March 16th, 2011, my brother Hussain was driving back home along with my cousin Ebrahim in his new Mazda Zoom 6 car. Last call with my dad, 3pm; his phone was shut after that and could not reach him. Next thing we know, he and his car disappeared. For 5 days, we had no clue where he was and police stations refused to give out any information. This was the most difficult period in my life. My mind got stroke with all kind of imaginations and our house was filled with grieve. On the 6th day, we received a call from Nuaim Police station saying he is detained with no further information, they allowed him to speak with mom for half a minute only, he said “I am fine, you guys take care of yourself.” Then, we were allowed to bring him some cloths but not see him. By yesterday, Hussain completed 1 full month in detention and we are yet to be allowed to see him, informed of why he is arrested, nor allowed to nominate a lawyer to defend a case.
Bahrain is party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which states “Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him.” Article 8 – 2
March 16th, 2011, Bahrain forces composing of both Bahraini Army and Police cracked down the one-month long pro-democracy protests that swept Bahrain capital Manama. The protests were inspired by the recent revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia. The crackdown was in line with the activation of the National Safety Law, in an intent to shut down demonstrations by force and also open back the roads blocked by the extremists. Protestors contained people from various lines of thoughts and various levels of demands, moderates (the great majority) asking for “constitutional monarchy” and extremists asking for a “Republic.” The latter was rather a stupid dream that blew things out of propotion for the great majority of protestors, and gave the state an excuse to break into the Pearl under cover of the GCC peninsula shield forces “protecting major Bahraini installations.” The government, through its official media outlets and pro-gov newspapers, presented the crackdown as a “Victory” and saved no effort to retaliate from anyone who sympathized with the protests, including Lawyers, Doctors, Human Rights Activists, teachers, sportsmen, etc, by mass-firings and detentions. Since then, Bahrain has become to many people, a state of fear.
Since the crackdown, 4 Bahrainis died in state detentions in less than 2 weeks. The pictures of the diseased showed clear marks of torture, despite official statements linking death cause to (2) sickle-cell (1) kidney failure (1) “Created chaos, which led security forces to bring the situation under control.” This would violate Article 7 of ICCPR “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.” I very much welcomed Sh. Abdulateef Almahmood’s call for independent investigation into these deaths.
Seeing these happening, I am very worried for my brother and cousin’s health. Hussain and I are very close, and despite our continuous fights we come back on terms very shortly. We usually play tennis every Friday, and I just miss it. I must admit, I never won over Hussain in any game. He has always been, “Victorious.” Hussain is an Auditor for a top 4 firm; he topped his accounting class in Ahlia University. A Real Madrid and Roger Federer fan, Hussain has many hobbies, to name few: poetry, football, tennis, basketball, volleyball, travel, etc. Hussain had no political affiliations, and like every other Bahraini, we were all observing what’s happening on a daily basis, and trying to bridge the gap between the two camps.
In light of the above, and in solidarity with Hussain, other innocents who are detained for no-reason, and to the extrajudicial killings, I am joining the Hunger Strike along many Bahrainis starting Today.
My analysis to the strategy taken by official media to create the biggest divide in Bahrain’s History:
1. Creating a rumors engine. This was through paid thugs to send fake news that inigate feelings in a systematic manner.
This lead to, nobody beleives anybody.
2. Hit the majority factor. This was to minimize the size of opposition and to show that the majority of Bahrain stand by the Government.
Reality check: you need to tape both gathering same way. Nonetheless, if 450K could fit alfateh, you really need help.
3. Hit the demands and conditions to dialogue. This to show that the opposition is looking for an islamic system like Iran and oppress the Sunnis in retaliation to the long-ruled Al-Khalifa.
Reality check: The majority of the opposition were looking more than the Unity; the people are source powers.
4. Hit the opposition composition. This is by showing the opposition as a Shiite’s. This was so ugly, alshoroogy once said: “So tell me so we make it clear, were it Shiite/Sunni issue”
Reality check: Opposition is composed of 7 different mentalities. Inludes Sunnis, Shiites, librals, conservatives, etc.
5. Hit the opposition leadership. This is by hitting their person, their judgements and decisions without their presence. This reached to “calling them liars”
Reality Check: you cannot talk about anybody in his absence. As long as I am not their, you can always make a sequare out of me!
6. Hit the very basic priniciple of the revolt, it’s peacefullness. This was thorugh exagerating, making up, or initiating violence, and/or making judgements:
a. Hamad Town
d. Violence by driving thugs, breaking into mosques, etc.
Reality check: These incidents require proper investigation and a trial before judge; these were initiated by paid thugs, as people will never break into mosque and kill people. Some incidents were done by police and then shown as been done by opposition. Opposition has no issue against the people, it’s an issue with the Gov. Not to say the opposition didn’t make mistakes such as blocking roads but again cannot be solved by live ammo.
7. Hit the humanity and professionalism of the medical team. This is to justify the attack on the hospital and control of the wounded and killed by police. This was by showing that the medical team hiding weapons and making claims of imprisoning Sunni Doctors, stealing medical supplies, using ambulances to hide/deliver weapons, etc.
Reality check: you need an independent investigation team to visit and report on such big acquisition. Tell me something, why were the Kuwaiti medical team blocked from Bahrain again?
8. Hit the loyalty of the opposition leaders to Bahrain. By connecting the movement to Iran and Hizbolla, again this is because they are Shiites.
Reality check: Bahrainis, all of them, voted for Bahrain to be independent and didn’t want Iran in the 70s, and do not want Iran now. There has been no single evidence of this acquisition. Criticism of Hasan Naralla and Iran of violence is in line with criticism of other countries, leaders, and religious leaders, e.g. Dr. Tariq Alswaidan, Turki, USA, etc.
9. Hit other media outlets that support the opposition. Showing Alalam and Al-Manar as Lairs, igniting sectarianism, and disseminating falsified information. This is to invalidate every piece of information they broadcast and undermine their credibility.
Reality check: Alalam and Al-Manar are biased to the opposition likewise Bahrain TV is biased to the Government. What about other channels such as BBC, CNN, Fox News, the Gardian, New York Times, The Times, The Sun, The Independent, etc.?
Final result: Guys, our Gov is fighting small group of dirty blood-thirsty rats, fine with you aint? Course just do it!!
Long time since I wrote in my Blog.. I know, it’s sad.. But I had some issues going on in my life.. I was assigned my first project in KPMG.. Guess where? Jeddah.. Gush, I started my real work day first of Ramadan.. Travelling every week back and forth to my lovely country..
Jeddah is an interesting place! I think it’s much better than other places in Saudi; people here are much open-minded than those of Riyadh.. At least, women don’t have to cover their faces!! So many boys are just holding their cell phones and walking around, driving, sitting in cafe shops and malls, trying to catch those same girls using the Bluetooth technology.. Here you just turn on the bluetooth, and search for devices…Nicknames like “The beautiful Girl,” “Die for your love,” “come huge me,” etc. and many others are used by those sexually frustrated boys and girls… This is the only thing you can do to catch a girl without being caught!!!
Living in the La Meridian is an astonishing experience; on the Tahlya road, where you’ll find Europian-style malls, HUGE, I loved it.. Likewise other places in Saudi Arabia, all you can do is Eat and Shop.. Never to forget, SLEEP!!
Living in a male-dominated culture, I bet you can live for a whole month without thinking about sex, because it’s all men that you see!! Gush, it’s crazy; on the road, all you see is men; in work, all who you deal with are men; 911?1100? etc. of information disks, all men’s voices you’d hear! Alerts in Malls? Men.. NO WOMEN AT ALL!
Single? you are always suspicious; you’d have less options, because so many places are only accessible by married people! If you are married, it’s a very good place to visit, because you can enter everywhere, and get bothered not..
There are so many strange things here, I cannot comprehend it… Prayers time, 5 times a day, each of 1/2 hour, everything get closed! Whether you wanna pray or not, if you’re are eating in a restaurant, and it’s prayers time, you just get out!! If you’re in the middle of the mood smoking Sheesha/Hooka, you get KICKED OUT! That’s why, it’s like a dead city before 8pm, the last prayer… After that, everybody is out shopping!! Eating!! that’s it!
Saudi Arabia is changing by time. You see well educated people, who you can argue with; yet this change is very slow.. King Abdullah is doing so much to change people’s mentality, but he’d need 20 years of hard work.. Start with education and move on.. Millions of $$ are just stolen, and this needs control… I would love to visit this place one day, when I can drive and nobody jumps all over me!!
An honest advice, Don’t ever drive in Saudi Arabia, It’s like a racing track, with no rules..
I would like to share some pics with you, but now it’s time to go, I gotta go get my Sahhor and sleep… Enough of this business center!
I’m gonna talk more about my experience in Saudi, and I would do more comparison with life in the west.. So, see you some time soon;)
U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich and his wife, Elizabeth, in a peace-building initiative in the Middle East
This is a very interesting interview with congressman Dennis, the first American official to visit Lebanon and Israel after the war. See how Lebanese love American people, and how people in the Middle East want peace; approach it differently!
“By reaching this dream I’ve had since childhood, I hope to tangibly demonstrate to young people all over the world that there is no limit to what they can accomplish,”
said Anousheh Ansari, chairman and co-founder of Prodea Systems, Inc. Ansari is the first female space tourists, and the first person of Iranian descent to travel to space.
Ansari left Iran since she was 14 to find a better future in the US, where she managed to finish her degree in Computer Engineering; she then married and opened a new communication company.. Soon, the company got sold for hundreds of millions of dollars, enabeling her to afford the approximate $20 million flight to the moon.
Ansari, any link to Al-Ansari family in Bahrain?, sits an example for ambitious women; they can do and achieve what they want, if they work hard for it. She thinks, as I do, that Irani people would love to have dialog with the Americans, but every-time the politics and power get involved it disrupts!
Interesting how the flag of Iran on one hand, and the American on the other; Blend of Civilizations!
I will leave my comments for my self again!
IDF commander: We fired more than a million cluster bombs in Lebanon
By Meron Rappaport
Last Update: 12/09/2006 14:20
“What we did was insane and monstrous, we covered entire towns in cluster bombs,” the head of an IDF rocket unit in Lebanon said regarding the use of cluster bombs and phosphorous shells during the war.
Quoting his battalion commander, the rocket unit head stated that the IDF fired around 1,800 cluster bombs, containing over 1.2 million cluster bomblets.
In addition, soldiers in IDF artillery units testified that the army used phosphorous shells during the war, widely forbidden by international law. According to their claims, the vast majority of said explosive ordinance was fired in the final 10 days of the war.
The rocket unit commander stated that Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) platforms were heavily used in spite of the fact that they were known to be highly inaccurate.
MLRS is a track or tire carried mobile rocket launching platform, capable of firing a very high volume of mostly unguided munitions. The basic rocket fired by the platform is unguided and imprecise, with a range of about 32 kilometers. The rockets are designed to burst into sub-munitions at a planned altitude in order to blanket enemy army and personnel on the ground with smaller explosive rounds.
The use of such weaponry is controversial mainly due to its inaccuracy and ability to wreak great havoc against indeterminate targets over large areas of territory, with a margin of error of as much as 1,200 meters from the intended target to the area hit.
The cluster rounds which don’t detonate on impact, believed by the United Nations to be around 40% of those fired by the IDF in Lebanon, remain on the ground as unexploded munitions, effectively littering the landscape with thousands of land mines which will continue to claim victims long after the war has ended.
Because of their high level of failure to detonate, it is believed that there are around 500,000 unexploded munitions on the ground in Lebanon. To date 12 Lebanese civilians have been killed by these mines since the end of the war.
According to the commander, in order to compensate for the inaccuracy of the rockets and the inability to strike individual targets precisely, units would “flood” the battlefield with munitions, accounting for the littered and explosive landscape of post-war Lebanon.
When his reserve duty came to a close, the commander in question sent a letter to Defense Minister Amir Peretz outlining the use of cluster munitions, a letter which has remained unanswered.
‘Excessive injury and unnecessary suffering’
It has come to light that IDF soldiers fired phosphorous rounds in order to cause fires in Lebanon. An artillery commander has admitted to seeing trucks loaded with phosphorous rounds on their way to artillery crews in the north of Israel.
A direct hit from a phosphorous shell typically causes severe burns and a slow, painful death.
International law forbids the use of weapons that cause “excessive injury and unnecessary suffering”, and many experts are of the opinion that phosphorous rounds fall directly in that category.
The International Red Cross has determined that international law forbids the use of phosphorous and other types of flammable rounds against personnel, both civilian and military.
IDF: No violation of international law
In response, the IDF Spokesman’s Office stated that “International law does not include a sweeping prohibition of the use of cluster bombs. The convention on conventional weaponry does not declare a prohibition on [phosphorous weapons], rather, on principles regulating the use of such weapons.
“For understandable operational reasons, the IDF does not respond to [accounts of] details of weaponry in its possession.
“The IDF makes use only of methods and weaponry which are permissible under international law. Artillery fire in general, including MLRS fire, were used in response solely to firing on the state of Israel.”
The Defense Minister’s office said it had not received messages regarding cluster bomb fire.
Source: The Israeli Newspaper, Haaretz: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArtVty.jhtml?sw=cluster+bombs&itemNo=761781
8.00 pm, Bahrain Mall, an explosion dumps the huge Giant hypermarket to the parking lot, ground floor.
8.04 pm, Seef Mall; 3 explosions in the two cinemas and the food court killing hundreds.
8.10 pm, Ritz Carlton Bahrain, a suicide car crashes into the entrance killing diplomats, nationals and tourists spreading horror all over the spa.
8.11 pm, Emirates Airline plane Hijacked crushes into the eastern Bahrain Financial Harbour tower.
Ramadan, 10.42 pm, 10 suicide bombers infiltrate in Manama, while thousands of Bahraini Shiites celebrating the death of Emam Ali, killing over 800 of youth, women, children.
Thousands of possible scenarios I can imagine how “Al-Qaeda in Bahrain” would start its business! Do you not buy this? I will tell you what; we need to take Al-Zawahiri’s threatening seriously!
I wonder why the government is SHUT when hearing such threats!! When this devil say his next target is the “Persian Gulf” AND “Israel,” Don’t we need some higher measures of security in pubic places?
I wonder why the government is SHUT when hearing Friday-prayer-shaikhs call for the destruction of a whole race!!
A trusted source told me, there is an Islamic clerk rounding the country, in a tour sponsored by some ******* Islamic Association, giving speeches of hate and spreading hostilities. This guy, coming from London, has published a book earlier advocating the use of torture and genocide to dominate the world; and to return back the Islamic Caliphate and rule the Earth using all aggressive means, Muslims should stand up! I was told; if you read this book you would be chilling!!
I think that we’re all sleeping, and we’d awake one day over the sound of sirens shaking Manama City up and down.
We are on the “brink of disasters” and every one of us should do whatever it takes to make change. What are you going to do?
Last night, I was with my uncle, the cheif justice of Shiites court of appeal, and we had a great talk.. I told you about him before, he’s an open minded clerk; he questions everything, even the basic principles of the religion.. You would love to talk to him, I bit… He studied religion in Qum, Iran, and still, he’s often critical of the current Iranian leadership.. Most of his talk is religion, not politics, but that gave me a big deal of wisdom…
His point was mainly on “interpreting the text,” and he talked about how dangerous is the current wave of extremism.. He said that there are many verses in the Quran that, if taken literally, would take us to the dark… He said if Muslims don’t fix their interpretations, living with others would be so hard.. Notwithstanding, he said such text should be related to its historical/social conditions, and not taken as global rules. The problem, he relates, is that many historical references are lost or controversial! He said the reform is hard but not impossible, and he thinks governments and religious leaders should take the lead or else we’re all on the brink of cultural disaster…
Myself, I think that the Saudi current regime (along with his supporters) is not receiving the appropriate blame, though they are responsible for almost all of (producing, maintaining, militarizing, supporting, recruiting) this extremism mentality.. They’ve been brainwashing people since forever; and still they did not learn from their mistakes… I will tell you what? They’re still using THE SAME STRATEGY to make people bow to them. In the past, they depended on locking Saudis into religion to forget politics and money. Now, their strategy is nonetheless the same: In their anti-Terrorism campaigns, they show religious acts that prohibits people from fighting Muslims/non-Muslims, prohibits terrorism. So far so good? NO, and prohibits “going against the rulers,” and prohibits “freedom of speech,” and prohibits “demonstrations!!!!!!” Guess why? Because this is a western “obtained” value, and people shouldn’t mimic the infidels west!! Guess why??? they want people to be like “Animals!”
Yet, I complement them for sending thousands of students to the US to see different people, different Ideas, and different prospective..
In townhall and other places, where American Conservatives gather, I see an increasing tone of “Why shouldn’t Moderate Muslims go out to streets in free countries?”
let me put it in points:
1. Well, I would say that almost all Muslim leaders were the first to “condemn” the terrorist attacks in 9/11 and after wise.
2. All most all are so sad to see civilians die in NY, NJ, London, Spain, etc.
3. However, Those same believe the US/Allys has unfair and unjust foreign strategy/policy
4. From inside, they say: Why would we demonstrate for those never demonstrated for our Palestinian civilians, those who supported and stood with Saddam, those who supported AL-Qaeda itself!!!
5. from inside, they believe: Those attacks are the fruits of their actions, and this is an action of their children!
What I just said is what I hear when I ask people here the questions you guys ask… Don’t just ignore it, think!
I have hard time understanding and analysing the whole situation.. In townhall, one time: When I said Muslims are being attacked by those same jihadists, some active “conservative,” that defends Christ day-and-night in the same website, said:
Who really cares when the jihadists kill Mohammedans? It just means fewer Mohammedans. I only care when they attack Christians, Jews or non-Mohammedan nations. Sounds harsh and cold, I know, but it’s one of those awful things that everyone THINKS but no one DARES utter – except me, of course. Somebody has to to say these things and I guess the task has fallen to [me].
Again, don’t just ignore this, THINK!!
When I was discussing matters with my father two days ago, he was talking about Al-Qaeda, and how they killed 8,000 Shiites in cold blood in a single day! I yet to believe the fact that NO BODY demonstrated, and NOBODY cared!! Understand why wouldn’t the families/friends/etc. of those 8,000 died demonstrated for yours?! Especially, if they believe those blood-suckers were trained by the US! Make sense?
Binladins and the Terrorists rang the bill of their death… Those are hated by ALL HUMAN BEINGS; their dirt is all over their faces; see the blood they drink everyday, how many wife were left without her husband? Kids without fathers? fathers without kids? etc.? How many more loved ones are we going to lose?
BLAME BLAME BLAME!!? NO, I’m not whining!
I’m showing you keys to solve the problem differently..
Nobody would buy this in townhall, but I think we need to start from the definition of terrorism, start from knowing who are the terrorists; we need to be fair and just when calling names… We need the people to fight terrists not gun machines, we need a a new solution.. Endless war is not the solution; killing ALL Muslims is not the solution either!!!
it’s time to fix many causes!! …
It’s time for Muslims to fix themselves first before blaming the west, but meanwhile Westerners to fix themselves too instead of blaming Muslims!!!!
I guess he doesn’t have a building permit!! huh!
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (AP) — On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami condemned Osama bin Laden and suicide bombing but also defended groups such as Hezbollah for what he characterized as resistance against Israeli colonialism.
In a 30-minute speech given under tight security at Harvard University, Khatami repeatedly praised the concept of democracy but said American politicians, since World War II, have been infatuated with “world domination.”
Khatami said he was one of the first world leaders to condemn “the barbarous acts” of September 11. Responding to a question from the audience about bin Laden, Khatami said he had two problems with the al Qaeda leader behind the attacks.
“First, because of the crimes he conducts,” he said, “and second because he conducts them in the name of Islam, the religion which is a harbinger of peace and justice.”
Khatami was met by protesters when he arrived at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Many angrily called on him to stand up for human rights.
Police estimated that 200 were in the crowd that blamed him for failing to stop government crackdowns on student activists in Tehran during his two terms in office.
Several human rights organizations say the crackdowns are believed to have been initiated by his rivals and approved by Iran’s ruling Muslim clerics.
“His speech is on ethics and violence. It would be very bizarre if he came here to speak on ethics and violence and did not acknowledge and discuss his own record in Iran,” said Eric Lesser, 21, president of Harvard College Democrats, which teamed with their Republican peers for the protest. “Students were arrested and thrown in prison for speaking their mind in the same way we’re doing right now.”
Khatami was considered a reformist during his two terms as president that ended last year. His visit to the United States has been criticized by many, particularly amid concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.
There were no major problems, but police presence was heavy, Cambridge police spokesman Frank Pasquarello said. One man was detained, although it was not immediately clear why.
Harvard has been criticized for the timing of its invitation to Khatami, who is taking a two-week tour of the United States.
Khatami is the most senior Iranian to travel outside New York in the United States since Islamic fundamentalists seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held Americans hostage for 444 days.
He was invited to the United States by the U.N.-sponsored Alliance of Civilizations, of which he is a founding member. The group strives to foster cross-cultural understanding between Western and Islamic states.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.