supporting regimes for silly situations like these.

So. The Ancient One™ probably can’t walk as fast as the others and he’s lagging behind, in pace and probably mind too, owing to his ripe old age. But hey, he’s a “world leader” so I’d better shut my foul Arab mouth right?

He’s not the only one though and we know. We know that almost every single “Arab Leader™” makes use of intricate hair colouring, mustache trimming and dyeing, skin tightening, so much so that even if the wannabe-deity is actually closer to the grave than he cares to acknowledge, he still looks like a young and virile sprite!

And they want us to just shut down our senses, our intelligence and our faculties to believe, really believe that they’re a-okay. Probably thinking that if we did believe that they’re so healthy and okay, then by inference they’re also good enough to continue to rule. Not realising that the game is up and we know that they’re nothing more than a prettied up facade with a bad make-up job. Even Sabah could do better. No, I crossed the line there, sorry, that witch can’t!!

Well bubs, know that we will respect your memories and persons much more if you had retired at a reasonable age and move aside for younger blood (hopefully not related to your own) to take the helm. Yes, realise that you’re not god’s gift to this world and the hear-after and others can and will take up the reigns and the world will continue to revolve around the sun and day will surely follow night. With or without you.

Read about this ridiculous situation on the BBC.

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Congratulations? Really? Really?

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Two men suspected of attempting to assassinate the editor of a Bahrain newspaper have been arrested early this morning.

The duo, aged 27 and 21, have admitted attacking Al Watan managing editor Muhannad Abu Zeitoun, Public Security chief Major General Tariq bin Dayna said.

They have been referred to the Public Prosecution, he said.

Mr Abu Zeitoun, 31, suffered a shoulder injury after being stabbed with a sharp object and his car was also set on fire at 3am on Wednesday outside the Arabic publication’s office in Riffa.

The Palestinian was taken to hospital, but released shortly after treatment.

His Majesty King Hamad received cables of congratulations from officials and citizens over the arrest, praising the security authorities for the quick action in the case.

They also strongly condemned sabotage and violence in the country and pledged their support to the King for his efforts to strengthen Bahrain as a land of peace, security and justice. GDN

Do those people who took the initiative to congratulate his majesty like this have no shame whatsoever?

For god’s sake some people were arrested but have not been tried and convicted yet you morons!

Talk about jumping the gun just to kiss ass.

Those congratulatory cables should have supported his majesty in his call to apply the law and the observance of all relevant legislation, rather than congratulating him for the arrests. What they have done, in my view, is nothing less than insult his majesty and going completely against his continuous reminders that Bahrain is a country of laws and institutions, not of the haphazard application of the law and chaos.

Absolutely ludicrous.

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Spinning it, or just fucking selfish and STUPID?

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For all that’s bloody well holy… have a look a this shite:

The Island of Smiles 😉

BAHRAIN is the fifth most thriving country in the Middle East, according to a new study.

Beautiful, right?

Ok, Carry On™ – courtesy of the local rag:

The “Island of Smiles” was ranked 48th out of 155 countries around the world in the Gallup Global Well-being report, which took four years to compile.

The study, which took place between 2005 and last year, found 32 per cent of people in Bahrain were thriving.

Desperate for a glass half full, the editors start their “piece” with a “big bang” sentence, then and only then, the qualification of their ineptitude and inability to be or even attempt to be journalists, start. So, 1/3rd of us on these lovely pieces of Heaven, aka “The Islands of Gloom” are “thriving”.

Brilliant. But they’re not done…

However, it also found that 45pc were struggling and 23pc were suffering – although non-Arab expats were not included in the survey of around 1,000 adults aged over 15.

In fact, Bahrain had one of the biggest percentages of people suffering in the Middle East and was on a par with Pakistan and Romania in those stakes.

HANG ON A MINUTE! What the fuck happened to the previous assertion of “The Island of Smiles” crap? 68% (that’s MORE than 2/3rds of the population) are struggling at best!

What journalistic principles are these bozos working under? Really? Really? No fucking shame at all? They just want the “happy picture” at the expense of everything else?

What’s wrong with them leading the piece with something like:

An international poll affirmed that the majority in Bahrain are struggling in their daily lives, putting paid to the much abused “island of smiles” brand. With the kingdom now ranking last but one in the Gulf in the Global Well-being report.

With 68% being classified either as struggling or suffering, it is quite evident that the adopted policies have demonstrably failed and the country needs much more than glitzy empty marketing campaigns to effect a real change in attitudes and perceptions. A concerted effort must be enacted to tangibly improve people’s lives and livelihoods…

Wouldn’t this effect a better response than misrepresenting the truth?

Of course it would. But the GDN and its owning empire is not interested in effecting change to the better. As long as it lines their pockets, why should they change a formula which has proven successful? The 68% of suffering people can go fuck themselves.

Well, in the spirit of the GDN and its owners, this little critter is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-U-U-U-U-U-L… isn’t he just absolutely cute and cuddly?

aaaawwwwwwwwwwww

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They bloody well deserve it!

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hahahehahehhahehhahehehahaaaaa! they thought they were back in the Gulf. NOT! 😀

The £1.2 million Koenigsegg CCXR and £350,000 Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SuperVeloce were parked outside the London department store last week.

Crowds of tourists watched in disbelief as a traffic warden first ticketed then clamped both vehicles – which are custom-made in the royal family’s distinctive “baby blue” colour.

The cars belong to the oil-rich Al-Thani royal family, who own a string of luxury vehicles – including a one-off Pagani Zonda Uno.

Qatar Holding group, which forked out £1.5 billion in April to buy Harrods from Fulham FC owner Mohamed Al Fayed, is led by the Prime Minister of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani.

The 249mph Koenigsegg is one of only six ever made. The custom-built supercar is built from scratch and does a 0-60 in 2.9 seconds, producing a staggering 1,064bhp.

The Lamborghini is one of only 350 ever built, again in the families trademark colour, and has a top speed of 213mph and is capable of 0-60 in just 3.2 seconds.

But both were brought to a standstill when they were clamped – although the owners shouldn’t have too much trouble stumping up the £150 release fee.

The owners could have taken advantage of Harrods’ valet parking service which charges a £8 for the first hour or £40 for 8-9 hours with an additional £50 charge to store a car overnight.

An onlooker said: ”It’s not every day you see cars like this, let alone watch them get clamped.

”Judging by their cars, I shouldn’t think the owners will worry too much about paying a couple of hundred quid to have the clamps taken off.”

The Al Thani family have an estimated wealth in the region of £2.4 billion as well as stakes in dozens of businesses around the world.

A spokesperson for Harrods said: ”You will need to speak to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea who deal with parking regulations.”

Telegraph – hat tip: Suad/HelpBahrain Tweet

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Eejit MP calls for new UN without USA

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That eejit is MP Al-Moawdah (hopefully soon to have the ex- prefix prepended to that nomenclature) forgets that the UNITED NATIONS is an inclusive body, and more importantly, cannot function without the USA in any case. I guess like the majority of the world, he is rightly incensed at the atrocities committed by Israel against the Freedom Flotilla. What is inexcusable; however, is that his office dictates that he should have a calm head and engages said head before opening any other orifice to not only declare such an idiotic claim, but compound it with this raspberries too:

“How can we have world peace with a country like the US in the Security Council? Nothing will ever come of it and there will be no peace in the world.

Lovely.

He should tell our prime minister that.

مضيفا سموه لدى استقباله السفير الأميركي أن الأمن والاستقرار مطلب أساسي وتحقيقه يستدعي تعاوناً وتنسيقاً دولياً، وإن للدول الصديقة دور كبير في هذا الشأن باعتبارها شريكاً في إحلال السلام.

His Royal Highness added when he received the American ambassador that security and stability is a prerequisite to achieve and requires cooperation and coordination internationally, and that friendly countries a significant role in this regard as a partner in peace.

Almoawdah also made a public promise to:

“The first action I have in mind is taking Israeli leaders to the International Court of Justice.”

Good luck!

Can anyone other than I smell the electioneering crap in these statements?

Ahhh, the parliamentary elections in October are nearing fast, and these MPs are baying at the moon and salivating once again at the sounds of coins and benefits awaiting them.

Are they worth electing once again? Did Bahrain not learn from the lessons?

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Disgusting. Coral Beach Club flouts anti-smoking law with impunity

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It was unfortunate that I accepted going to the Rotary Club of Adliya’s monthly social evening at the Coral Beach Club. I had forgotten that it was a Shisha bar. But with the experience of last night, I won’t be running back again there any time soon.

Shisha smoker :: Image coutesty of TimeOutBahrain.com

The company of my Rotarian friends last night I loved of course. It’s one of the prime reasons why I joined the Rotary. Professional, conscientious and fun people from various backgrounds getting together to share their wealth of knowledge and experience to help our community. It’s the venue and their complete flouting of the Bahraini anti-smoking law which I found extremely disgusting.

What made it even worse for me, and that of everyone else present at our table, was the horror of seeing a young mother who could not have been more than 19 years old with an infant of just a few months old sitting right behind us and puffing away at her shisha! If that’s not criminal I don’t know what is. To compound the situation, that table hosted 3 others of her friends or family all of whom exhaled poison right at that poor infant. How absolutely callous.

This reminds me of the following idiom: You are forced to get a license to drive a car; however, any two dimwits can produce babies! This was so apt for the horrendous situation we witnessed last night. I promise you that my throat is still soar as I write this and my head has not stopped thumping. Can you imagine what’s going on with that poor infant and other children allowed to be in that poisonous atmosphere?

Why does the Coral Beach Club allow such situations? Are they above the law? It most certainly seems so. On the day the world has dedicated to fight tobacco use, the Coral Beach Club flagrantly and irresponsibly not only offer poisons to their patrons, but refuse, when approached, to only serve smokers outside of the enclosed space to entertain such requests. The duty manager simply scoffed! The reply was “I can’t do anything, this is what the owners instructed me to do.”

That might be good enough for him. It most certainly is not good enough for me. They’re flouting both the anti-smoking law AND allowing infants, for goodness’ sake, infants to be brought into such a poisonous atmosphere, isn’t there also a law forbidding people younger than 21 years old to frequent such places?

I just called the owner, Karim Miknas, who was very apologetic and promised to immediately do something about the situation. There is no reason for me to doubt his sincerity, but to help him along, here’s what I suggest we do:

  • Email the owner: Karim Miknas and tell him that you do not appreciate him flouting Bahraini law, and for him to immediately do something concrete about smoking at his establishments and monitor the facilities for compliance.
  • Call Mohammed Saad, the head of investigation and follow-up at the Manama Municipality to follow up on complaints against establishments flouting the anti-smoking law and tell complain. His office is at 1722 1454. You can also email him here. I already have. He’s a very understanding gentleman with a huge task on his shoulders to accomplish.
  • Enter a comment on Karim Miknas’ Facebook page reminding him of his and his companies social responsibility goes beyond entertainment. If he really wants to help the local community, he should at least ensure the banning of smoking in enclosed spaces at his establishments, as the law stipulates.

Update: 11am: I’ve just received a notification from Karim Miknas that the responsible manager has just been terminated. I’m very glad that he has taken this matter seriously and appreciate his efforts.

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The Nazi is coming!

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I couldn’t believe my eyes as I drove to my office this morning…

This is what I saw:

When I called the owner to offer advice, she abjectly refused to accept that “Nazi” might be an bad choice for such an establishment. And a drunk Nazi is even worse!

“How do you know?” she challenged
“Because it’s common knowledge,” I replied
“Yes but did you check on the Internet?”
“No, I don’t need to”
“It’s MY name anyway, I don’t care what you say. I’ve used it all my life” she said
“What’s your name dear?”
“Naziha, and Nazi is my nickname” – you can almost see the determined jaw there
“Why that’s a lovely name, in Arabic and Persian of course, but it has a totally different meaning in English” I tried to explain
“But the Ministry registered this name and they never complained” she retorted, naturally assuming they know better!
I felt that I wasn’t getting anywhere so I thought I’d end the conversation:
“Well, I explained my points to you and I hope you will get the facts checked. This could affect your business and as a neighbour, I wouldn’t wish that on you.” I concluded.

Putting the phone down, I decided to look into the CR records to see if some moron actually registered names like these, and guess what? They did!

We have:

  • Commercial Registration No 27226-3
    Commercial Registration Name NAZI BOUTIQE in Bu Kawara
  • our new neighboars: Commercial Registration No 43249-10
    Commercial Registration Name NAZI BEAUTY SALON
  • Commercial Registration No 59215-1
    Commercial Registration Name NAZI CONSTRUCTION in Qalali

I hope someone bothers to educate the Ministry of Commerce soon on these things for them to at least advise business owners before they formally register such names.

The most worrying thing, however, is not the name, it’s the young lady’s complete ignorance of recent history. And that of the employees of the Ministry of Industry & Commerce too. I would excuse the former, but not the latter.

Sad.

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“My Garden” FAIL

It pisses me off when shop clerks think that they become salesmen simply because they carry big-ass calculators to calculate “special discounts” for prospects walking into their store.

What, does it say “mug” on my forehead?

Does respect for you or your shop happen automatically because your moronic employers actually gave you a job even though you’re most probably sludge at the bottom of a barrel from wherever the hell you come from?

So I actually wait to go into the so called garden furniture shop in Tubli, wasting 160 fils granted to Batelco to get the only published number for their shop which I find is connected to a fax machine! I wait to go into their shop with the full intention to buy some furniture – yes, I know you guessed it – for my garden. I spy some pieces which might be worth investigating in the window previously so I stop by on the way home from a fantastic lunch with the family, I even ask my wife to join me so we can quickly make a decision, plonk the cash and wait for the pieces to be delivered.

I browse while I await my wife’s arrival and I spy a teak bench exactly the same as one I already own which has become a favourite of ours. We bought it about 3 years or so ago from Manazil for BD160 and we have been searching for another to make a pair ever since. Unfortunately Manazil ran out at that time. I look at the marked price and get surprised. The label says BD400! I ask my maid – who was with me at the time – to confirm that it’s the same bench and she does. I tell the wannabe salesman that we bought the very same item for BD160 three years ago and he calls me a liar!

The stupid bastard insists that my bench is NOT teak and if it were there is no way that I would have bought it for BD160. I explain to him that my maid confirms its the same. Nope, he’s having none of it. I keep my cool and walk around the shop.

I notice that everything they have has an inflated price tag, doubtlessly awaiting deft digits – albeit belonging to single-celled organisms – to tap out “I can only give you a maximum of 15% discount” on the big-ass calculator. Nevertheless, I notice two possible sets which would fit nicely where I intended them for.

My wife arrives and notices the kidney-shaped teak bench. She too comments that it’s exactly the same as the one we have! She gets excited thinking that we should get it. I point out to the moron that my wife is the third person to confirm our happy acquisition but to him, she’s a liar too! In his single-celled brain, it does not compute that another shop in Bahrain could possibly have sold this priceless gem of his!

I’ve had enough. I tell him that I don’t care much for the price. I wasn’t shopping for a discount particularly, but I could not help wondering that if its price is inflated by more than double what we originally paid – even taking inflation into consideration – then I worry that everything in his shop must have undergone the same treatment; hence, the ready use of the big-ass calculators. Nope, it doesn’t compute either. So, I volunteer, in no uncertain terms, to shove his bench into his smelly orifice, tell him that he lost a customer with the intention to spend considerably more than that bench was worth, and walk out. Never to return to such an establishment.

I think I’ll simply buy my garden furniture on the Internet and ship them across where I am relatively sure that that operation will afford me better prices, bigger selection, less morons to deal with and less shady cowboy outfits such as “My Garden”.

No wonder I almost never see a car parked in front of that moron depo on the Tubli Bay road. Maybe, just maybe, the real moron owning that place will wake up one day and pay attention to the damage “their people” are doing to their reputation.

But I won’t hold my breath.

“My Garden” should be proud of something else to put up on their empty mantle piece though, they should now collectively be proud to be the official TWITBTHIFD holders for the time being.

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Only in Arabia

You know that you are a Gulf Arab (or a long term resident) if a story like this doesn’t even make you stop and contemplate life for a while:

This form of transport happens in every single country in the Gulf, seen as pretty normal. <small>Picture credit: <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/951330/Big-Picture-shortlist-round-four.html?image=3">The Telegraph</a></small>
This form of transport happens in every single country in the Gulf, seen as pretty normal.

Baby camel still missing after crash

MYSTERY surrounds the whereabouts of a baby camel, which fled after being involved in a road accident in which two people were injured.

The accident happened near the Al Jazira Supermarket, Budaiya, when the camel reportedly fell off a pick-up truck, into the path of an oncoming car, on Saturday.

It is understood the camel shattered the car windscreen, slightly injuring its Indian driver and a passenger.

The camel was last seen running into bushes near Bushehri Gardens, but there has been no trace of it since.

Traffic police called an ambulance and the injured car occupants were treated on the spot, but not taken to hospital.

“We made sure the two men were treated but we are not aware of what happened to the camel,” said a traffic official.

A witness, who was at a nearby cold store, said the camel fell off a pick-up but the vehicle did not stop.

“Seconds later, the animal was hit by a car,” he said.
GDN – 8 Sept 08

Picture credit: The Telegraph

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