There is a huge part of me that refuses to believe that we – Bahrainis – are capable of doing what we see on the television news every day; the violence, the killing, the kidnapping, the vicious crime, the beatings, the terrorism, all of these things I would like to believe that they are completely alien to us. We are after all a small nation of under a million people living in a country the size of a small city in the larger world.
Everyone knows each other. If you believe in the six degrees of separation, then Bahrain the factor is really just one degree. If you don’t know a person, then you most probably will know his kin, or a member of your family or a friend is bound to know the person, so the network is really really small. Bahrain is in fact more like a large family.
This closeness gives us a huge comfort zone. You will never hesitate to stop and give an unfortunate person a hand. You see an accident in front of you and suddenly tens of people immediately park and try to help, genuinely. And in most cases – this is from personal experience and it has happened to me several times – you will find that you will know the persons involved or know a member of their family. This is part of what makes Bahrain truly great. I will never – ever – leave this place. It might be just a sand pit in some people’s minds, but it is MY sand pit and I love it.
That’s why it really hurts me to be informed of vicious and seemingly unprovoked and calculated attacks which result in this:
Meet Mr. Abbas Abdali of al-Ekr village in the island of Sitra. He was driving home at an early hour of the morning when he got stopped by unmarked (and dis-plated vehicles) and viciously attacked by masked men. He was left torn, bleeding and unconscious on the pavement for 3 hours before a migrant worker happened to be by and shook him awake. Abbas just had enough energy to drive the short distance home for his wife to immediately take him to the Bahrain Defence Forces hospital to get attended to. He ended up with a list of stitches to various places in his body, particularly his head. According to Abbas, he was surrounded, beaten and kicked by more than 7 persons who came out of unmarked Range Rover vehicles, the men were masked and some of whom wearing the traditional Arab dress.
Why? What possible reason could have warranted this vicious attack?
The circumstantial evidence (until the police investigate and transparently produce a report – which realistically will never happen) is that he happens to be the elder brother of the Unemployment Committee head, who happens to reside in prison at the moment due to his involvement in the “Dana Mall Riots” as that case came to be known, he himself was attacked and sexually assaulted in the very spot that Abbas came to this trouble.
Conspiracy? I don’t know. I certainly am very sceptical when it comes to conspiracy theories, I just find them far too fantastic that only simpletons actually ultimately believe. But the circumstances of this case just does not compute.
Regardless, that does not interest me. What interests me is that this is not my Bahrain. No, I am not being an ultra-romantic, but this is so alien to us as it raises so many questions which we – as a society – demand an answer for. The police must open a full and thorough enquiry and punish all those responsible, regardless of how high they are within the society and if it becomes known that these criminals are even remotely associated with the security apparatus, they should be doubly punished.
Incidents like these are despicable, and it is these incidents – not the Islamists and their shenanigans, not the whores, not the discos, not the drugs and not the booze which destroy our beloved country’s reputation and world standing.
Something must be done about this. Please. For the sake of Bahrain.