Tag Archives Miscellany

Effecting Change from the Inside

Marionette - puppet on strings - the story of our Bahraini parliament

They said – as I have – that it is best to effect change from the inside rather than shout directions from the outside.

This plan doesn’t seem to be working somehow:

نكثت الكتل النيابية بوعدها بتمرير اقتراح تعديل 3 مواد من الدستور الذي دفعت به كتلة الوفاق، ففي الوقت الذي وقع نواب يمثلون مختلف الأطياف النيابية على طلب اقتراح تعديل الدستور، عمد الكثير منهم إلى التغيب عن جلسة أمس التي كان مقررا أن تناقش هذه التعديلات، الأمر الذي حمل كتلة الوفاق إلى التقدم بطلب رسمي إلى رئيس المجلس خليفة الظهراني بسحب اقتراح التعديلات الدستورية.

وجاءت خطوة كتلة الوفاق بسحب التعديلات الدستورية في رد فعل سريع من الكتلة لمنع إجهاض الاقتراح في الجلسة التي لم يتجاوز حضورها 23 نائباً في حين أن النصاب اللازم لتمرير التعديلات الدستورية هو ثلثا أعضاء المجلس الأربعين (27 نائباً)، إذ تقضي اللائحة الداخلية لمجلس النواب في المادة (90) بأن «يعرض رئيس المجلس الطلب المقدم باقتراح تعديل الدستور خلال 7 أيام من تقديمه على لجنة الشئون التشريعية والقانونية لإعداد تقرير بشأن مبدأ التعديل وموضوعاته، ويعرض التقرير على المجلس، ويؤخذ الرأي عليه نداء بالاسم، فإذا وافق المجلس على مبدأ التعديل وموضوعاته بغالبية ثلثي عدد أعضائه، أحال الاقتراح إلى الحكومة لتضع صيغة مشروع تعديل الدستور».
الوسط – ٣١ مايو ٢٠٠٧

So they succeed in getting a member of parliament away from his mother’s deathbed – literally – to vote, but suddenly when constitutional changes are in the offing, seventeen members disappear into thin air?

We deserve whomever we vote for.

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Huh? It’s not OUR fault!

Such power and water cuts hamper the process of development, keep the leadership awake and bother the citizens, giving rise to a number of undesirable happenings that the government prefers to avert, the Premier said.

Say again? This just doesn’t make any sense and is probably just the standard copy-paste Google translation by the illustrious BNA of what was said by His Highness.

So let’s reference something related in Arabic just to attempt to find out what’s going on:

حمل وزير الكهرباء والماء الشيخ عبدالله بن سلمان آل خليفة، المواطنين ‘’مسؤولية انقطاع الكهرباء، وذلك بسبب الحمل الزائد على شبكة التوزيع’’، لافتاً إلى أن ‘’90% من أسباب انقطاع الكهرباء، تعود إلى عدم إخطار الوزارة بإضافات كهربائية جديدة يقوم بها الأهالي في منازلهم’’.
وأوضح الوزير في مؤتمر صحافي أمس (الأربعاء) أنه ‘’حسب القانون، يجب أن يأخذ المواطنون إذنا من الوزارة عند أي إضافات كهربائية حتى تأخذ الوزارة إجراءاتها’’، معتبرا أن’’العام الجاري، هو أكثر الأعوام تجاوزا في الإضافات الكهربائية ولو تمت محاسبة المتجاوزين لأصبحت هناك آلاف القضايا بالمحاكم’’.
وأضاف أن ‘’شبكات التوزيع، تتحمل جهدا معينا، حسب الخطة التي وضعها مهندسو التخطيط حيث يتم إنشاء شبكة توزيع لكل 20 بيتا، ولها طاقة استيعابية معينة مع ترك 20% كجانب احتياطي’’.
ولفت الوزير إلى أن’’ الانقطاعات لم تكن موجودة في فترة الشتاء، لأن استخدام الكهرباء يقل عن الصيف’’، مشيرا إلى أن ‘’شهري مايو ويونيو من كل عام، هما الأكثر في حدوث الانقطاعات، حيث يبدأ المواطنون استهلاك الكهرباء، وتكتشف الوزارة أن هناك أحمالا زائدة على شبكات التوزيع’’.
ونفى الوزير، وجود مشكلات في إنتاج الكهرباء وكذلك في شبكات النقل، منوها إلى ‘’وجود مشكلات في التوزيع’’ نفى وزير الكهرباء والماء، تشكيل لجنة تحقيق في انقطاع المياه بالشمالية، منوها إلى ‘’وجود تحقيق حول ما إذا كانت المياه مقطوعة بالكامل أو ضعيفة، وبالفعل وجد أنه ليست هناك مياه مقطوعة في أي منطقة بل كان هناك ضعف في المياه’’.
إلى ذلك، لفت الوزير إلى أن ‘’استهلاك الفرد في البحرين من المياه 4 أضعاف الاستهلاك العالمي، حيث وصل إلى 126 جالونا في اليوم، بينما دول الخليج 100 جالون، والاستهلاك العالمي 40 جالونا فقط’’.
وأضاف ‘’لا توجد مشكلة في انقطاعات المياه، كما صورتها الصحف المحلية حيث كانت محطة الدور والتي تنتج 5مليون جالون في صيانة لمدة أسبوعين، وهذا لا يؤثر على وضع المياه’’، منوها إلى أن ‘’الوزارة تتسلم 7 ملايين جالون من محطة ألبا، فيما يبلغ إنتاج وزارة الكهرباء والماء 110 ملايين يومياً’’.
وأشار إلى أن ‘’محطة الحد تنتج 30 مليون جالون ، قبل أن تتحول إلى شركة خاصة، وتم الاتفاق مع الشركة بتزويدنا 12 مليون جالون من المياه منذ أول إبريل، لكنها لم تلتزم ‘’.
وتابع ‘’تم خفض كميات المياه التي تتسلمها الوزارة من محطة ألبا إلى 3 ملايين جالون أي أن الوزارة فقدت 9 مليون جالون من المياه بسبب صيانة محطة الدور وانخفاض كميات المياه بمعدل كبير من محطة ألبا وتزامن ذلك مع صيانة محطة الدور’’.
وشدد الوزير على أن ‘’الوزارة عالجت الوضع بتشغيل محطة الدور أمس الأول، ووصل إنتاجها إلى 5 ملايين جالون، كما سنحصل على 12 مليونا من محطة الحد خلال أسبوعين وستصل إلى 60 مليونا في نوفمبر المقبل’’.
وأوضح الوزير أن’’ الوزارة ستعمل مع نهاية العام الجاري على ربط شبكات المياه في جميع المحافظات، على أن يتم التعامل مع النقص في أي منطقة بكل سهولة’’، معتبرا أن ذلك ‘’سيساهم في تنظيم نقل المياه ومراعاة النقص في بعض المناطق مع مناطق أخرى’’.

Oh boy. We’re really, but I mean really in for it this summer!

Shall we attempt to analyse what’s actually going on here? But before doing so, let me put in my application to the right honourable minister to seek his approval to add one, just one 60W bulb to my study at home and as a concerned citizen who does not want to overload the perfectly designed electricity generation and distribution grids I promise to only make use of it in non-peak times, ie, from 9pm to 10pm. I don’t want to be that straw that breaks the camel’s back of course, so I’ll just use it on even days in the month too. That should stay within the perfectly designed 20% margin the engineers design into every distribution scheme.

Okay, I’m making a big deal out of nothing. It’s only that in a modern country with multi-billion dollar developments (Bahrain Financial Harbour, Bahrain Bay, Durrat Al-Bahrain, Amwaj, Riffa Views, etc) you would think that power availability would have been the very first consideration on the minds of governments. And it is this that should have kept them awake. Alas, that insomnia doesn’t seem to have produced anything but frayed nerves and shoveling the blame onto others.

Let’s take a page out of Dubai’s book in this regard and see how they are handling this issue, considering that as far as I remember they only had one major brown-out (not black-outs as we have experienced and will continue to experience until the mode of thinking changes.):

Electricity-hungry Dubai is planning to build one of the world’s largest power and desalination complexes, a multibillion dollar plant that would produce nearly as much power as New York City’s total generating capacity.

The new plant would be capable of producing 9,000 megawatts of electricity and 600 million gallons a day of desalinated water, Dow Jones Newswires reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the project.

Dubai’s planned mega-complex will sit next to Dubai World Central, intended to be the world’s largest airport, and the giant Jebel Ali port and free zone _where most of the emirate’s power generation capacity of about 5,000 megawatts is presently located.

homework by candlelight by Michele

Back to the present, we find the Minister of Electricity is somewhat abashed in the last few months with no real plan to come out of the magic (kerosene-powered) lantern; someone asserts that there is rampant corruption in his ministry and instead of looking at the fire and puts it out, he blows away the smoke by taking the accuser, an elected member of a municipal board, to court for defamation. Now we find that rather than admitting to shortages in his ministry and its main products, he is putting the full blame on power black-outs squarely on the shoulders of citizens for “not notifying the ministry of additional electrical services installed in their homes” which is the major cause – quoting the figure 90% – of electricity black-outs. He declared further that these transgressions on the law are at their maximum this year.

The minister also made a very important observation which we should stand at and consider, as within it the truth most definitely lies; he said, and I translate:

The minister noted that “black-outs did not occur during the Winter period because electricity usage is lower than in the Summer period,” further explaining that “most black-outs occur during the months of May and June of every year as citizens start using (more) electricity, and the ministry discovers that there is an increased load on the distribution network.”

No kidding! Really? I would never have guessed really. But I am to blame of course as I am from the privileged few who up sticks and leaves this furnace every summer to climes more amenable to my constitution. The summers I know are those of Cannes and St Tropez and Monaco and Marbella and if I really really want to go local there is always Gloucester road in London!

Okay, fair warning your excellency. You have absolved your ministry from responsibility, we won’t hold your ministry from any forthcoming black- brown- or any colour-power-cuts happening this summer, or during any time of the year. It’s not your nor is it your ministry’s fault.

Water! Water! Yes, water. Some of those people have been complaining that they didn’t have water in their homes for days, whole districts, neighbourhoods, towns and villages have complained of the same, but the stupid sods don’t know the difference of the water being cut and not having any pressure. Pfah! Those beoble. They should have at least bothered to call the emergency response line (no S) at the ministry to be educated on the difference, so once again, I would like to thank the right honourable minister for taking the time to explain things as they are to us, and once again you will forgive me for translating his missive:

The minister refuted the formation of an investigative committee by the Northern Municipal Council into water cuts (in the Northern District) stating that “the investigation around whether water was completely cut or was delivered with low pressure. In fact, it was found that there were no water cuts at all in any location, but the pressure was low.”

We’d better go dig up all the “supposed” dead and check their pulse again. The stupid-ass doctors didn’t understand that in fact their patients actually were not dead at all, their hearts did not actually stop working, but just had low pressure!

God have mercy.

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The prince and the pauper

Street sweeper Sulaiman overjoyed at meeting the prince

Ahhhh, this is so sweet.

Shaikh Mohammed of Dubai has bestowed the “excellence in performance in government” prize on a street sweeper – Sulaiman – in Dubai who is diligent in his work. Shaikh Mohammed, one of the richest people in the world, had a little chat with Sulaiman and asked if he could take a picture with him. Sulaiman obliged of course and was overjoyed at the prospect.

He was also very happy to receive a special “thank you” from the Shaikh to the tune of DH50,000 (approx US$13,600) which he will use to marry off his second daughter, pay for a son’s education and build a small house in his country.

Well done Dubai!

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Walla akher zaman… a poor foreign woman becomes a government minister!

Hah! What is this world coming to? Don’t they have respect for class, for the local people, for men? What the hell has she got to become the Minister of Justice in France?

Rachida Dati - French justice minister

Lawyer Rachida Dati, named as French justice minister by President Sarkozy, is the first person of North African origin to hold a top government post in Paris.

She was born in 1965 to an Moroccan mason father and an Algerian mother, one of 12 children raised in humble circumstances.

At the age of 16, she started working as a carer in a private clinic.

The premature death of her mother forced her to look after her younger sisters and brothers.

“My mother was the light of my life. When I lost her, I thought I had been punished,” she says.

Working by day, learning by night, she gained degrees in both economics and law, and went on to work for various public and private companies – including a spell working as an accountant for French oil giant Elf.
profile on BBC News

She should be ashamed of herself working hard from a poor background to even dream of becoming a teacher in government schools, let alone become the Justice minister in one of the major countries in the world.

Had this been in Bahrain – or any other Arab country for that matter – we’d simply tell her to not move from her designated place and be “pragmatic”. In other words, we would tell her مشّي بوزش Ùˆ ولا في عرس أمش إتحصلين شي حتى لو تقطعت جِبدش.

I wonder if she has to breastfeed anyone now to be able to work in a mixed environment.

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Temporary cessation of hostilities announced

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And this is how the political situation – or at least what they want to desperately term as political – goes. A continuous cat-and-mouse game with no regard nor any attempt is made to encode and inculcate just laws which serve as a benchmark that is applied to everyone regardless of shape, colour or size.

The king has ordered the the case dropped which was levied against Hassan Mushaim’i, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and Shaker Abdulhussain for “publicly inciting hatred against and scorning the regime and broadcasting news and rumors that may cause internal unrest and publicly inciting resistance to the authorities and not to bow to laws.

That is excellent news of course, especially – as I predicted earlier – at a time when quite a number of Bahraini villages were rioting against not only this particular case but due to the general anger people are feeling on how this “democratic experiment” is going.

So the case is dropped, no more rioting (hopefully) will occur on the 21st, a day which was earmarked as “support Mushaim’i day” throughout Bahrain, but how long will this situation last? Any spark here will light the fires again because there is no equitable base to maintain a state of political equilibrium.

It seems that the government only reacts when it is absolutely necessary for it to do so, giving the impression that they are telling the people that they will only get what they want only if they forcefully demand it, or drag it out from between the government’s clamped jaws.

This “getting it by force” attitude was quite evident recently with the government’s repeated attempt to derail the newly proposed Press & Publications Law submitted by five members of the Shura Council by submitting its own amendments to the old law immediately! According to parliamentary bylaws, the government’s submissions take precedence, therefore, the Shura submitted laws will constitutionally be ignored.

One has to ask the question; however, if those amendments were obviously ready for some time, and demands for the Press & Publications Law number 47/2002 have been continuous, why did the government wait for an action to effect a reaction?

My view of governments’ function and primary task is to not just establish a bar to which all can strive to, but also continuously raise it in order to encourage creativity and competitiveness engendering continuous development; thus, raising the standard of living of all its citizens by doing so by placing the country at good international competitive plains at which it will excel by virtue of these functions.

What this government seems to be doing is quite the reverse. It is high time that it woke up from its lethargic slumber and realize that the times have been changing and the world no longer can afford to wait around for us to catch up. We will simply be left behind and quite quickly forgotten.

It is high time that the constitution and laws be retooled to take this into account and the sooner we get this done, the faster we can really turn the page and get on with our lives within a modern world order. Comprehensively retooling the constitution (which is the mother of laws) and removing the shackles on criticism, freedom of speech and personal freedoms will afford us the necessary agility to compete in this day and age; continuous cats-and-mice games will not.

I salute his majesty the king for ordering the case against these activists be dropped, but I also implore him to lead the kingdom into the future by ordering already agreed constitutional amendments to be adopted so that we can truly be a globally competitive Constitutional Monarchy.

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Gimme Boob!

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Don’t laugh, this is serious:

احتدم جدل بين علماء دين في مصر ووصل إلى البرلمان بعد فتوى لرئيس قسم الحديث بجامعة الأزهر، تبيح ‘’إرضاع الكبير’’، في وقت انتقدت صحف عدة تدريس كتاب في هذا القسم يؤكد أن الإرضاع يحلل الخلوة بين رجل وامرأة غريبة عنه في مكاتب العمل المغلقة، بحسب موقع ‘’العربية.نت’’.
الوقت – ١٨ مايو ٢٠٠٧

What that little gem above states that a brainfartist at Al-Azhar, that “islamic university” which has imprisoned Kareem due to what they categorise as blasphemous comments on his blog which scorned the greatest and last religion on Earth, has done much more to completely insult our religion – you know, the one they are sworn to protect? – by a brainfart of a fatwa (or as we say in colloquial Bahraini – and this is a literal translation of the “fart” part of the phrase: faswa) – which is supposed to help women who share offices with male colleagues. This is in the same stream of “elevating women and putting them on a pedestal” of course.

What the right dishonourable twat issued his fatwa that should a woman share an office with a male colleague, which is haram (verboten, forgetaboutit, nowayjosé, gostraighttohellanddonotpassgo), as unmarried males and females should not mix, she must be accompanied with a chaperon, or she should breast feed that adult male five times in order for their unchaperoned existence together be Islamically lawful, halal!

How about that for flexibility? Who said that Islam was a rigid religion?

Now. I would not be surprised that men all over the Muslim world standing erect while a queue of women pass by, boobs hanging out and breast feeding the line in order to protect their rights and allow them to live in a halal environment with men.

Islam – according to the respected Al-Azhar, that edifice of education and protector of our religion and spreader of blaspheming law suits, not only condones this sort of behavior, but encourages heads of departments to research and produce this sort of edict!

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“Inciting hatred” is becoming a fashionable charge

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Soon, Bahrain’s streets, villages and towns will once again live several days of a perfumed atmosphere. The wafts of tear-gas and the sounds of rubber bullets will be infused in decrepit narrow streets, while that effervescent smell of burning rubber, that major adrenaline aphrodisiac normally only experienced when paying hundreds of dinars at the F1 racetrack, will be available completely free of charge while cars dodge the flames and probably accompanied by thrown rocks and sticks; all of those terrorist acts by kids who – because of their reaching the legal age of maturity which is 15 in Bahrain – could be imprisoned for a very long time, but could never dream of exercising their energy and intellect to vote for a representative who could speak with their voice. When those kids are from the 55% of the population that only got 18 representatives while across the fence they see that they do not count as much as those 35% who got 22, then they deserve everything that they get!

And they will get the usual “inciting hatred of the regime” charge, get locked up and the keys get thrown away awaiting a usual royal pardon a few weeks later.

And the cat-and-mouse games continue.

Soon too, three citizens who believe in the adage that one should be patriotic to ones country all the time and only be loyal to its government when it deserves it will be taken to court with this familiar and oft-used charge:

التحريض علانية على كراهية نظام الحكم والازدراء به، وإذاعة أخبار وشائعات من شأنها إحداث الاضطراب الداخلي بالمملكة والتحريض علانية إلى مقاومة السلطات وعدم الانقياد للقوانين

which translates to:

    Publicly inciting hatred against and scorning the regime and broadcasting news and rumors that may cause internal unrest and publicly inciting resistance to the authorities and not to bow to laws

Okay, talk – against another old adage – is not cheap in Bahrain. It can cost you your freedom!

Throughout my observation of the political scene here, and from the various video clips that I have seen of Al-Khawajah and Mushaimi’s speeches and lectures, I have never, not even once, heard them publicly calling for violence against the regime. Never once did I hear them demand the removal of the ruling family, nor did I hear them call for their death either. Yes, their neophyte and overzealous followers regularly call for the death of Al-Khalifa and I know that is more passion than fact but those calls are ignored by the two in question.

From what I see from an objective point of view is that they are both exercising their full right to speak freely, which is their constitutionally guaranteed right. If and when they do extend that right to calling for violence or the illegal exclusion of the ruling family, then and only then should the legal authorities react and put them through the grinder.

Ironically, I know of one person (at least) who should be charged under those felonies because he and his team have been fully inciting hatred against and scorning the regime and broadcasting news and rumors that may cause internal unrest and publicly inciting resistance to the authorities and not to bow to laws but all they got are bagfuls of cash and various other incentives for a job well done!

Strange times we live in…

update: I found an interview with lawyer Hassan Radhi in today’s Al-Waqt very appropriate to this topic:

عندما نتحدث عن الوطن فإنا نتحدث عن الحقوق الاقتصادية والاجتماعية والسياسية، حق الحياة والتمتع بها، بناء الوطن هو بناء البيت والمسكن وإيجاد المأكل والمشرب والملبس ومساحة الحركة والتمتع بثروة الوطن وأرضه وسمائه ومياهه وهوائه.

الكل فيه ينبغي أن يكونوا سواسية، وأي تمييز بسبب الدين أو المذهب أو المعتقد، هو معصية دينية وجريمة في حق الوطن واعتداء على حقوق الإنسان التي تقررها الشرائع السماوية والأرضية على حد سواء، وأية دعوة قائمة على التمييز والتجزئة من أي طرف كان، خيانة للوطن وتصب في خدمة الأعداء، وعلى مؤسسات الدولة خصوصا العسكرية والحكومية أن تكون القدوة الصالحة وإلا انطبق علينا المثل ”إذا كان رب البيت بالدف ضاربا، فشيمة أهل البيت كلهم الرقص”.

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ألا تعني الأساليب الحقوقية الالتزام بالقانون؟

– الحق فوق القانون، والقانون شرع لحماية الحقوق وليس سلبها، القوانين التي لا تخدم الحق لن تكون مصانة من التمرد عليها كما كان شأن قوانين أمن الدولة، لكن الإخلال بالأمن والسلم باللجوء للعنف والقوة هي في نظري محرمة ومرفوضة من أي طرف كان خصوصا من جانب الدولة.

الوقت – ١٧ مايو ٢٠٠٧

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Just Rewards?

Gardener’s loyalty rewarded
Generocity bestowing her gifts painting

DUBAI: Dubai’s ruler has awarded a 63-year-old Pakistani gardener 50,000 dirhams ($13,600 or BD5,125) for always showing up to work on time during the 28 years he spent working there.

The bonus Mohammad Nazier received was the equivalent of 49 months’ pay from his job with the state’s municipal authority.
GDN :: 17 May 2007

A guy lives in a country for 28 years. Foresaking home, kith and kin. Appears to work without fail for 28 years, and all he gets is a meager fistful of notes?

If that was me I would have thrown that money back were it came from and demanded my right as a human being to get naturalised in the country I have literally toiled in for twenty-eight years of my life. The country would have been much more than just a place of work for me had I been given the opportunity to get the honour of its citizenship.

TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS and all you get is US$13,600? And that equates to forty-nine monthly salaries in a country that is supposed to be one of the richest in the world? US$280 a month? For twenty-eight years?

Man Dubai is the place to be!

What generosity!

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Ministry of Agriculture & Municipalities threatens law suits

وفي الختام، فإن وزارة شئون البلديات والزراعة، وهي تعلن لجميع أبناء الوطن، تكذيبها ونفيها الكامل لكل ما أثير حول هذا الشأن من مزاعم، تؤكد التزامها بنهج الشفافية، والأبواب المفتوحة، وفي الوقت نفسه مسئوليتها عن اتخاذ جميع الإجراءات القانونية بحق كل من تسول له نفسه الإضرار بالمصلحة الوطنية ونشر الأخبار الجزافية التي من شأنها المساس بالأمن الوطني من دون تحر أو تدقيق أو إحساس بالمسئولية الوطنية.
أخبار الخليج – ١٥ مايو ٢٠٠٧

In a communiqué by the Ministry of Agricultural Affairs and Municipalities in response to what has been published yesterday regarding the purported sale of the Fasht Al-Jarem reef, the ministry not only denied the allegation completely and stated that the island of Fasht Al-Jarem is still owned by the government of Bahrain, but went much further than it should have by threatening all those who dare criticise or ask questions or show concern for our lands, islands, seas and the environment with law suits!

I am not certain – so I might be completely wrong in my assertion here – but did anyone notice the word “Justice” appended to the ministry in question? Or has the Ministry of Justice been now disbanded and enjoined to that of Agricultural Affairs and the Municipalities?

Why else would a ministry more concerned with the disappearing agricultural scene (other than the cosmetic one that is), city planning (supposedly, though I would strongly question the use of the word “planning” here), environmental cleaning (I would strongly question both premises here, its concern for the environment and for the act of cleaning our streets, villages, towns and cities are both sorely lacking) have with threatening the genuine interest of the people’s need for information with law suits?

Of course if the respected ministry and government had given the public clear access to information, these kind of “baseless” allegations would probably not happen.

But try as much as you could as a citizen to find out who owns what land in Bahrain or its environs and you would know how difficult it is to ascertain anything officially.

For instance, who owns this? Just out of interest, how would one go about ascertaining its ownership and the circumstances thereof?

Jiddah Island
click image to download Google Earth locator

or this:

Umm Al-Na’asaan Island
click image to download Google Earth locator

Of course all a Bahraini wants to know is what can he and his children can look forward to in 5 or 10 or 15 years. Will there be any land left for his children to continue to reside on these precious islands we call home? That’s why this major concern and it is a concern that worries every single Bahraini because we love this country and don’t want to dream that our children would have land and opportunities for them and their own children in the future, but we want to change that dream into reality.

What’s wrong with that?

Should we now stop being concerned because an illustrious ministry threatens us with law suits?

Well, I will not.

What the honourable government and our illustrious parliament should do is work together to produce and inculcate a Freedom of Information act immediately and make all non-national security issues freely and immediately available for us citizens.

It is our God-given right to know.

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Government doing something about animal welfare

Isa Town Local Market set

This morning’s Al-Wasat has some good news:

كما أصدر رئيس الوزراء توجيهاته إلى وزارة شئون البلديات والزراعة والجهات الأخرى ذات العلاقة إلى تشديد الرقابة على استيراد وأماكن بيع الطيور والزواحف وذلك في ضوء شكاوى المواطنين من قيام البعض باستيراد وبيع الزواحف الخطرة أو الطيور التي لم يستكمل نموها أو الحيوانات التي تحتاج الى ظروف معينة من الرعاية لما يشكله ذلك من خطر على صحة الإنسان والبيئة
الوسط – ١٤ مايو ٢٠٠٧

Not sure if the cabinet reads what I write, but I wouldn’t delude myself that the move announced above to control and oversee the sale of birds, snakes and other dangerous species in the various local markets was due to them reading what I have written before. Still, I am very thankful that the cabinet has now moved to control this heinous activity.

I leave you with more pictures of the market taken on two different days which I thought too heart-breaking to upload previously, hence the decision just for a panoramic view previously would sufficed to show the despicable circumstances these animals live – and die – in.

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