Many of you may know me on here, specially from the live blogs. What many of you may not know is that I am from Bahrain and I’ve never been more patriotic. A lot has been said on this blog about the current situation in Bahrain and many have mixed feelings about whether F1 shall continue or not..
The answer? The decision has nothing to do with Bernie Ecclestone or the FiA, it’s Bahrain’s decision only. As you all said it’s a matter of safety, and the Bahraini government will not allow the race to happen if the situation isn’t resolved (I wrote this before reading that Bernie said the same thing too). No matter how much Bernie pushes for it, it will not happen unless Bahrain is safe enough, and believe me the last thing we would want is for something to go wrong with the world watching us. So rest assured it will only happen if the Bahraini people want it to..
As an F1 fan, yes I am devastated that my “peaceful” “business friendly” country is all of a sudden considered not safe enough to hold the most important event I look forward to every year. More importantly, as a Bahraini I have not yet thought about F1 since the first day of “peaceful protests” ironically called “the day of rage” that started on the 14th of February. I haven’t had a restful night’s sleep, NOT because I’m not safe. I’m safe as any of you are, and I thank my fellow F1F’s Stephfarnsworth, Magnificent Geoffrey, and PeachyF1 for asking about me on twitter. And thank you for all F1F’s who voiced their concerns on F1F for the people of Bahrain.. I’ve read numerous comments that looked down upon my country.. I felt I have to reply I have to say something but I guess I was just too emotionally drained.. Too sad.. too scared, what will happen to my country? This NEVER happened before, and mostly the media is not helping!
What saddens me the most other than the obvious devastating loss of lives that shook Bahrain to the core is the International Media. I have officially lost trust in ALL media. They always say the media lies, media sells, and we all learned to take everything with a pinch of salt anyway, but to experience it firsthand the worst thing any citizen can go through! And after experiencing it, I wouldn’t wish it upon my enemy.
I never knew to what extent can they lie and how detrimental can that be. And yes I am talking about the major news anchors the CNN, BBC, and Sky. Many people on this website, which I consider my favorite F1 site, have also said the same things about Bahrain, but guess what? I don’t blame any of you at all!! This is what the media have been feeding you. If this occurred elsewhere in the world and I saw this on the news, I would probably assume the same thing! But not anymore.. I’m hurt, I feel betrayed by the media. I’m not saying what you all saw is not true, I’m saying it is one-sided! Ask any Bahraini or go on twitter and see what the Bahrainis are saying.. #Bahrain
Before going on I want to make something very clear.. We are ALL devastated and beyond sad for the loss of lives. Every Bahraini citizen is dear and as Bahrainis we will not allow the shed of more lives, neither will our government. It was just going to be 1 day of “peaceful” protests to ask for certain rights, but it soon escalated death threats to the HM King and wanting to change the rule. Did all Bahrainis want that? Absolutely not.. Did the media show that? No.. We are happy with our constitutional monarchy that has an elected parliament through which we can make our voices heard. The stability of having one constant leadership is much more beneficial to us than having the leadership change every 4 years. It may not suit everyone, but the majority of Bahraini people wouldn’t want to have it any other way to be honest.
We all wanted the violence and the use of force to stop. With every death our sadness grew. But the protestors were clearly saying that they were going out illegally to send their families and loved ones out there no matter what the circumstances were and will sacrifice their lives. Now I don’t want to start pointing fingers because HRH the Crown Prince himself said that he’s not blaming anyone, so whom am I to do so.. (Bahrain now is in a state of unity and progression thanks to the Crown Prince’s beyond humbling, very wise initiative which I will go into in a bit)
It’s enough to state some facts that speak for themselves: Not all Bahrainis were at the Lulu roundabout, in fact the majority weren’t! But did the media show that? No.. The protests at the lulu roundabout were in small thousands and captured the attention of the world. But did you hear about the 100,000 rally for peace and solidarity who were all pro-government? Some channels barely mentioned it, but did they take the same amount of videos and asked the same amount of people about their views?
Why would “oppressed” people go out in support and rally in thousands and pledge their allegiance and loyalty to the King who is seen known in Bahrain as the “King of Hearts”, but is now suddenly described as a dictator? HM King Hamad is THE most tolerant King I know and is known for his numerous royal pardons to the anti-government protestors for years.
Did you know that there are 50 brutally injured policemen whom we have all seen graphic images on TV of and many have visited them in the hospital. From being run over with a car, severed fingers, and the many of them who were stabbed using the swords, knives, and even a few guns were found in Lulu roundabout. Let me honestly ask you.. In any country if a citizen only assaults a police man, what happens? They weren’t only openly assaulting them but brutally attacking them. None are held into custody, accept for the one who ran over the police man. Think of your own countries, and imagine if this happened..
Some of reported that the ambulances weren’t allowed onto the scene, please just take a look at all the videos on the websites and you’ll clearly see the ambulances lined up. Yesterday they reported many dead, but no lives were lost, and only one was in a critical condition. Why the contradicting stories? What’s sadly happened here is social network/media war. People spreading false information, and many have spoken about it. One of the most reputable journalist on twitter who I won’t mention turned into a national joke for his false reporting and listening to those lies. The message learnt? The rule of thumb in journalism, make sure you have a credible source.
All my life we co-existed as Sunnis and Shiites living side by side, we may have our differences but have always managed to rise above them and see each others as fellow Bahrainis regardless of which sect we come from. We never imagined that a time would come and we would wake up to shaken Bahrain and see forces used in our own ground.
In that darkest hour, HRH the Crown Prince – whom you’re all familiar with from F1 races, showed up on a live show on national TV unannounced! Talk about a surprise and it was just what the Bahraini people needed.. A voice of wisdom.. It wasn’t a planned visit, but a spontaneous one that acknowledged that this needs to stop and it needs to stop now! He didn’t even plan what to say, he was speaking from heart as a Bahraini. All Bahrainis are touched. He called for calm, promised to withdraw the forces, and asked for constructive dialogue. No more bloodshed, enough is enough. All of a sudden humanity was restored and Bahrain never looked back since that moment.
He didn’t stop there he spoke on CNN and on Al-Arabia, withdrew the forces, and has already begun meeting with people representing all sides and sects working towards a united Bahrain. Both Sunnis and Shiites have never felt so united! We are all working to be stronger than ever working together in unison to continue our progression and rise above this nightmare. Yes it’s a nightmare because it didn’t feel real, this is not the Bahrain we all know.
Have a look at this You Tube link http://www.youtube.com/user/bahraintelevision for all the speeches he mentioned and you judge yourself :) (The CNN one is the only one in English, the rest all have English subtitles.)
To watch the world go from calling my country “Business Friendly”, “The Motorsports Hub of the Gulf”, “Middle East lite”, “The freest economy of the Middle East” “pro-democracy” “multi-cultural” “the most liberal in the Gulf” to “an oppressive regime”, “a dictatorship”, “a warzone” in ONE single day is simply unacceptable! It’s as if to the whole world Bahrain just came into existence in these few days! How come a fast developing country go from one state to the extreme from one single event? The story must be biased, something must be missing!
I’ve written this out of duty to my country because we have been misrepresented. You all got to say what you thought about this in one of the most commented articles, and I just felt as a Bahraini F1F I want to make my voice heard, and it would’ve been insane to reply to every single comment, they were too overwhelming to read at such a difficult time. But today I have blind faith that Bahrain will emerge from this stronger than ever, united as ever. They say the darkest hour is just before the dawn, and we’re at dawn. So please respect our efforts, and hopefully the coming days will only prove to the world what Bahrain really is and what it has always been.
To whoever took the time to read this I thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.. Or send me a tweet @pearlaceous, my account is locked just send me a request :)