Bahrain.. What Happened on February 14th 2011. My Side of the Story
I was never into politics. In fact, I only had a handful of followers on Twitter (@ATEEKSTER) before #Feb14 2011, and all those followers were #Liverpool fans (all 20 of them). We only used to tweet to football players.. Now, surprisingly i have around 16,000 followers on twitter..
I was on vacation (was in Bahrain, didn’t travel abroad) when the events of #Feb14 unfolded. I have heard chatter online regarding a group of youths who planned to protest on February 14 2011 (Day of the Bahrain National Charter, a happy day..Which coincides with Valentines Day) to demand better living standards and abolish corruption and other, very well legitimate, demands. It seemed to me that those people wanted to protest because they felt the power of the #ArabSpring and saw that even normal civilians could make a change. After all, if normal people could overthrow a dictator like what happened in #Tunisia then why not let the people twist the arm of the government and demand reforms over here?
Nobody really expected this protest to be very big or significant.
When protests started and people occupied the roundabout, normal people like us felt a little uncomfortable. Not because protesting in the middle of a busy street was illegal, not because it was unconstitutional, not because it blocked people from going to work in that area, not because shops were forced to close, not because many peoples’ businesses were hit & many had to fire their employees for skipping work (which caused huge financial losses for their employers), but because there was a sense that something very dark was lurking behind the movement. The people of #Bahrain have always knew the threat those so called “Protesters” pose. After all, even before February 14 2011 they were known for terrorism activities and attacks on police. So, to see them protesting and pretending this was another Arab Spring movement raised a lot of concerns and many were wary of them. You see, these “protesters” were being manipulated by anti-government politicians and religious shia clerics. All one had to do was go to the roundabout and see who was doing all the talking there (Yes, I was on vacation so I decided to go see for myself). I must say, even while I was there, I could easily tell I was not welcome. Being a Sunni made the protesters at the roundabout (who were all shia) feel very suspicious of me, even though I saw a few familiar faces I knew.. Then one man came and began chanting “Brothers Sunni & Shia” and everyone, like clockwork, began chanting the same. It was like they trained for this. They chanted in rythm.. I tried to talk to some of the protesters and asked them “What exactly are your demands?” I mean, surely they had a list of demands right? Or else why would they be protesting? To my amazement, their answers were “We want Freedom!” or “We want Justice!”.. Whenever I ask them “Freedom from what?!” or “Justice for what?” nobody could reply. They were speaking as if we were in Afghanistan or Guantinamo.. It was almost laughable to be honest.. One person said “how come all top government positions are taken by members of the royal family? We damand they all be removed and given to Shias” Well, i replied, that’s not just in Bahrain, that’s the culture of most Arab countries, look at any Arab country and you will see royalty in top positions, I’m not saying its right, but I’m just saying its not only in Bahrain! Then one person wanted to save face came and told me “For example, we demand jobs” (being a banker and studied economics, I knew Bahrain’s unemployment rate was very low, around 4%, so they say.) so I responded to him, do you have a job? He looked surprised, but answered “yes I do” so I asked him why are you demanding jobs then? I jokingly asked the same question to the people around me, “Who here is unemployed” nobody answered. You could tell they were not poor because most held iphones, blackberries, laptops, wearing designer sunglasses, driving good cars and simply having a great time. This was one big party for them. One man then came and said “we demand a new constitution” so I asked him why? 98.4% of the people voted in favor of the current constitution (via the national charter). What did he want to change in the current constitution? He couldn’t reply.. Another protester told me “Our constitution states that the people elect the Prime Minister but that is not implemented!” I calmly responded to him that “No, the constitution does not state that”.. I was amazed at seeing them gathering, in the hundreds and not one of them could tell me what their demands were! Why were they here then? Who told them to skip work and come gather in this location? Why didnt they even know what their demands were?! .. How come no journalist even asked them what their demands were? Yes, there were a few journalist at the roundabout talking to protesters. I tried to talk to them but they immediately ignored me. Journalists seem to be all excited and probably thought the Arab Spring has reached an Arabian Gulf country.. Exciting times for them, I’m sure. That’s why they refused to talk with anyone except the protesters. They probably didn’t want anyone bursting their bubble… After a few days, the police cleared the area.. And this is when media went full throttle and made things look like a war zone or a massacre..
Seeing how news channels were biased and refusing to hear my side of the story, I decided to make a video regarding what happened in the roundabout and after police came in to disperse the protesters http://vimeo.com/m/24968982 keep in mind that I’m not a professional film maker, I’m just a banker who refused to stay quite while seeing people attacking my country in the media. So I began to tweet. My followers grew. Nobody at that time used to tweet to journalists, only a handful of “tweeps” did. Probably because most were scared to say anything.. Cant blame them, i kept getting death threats and the Government sure didnt care about normal people like us.. By the way, I refuse to be called “Pro-Government” because I also criticize the government and want it to be better. Just because I’m against the protesters methods doesn’t mean I’m Pro-gov.. Anyway, Wefaq was leading the protesters, it has control over them and whatever they say, the protesters do. However, you have to ask yourself, who is Wefaq? Well, they are an Islamic society.. Yes, Islamic. Ali salman heads this society which has close contacts with hizbulla & iran. Nobody will deny that, not even wefaq itself. Surprised? We weren’t. Bahrainis knew this all along. But the outside world doesn’t know this. Yes i know i know, iran, conspiracy, you’ve all heard it before.. But it cant be denied..
That’s why, when February protests started, all the protesters removed the hizbulla and Iranian flags from their homes and work. (see the picture here for example, this shows Ali Salman, head of Wefaq walking in a protest)..
Yes, they used to have them displayed everywhere all the time. Everywhere! You could even see stickers of hizbulla & Iranian flags on many shia cars before February 14 2011. Attend any Bahrain Vs. Iran football match in Bahrain and you would see the Iranian side of football supporters were filled with Bahraini shias. That all changed when February 14 protests begun. Coincidence? Are you telling me that all of a sudden they stopped being followers and supports of iran and hizbulla? Watch this before you jump to conclusions http://t.co/4WMWKmhX.
Yes what you saw in that video is what we have all seen and known all along.
We have also seen how violent they are, we have seen things your news channels never show! That’s why Bahrainis never really trusted this new “Peaceful” looking protests. Look at what they have done to our country http://m.youtube.com/watch?gl=US&hl=en&client=mv-google&v=d_mlBocNO7E. Imagine, just imagine this happened in your country. Think for a second..
Imagine we faced a 9/11 attack and suddenly seeing the world starting to support Al-Qaeda and calling them peaceful and pro-democracy. are you kidding me?! Yes, this is how we Bahrainis feel right now.
Who are you defending? Do you think these people want Democracy or Freedom? How can they? As per their beliefs, they don’t have free will! Read this http://www.twitlonger.com/show/f6krsv
Also, this is a rare video of Hizbulla leader. Who said the Ayatullah doesn’t interfere in politics? Hear what he says in his last statement: http://t.co/eGW6H51R .
How can you even think of supporting a group who choose to be slaves of their own Islamic clerics? Is this Democracy in your opinion? Look at Iran, please look at Iran. Look at how oppressed their people are. Executions going on daily on the streets without trial even. The radicals in Bahrain, who are behind these protests, support & love Iran. Ask them.
They will never ever deny it. Ask them!.. You want to support these people to gain control of Bahrain? Don’t help them take our democracy and freedoms away! Bahrain is the most democratic and most open country in the Arabia Gulf! They even call it the Las Vegas of the Gulf (nothing to do with gambling though) we have a constitution, parliament, and human rights. True, we are NOT a perfect democracy yet, but I believe that in time, we will get there. I just wish journalist and outsiders would try to see what’s really happening in Bahrain and not simply believe everything they hear on the news. I mean, Al-Alam TV even said that the roundabout was bombed by F16 fighter jets and Apache Helicopters! Oh come on!
This brings another question, how come all Iranian & hizbulla channels have dedicated all their time to support the protesters in Bahrain? Yet, they refuse to report anything of the massacres being committed by Syria? Of course, Syria is backed by iran and hizbulla.. So ok, that makes sense.. But how come Bahrain Anti-Government leaders such as Ali Salaman and Nabeel Rajab never condemn Syria? Whenever you ask them, they refuse to give you a direct answer or simply avoid the question.Or simply say “We condemn those responsible” .. Hidden statement because they actually blame the Freedom fighters for the massacres in Syria.
Just remembered one more thing, and yes I’m typing whatever comes into my mind right now, sorry, I’m not a professional writer, .. regarding the Doctors on trial. I have heard this over and over again in media, saying “Doctors were jailed for Treating protesters”.. Really?! Do you know how many doctors work in the Salmaniya hospital during the crises? Thousands! How many were treating protesters? Hundereds! How many jailed? Around 20! So ask yourself, how come only those 20 were jailed? Agree, their initial trial was a mess and not fair at all in my opinion.. However, if I told you they were fabricating lies to media regarding the number of protesters injured for example, you won’t believe me.. so go ahead, watch old videos of the doctors who talked on TV and claimed (Thousands injured, hundreds dead and tens of thousands are missing). During those times, only 4 protesters died by the way. Yes it’s sad and very unfortunate.. But also 4 policemen died too. Ok, I’m sorry I wrote so much, I guess I’m just frustrated that the world is still not seeing the full picture. But I can’t blame journalist, they always look for exiting and hot stories, even though it may all just a bunch of lies. That’s why you see journalists saying “We have heard” or “We have unconfirmed reports”. That way, they don’t take the blame when they actually find out what they’ve been saying is not true.
Even CNN used to report that around 200 protesters were killed. (Which our government never knew about until i told them).. Goes to show how inefficient our government can be.. But thats another story. Anyway, later on CNN amended this “error” and aired a brief apology.
Let me finish with this.. Don’t help them take away our Freedom. I have been accused of being Pro-Gov, paid mercenary, Pakistani (because most of these anti-government protests are racists and hate Asians and want them to leave, here is a video of some shia protesters torturing an Asian man after kidnapping him http://t.co/3hQSRMgL ) and have been threatened for just expressing my opinion.. Some democracy these people claim to demand. Anyone who doesnt agree with them is immediately labled as an enemy to them..
I’m just a Bahraini. An Arab. Born and Bred. Not Nationalized. Not working for the government. Just a boy who cares for his country and trying to talk in the middle of a storm..
But, as we Liverpool fans always say, “At the End of the Storm, There’s a Golden Sky”.
If you are interested in seeing other videos of what happened in Bahrain, see My Favorites on Twitter, follow me @ATEEKSTER or please see this: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/fdhrd1