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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=Let them eat baklava. Sorry for the trouble.

Let them eat baklava

Saturday, March 05, 2005

It seems these days that there is no shortage of things to protest about. Take your pick: torture, discrimination, free speech, and as was the case today, unemployment. To be honest, I don't know enough about the campaign to be able to comment on it in detail. But I will say that it was a perfect day to have a protest... warm, but with a cool breeze, overcast but not dark. I would guestimate that there were at least 1,000 people there, if not more -- this was an issue that people are very concerned about.

They made use of a classic socialist symbol: bread. And there were many other people brandishing shovels and picks.

This was the first in a series of protests about unemployment. I think the next one will be in April. Anyways, some photos:

And there was even one Guevarist in the crowd:

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8 Responses to 'Let them eat baklava'

Blogger praktike says:

Fascinating, Chan'ad. Thanks for doing the legwork on this stuff. I read this blog every day.    

Blogger Leila M. says:

u gonna cross post some of it on ihsan? maybe a primer for us numbskulls on Bahraini politics, and what changes people r hoping for?

pwetty pweeese :)    

Anonymous Scott W. says:

Hey Chan'ad, thanks for the cool photos and the update. Did you see any signs of protest about Ali Abdul Imam and the 2 others there? Yesterday's GDN reports that the government is planning to continue blocking "hate" sites.    

Blogger SillyBahrainiGirl says:
3/05/2005 02:08:00 pm

Yesterday's rally wasn't about unemployment alone.

It was also a scream for better and fairer wages and improving the quality of life of Bahrainis.

Bahrain, while it acknowledges that it has problems, seems to be digging for more.

I know I have been saying this over and over again over the past few days but I really am confused.

On Thursday, (February 24)the CP stated clearly that the aim of the economic reforms being drafted is to raise the quality of life of all Bahrainis.

It is a clear indication that "they" realise that all is not well and hence the sincere effort to launch more "reforms."

Ministers have been visiting the villages and meeting the people, promising them new homes on the one hand and jobs on the other.

At the same time, people are being arrested for running a "freedom forum" and others are rallying on the streets for their release and for employment opportunities and for better wages.

To put things in a proper time-scale, Bahrain is apparently gearing up for its second Grand Prix...and save for the ads on the streets and in newspapers, that's all the preparations I personally have seen for it.

Even hotels say they are not as keen as they were last year because ... bla bla bla... but this isn't the issue now because if I get into that I will become even more confused.

To add insult to injury, secret information claim that there will be terrorist attacks in certain countries in the region - without specifying where exactly. (I read that in a Kuwaiti paper the other day)

Now...what's baffling me is all this activity on the side of the secret police, the police, the public prosecution, and all the mercenaries in Bahrain to repress the people and further antagonise them and all this openness from the CP: What exactly is happening here? Is there a Ministry of Planning for all this.

Can we look at the situation as a whole and stop fragmentising it for a change?

I realise I am not adding anything new... but I guess these are legitimate concerns.    

Blogger SillyBahrainiGirl says:
3/05/2005 02:09:00 pm

Also...Chanad...I love the picture of the red Porsche making its way past the hungry poor bread-waving sods.

Ironic I would say.    

Blogger Bugs says:
3/05/2005 03:19:00 pm

I have to agree with SBG....
the pic with the red porsche just shows the contrast between rich and poor and what's it like to live in a third world country like Bahrain.    

Blogger Chanad says:
3/05/2005 04:16:00 pm

Scott, I didn't see any signs about the bahrainonline trio yesterday, even though I saw many of the people who demonstrated for Ali a few days ago (including Ali's brother). At the protest it seemed that people feel very strongly about these unemployment related issues. The people there seemed to be affected by it much more personally than many other issues.

SBG, you're perfectly right that it wasn't just about unemployment alone but a whole host of related issues. For example, the sign being held in the first photo says "No to discrimination in hiring".    

Blogger sume says:
3/05/2005 08:43:00 pm

Thanks, Chan'ad. I've read about the disparity between the rich and very poor. It's encouraging though, to see the protests are still going strong.

Heh, "Let them eat baklava". Funny how history repeats itself.

On a side note, we finally have Ong Bak in our theatres. Now if I can just find a babysitter.    

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