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Chan'ad Bahraini

(Scomberomorous maculatus Bahrainius)

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Expat rapprochement?

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Here are some welcome words from a Bahraini politician:

Mr Redha said councillors should aim to represent all of Bahrain society - including expats. "Expats are the majority in Bahrain and they are the ones paying most of the municipal taxes," he said.

"Municipal councillors should meet with them and discuss their needs and requirements, because in the end they are a part of the community whether they are able to vote or not.

"In the Capital Governorate alone 88pc of people are expats, but what's happening is that councillors don't seem to think about them.

"Even though they are the ones concerned in any new municipal law, legislation or service." (Continued)

The 'Mr Redha' who said this is actually Jassim Redha, an Al Wefaq member who is currently the secretary general of the Manama Municipal Council (MMC). Yes, it came as a shock for me also seeing that just two months ago his comrade Murtadha Bader, chairman of the MMC, made calls to relocate expat workers out of Manama altogether.

Maybe Redha is just trying to cover up for all the bad press that Bader's proposition received. And unfortunately, I have little hope that the municipal councillors will actually give a hoot about the lives of expats. But I still welcome the remarks, even if they never get translated in to actions, because it is the first time that I have ever heard of a Bahraini politician who has said that the views of expats should be considered when making decisions about Bahrain. I do hope this isn't the last time we hear words like these.

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1 Responses to 'Expat rapprochement?'

Blogger Scorpio says:

It would be nice to think that the public outrage over racial segregation forced this climb down by Al Wefaq, and that through letter writing, blogs such as this one and moral pressure these Islamists beat a retreat.

Its useful for future reference too because you know with Al Wefaq bizarre or offensive proposals are like buses: they’ll be another one along in a minute.    

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