Bahrainis seek freedom and justice, says Lamees Dhaif

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Bahrain, a country that feels the world forsake it and ignores its struggle as compared with the rest of the revolutions.

The people of Bahrain are peaceful people living at the mercy of a repressive, corrupt authority. We are the only oil country where more than half of its people live in need, not because we do not have the resources – but because the corruption here created two categories of people – extreme wealth and extreme poor.

The indigenous people of Bahrain lived here before the arrival of the royal family. These – the original inhabitants – suffered more than others of oppression, discrimination and marginalization.

Recently these people revolted demanding conditions which are more just and democratic.

They also requested to change the prime minister, who has governed the country for four decades. During these years he looted so many of the countries resources for himself and his family.

Instead of listening to these demands, the regime suppressed villages and the regions that participated in the protests. Thousands of people were arrested, starved and injured. Lots of martyrs fell, most of them below the age of 16 years.

The peaceful demands were met with repression and abuse not only rejection.

However, the people are determined to continue their struggle to regain their legitimate rights.

The role of women

Women participated alongside men in these protests and were in the front lines. They were not afraid of the bullets and the military.

The martyr Bahia Al-Aradi, was one of the first to be killed in the confrontations. She had remained steadfast and was standing even when the men began to retreat after attacks from the military.

The women were subjected to the worst types of torture and were deployed from work and their reputation and chastity were trashed. This increased their determination to contribute to positive change.

Democracy is what Bahrain wants

When it comes to democracy, we believe that this form of tribal rule has failed. The existence of one family that controls the country and the destiny of its people has become a thing of the past. The era of absolute monarchies has ended since the Middle Ages.

The people of Bahrain are educated and they deserve a democratic government that respects and honors its will. Freedom and justice is all we want .. Is it too much to ask?

(Lamees Dhaif is a Journalist and human rights activist from Bahrain, she shares her views on Bahrain with sending her thoughts via email)

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12 Responses to Bahrainis seek freedom and justice, says Lamees Dhaif

  1. Brian says: January 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Im not sure Democracy is the ultimate aim of the protest movement in Bahrain. Democracy entails the understanding and accepting of all points of views and all political/socio ideologies not the marginalization of those who disagree. It seems that the methods used by the protesting masses are anarchic attempts to create a theocracy in Bahrain based on the views and aspirations of one religious group. The Human Rights activists have a clear agenda that belies their cause in Bahrain by encouraging violence instigated by Religious leaders, travelling to Lebanon to receive Clerical instruction and political affiliations contrary to Human Rights conventions the world over. This, and the lack of comment on the suffering of the Syrian people at the hands of Human Rights violators has sparked suspicion among many Bahrainis hoping for reform.
    There are many in Bahrain who want reform and major development of laws and political constitution but have been sidelined by the protest movement as they do not agree with violent actions or sectarian agendas and religious interference.
    Had this movement not been hijacked by zealots Bahrain would be a far better place today and in the future.

  2. Nouf says: January 23, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Indigineous?? Repression?? Abuse?! I’m afraid Ms. Dhaif must be living in an alternate universe where history has been written for the benefit of the Feb 14 movement. First of all, in their effort to avoid “sectarianizing” (sorry made up word) this movement they decided to make up history and use it to sell to naive media who do not bother to coroborate any of their allegations and as a result we have misled readers who truly believe that they are the aboriginals of Bahrain. Too many slogans and terms copied from the real revolutions of the world which try so hard not to be tarnished by the monstrosities that have personified the protests here in Bahrain. Freedom and democracy are plentiful here and are on their way to becoming models for other nations to duplicate. What they want is absolute power and this is not something we, the other half of the country will allow.

  3. Bu Hamed says: January 23, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Dear world, what is happening in Bahrain is something other than what the people like lamees and all the others are saying and writing these lies and accusation on our majesty the king. These people are there to accolade violence and hatred because their leaders want such violence to happen . Don’t believe what u read and hear Bahrain I a peaceful country but so sad to say that the shai in Bahrain are causing all the problems
    Killing innocent people killing policemen, throwing molitov cocktails DO U CALL THIS PEACEFUL I don’t think so

  4. Announce says: January 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Brian ,Bu Hamed and Nouf are Thugs of the Gov. of bahrain .. that’s all

  5. mona ali says: January 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Lamees is the voice of Bahraini people…not the internet trolls!….well done Lamees

  6. [BH]Patriot says: January 25, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Lamees Dhaif is correct in her analysis, as the majority of the protestors support a democratic transition, in order to stamp out corruption and promote true accountability at ALL levels. The fact that the majority of the protestors are of a certain sect is only a reflection on society itself, given its composition. Why would all the major secular/leftist parties support the movement if the aim was to create a theocracy! Why did liberals and ppl from all walks of life, doctors, academics, and engineers and athletes support the movement if it’s agendas we’re sectarian and exclusionary. It’s true al wifaq, being a religious party, is the biggest player given its popular support, but many parties, liberal, secular, leftist, with sunni leaders have united in the demand of democratic transition, and one must not belittle the role of these other parties or their ‘alliance’ as we have similar examples in Bahrain’s history when the 1973 parliament, through fair elections, included 9 (out of 30 elected members) MPs from the liberal left that allies themselves with Islamic party members in opposition to the proposed state security law, only to have parliament dissolved and the constitution suspended. The majority demand democracy, and do not want a theocracy. Even amongst religious Shiites, most do not believe in wilayat al faqih, as only Khamenei espouses such a system, but not Sheikh al Sistani or the deceased Sheikh Fadl Allah whom many follow in Bahrain. The claim that the aim or the protests is to establish an Iranian-style theocracy is only to scare sunnis to stand against this tide of Arab spring democracy movements, and to preserve the status quo through the oldest trick in the book, divide and conquer.

  7. Mohamed says: January 25, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    It is so surprising that those pro-regime groups still advocating ideas against freedom and democracy. Not only this but still describe the nation revolution as violent or sectarian, linking it to Iran or accusing it of having hidden agenda to a theology country. They have this illusion that the world around them is dum, blind & deaf. Their talks reflects their mentality and always fail to address the issue of human rights, freedom, justice, neutrality and democracy. The people of Bahrain are civilized and educated and understand that their dignity, freedom & democracy can be reached & achieved thanks to their determination & such exact propaganda words from their backwarded opponents hired by gov!!!

  8. James says: January 25, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    This article implies Bahrain is oil rich. It is not, in fact it has just recently increased it’s debt substantially in order that it can continue it’s development, including free medical care, subsidised food, subsidised petrol, low income benefit, housing support etc. The article states the people are educated, indeed they are with a 91% literacy, this is due to the free education. Bahrain has a history going back 5000 years, the indigenous people were Idol worshippers. As for the protesters wanting democracy why did they threaten candidates in the last election for MP’s and then pour oil on the roads, set fire to tyres and put chains across the road to frighten voters away from the polling stations. T

  9. Alaa al Muharraq says: January 26, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Once again we see the Govt thugs and prepaid writers chasing to distort the truth… Once again they try to twist the facts and sell “fear” to their advantage. Fear from Shiaa, fear from Iran, fear from Bigfoot! Etc. anything to suppress the voice of people in Bahrain. With plenty of money on one hand and weaponry in the other, they are determined the crush this pro-democracy movement for one simple reason : “bling bling” and bank account!
    But the voice of people will not be crushed. Lamees is one of our beloved and trusted professional writers and human activist that will not lean to threats or be lured by Govt attempts to shut her. We believe in you Lamees … Keep going.
    And for all the Govt mercenaries and prepaid tongues, we will end victorious. For every degnified Bahraini.. Sunni or Shia,, deserves to have a country of freedom, prosperity and justice.

  10. [BH]Patriot says: January 26, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Pouring of oil and threatening the lives of officials has been condemned by all official opposition parties.. The protestors, unlike the government is composed of many autonomous players, political parties that are ‘allied’, as well as other unofficial and ambiguous movements that are loosely associated, such as the youth movements. This is the same in all of the Arab spring revolutions which were started by grassroots movements lead by youth. Bahrain is no different. So any violence or burning is not representative of the opposition as a whole or the pro-democracy movement. This cannot be said for the government, or ministry of interior which denies having militias and has denied grave human rights violations, and torture till the BICI report came out and proved otherwise. The government security apparatus is therefore held to a higher level of responsibility than random individual acts of violence, threats, or tyre burning. Focusing on small incidents and unsubstantiated supposed threats that remain questionable is a sad tactic to divert attention from the real issues of the need for a true democratic transition. These tactics are a pathetic attempt to delegitimize a prodemocracy movement which has largely been peaceful!

  11. [BH]Patriot says: January 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Bahrain may not have massive oil reserves, but given its size and small population, half of which is composed of expats, it is considered relatively resource rich. Parliament does not have the power to scrutinize the ministry of defense budget or royal family “allowances” which no doubt constitute a big portion of the overall greater national budget. If u knew anything about Bahrain, or were a Bahraini yourself, u would be too ashamed to mention such things as housing support in a country where many are still waiting for a house or a piece of land, after having applied over 20 years ago! And u should revise the literacy rate u mentioned, as ur figure is outdated. The literacy rate is infact higher!

  12. Shekhar says: February 27, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Dear world, what is hneipapng in Bahrain is something other than what the people like lamees and all the others are saying and writing these lies and accusation on our majesty the king. These people are there to accolade violence and hatred because their leaders want such violence to happen . Don’t believe what u read and hear Bahrain I a peaceful country but so sad to say that the shai in Bahrain are causing all the problemsKilling innocent people killing policemen, throwing molitov cocktails DO U CALL THIS PEACEFUL I don’t think so