On #9March #Bahrain still on the news !

Shaik Issa Qassim, considered as the most influential shiite leader asked every capable to participate in what he called "March of People" on March 9

the official theme and poster of the march organized by six opposition political communities "parities" which had the full support of many public figures

The very peaceful island in Bahrain is almost unknown. Maybe because a peaceful and tiny island that has nothing to do with the political or armed fights around the globe matters a lot to be on the vey valuable time of live on air news time.

BUT! Make no mistake, this doesn’t mean that it has very strategical geographical location, well developed and has it significance on in the gulf area. Yes maybe its not rich as Kuwait or Qatar. well known as Dubai or big as Saudi. but the foundations, infrastructure, and the culture qualified it to be the pointer hub of regions economic and business operations. A very far time ago before Qatar and Dubai raise up.

People of Bahrain took a pointer step again, when they were the first and the only people of the gulf citizens tried to change the structure of their regime, just like what the Tunisians, Egyptians, and people of Libya already established. Its about time that the shape of the third world changes, and if the Bahrainis succeeded, the history, indeed, will record that to them. Therefore Bahrain now is on the map of the political and armed fights, it actually, officially, has the both of them since last February .. but is it on the news now ?

Well, the Saudis invested very well to mute Bahrain. to keep it away from the world’s sight.

Old man pushing his wife on the wheelchair at the march. many considered the Qassim's invite for "any capable" in his speech after Friday prayers as a religious duty which initiated a noticeable debate

because, they consider it their backyard and don’t want anybody to mess with it, so again no matter how Bahrainis depressedly  tried to be on the news they will fail, as it is already dominated by the Saudis. Regardless of the shiites sponsored channels which in this case, to be honest achieve nothing. It could be described as a man talking to himself, which make absolutely no sense.

However, yet from time to time Bahrainis come achievements that is hard for news corporations to miss, specially those who had a reputation and respect themselves to some extent, where they, for example, shyly report the hundreds of thousands were marching on March 9, 2012. As the march was a must cover event. Its indeed, one of the points were the locals on this island impress the world with their strength and determination.

Of course, on Internal and very specific level there are many to say and argue about. The religious dynamo of it, the intention of the “officially registered” political party, the fact that its not on a main highway but in a main road inside “almost only” residential areas, and its in fact establish nothing more of what has been established already.  However, from a wider prospective, what you can see is a mass population agreed that the current regime in its current from is highly corrupted. Moreover, and which is more important that the people after one year of suffering still up to their fight toward goals .. and the mentioned march was the prove.

Angry Arabia in Jail .. AGAIN !!

Zainab al-Khawaja

I blogged about Zainab arrest last December, and it appeared, as expected, that they can’t keep her behind bars for long time. And as soon as they released her, she participated creatively and bravely more and more in Bahrain’s reevaluation.

The revaluation in Bahrain lacks pioneer youth to take the lead in political decision making, and influencing the public opinion. Unfortunately the activism in Bahrain remains classical and in the hand of those who have been in charge of politics since the 80’s and 90’s in a very traditional structure, however Zainab is one of the few youth leaders whom influenced the revolution in their own way.

Zainab joined Nabeel Rajab and his family in their walk to Lulu Square in Manama on February 13th. A video you youtube.com showed Zainab waving her hand with the V sign in-front off police officer whom were protected in between barbed wire fence and military vehicles, and she was shouting, most probably, with famous phrase  “Down Down Hamad”. another video showed her siting on the ground, surrounded with police officers waiting for police vehicles to take her, she was shouting “Down Down Hamad” while she was on the ground.

 

a spectator should admire the courage that Zainab has, a Bahraini should always be grateful to her, she is definitely a figure of the bright Bahrain revolution.

Bahrain Witness Under Arrest!

 

Huwaida Arraf, member of Bahrain Witness, a group arrived to Bahrain to witness the events of Bahrain’s revolution first anniversary  was arrested in Manama today!

(Manama) – US Citizens Huwaida Arraf and Radhika Sainath were arrested by Bahraini security forces in Manama on Saturday during a peaceful protest in near the Standard Chartered Bank downtown. Protesters had marched into the city center to reestablish a presence of nonviolent, peaceful protest leading up to the 1-year anniversary of the Arab Spring uprising in Bahrain.

Huwaida and Radhika were in Bahrain as part of an international solidarity effort aimed at providing an international civilian presence to report and monitor the situation on the ground. Leading up to February 14, Bahraini authorities had prevented journalists, human rights observers and other internationals from entering the country, leading many to fear a brutal crackdown. The two women are part of the Witness Bahrain initiative (www.witnessbahrain.org), which arrived in Bahrain in response to a call by Bahraini democracy activists for international observers.

Just yesterday, top US human rights envoy, Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner, called on the Bahraini authorities to respect the rights of Bahrainis to peaceful protest and to refrain from using excessive force. Huwaida was dragged away by numerous security forces after sitting on the ground, and it is widely reported that detainees have suffered physical abuse while on the way to and at police stations.

Both women were part of a peaceful protest marching near the Pearl Roundabout – site of last year’s peaceful round-the-clock protest in Bahrain, modeled after Egypt’s Tahrir Square – when they were attacked. Both are human rights lawyers, and both have experience as human rights activists in Palestine. Additionally, both were part of the National Lawyer’s Guild delegation to Gaza following Operation Cast Lead to investigate possible war crimes and illegal use of American weaponry on a civilian population.

source : http://witnessbahrain.org/

Bahrainmirror.com reported(Ar) that Huwaida was beaten and arrested aggressively this afternoon, when she were participating in the 6th run of “Sumood” a peaceful protect in Manama downtown, organized by Nabeel Rajab president of Bahrain center of human rights.  On the government side, Bahrain news agency said that two activists have been deported from the country for joining illegal activities.

 

12, 13, 14 and 15 of Feb [ So God Help Them ]


Coalition Showed it's capabilities through organized "show off" demonstration in preparation of retrieving Lulu Square back. - picture shows in the demonstration in Hamala Southern Manama

 

The first anivrsuiry of  the revultion in Bahrain is next Tuesday. Since last February 14th the protesting and demonstrations didn’t stop for a single day, on the other hand violence, arrests, torture, and sectarian actions didn’t stop from regime’s side for a single day either.  It has been bellow the radar though. Few reports has been published lately, although, the government is doing very good on it’s part of forbidding international reporters from entering the country in this very specific period of time.

Feb14th Youth coalition (official Facebook page) already announced it’s event “The Biggest Return” which will declare the zero moment for all rebels to attempt to take Lulu Square back, anytime between 12th to 15th of February. and they have shown how serious they are with big demonstrations in villages with masked men and women wearing shrouds and waving the flag of the coalition. The pictures and videos for those events showed noticeable structure and organizing introducing a brand new style in filed work rather the classic pop-up filed work. The coalition proved their ability to shift from online platforms basically bahrainonline.org and Facebook to filed work, and as they succeed they earned decent credibility.

Wearing a mask, in the demonstration organized by the coalition in Al-Dair, Muharraq Island Northern Manama yesterday

Nabeel Rajab, president of Bahrain Center for Human Rights, tweeted that he will participate in the big return. In later tweet he asked the people who will might escape if the police heavily attacked the marching people to avoid the fronts lines, giving space to those who might probably fight back and go further. Nabeel as a human right defender was on the ground all the time last year, moving from house to house, visiting injured people, families of politically detained prisoners, and participating in the most revolutionary events, major population of Bahrainis now appreciate and respect Nabeel, and his participation in the Big Return will automatically generate the participation of his fans.

Expected and ordinary news has been leaked about the tactics of stopping this event, that goes something like this; police will surround the residential areas, no ins no outs and no gatherings allowed inside. On the square side it’s the military task to prevent citizens from reaching the square if the police failed in keeping them inside their homes using the normal tear gas, rubber bullets, etc, etc,

So Bahrainis are very insisting in reaching Lulu Square again, the regime is totally against that. No international media on board. Its pretty much a massacre to me, a massacre that the Bahrainis willingly going for it, for having either freedom or dignity.

Bahrain is Lulu

"Farooq Junction" after vanishing Lulu landscape in a military operation supported by Saudi troops. The junction remain closed since last March when the operation took place.

 

I was inspired to write this post after reading the following tweet, that was mentioned in the article Bahrain: Celebration and Criticism Greet “Manama, Capital of Arab Culture 2012″ on globalvoices.com

@Hu4mansoor: ليس طريقا للؤلؤ ذاك الذي لا يمر على دوار اللؤلؤة. #bahrain #14feb
It is not a Path of Pearls if it doesn’t lead to the Pearl Roundabout.
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Its rather ironic that Bahrain started its opening ceremony for celebrating its “unfair” granted title of Capital of Arab Culture 2012 with a musical performance called “The Path of Pearls”. Yes Bahrain is known and well always known with Pearls, just because it is the host of finest pearls ever and many if not the most of locals were working in pearls hunting before discovering the oil on the island. But, however, authorities tried and obviously failed in deleting this fact from the country’s history just after the civilized citizens protested in the well known “Lulu” square in the middle of the capital Manama.
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With a very radical mind, the authorities not only changed it’s name to “Al-Farooq” junction, the very sectarian name that they thought will increase the tension among the divided to Shiites and Sunnis locals, but also destroyed a beautiful landscape of the pearl in the middle of the square and installed ugly traffic lights that remained closed with maximum security since last March.
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Bahrain’s government also withdraw the ” 500 Fils” coins and stopped it from being used just because it had the picture of Lulu symbol  on one of its sides. But they anyway didn’t had the courage to change the name of one of oldest and famous malls in the heart of Manama called “Lulu Mall”. They, then, lacked the intelligence to achieve one of the most meaningless polices they adopted to handle the sequences of  the revelation.

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Its seriously funny, that they chose the same theme they were fighting over a year now to their opening ceremony. And its defiantly worthy to notice that almost in the same time the formal opposition in Bahrain announced their open sit-in in one of the villages while many people are getting prepared to head back to Lulu square on the next February 14th. Although its very obvious how aggressively the regime attack the daily marches in Bahrain, we are eager to see how the cultured regime will handle the two major upcoming events.

#FF for #Lulu #Feb14 in #Bahrain

Collation of Feb14 youths logo painted on a wall in Bahrain

One of the most painful facts is that the locals of Bahrain are suffering alone. Its frustrating that Arabs divided to pro and against revolutions in both countries Bahrain and Syria. I can go on and on about this subject but its at the end of the day useless, because people whom are still tied up with sectarian differences  are not up to live with other human beings peacefully.

Its, unfortunately, more than this in the case of Bahrain. There are almost universal agreement to kill or at least to mute the revolution. Sadly they succeed! many activists around the MENA region wondered “why did the Bahrainis gave up so early?”  and some blamed them “why you don’t go on the news more often?” . Its easy to conclude then if there are people who don’t believe that Bahrainis have the right to live peacefully in a democratic regime, there are also many don’t know that Bahrainis after almost a year from their first revolutionary act in Feb 14, 2011 still fight toward freedom and democracy.

Film maker May Ying Welsh inspired  by the fact that the Lulu revolution is almost the only revolution of Arab-spring that is ignored by the entire world titled her Al-Jazeera produced documentary “Shouting In The Dark” a documentary that hits 200,000 viewer on its fourth day on Youtube.

As this introduction suggest there is no way to follow news about the revolution in Bahrain from the news on TVs or newspapers but, of course, the western ones from time to time, as its completely, shamefully, ignored by the Arabic media. To follow the revolution in Bahrain you need to follow citizen journalists or classic journalists through websites and new media I’m afraid to say.

Therefore I will try to build a references list for those  whom are interested

 

– Feel free to quote or repost this list. And if you are an activist online consider this a personal appeal to spread the word about whats going on in Bahrain. 

– If you feel that there are more resources should be mentioned in this list, please mention them in a comment below. 

Bahrain Police Be Carful … Angry Girl Behind Your Bars

When ur in chains, living with no dignity or rights, bowing to criminal dictators, the first step is to forget ur fear & realize that its ur right.. to be angry

Police officer shout on Zainab after Handcuffing her upon her refusal to the arrest ( Photo by Reuters )

Said Zainab AlKhawaja in her Twitter account profile. She obviously felt in chains living under violent, dictator regime, although she was free and not behind actual bars. This feeling was enough to justify his anger and human rights activism. This feeling, This anger led finally to create a brave, talented Bahraini young lady that considered since the Lulu revolution a first class human rights fighter.

She’s a daughter of a family involved totally into human right activism, her father is Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, the founder of Bahrain Center For Human Rights, who has been arrested as well as Zainab’s husband, uncle, and brother in law in the current crackdown.

Since February 2011, the super stars and the well respected public are now the human rights activists, not the politicians anymore, in result to their outstanding effort in delivering the message, the case and the fight of Bahraini people to the rest of the world.

Zainab was part of team who went to many world capitals and participated in several human rights events and seminar related to the situation in Bahrain, However she took the lead of two significant actions, demanding the release of her family members. She established a hunger strike in April 2011, during that she wrote through her blog a letter to the President of United States :

When you were sworn in as president of the United States, I had high hopes. I thought: here is a person who would have never become a president if it were not for the African-American fight for civil liberties; he will understand our fight for freedom.

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I ask of you to look into your beautiful daughters’ eyes tonight and think to yourself what you are personally willing to sacrifice in order to make sure they can sleep safe at night, that they can grow up with hope rather than fear and heartache, that they can have their father and grandfathers embrace to run to when they are hurt or in need of support. Last night my one-year-old daughter went knocking on our bedroom door calling for her father, the first word she ever learnt. It tore my heart to pieces. How do you explain to a one-year-old that her father is imprisoned? I need to look into my daughter’s eyes tomorrow, next week, in the years to come, and tell her I did all that I could to protect her family and future.
For my daughter’s sake, for her future, for my father’s life, for the life of my husband, to unite my family again, I will begin my hunger strike.

And  again, in June 2011, she protested with three young ladies inside United Nation Development Programme office for the same reason. She participates in the marches and filed events, and live tweet, blog from there. She considered a prefect citizen journalist who covered most of Lulu events using wide offline and online professional and social networks.

Zainab (left) Live tweeting from UNDP last July

Yesterday, Zainab protested on one Budaiya Street roundabouts, as one of those was a part of the event Occupy BudaiyaSt. She was in the middle of the roundabout, she wasn’t blocking the road or doing anything that could be voilent. Police wanted to arrest her, she refused the arrest with siting on the ground, Later two youtube clips showed police shooting tear gas directly to her, and arresting her aggressively.

International Media such as Washington Post, New York Times, Aljazeera English, and BBC wrote about Zainab’s case today, while as expected regional media and activista mostly ignored her. Therefore Zainab needs the most support of human rights defenders, and from bloggers and tweeps. This is a call to start a camping supporting Zainab as a blogger and an activist, this is call to put hand in hand to help the brave fighter who went to serve her case totally till the end.