Angry Arab cheif Bahrain correspondent: "Read this joke of a new york times article:
The new york times loves publishing these joke articles every now and then. I noticed that they are the worst when it comes to all of the US news media outlets.
I hate it when a bunch of people show up to our country, live there for a few years, and start lecturing us about our problems when they have no idea that this phase in bahraini history didn't start on february 14. It started in when the 1973 constitution was abrogated in 1975 by the Kings father. We lived under emergency rule until 1999 and saw years of protests demanding the return of the 1973 constitution. When the King came to power in 1999 he promised the return of the 1973 constitution in exchange for Bahrain becoming a Kingdom. The people agreed to this through a national referendum in 2001. He lied. Instead, in 2002, the King unilaterally imposed his own constitution and created a parliament with power whatsoever - they could only recommend laws and thats it. The february 14 uprising is simply a continuation of this never ending issue.
Thats just the 1973 phase. There were many many phases before - all concerning the very same monarchy, who came to this island by force 250 years ago, and never ever integrated themselves with the local population. At least the AlSauds were from the Arabian penninsula and formed alliances with other tribes in Najd, and the AlSabah's formed alliances with the merchant class in kuwait. The AlKhalifas on the other hand, came in from the outside and faced a local population which a culture that is completely different than their own. Instead of working hard to integrate themselves in order to gain acceptance by the local population, they ruled with brute force. They plundered and stole the land of bahrainis. In fact villagers are still referred to as halayil - their land, their property and their blood is "halal" for them to take. From that time until now, they would bring non-bahrainis from outside bahrain to protect them and would never ever intermarry with the local population. What kind of country does not allow the local population to join the army and the security forces and has to compensate by bringing people from the outside? Is this a stable country? What kind of royal family refuses to intermarry with the local population, not now only but from when they came into the country? I know countless stories where someone from the Alkhalifa family marries someone from a non-tribal background and is excommunicated from the family. In fact, our own Minister of Culture's daughter, who went off and married an Iraqi from a non-tribal background is living in exile outside bahrain. Then you have the pro-government Sameera Rajab, who is now a Minister of States who's husband is from the royal family. When he married her he was forced to give up his family name and was only recently given it back, I guess in return for her services to the government. Then you have another man from alkhalifa who married a bahraini who's title was taken away from him. Oh and its not like they avoid marrying just baharna (the arab shia who are bahrain's original inhabitants) but they also refuse to marry bahrainis of persian background, whether they are sunni or shia. Apparently there have been a few exceptions in the past 5 years or so, but its very rare. You have a royal family which is able to sustain their grip on power by allying themselves not with the tiny local population that they are ruling, but with outside forces, whether it was the British during colonial times, and the US and Saudi Arabia today. And yes we saw many phases, including when two branches of the royal family were ruling two different parts of the island. At the same time there were ongoing protests. One branch ends up cutting a deal with members of the local population and the entire branch gets kicked out of bahrain. I believe that branch is living in either saudi or qatar. This is an old old problem and we inherit the stories generation after generation.
Now regarding the dumb article,the protestors are not asking for equal rights. There are asking for rights since we have no rights to begin with. We cannot elect our leaders. Our Prime Minister has been ruling for 40 years for god's sake - even if he was an angel he shouldn't be ruling for that long! We cannot run our country. We don't have access to our beaches. We cannot own our own land - the majority of bahrain is the private property of the royal family, including the sea. Thats why land is so expensive. If you have a house over looking the sea don't get too excited, the sea doesn't belong to the public and one day you might find yourself inland after the sea is reclaimed for free by the government and then sold at high prices to make money. And please, what do they want us to do, kiss the kings feet and thank him for his generousity because he decided to commission a report which, as weak as it is, hasn't even been implemented??? And also, they are acting like the secetarianization of bahrain is the fault of the protestors - and not the government who decided to destroy shia mosques and go out an anti-shia rampage. Also why are they comparing protestors in bahrain to protestors in the US? People in the US can elect their own government. We can't. Also, why of course there are people going to be throwing molotov cocktails. After a year of peacefully protesting, they saw that nothing changed. So yes, if you don't respond positively to something peaceful and institute real reforms, you get violence. It sucks but thats just the way the world works. And please don't compare your problems with ours - these three women can at least elect their own government in their own countries. We cannot elect anyone anywhere. I apologize on behalf on everyone in bahrain for ruining the perfect life they once had in our country. Now if you feel that your perfect life is being interrupted by these protests, then please, by all means get out. And if you can't because you are stuck for not paying some debt, then it is further proof that there really is something wrong with our system of government and kissing the kings feet and begging him to resolve a problem is just not a sustainable way of doing things and is not a permanent solution.
I also love it when americans lecture us about being peaceful - strange from a country that was created as a result of an actual WAR of independence and starts wars left and right. Also funny for a british person to lecture us, coming from a country which got their constitutional monarchy after violently executing their monarch, creating a republic, bringing the monarchy back, and creating a constitutional monarchy. Now all we need is a french person to lecture us on peaceful protesting when again they got their system after a very violent revolution. And by the way - I am not an advocate for violent resistence. For bahrain's situation - considering our size and the options we have available - a peaceful movement is best. By I don't appreciate being lectured by a bunch of expats who have no idea whats going on (oh and for the one living there for 20 years, I wonder if she ever bothered learning the language) and I certainly have no right to lecture people who are being tear gassed, arrested, have their homes raided, jobs taken away EVERY SINGLE NIGHT and are living in constant fear. No these people's lives are not being interrupted because some tire burner decided to make their lovely commute to work longer. Their lives are being interrupted because they actually fear that tomorrow, they may be dead."