Tag Archives children

Mixed messages

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This is on Al-Wasat‘s front page this morning:

On the right, the Crown Prince inaugurates the building of a low income community of 444 much needed houses in Malkiya, one of the Bahraini fishing villages. While on the left, a picture of two children of 12 years old sitting on a bench inside the court in which they were convicted of the crimes of possession of inflammable material, rioting and participating in an unlawful gathering.

Twelve years old criminals.

But they’re not the only ones. Apprehending, incarcerating and imprisoning children has become a legitimate exercise of our ever vigilant security apparatus. According to human rights organisations and the very same security apparatus, there are some 65 (yes, sixty-five) children in prison either awaiting trial or having been convicted due to various offences including participation in demonstrations and unauthorised protests, possession of illegal material, rioting, etc. The youngest of those is ten years old.

Do you not see the complete disconnect between the two pictures? The crown prince laying the foundation stone for the future of 444 Bahraini families who hope to be productive and secure now that the promise of an abode is near, while sixty-five whole families now being raised with a deep hatred for the regime, and whose future is at best suspect. Children in prison for doing what they cannot possibly comprehend, but paying dearly for their future. No education, no compassion, just hate generated from a deep sense of injustice levied against them.

Shame.

Shame on every Bahraini who condones such a un-compassionate and inconsiderate application of the law.

Instead of investing into changing these children’s and their environment’s prospects for the future, bringing them into a more equitable economic situation, we get the government entrenching their dire situation of poverty and ignorance. All under the guise of “teaching them a lesson”. The lesson that they’re “teaching” in this instance; however, is just hate. Hate that will traverse generations.

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Vlog 41: The Nasfah

The 15th of Sha’abaan, the 8th month on the Muslim Hijri calendar holds special significance to Shi’a Muslims. On that night – called the Nasfah – they celebrate the birth of their last Imam, Imam Al-Mahdi, the 12th and last Shi’a Imam who went into occultation in 939AD. It is said that on his reappearance he will establish justice in the world and save humanity.

That’s the historical perspective. The practical one is that it’s yet another reason to celebrate as a community, give the children another reason to go from door to door singing ditties and getting coins and sweets! Another one is that it marks the real count-down to Ramadhan, only 15 days hence.

This year the celebrations coincided with the 28th of August and I was determined to shoot the scenes from a couple of the nearby villages of Duraz and Barbar despite the horrendous heat and humidity on that night, and the possibility of a yet again wet camera. I knew how to crack that one!

The result is the following vlog which I hope you will enjoy.

Have a wonderful Friday my friends, and happy celebrations wherever you are.

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