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Chan'ad Bahraini

(Scomberomorous maculatus Bahrainius)

Note: This page has moved to a new address. Please click on the following URL to get there: http://chanad.weblogs.us/index.php?s=Advice for US sailors in Bahrain. Sorry for the trouble.

Advice for US sailors in Bahrain

Thursday, September 16, 2004

So US Navy service(wo)men have been getting in to trouble on the streets of Bahrain lately. Here are two reports from yesterday's GDN. In that fine tradition of all sailors, both of the Americans in the two reports were allegedly drunk.

Report 1:

A drunken American was arrested by police who found him collapsed on Exhibition Avenue. The 29-year-old US Navy officer was picked up at 1am and handed over to the US Navy base in Juffair, sources told the GDN

Report 2:

A US military servicewoman allegedly attacked a Bahraini woman after accusing her of nearly driving over her foot. The incident allegedly happened in traffic in the Manama suq. A US military official confirmed that there had been an incident, but said there were as yet no Bahraini charges lodged against the servicewoman."At the moment, there are no Bahraini charges pending," said US Naval Forces Central Command and US Fifth Fleet public affairs officer Commander James Graybeal. "We are not in a position to discuss the case, under the United States law and military regulations. "We take the conduct of our soldiers very seriously."

Kamelia Isa Faraj Bu Rashid is considering filing a civil suit against the servicewoman, who she says yelled at her and tried to pull her out of her vehicle. Mrs Bu Rashid, who was accompanied by her mother and mother-in-law, said she was trying to find parking space in Government Avenue, at about 8.30pm, when the incident happened. "I was standing in traffic when I heard her yelling and swearing in the middle of the road, saying that I almost ran over her foot," said Mrs Bu Rashid. "She hit my car's rear right-side window then tried to open my door and pull me out. "Thankfully she was stopped by a passer-by who saw the incident."

A policeman on duty nearby tried to calm down the woman, but she apparently started shouting at him as well. He called for a patrol and the woman was taken to Naim Police Station. "The police suspected that she was unstable because of the way she was talking to them," said Mrs Bu Rashid. "She kept on saying that she did not care and even tossed a pen at one of the policemen. "She then accused me of actually running over her foot."

Tests later showed that the woman had been drinking, she said. Her foot was reportedly also examined, but was found to be uninjured. Mrs Bu Rashid's father, who is also a lawyer, is preparing a civil case against the American woman, alleging attempted physical assault and verbal assault.

Don't get me wrong now. Incidents like these involving US Navy personnel are quite rare. I'm sure that there have been many many more of such incidents involving Saudis than Navy servicemen. However, in these times, the involvement of someone from the US Navy has the potential to blow an incident in to much more than it actually is. I'm thinking of the time that some servicemen got into a fight with the storekeepers of Farshat al-Araes, a discount garments shop (I'll try to find the news article online).

The Navy authorities have been issuing orders to their personnel to keep a low profile for quite some time now. I have one suggestion which should help them significantly to blend in to civilian Bahraini society: Lose the stupid haircuts! Okay, I'm not really someone to talk when it comes to fashion sense. But more than anything else it is those military haircuts that makes it possible to spot these sailors from miles away. There are thousands of other caucasian residents here who seem to blend in to the island's social fabric. However the US seamen really do stick out of the crowd when you see them wandering the streets of the Suq every evening with their "High & Tight" haircauts. And I mean no offense. I've met many of them and most of them are pretty down to Earth nice guys. But for their own safety, and to help them not get ripped off when they go bargain-hunting, I urge them to do something about their hair.

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5 Responses to 'Advice for US sailors in Bahrain'

Anonymous Anonymous says:

Getting rid of the short hair would be a start for better "blendability". Getting them to stop raiding Fuddruckers and Senor Pacos etc as well as tossing away the digi cams they all seem to carry. You don't think the sunburned body parts spell "AMERICAN NAVY"?

Problems though like you said are few.    

Anonymous Anonymous says:

A sailor drunk???? Just doesn't happen, but they are in a foreign country and know full well that they should be subject to the laws of that country just as people are when they come to America.

Personally, I am more interested in the story about the young Egyptian lady that jumped out of the second story to escape her captors. That kind of stuff happen often? Is there anyone to help her? Stuff like that shouldn't be happening in a civilized country.    

Blogger BD says:

Chan'ad, that's easier said than done. It's impossible NOT to stick out like a sore thumb. I'm constantly aware of it. It has never caused me a problem, and I've never gotten anything less than a friendly welcome from anyone I've met. Bahraini, Saudi, or other. But it only takes one person with a grudge to create a big problem. I agree though... as rare as the incidents like the ones you mentioned are, they don't help, and the people who want to see Americans in a bad light are going to view the handful of idiots who make it into the GDN as typical. There probably is no easy solution to that. And to one of the Anonymous commenters, I LIKE Fuddrucker's! We don't have one where I come from and I love their hamburgers. We don't have Papa John's Pizza (my favorite) either, and I'm craving a pie from the new outlet in Budaiya. I think I'll take my chances and deal with my obvious American-ness when I head out for some greasy food.    

Blogger BD says:
9/17/2004 12:53:00 am

And one other thing. The picture you posted. If the guy has a beard, he's not a US Navy sailor. Beards are not allowed.

I guess he just likes the haircut. Totally not my style though.    

Anonymous Anonymous says:
9/17/2004 06:45:00 pm

handed over to the US Navy base

As a former Military Policeman I can tell you these guys life is going to get very....interesting and full of activities that will fill their days and nights. I had a sgt when I was in Korea who liked to say "I can't make you do it, but I can make you wish you had."    

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