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5th February 2014, 13:09 at 1:09 pm #246432
The 2014 Press Conference of the Bahrain Grand Prix:
FASCINAT10N: Celebrating 10 Years
Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al-Khalifa, the CEO of the Bahrain International Circuit, opened the press conference by expressing his gratitude and thanks for 10 years of hosting the pinnacle of motorsports, Formula 1. “It gives us great honour to announce we are 60 days away from the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix. This year’s race is very special to us as it’s our 10th race”, said Shaikh Salman. Ten years of excitement, ten years of thrill, ten years have passed by since Bahrain’s inaugural back in 04, 04, 2004, he continued. This year’s race will begin on Friday 04, 04, 2014, ten years to the date. The CEO expressed his thanks to Mr. Zayed Al-Zayani, the Chairman of the BIC, for his efforts in getting the FIA’s approval of this special date.
The slogan of this year in Arabic is “Don’t miss out!”, as this year’s race will be different than the previous years, and one not to be missed! Bahrain’s Formula 1 race has turned nocturnal and will be the second full night race of the calendar. Abu Dhabi is known as a twilight race, whereas the Bahrain race like Singapore will start after sunset at 6pm. A lot of effort and planning has gone into preparing the circuit to host a night race, and has been the biggest change to the circuit to date, explained Sh. Salman. It took five hundred kilos of cabling, and 495 light poles to light up the track. Some light poles have up to 120 spotlight fixtures on them, while others have 18 fixtures depending on their location.
The possibility of a night race was an idea that came up after F1’s first night race in Singapore and Abu Dhabi’s twilight race, revealed Sh. Salman. The Bahrain International Circuit have cooperated with their colleagues at Yas Marina circuit and have visited the Singapore Grand Prix to learn from their experiences. Having a night race opens up many positive opportunities. One of them is that it allows the circuit to host a larger array of races, specially those that go from day to night. It also allows for activities to last whole day long and not be limited to sunlight. They realized this as well when they opened the new Karting Circuit at the BIC which is equipped with flood lights.
Having a night race also allows a larger fan base to attend the Grand Prix. Sunday is a working day in Bahrain and most people are either at work or school. A later hour will allow those who have jobs or school to enjoy the race as well.
Shaikh Salman expressed the Bahrain International Circuit’s honour of hosting the two latter testing sessions of 2014. There will be a chance for the public to attend the testing sessions for a small fee of 5BD on the 21st and 22nd of Feb., and the 28th and 1st of March. This year’s new regulations and new engines will add newfound excitement to the Grand Prix. The new Energy Recovery System regulation will allow cars to use it for 33 seconds per lap whereas last year’s KERS only allowed them 6 seconds. This will undoubtedly affect the racing and add more thrill.
As for the support races, Sh. Salman said the BIC’s is privileged to host the feeder into Formula 1, GP2, as the main support race. This year’s GP will also highlight the region’s local talent in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Championship instead of the International Porsche Supercup GT3. “We felt the need to support our local talent as the ‘home of motorsport in the Middle East'”, said Shaikh Salman. He extended his thanks to Mr. Walter Lechner, the founder and promoter of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, for creating the best local championship that travels all over the GCC. We are proud that it started in Bahrain, and feel it’s time to honor our local talents and give them a chance to shine during the Grand Prix weekend, expressed Sh. Salman.
The Entertainment this year as every year is bigger and better. The CEO refused to reveal all the details, but did mention that they will be something for all ages. The Bahrain Grand Prix is known for it’s family oriented approach and is one of the only races that caters to the whole family. The Children’s tent this year will have an “Island Fanta-sea” theme reveled Sh. Salman. It will be much bigger than last year’s one, which was very big. There will be not one, but three Musical concerts of world renowned artists which will be revealed at a later date.
Another great news for the fans is that the ticket prices have been reduced! The Main Grandstand tickets dropped from 180BD ($478) to 150BD ($400), and the University and Victory Grandstands down to 60BD ($160). Shaikh Salman was happy to reveal that until today they have sold double the amount of tickets they sold last year at this time.
When asked whether the circuit will continue to hold night races after investing in a floodlight system, Shaikh Salman revealed the exciting news that they’re looking to remain as a night race on the F1 calendar. However, the upcoming testing sessions will remain during daytime. This will totally change the experience of watching F1 in Bahrain. Today the 5th of Feb., 2014 is also the last day to benefit from the Early Bird Discount offering up to 20% discount on the GP tickets. This is a race that one should definitely not miss! So if you haven’t already gotten your tickets, hurry up and benefit from the great prices!
Here are the first glimpses of the lit Sakhir Circuit:9th April 2012, 19:17 at 7:17 pm #180772
Hi Keith I wrote a huge reply (as I promised on twitter) in the daily round-up and will copy it here as well. I thought I would post a small comment and save the rest for here but I spilled it all out, so for those that didn’t read that comment, here you go:
Before I start commenting first of all I’d like to say that I do respect all your views about my country, government, etc.. but I feel I have to say something because as a local who has been living through all this, I do have firsthand experience that should help clarify things..
You might have noticed that I’ve been quite quiet on the Bahrain situation on the blog simply because I realized that it is hard to compete with the media. Many articles have been exaggerating and highlighting certain aspects of the events to send out a certain message, while ignoring other events. So people end up mostly siding up with the rioters against the Government, and are mislead into the believing that we have a “dictatorship” like government – which just sounds ridiculous even typing it!
No matter how hard I try to explain my views, people just dismiss my opinion by saying that I’m just siding with the government, or fail to see the other side, or that I’m not impartial enough.. Well obviously if I’m a Bahraini my opinion isn’t like an outsider’s, and although I try to be as objective, it still is subjective. But if I can get one message across it would be that things in real are not like what you read in the media. Which is why I truly believe that the only way anyone can be convinced that Bahrain is ready to host the race is if they come down here and see for themselves. Which is kind of hard to do but one journalist did come over from Abu Dhabi, let me share my chat with him..
He came to attend the BIC’s press conference in February and when I asked him what does he think about the situation he said it looked like a “warzone” on TV, but he was surprised to see everything normal when he came to Bahrain. He went out for dinner, walked around Manama, and saw nothing at all.. He was surprised. I did tell him there are minor protests/clashes with the police in the villages but that’s basically it.
Those mini riots do happen, but they don’t have any legitimate causes except to cause disruption and are violence – which hugely undermines their cause (even Nick Kristof who is the opposition’s biggest supporter attended one of those riots and he had to take shelter from the molotov cocktails that were being hurled at the police and said on twitter that the violence undermines their cause). So I think we can all agree that any use of violence by either sides the police or the rioters is not acceptable. Deal?
Let me explain more how those small riots are like. It starts by a small group of 10-20 youngsters (and by youngsters I mean teenagers and younger! There are footage of kids as young as 5 year old being used by the opposition – which in any country is considered to be child abuse!). Where are the human rights organizations to stop the opposition from abusing these innocent children?! Nowhere to be seen of course because of people like Nabeel Rajab, who claims to be a human rights activist, is really nothing but a terrorist who controls the thugs and orders them around instigating violence. People outside of Bahrain don’t know that, we all do. He doesn’t even have an organization, his fake organization has been shut for years now, but who cares right? -.-
These youngsters start the riot by attacking the police mostly by hurling burning molotov cocktails towards them. What do the police do? Nothing.. Literally they just stand by trying to avoid being hit and burned. If the crowd is larger and needs to be dispersed or if they are blocking a main road and have to be stopped then first use stun grenades, which usually do nothing. Then next tool they have is tear gas, it’s their only way of dispersing or breaking up a riot. They are NOT allowed to use live ammunition. They are NOT shooting at anyone. They may use rubber bullets if the person attacks them closely and are threatening the police – which are all legal International standards.
What you all outside of Bahrain don’t know about is how violent these thugs are. And I am 500% sure that if the same thing happened anywhere else in the world, the police would have arrested thousands, and would have definitely used live bullets. Here in Bahrain the police are NOT allowed. Molotov cocktails may sound normal, but they are lethal. And when they are hurled at the police at close proximity they can kill and severely injure. Have you heard of the police who are severely injured on a weekly basis in the media?? NO because all you read is that the Bahraini police are brutal right? They are attacked daily, many have sustained severe injuries and burns.
Another weapon they use are those huge long metal rods that are projected towards the police and can kill instantly if it hits them anywhere close to the head. They have already killed a woman who was on her way back home and that rod hit her directly in the head and she died a few days after that. Who’s fault is that? Where are the human rights?
They also use smaller spears that look like darts and several policemen have been stabbed in their necks, legs, arms by them.
Let me ask you all a question? What happens if a cop in the US stops your car and asks you to step out of the car with your hands above your head. And you come out of the car and put your hands in your pockets. Do you know that the police man has the right to SHOOT you in the leg? Just because there’s a possibility that you may be reaching for a weapon in your pocket so he has the right to defend himself by shooting first. In the UK I’m not sure what the rules are, but we all remember the South American guy who was shot at simply because they thought he was the suspect. The recent riots in London had 3000+ arrested. (FYI I’m not comparing the riots to ours because it’s totally different, I’m just talking about the arrests). If we did the same in Bahrain we would’ve been attacked. I don’t see anyone attacking the Met police?
Do you know that Bahrain is the first country ever to call an Independent Committee to come judge and inquire about all the abuses by the Government. This is a very admirable and brave move by our King! Would a “dictator” ever do that? LOL And not only that but he accepted the result of the inquiry, believe me it was hard for us to watch Prof. give that speech accusing the government, but he took it bravely and showed sincere will to change things and has already begun to make the changes.
The police who were found to be at fault were already punished by the Ministry of Interior even before the BICI report finished, and Prof. Bassiouni said that the big officials in the Ministry issued no order of abuse, what happened were individual mistakes and they already are punished. After last year’s mistake, the army, police force, and government have become very wary and careful not to do anything that is illegal or use excessive force because it hurt the country badly last year – even though what happened wasn’t intentional but it was wrong and everyone condemned that.
Bahrain also went the extra length of asking the US and the UK for help in training our police forces to deal with riot control and they brought in 2 officials 1 from the US called John Timoney, who has worked in the police force for many years, and a former high ranking Met Police officer called John Yates. They both said that the police are not using excessive force and have agreed that the protesters are using violent and lethal weapons.
Another thing people don’t know Bahrainis, specially those who are “Pro-Govt” is that even they have changed their views towards the Government! How? Last year we had people who were either pro govt or anti-govt. This year it’s a bit more complicated as we now have extremists on both sides and several middle areas. However most people who were pro-govt are still pro in the sense that they support the King, but what has changed is that they have been more critical of the Government. You all would be surprised to know that most pro-gov Bahrainis criticize the Government for being too LENIENT! Yes you heard me right.. They have grown sick and tired of the situation and want the government to implement stricter laws to put an end to this ongoing chaos! They want the government to give the police the right to use weapons to face the rioters who are already using lethal weapons. So far the rioters escape freely after attacking the police, and the police go back home with their injuries. I see their point, as I don’t know anywhere in the world where we see police defenseless against the violent rioters. So the ball game has completely changed. I don’t blame the government that much because they are dealing with so much pressure from all sides!
It’s like a tug of war but with many more sides than 2, and the government is the rope. They’ve got the violent opposition on the extremists end, the pro-gov extremists on the other end, then the people who are anti-gov and pro-gov but are more moderate, then the International affairs and relations (mainly the US), then the GCC countries (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Oman) who have their own concerns for their safety. So as you can all see the government are under a lot of pressure to please all these sides and all I can say is I’m lucky I’m not part of them because it’s a very tough job!
And I think they have been doing a great job so far in trying to calm the situation down. People have been criticizing them for being too lenient and not making swifter decisions but I can’t blame them. They have to think a billion times before doing anything. One thing I’d like to say is that I do believe that they are sincere in wanting to make the changes that the opposition are asking for. Our King has started the reform process 10 years ago and made huge changes towards making Bahrain more democratic. And they are continuing to do so step by step. The world needs to give Bahrain a chance because our rulers are good people and most International leaders know that. It’s just unfortunate (or wise from the opposition) that the unrest happened along with the Arab Spring so we were all grouped with them even though the situation here is not even comparable to countries like Libya, syria, egypt, etc…
Sorry for this humungous long post but I felt I had to explain my point of view. Now back to F1, I personally believe that it should transcend all politics. I’m against the view that holding the GP means that it is supporting the government. Well yes it kind of but it is supporting the country! By having the F1 it will help Bahrain recover the immense economic losses of last year, which in turn helps us the citizens! Last year I was for canceling it the first time, but when it announced again I was for it. In hindsight I still think we could have pulled it off in October because other International events happened shortly after in November with no problems at all. We had Jewellery Arabia which is an Annual International Exhibition that has the worlds biggest jewellery names. It was also high risk because of the amount of expensive jewellery that is normally brought in is. Then we had the International Boat show which was a huge success. Then we had the BIGS Annual Flower show, and the International Air Show which is also a huge event, maybe a bit smaller than F1, everyone had a great time. We recently had an International Animal show as well. So why can’t we hold the F1?
The opposition are obviously using the F1 to their benefit and are trying their best to escalate the situation and are working the media as they did last year to side against the government and cancel it. This was always expected, but this time around, they have no legitimacy at all. They have lost the respect of many here, even people from their own! Many from the opposition are now against them because they are taking them nowhere with their pointless use of violence. Nothing practical is being done, so they have lost thousands of supporters they had last year! Bahrain has changed, we have moved on. Our lives are back to normal and we will NOT allow them to drag us into the rut they did last year. This isn’t how we are used to live, this is not how we Bahrainis are. We are not sectarian people and we will not allow the opposition to spread their filth and hate anymore. We are looking towards progressing and aiming for unity to help build our country back regardless of what the govt does. The F1 is huge event that really affects the whole country, and we love it here when it’s around. Even people who are not into racing or motorsports enjoy Bahrain during the F1 because it becomes so lively and people really enjoy themselves. This year people are even more adamant on attending the F1 to make a point towards unity, reconciliation, and rebuilding our country and helping it move forward. It is such a beautiful feeling, the hype already started and the F1 fever is reaching it’s peak. Bahrainis are happy they have something to look forward to. Please I beg the F1 community, from team members, fans, drivers, and media, PLEASE DON’T take this away from us!! Give Bahrain a chance! I’m sure you all won’t be disappointed. We want the GP and we are ready for it!
(Thank you to anyone who read this from top to bottom!)20th February 2012, 0:44 at 12:44 am #180740
I just came across this, the BIC just announced the ticket sales today in Bahrain and they are available locally at the City Center Shopping Mall, and online on the BIC’s website. Here’s the link to the ticket sales: http://www.bahraingp.com/TicketsEvents/Pages/default.aspx
The tickets are discounted at 15% off for the coming two weeks only! So anyone interested in attending should hurry.19th February 2012, 20:15 at 8:15 pm #180766
“UNIF1ED – One Nation in Celebration” is the slogan for the 2012 Bahrain
Grand Prix, and what a fitting slogan it is. After going through a year
of political turmoil, Bahrain is finally ready to host the Formula 1
Grand Prix that is scheduled to take place from the 20th-22nd of April.
It will be the fourth race of the 2012 season, and it will be Bahrain’s
eighth time of hosting the prestigious event. “UNIF1ED for the
well-being of the Kingdom”, explained Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al-Khalifa
,CEO of the Bahrain International Circuit, “We hope we can pull a lot of
people in supporting the race”, he added. For Bahrain the Formula 1
Grand Prix is one of the Kingdom’s biggest events and has great revenues
that benefits the Bahraini people. In 2008, the Grand Prix generated the
highest revenue of $550 million, and the lowest revenue the race ever
generated was $320 million. The whole country benefits from hosting an
International event as big as the Formula 1 as the businesses and
tourism industries all get a huge boost. In addition to economic
benefits, “The Grand Prix ties us to the world, we become a world player
joining many countries around the world”, explained the CEO.
The Bahrain International Circuit have been working hard in organizing
this year’s event meeting frequently since last September. Lots of new
and exciting things are planned for this year’s race, which will mainly
include a McLaren exhibition featuring a unique selection of their
renowned racing cars from the past and present. In addition the vending
area will be much bigger this year allowing more space for air
conditioned areas to beat the heat, and a direct access to the circuit’s
newly established Bahrain International Karting Circuit. Lots of new attractions
for the children and entertainment surprises including musical concerts will be
announced as the event nears.
A top notch support race program is organized alongside the Grand Prix
including the GP2, the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, and the local WGA Supercar series.
The GP2 chose Bahrain as the only country where they will be racing
twice this year. If this proves anything it shows that they do take
Bahrain seriously and consider it to be one of the most important races,
explained Shaikh Salman. The Porsche Supercup also chose the Bahrain
Grand Prix to hold their first round, and the WGA series will be holding
their final round during the Grand Prix.
The Bahrain International Circuit also launched the ticket sales today,
which will be available locally at the Bahrain City Center Mall, and
online on the website bahraingp.com. They have made an attractive offer by selling
the tickets at 15% off for two weeks, so those who are interested in attending
the race better hurry! The cheapest ticket is at 40BD and goes up to 180BD, and
with the offer they’ll go down as low as 34BD starting price.
When asked about how confident is the BIC about the race going ahead,
Shaikh Salman said, “We are very confident that the event will happen,
we are launching our ticket sales today!” “It has always been there (on
the calendar), it’s been there from day one, we just had to provide them
(FIA) with a few clarifications”, he said about the Grand Prix. He also
thanked Mr. Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA for their support, faith, and
Mr. Samer Al-Majali, CEO of Gulf Air, the Grand Prix’s biggest sponsors
said, “It is our pleasure and honor to continue to support the Bahrain
Grand Prix”. Gulf Air has been the main sponsor of the race since it’s
inauguration in 2004. He said that there will be discounted air fare for
those who book early, and members of Gulf Air will also benefit from
special packages. Gulf Air will heavily advertise the Grand Prix in the
coming days including their famous checkered air planes with the new
2012 logo. When asked whether they’ll increase the number of flights, he
said that the company will respond to any demand there is and will do
what is required to serve the people.
The Kingdom is expecting a lot of people to fly in for the race,
including F1 personnel, journalists, photographers, and fans from all
over the world. When asked about how many International media personnel
is the Circuit expecting, Shaikh Salman said they are expecting from
450-500 journalists without including the photographers. The Bahrain
International Circuit will coordinate with the FIA in trying to ease the
application process and will work with the Immigration to facilitate
their entry. Shaikh Salman concluded the press conference by saying, “We
look forward to seeing you at the race!”
The official countdown has begun, sixty days till the Formula 1 engines
start roaring in Bahrain! The Bahrainis have had to wait a lot for this
moment and it cannot come sooner! UNIF1ED they await their race ready to
celebrate as one nation.3rd June 2011, 7:22 at 7:22 am #170643
@US_Peter Thank you Peter for your appreciation as I’m sure you can relate to the fact that I want F1 back in my country as a F1 fan but more importantly, defending my country. It is normal for my opinions to appear to be a somewhat biased in comparison to your views because this is my country and you don’t feel the same way, so can be more objective. I know the BahrainIndependent.com blog may not be independent an international sense, but within Bahrain it is written by mainly by bloggers, and well known people on twitter who have played active roles in the social media scene in Bahrain. So it is a nice way of seeing how Bahrainis think :)
The majority of the protesters when asked what do they mean about “downing the regime” have no answer to what it exactly means! Some saw it as lessening the power of the ruling family only, while others want to remove the ruling family, and some were supportive of the ruling family and just wanted reforms. Yes they want democracy, but it is tainted with sectarianism. The Shia religious clerics politicized religion and see the protest as an obligatory chore they have to do or else be judged and harassed. So some of the protesters went out in fear.. About the HR organizations check out the comment above..
Thank you for your well wishes. Hope the dialogue is successful too, but the vibe now feels good and people seem to be ready. The last few months, the people were too traumatized, too hurt, too scarred to even think of dialogue again. But now as the days passed by, it became more and more desired, and now after HM the King set the date for dialogue, we all feel hopeful!
See ya at the Canadian GP live blog! :)
@Ned Flanders Oh I’m not saying that the government did no mistakes, just not as grave as the people against them. HRH the Crown Prince himself said both sides are at fault. The first attack on the roundabout which lead to the 3rd and 4rth deaths was uncalled for. If it wasn’t for that the situation wouldn’t have worsened. But it happened that way, which is why the Crown Prince himself went to the TV station interrupted a live show to announce the withdrawal of the army which was a very bold and righteous move. If I can find a link to the King’s latest two speeches you would see how much he makes sense. Our leadership are great people who men well and literally serve us with sincerity, during this crisis they have been misrepresented big time. Just keep an open mind Ned because you can never see the way i see things because I am Bahraini and have experienced this first hand. Thank you for your honest comments, I don’t think you’d agree with me anytime soon, but maybe just say whether I understand them or not there are many in Bahrain who think like LAK :) That would be an awesome start.. Siding with the protesters is always the easy and obvious side to take..
@xtophe I completely agree with your point in that the government should allow reporters in so that they can see the real picture. The problem was n the beginning the situation was very bad after the government’s mistake of the first attack that plus the opposition’s exaggerated reports as if there were a real massacre going on was too damaging for Bahrain. So they then took a protective measure not to allow a lot of press, but they did allow many to cover the story. Now they are still restrictive, but I think not as much as before. This will slowly ease as the situation becomes better.
About the “Arab Spring” the media definitely put us all in the same cookie cutter, which was why after Egypt and Tunisia, people automatically supported the Bahrain protests because they thought we were the same! The people never really had an issue with the leadership like this, so all this hidden hate was horrible for it to all come out. The King said in his latest speech, “I abhor sectarianism” which is very true as he never differentiated between ppl based on their sect or background. Thank you xtophe for such interesting and important comments.
@Ads21 Thank you for your comment and views :) To be honest I was very worried of going back to square one on June 1st, (other than the supposed attacks) everything was calm and quiet, and as I said lots drove around to see for themselves and said that those reports were false. Keith posted an article in the round-up that they’ve lifted the ban. Many people have recently entered Bahrain, and we feel here that the country is getting back to normal. The set date for dialogue is also promising, and the fact that the opposition are joining in is a sign of recovery.
@Maciek I know they may sound a bit farfetched specially as an outsider, but this sadly happened, check out the medical report here http://blog.bahrainindependent.com/2011/05/20/medecins-sans-frontieres-msf-partiality-of-reporting-in-the-kingdom-of-bahrain-a-counter-report/. As I said in my comment above in reply to xtophe that the first attack should not have happened as it escalated things.
About the press I fully agree, I think they were just taking protective measures, but the problem is that it hurt us a lot for not having a more transparent media.
I think it is quite unfair to call someone’s contributions “a bad running joke”. He is entitled to have his views, and is one of the few that did not attack me and acknowledged my point of view. Great questions :)
@JCCJCC Propaganda is the magic answer to every false news report, accept it is not the government’s news, it is the opposition. Here are a few: The concept of having a peaceful facade, and always
screaming ‘peaceful’ if approached by an army, but when needed to, they held their flowers in one hand with the knives/swords in the other. The idea of flowers was used in Iran a long time ago and were given to the police to stress on their so called peacefulness. They copied a certain car horn like hezbolla that they honk o a particular tune. The wordings of their slogans and chants are all carefully studied and chosen to make the most international impact, I could write a whole post on this matter but I’m no expert..
When I say the GP supports the people I don’t mean the entertainment or racing factor, I meant how beneficial it is for the country. How people who have businesses got really affected and this is the way of regaining what they lost. it will also be a great way to bring us together as sports have this ability to do so. Thank you for the questions!
@sato113 I’m not saying don’t believe them, just keep an open mind, and listen to our view too as after all we are the Bahraini people you are all supporting :)3rd June 2011, 5:29 at 5:29 am #170641
@Asanator Thank you for your comment, you’re entitled to your opinions but just think about these things: What about the reports of killings of innocent civilians by the opposition, the brutal murder of the two police men, the Pakistani man who has been disabled and cannot talk because his tongue was slit, the Pakistani men who were stabbed because they mistook them for naturalized Bahrainis? The injured traumatized university students? What do you say to their families? What do you say to those who have lost their lives because they did not get receive the medical care they needed because some sectarian doctor refused to treat them?!
What about the medical report linked in the article “Part 1″ of the doctors giving their patient illegal amounts of “Atropine” in order to mimic nerve gas exposure so that the media films the injured with exaggerated symptoms? What about the right of that patient?
There are documented videos in the article I posted about most of the cases I mentioned. It is important to realize who initiated the violence. Who started it, and it certainly was not the government. We lived through this and whether you like it or not, my government took protective measures to make sure I feel safe and protected, and this goes to all Bahrainis including the protesters. Those who fought or attacked the police will get arrested or attacked back with tear gas of course as with any other country! Bahrain is a civilized country with respectable leaders up until before the protests started. How can our leadership become dictators all of a sudden? This was never their policy, nor were they known for their “brutal regime”, it actually sounds funny saying it because they exactly the opposite, they helped build Bahrain and develop to where it is today! A Huge achievement! The King himself was the one to introduce the democracy and initiated the Parliament. The opposition claimed to want democracy but did the opposite, shunned our voices and followed their political agenda which was influenced by foreign interests.
However, this the latest news is that the Al-Wefaq society have finally moved on and accepted dialogue with no pre-conditions! See the FT article: http://bit.ly/j4L5pq They have also said that they support the country’s economy and anything that will help in building it back. The Formula 1 GP is the biggest event with the biggest revenue, so it is safe to say that ALL of Bahrain want the GP back!
@Ned Flanders Heya Ned! I understand where you are coming from, but the fact of the matter is, I exist, I am a Bahraini, and this is what I think. The majority of my country think in the same way. I completely respect the peaceful ones, in fact I repeatedly said that we agreed with 80% of the demands. They then started supporting violence and as my comment above described hurt and injured a lot of people, many whom have died as a result! It was very sad to see.. We are hurt for a reason, we were terrorized, we were the ones dealing with them not the Western media. The opposition aren’t exactly known for their honesty and I promise will post videos that have recently emerged that show people revealing how they fabricated and lied to the International media to portray false injuries etc.. I know it sounds unbelievable, it sure did to us, we were appalled by the level they went just to shame the government. I believe in karma and I know that we will only get what we deserve.
For more ppl who have the same views check out the #BahrainWantsF1 tag and read :) (In the article I linked check out the photo of the people in the National Gathering: http://gallery.mac.com/aliphoto#100335 – They all share the same views as me) Not agreeing with me is absolutely perfect, but saying my opinion doesn’t mean anything is not true because our voice does exist.
@Icthyes I hope that if we don’t get the race it is not because of safety, but because of the complicated logistics and hassle of trying to fit everything in. I do understand Ross Brawn’s point of not having enough staff or holiday, etc… But for the teams it is still an extra race, and assuming that Vettel doesn’t run away with the championship, it can give teams some vital points. For us fans it’ll be great to have a longer F1 season as well.. Let’s hope the best for all happens.. You never know maybe we do go racing in the outer circuit one day. The BIC have always been keen on trying to improve the spectacle and introduced the new bit last year, realizing it didn’t work, they were going to go back to the old track. This just shows how willing they are to change for the better..
@Zadak That’s the spirit! Thank you so much Sir. I hope we get it back whenever we can, and if this year is feasible we would like ti because we’ve lost so much already and it will give us a strong economic boost that will benefit everybody. Attending the race itself will be a great way to bring us together :)
@Asanator I assure you, no one whipped me! Lol maybe you should check #BahrainWantsF1 and see how many ppl support the GP and see for yourself, we can’t all be whipped.. Also check out the link in my reply to Ned of the massive crowds, they certainly cannot all be whipped..
@Prisoner Monkeys Thank you so much PM for valuing my opinion and say. I’m sure Ned didn’t mean it in that manner. Even though ppl all don’t agree with me, I’m just asking to acknowledge that this view point exists here in Bahrain, these are the facts whether you like them or not :) The majority are moving on towards reforms, even the opposition have now agreed on dialogue and supporting economic progress. These reports of attacks are not all necessarily true, yesterday as the protestrs were tweeting about the army “killing” them, people drove around in Bahrain to the same regions only to find them completely quiet and normal! I’m just saying keep an open mind. :) (Sorry PM this is not addressed to you personally, I just defending why you should take my opinion into consideration, thanks again for your “like”)
@BasCb The expert on Bahrain :) Of course I consider what you have to say, and I very much enjoy my discussions with you.
As I said n the comment above, people were reporting attacks, then others took pictures of the same areas with nothing! So I simply cannot believe those stories until I see them with my own eyes. Maybe there were a few, but not to the extent of deaths or injuries. Let me tell you a story BasCB, when they cleared the roundabout I turned my television station to Al-Alam News (which became a “Frikkin joke” because of the way they reported completely fabricated stories) to see how will they report such news. It was amazing, people started calling in saying there were Apache helicopters attacking them – Bahrain’s airforce don’t even have Apache helicopters haha!
About Qatar, there is an important think you do not know about them. We’ve always had some sort of political tension between Bahrain and Qatar. The latest legal battle was over who owns the Hawar Islands, we eventually won the case, but they got access to huge gas fields. Basically, the Al-Jazeera TV station is owned by a member of the Qatari royal family who isn’t necessarily fond of our royal family.. Otherwise, Qatar has very good relations and we have moved on from such tensions and now are in good relations, but old feuds still secretly remain with some people.
The PM did not bring foreign troops, they were the Peninsula Shield from the GCC who act exactly like our NATO forces. During the Kuwait war, the Bahraini part of the Peninsula Shield fought against the invading Iraqis in 1990. Any country of the GCC in need of help may use the Peninsula shield forces, and these forces become under the command of the hosting country. So the are all not foreign, they follow exactly what the Bahraini forces tell them to do. They certainly were not an invasion. No one here sees them like that! Just to give you an example of how happy the people were with the Saudi and Emiratis for sending their troops to restore security and safety, we celebrated “Green Day” in honor of Saudi Arabia, and “White Day” in honor of the UAE. If I find pictures I will post, Everyone was decked out in Saudi/Emirati flags, badges, banners, posters, you name it. It was a nice way of thanking them and showing our appreciation to them.
About dialogue, please remember who refused to enter dialogue? It was the opposition! We were all begging them to start the dialogue and end the anarchy and chaos, but no, they continued to refuse…for a whole month! In that month I’m pretty sure the Bahraini population aged a couple of years, and many became insomniacs. The opposition first put certain conditions to enter dialogue, then HRH the Crown Prince agreed to discuss all their demands, but still they refused! This was when we all started to get impatient and fed up, and when they turned openly violent and had to be stopped otherwise we would be fighting a civil war..
About the Iranian/Hezbolla affiliations you have to read a bit of history and background information about the regime in Iran and the Shia religion to see how they are all related. (too political and messy) If they really wanted change they should have agreed to dialogue, and not resort to violence, this was our objection, not the protesting but the manner they did it in.
I hope we try and solve this with dialogue ASAP, and be able to move on from this. I know this was bad, but I’m sure it is a blessing in disguise because when we emerge we will do so as a much stronger citizens.
@Ned Flanders Aww don’t worry Ned! I know you didn’t mean it in that way :) I completely respect your views and would probably say the same thing if I was in your place. But I know that the opposition are the ones who have the human rights association, and have not been quite honest in their reports, and have omitted so many cases because they don’t suit their “story”. A biggest testimony is when the Pakistani injured men tried to contact the HR society to report the abuse they got from the protesters, the HR society did not answer them! Sunnis are also not even represented. This is why we don’t trust them, what HR society decides who deserves to be represented based on their sect or following? There society doesn’t even have a valid registration in Bahrain, yet have managed to reach out to all of the International ones.
@smifaye Lol thank you, it sure is heated! Thank you for realizing that you need for info to judge and for keeping an open mind :) When I think of F1 or course that is not important, but the GP is the most important international event Bahrain holds. We need the GP to happen not for the spectacle itself, but for the economic benefits that Bahrain is in desperate need for! Hotels, restaurants, shops, companies, etc.. have all lost substantial amounts and bringing the Gp back will help the economy back to life. This is why we are fighting to have it back. It’s more of a serious need than an entertainment one.
@Red Andy Lol poor Ned, thank you for defending me but I’m sure he meant well. Thank you really for taking the time to read it and think about it. That’s a very interesting point you make Andy, about people not being pro F1 because of the Bahrain Circuit or because they don’t like being in the ME! It is no secret that the F1 community aren’t exactly fans of the Bahrain GP which is why they think it can easily be disposed. Imagine if this were Monaco, Spa, or Silverstone, we would see more people being pro or at least more supportive. Thank you so much for your kind wishes Andy, it is quite refreshing to read such a supportive opinion – I’m afraid I got used to the bashing that a nice comment feels quite good, so thank you for that :)
@LL Jehto It is a great thorough article indeed, but the videos that were used are just from youtube. We have all seen them before here, so they are not made specifically for that article.
To answer some of your questions: Bahrain has a bit of democracy in the sense that it has a Parliament, and is a form of a constitutional monarchy like the UK, accept that the ruling family have more legislative power.
Most people are happy with the monarchy, some want to reduce their power, and only very few want to remove them from power.
In Bahrain the HR are politicized and used for sectarian purposes, see my 2nd comment to Ned. The HR have completely ignored some people and represented those that fit into their agenda. See the video about the Pakistanis in the article, they were completely ignored by the BCHR (the opposition’s HR organization)!
Thank you realizing the issue is more complex and needs time to figure out where you stand on this
7th May 2011, 8:07 at 8:07 am #168304
I do completely understand where you’re coming from, and as a moderator it is quite hard to make the decision to delete a comment or not, specially if it’s an off topic comment and not an offensive one. As I already told you, there is a fine line between moderating and killing the chat, and we always try to do our best in ensuring you all have a good time and enjoy F1. That said, I do hope that you do not take what happened personally, Keith was just being fair to the rest and trying to instill some sort of order otherwise it could be all over the place. It could’ve been anyone else’s comment, but this time it happened to be yours.
I hope you still see that it’s not all bad. You’re one of the F1F regulars and we all enjoy your company and insights, hope you don’t let this get in the way!
Hope to see you in the FP3 live blog which just started.. Opps late for the blog!13th March 2011, 19:45 at 7:45 pm #159900
I apologize for not replying sooner, every time I want to write a new situation arises and I can’t seem to keep up! I think I can safely that the whole Bahraini population is emotionally drained! We’ve reached a point that people are starting to get fed up with the situation.. We all want reform that will move the country forward but turning the nation into a standstill is not the way to do it! Today is supposed to be race day! We all should be watching the first F1 race of the season, and I’m beyond devastated that we’re not and I apologize on behalf of the true Bahrainis who do not support violence, chaos, nor the loss of lives but support dialogue, peaceful negotiations, and respect. I’ll try to briefly sum up of what has been happening before replying to the comments then if needed I’ll write a detailed post on what’s been happening in the nonF1 section when I can..
It’s been almost a month since the start of the protests on the 14th of Feb. and since the forces were withdrawn the protestors were allowed to roam freely as they wish. Literally not a single person from the police not even traffic police to give them their complete freedom. They have spread their tent city illegally to the surrounding areas including the Bahrain Financial Harbour! They weren’t getting the reaction they wanted by further pressuring the Government so they decided to move around with their protests literally choosing a new location every single day! Blocking the main roads and stopping people form carrying on their daily lives, going to work, schools, even getting to the hospitals. Just to show you the extent of their movements, they even went to residential areas on Friday aiming to go to the Royal Court, the residents weren’t happy at all and were ready to defend themselves as they had enough of them! Gladly the police were there to prevent any clashes between the both sides. Disappointed that no clashes happened, they decided to head directly to the King’s palace and protest there! Some of them came dressed in the white cloth traditionally used to wrap dead bodies hinting that the are going to be attacked, but like the previous day to no avail, there were no riot police from stopping them instead they were greeted with hospitality from the palace giving out dates and water lol! Nothing shows our King’s generosity and tolerance more than that..
This is never the Bahrain we know and the true masks of the protestors have fallen, they are the real perpetrators, and their agenda is way more bigger than their so called ‘demands’. They’ve become a national joke known for their dramatic lies to gain international attention to add validity to their claim and aid their hidden political agendas. If they really want their demands they would’ve agreed to have a national dialogue and demand their rights through legal ways. (The government gave them many of their demands: announced 20,000 jobs, announced the building of 50,000 houses, released prisoners according to their demands, the housing repayments were slashed by 25%, they reshuffled the Ministers and introduced new ones as part of the reform (2 of the shuffled ones are Shias, one was even part of the opposition a long time ago) the King also gave out a monetary amount of 1,000BD equivalent to 1640 pounds to every Bahraini family, and still they’re not happy I don’t know what more do they want! Funny and sad that many of them who are calling for the death of the royal family still ran to receive the 1000BD from them!) Even the opposition are divided between some who want the dialogue and the few who aren’t, and the majority of their followers who are just confused between listening to their senses and listening to the few of them that have made their agenda clear and it has nothing to with Bahrain! Their argument is growing weaker by the minute, and we’ve since gained International support pro-dialogue from the US, UK, and neighboring Gulf countries.
As I type now the protestors’ latest act was to block the roads early in the morning to prevent people from going to work and cause further disruption, they put up tents on the 6th of March in the Financial Harbour an area not far from the Pearl roundabout to further annoy the government and were asked to remove them. Today their agenda was to block all main roads and prevent people’s normal daily lives. Bahrain is a small country and we all use a main road to get to work and they closed it off freely blocking the roads with their cars, chairs, and barriers! And prevented anyone that tried to pass them. After their huge disruption today, the police had to intervene as several roads were closed off because of their protests and hundreds of people couldn’t get to school or work! My nephew had to drive back home he studied all day long yesterday for a test today and he couldn’t get to school! I’m watching the daily morning show on Bahrain TV and half of the presenters couldn’t get to work! Many on twitter complained about not getting to work. Most insisted on getting to work no matter what saying that as Bahrainis we will not allow the protestor’s disruptive acts stop us from helping our country! These are 2 of the latest tweets from the Ministry of Interior (@moi_bahrain) :
-At 07:58 some protesters attacked unarmed security forces, one sustained serious head injury and the other was stabbed
-Until 09:48, 14 members of the security forces had sustained injuries
(Omg ! :O Just saw the videos of what happened on the news and I saw a protestor run over a police with his car with my own eyes! Luckily the police man rolled off the car!) Found a video link WATCH HERE: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-571007 Oh another video now being shown of the protestors chasing the police cars away! WATCH: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-571008
Oh dear! This is getting out of hand, Bahrain needs the law to be applied! We cannot tolerate this anymore, the protestors have proven themselves unworthy of the King and CP’s kindness and tolerance! Here’s another longer video from CCTV cameras http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1pmai6O0N0
Even newer news from the Information Affairs Authority on twitter (@IAA_Bahrain):
-a group of protestors halted police patrol car, forced the driver out of the vehicle before beating him and then setting fire to the car.
-#Bahrain Protestors stopped an ambulance and obstructed its path. This violated international laws related to emergency vehicle movement.
I’m sure I left many things out that I forgot to mention like politicizing the health and education sectors, but it will be a never ending post :s so I will go ahead and answer the questions, and then write up a detailed update later on in the non F1 section of the forum..
@BasCB Thank you, if you are a Muslim you might understand how the Sunnis and Shiites can disagree religiously but as you said this should not be the focus because in Bahrain the Sunnis and Shiites have been living in unison for years! So why ruin our strong ties and bonds? We were never this way, why change now? Just to clarify not all Bahraini Shiites agree with the opposition. In the end we are all Bahraini citizens who want the same major changes, so why don’t the opposition agree to dialogue and then we can all go back to being friendly and peaceful, after all Bahrain was ranked as the friendliest country in the world in 2009! (http://www.forbes.com/2009/11/30/worlds-friendliest-countries-lifestyle-travel-canada-bahrain-hsbc-chart.html)
Not all the police are “imported”, many of them are Bahrainis, who were brutally attacked by the protestors! One of them was ran over by a jeep and sadly passed away :(, one lost his fingers, and many were stabbed by knives and swords. Today 14 of them were attacked by the so called peaceful protestors (see above, notice the tweet said they were unarmed!) Regardless of their origin, they are human beings as well and attacking authority with weapons is not acceptable in any country in the world, and they weren’t even arrested, except for the one who ran over the police man with his jeep! In most countries simply assaulting an officer is a punishable crime, so I think they have been let off quite easily here..
As you said a democratic government shouldn’t be biased towards a certain side, and in Bahrain the ministers were always a mix representing all sects. They aren’t appointed based on their sects, but on their achievements and credentials. In fact, the newly appointed Minister of Housing used to be part of the opposition and he has been the Minister of Works before all this for a few years. HRH the PM never had the same cabinet for years, the people under him have changed dramatically over the years so he isn’t stagnated as one may think and has achieved many international awards that praise his efforts to make Bahrain what it is today. (Will mention them in detail is response to @JCCJCC‘s comment).
I dream of celebrating when all this is over with a successful Bahrain GP with full grandstands as you’ve said, and I’m a 100% confident that we will :) Bahrain has always been a peaceful and civilized country and as Bahrainis we can never live like this, it’s not part of our history to have turmoil and unrest, so I’m confident this will end soon because this is not the Bahraini way of living..
@Icthyes Thank you for your comment. Regardless of what this region is called, democracy is practiced in a way that suits us. There is no one mold that fits all like many in the West like to think. Having a Monarchy that attends to the people’s needs through a Parliament suits us more because we have more stability this way and it’s actually for our own benefit. You may ask how? If Bahrain becomes a democratic country or a Monarchy that has no constitutional power like the UK, Bahraini citizens would have to pay taxes, pay for healthcare, pay for education, etc.. Now we don’t do any of these, so having the system we have in place is for our benefit..
@bosyber Thank you so much for taking the time to read and understand what I’m trying to get through.. Exactly, not every Arab country is the same, and thankfully we are headed in the right direction. The use of force and the loss of lives is unacceptable by all even the government realized that and withdrew their troops which we never saw around Bahrain before. The CP and HM the King have been working nonstop, they met several times with the heads of all political parties and already made changes which I’ll go into later. HM the King and the CP paid several visits to the Gulf countries around Bahrain and met with international officials. The CP addressed the country for a second time insisting on dialogue backed with international support as the only way forward, while the stubborn opposition continue to intimidate the government by testing their limits, but the government are being smart by not falling into their playing victim trap like they did the first time as they are clearly asking for more clashes as this is their only way to gain international backing against the regime. (I’ll mention them in the detailed update post later on) Hopefully all this will get resolved soon and the truth will prevail. I’m confident that we’ll come out of this stronger, better, and more united than ever and we can show the world that we managed to solve it in a civilized and peaceful way :).
@cubejam At least you found some of it interesting..
@Ned Flanders lol thank you.. I hope you understand that Bahrain is certainly not by any means lead by a dictator.. People who don’t know the violent history of the opposition may easily misjudge the way the force was used against them. In Bahrain we have been very lenient with their years of violence and acts of terrorism (burning tyres on public roads, attacking police cars (they’ve killed a policeman last year by burning shops down, etc.. A WikiLeak which confirms this: http://wikileaks.ch/cable/2007/12/07MANAMA1113.html I can send you a disturbing youtube video which shows what they usually do check the ireport videos I’ve linked above to see what happened today!). Basically to the world they may seem ‘peaceful’ but anyone who lives in Bahrain can tell you that these ‘peaceful protests’ aren’t as peaceful at all but a way to get the media’s attention to be on their side and they’ve succeeded, how else will they topple the regime and gain International Support (which they are losing by the minute)? But the Bahrainis have woken up and we’ve been described as the #silentmajority on twitter and have made their voices heard in three rallies that are the biggest our tiny island has seen! The latest one was 450,000 ppl, (the first was 100,000, 2nd 300,000 ppl) all pro-government, in support of our current leadership, and we are asking for very similar reforms that the opposition want but aim to do it through dialogue and not spreading chaos by disrupting the jobs, hospital, roads, schools, etc…
@xtophe Thank you for your comment, hundreds of prisoners were released according to the demands of the protestors. They are the same people that have terrorized our country in the past years, but the King is known for his royal pardons and did so to ease the tensions. Also one of the main oppositions was allowed to enter Bahrain again after being banned from Bahrain for a few years. He was held by the Interpol in Lebanon and the Bahraini government lifted their ban on him so he was released to he was freely allowed to return to Bahrain. What did he do? Fuel the fire and increase the rift between the two sides. Some of the opposition are trying to call for dialogue, but he still remains and calls about his political society to not accept peace at all. In fact, he announced his loyalty to the Iranian regime and announced that he wants to create another country in Bahrain! If you read what happened today above you would know that they are not peaceful at all but want to gain the sympathy and International support to gain power and topple the regime! But we all know the truth and as true Bahrainis will not allow this to happen to our beloved peaceful island.
The CP, the government, the Bahraini people (pro-government and the majority of protestors who are moderates) are all pushing towards national unity through dialogue. Their efforts are being disrupted by very few heads of 2 or 3 political societies who are refusing dialogue. Today we have international backing and their argument is weakening by the minute. Today’s incidents showed their true chaotic agendas. Their lies are no longer believed nor tolerated. Good will come out of this because more people are siding with the government and don’t want to be associated with such shameful acts.
The two legislative don’t have balanced power to protect the ruling government. The opposition are the ruling majority in the parliament and their loyalty to another neighboring country isn’t really a secret. This can change as this is one of their demands and the CP is willing to put this topic up for negotiations, but where are they? Why aren’t they discussing this with the CP if that’s what they want?
@bosyber You couldn’t be more correct, a lot of work needs to be done to establish true equality. There is a reason that they are unhappy, but the whole of Bahrain agrees with about 80% of their demands! We also have the same needs, but did we illegally protest? I really hope we do maintain peace here because people are starting to lose their patience and feel terrorized by the opposition. People who have condemned the use of force earlier are now begging for the use of force! It seems that the patience is about to run out if the government doesn’t use force to stop this chaos from continuing.
@Cat in a Cardigan Thank you so much for your heartfelt comments, really appreciate them. I think by allowing the protesters to protest illegally by taking advantage of the rights of the other Bahraini citizens freedom and rights (disrupting roads, hospitals, roads, etc..), continuing their death chants of treason and even illegally marching to different Ministries, residential areas, and even the King’s palace yesterday is way more than giving them their rights to freedom of speech. They have committed multiple acts against the law but the government is being tolerant and refraining from punishing them. To be honest I think Bahrain’s true colors are showing, we are just too nice and friendly to people who don’t deserve our kindness and stab our backs by their hidden political agendas. But I want to insist that I remain positive and trust our leadership 100% and know that the opposition’s position is weaker than ever! Yay :D Finally the truth is prevailing faster then ever. We will emerge united from this :)
@dansus Thank you for your comment. I am beyond sincere and hurt that they managed to tarnish the image of my beautiful country, but now their true agenda is clearer than ever and people now know the truth plus we’ve got International support.
@Asanator Thank you so much for understanding, really appreciate it! You really spoke my mind, thank you for realizing that not every Arab country is the same. God bless.
@JCCJCC No need to apologize for asking questions. He was appointed by late leader and stayed. There are some who think that but what I’m trying to say is many of the Bahraini people love the PM, he has done so much for this country’s economy and is the reason of Bahrain’s success today. He developed the country since the 70’s and we’ve come a long way! It’s not only the Bahraini people who agree to this, he has been recognized Internationally for his efforts:
– UN Habitat Award About the Award »
-Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Lawrence Technological University Read the full story »
You can read more about his achievements here: http://www.bna.bh/pmawards/new%20web%20pages/index.html
He is also loved because he’s a people’s person. He’s very close to the people and is known for his visits o the community and charismatic and noble character. People will never forget his generosities and achievements and remain loyal to him regardless.
Good question about the Bahrain GP it is definitely a national event. Of course not all people can afford to attend as with any other country, but Bahrain is a small country so everyone benefits when the F1 circus is in town. From shops, restaurants, and hotels, to shipping companies and business, everyone benefits from it. It also benefits the economy immensely and generates a lot of local revenue. So you could imagine that the business community is not happy at all.
@BasCB Thank you linking that article we’ve all read and commented on it. It finally showed that he is starting to ask the right questions in his final tweets such as why are 95% of the people in the roundabout are Shia if this was supposed to be a Bahraini thing, and why the death chants. He asks in the end of the article tell me what I got wrong, so at least he’s willing to listen to the other side :).
Wow can’t believe I finally answered all the questions finally! Today has been a exhausting day, which should’ve a national celebration of the successful hosting of the biggest International event of the year, the Bahrain GP. The problems we have today didn’t start a month ago, they were there under the surface ready to pop, so in many ways I’m glad that everything is out in the open and the true faces of people are showing. Hopefully we will come to our senses ASAP as we are a peaceful and friendly society and simply do not know how to live in unrest. I have 100% faith that our government are going to make the right choices since now the International community see who the real instigators are (a few head people of the opposition), and the Bahraini people will emerge stronger and united than ever. Looking forward to celebrating the Bahrain GP in unity, peace, and prosperity bigger and better. You all complain it’s boring anyway and are happier off starting with Australia, so maybe this is actually working out for the better! :)
LAK21st February 2011, 4:44 at 4:44 am #15988621st February 2011, 4:39 at 4:39 am #159885
@wasiF1 Thank you so much for your heartfelt words, I really feel all of your support and it is really overwhelming!
@jihelle I’m sorry if I offended you as a media person, but they weren’t interested in both sides. Maybe they were all taken back by the lives that were lost, as we all were! So they became biased because of that.. If you don’t know about the history of the disrupt that the opposition have been causing in the country you will never know or understand where we come from. I do not want to go into that, as this is NOT my point, I don’t want to point or blame anyone. But the opposition have been here for years and are not as peaceful as everyone may think, the police you talk about have protected us for years. No one can judge them but Bahrainis, and yes they have protected ALL of the F1 races and have ensured the safety of everyone who attended. This is not the first time the opposition attempted to do things during international events, and the police have served and died protecting their people, so please don’t take everything at face value.
I am very sorry don’t mean to attack you or anything, but our police aren’t known for ‘attacking innocent’ people. What happened was wrong, and all of the forces were withdrawn.
@AUS_Steve Thank you, your support really means a lot to us! :)21st February 2011, 3:52 at 3:52 am #159883
@Movement Thank you for your wishes, I do believe we will emerge as a better Bahrain from this. Completely agree, after all we are all human beings :)
I don’t mean any disrespect Movement but the Crown Prince himself referred to himself as a Bahraini Muslim, and it’s time to end the sectarianism and stop the divide. At the end we are most importantly Bahraini citizens.
Again please don’t get me the wrong way, I just don’t want this article to be the voice of one particular sect. This is a view of a Bahraini citizen :)
@US_Peter Thank you so much for thinking about me! Means a lot, I hope so too, thank you for your sincere wishes
@JCCJCC Thank you for your understanding. Yes it is a Constitutional Monarchy. He was first appointed Prime Minister by the father of HM King Hamad, the late Amir Sh. Isa Al-Khalifa, before the latest constitution was written. He simply remained as the Prime Minister I understand many people may see this as being strange but we feel honored to have him as our PM. Serving for 40 years is a testament to his years of dedication to his work and for gaining the people’s trust.
We do have elections for the Parliament, we last had them last Oct. 2010. There are 40 elected Parliament members who are elected by the people a 100%, and then there is the Shura Council also 40 members who are appointed by the King. This page should help http://www.electionguide.org/election.php?ID=1511
This might be different to the way things are run elsewhere, but to Bahrain this only started 10 years ago! And we have come a very long way, and as the King said are continuing to improve.. The CP talks about the benefits of the past 10 years on his CNN interview. So far as a Bahraini I think the system works beautifully, the Parliament is the voice of the people.
Now about what the protestors want, I don’t want to give you any wrong answers as I don’t represent them. Plus there are many different demands being made, they want better jobs, salaries, etc.. Basically better living circumstances which is also the demand of any Bahraini citizen. Now the Sunni societies are saying that our demands are the same as yours basically, we are more similar than different.. Interesting times ahead that will only lead to a society that’s never been more closely knit both Shiites, Sunnis, and all other religions.
I know what you mean, but the people here really do not want to change the regime, even many of the protestors agree, they wet out initially to call for some reforms then matters escalated. So when they started making death threats and call for such a radical change, the whole Bahraini society was shook to the core and wanted to go out and make their voices heard that they do not want that. It’s the extreme polarized view of the protestors which caused the people to put their feet down and make their voices heard. Specially after the media coverage they got, and to say that the majority do not want that. I tried to answer you to the best of my knowledge, I hope you got some answers..
@Lord Stig Thank you for taking the time to read :) I hope so too, it might not be bad after all as it will be closer to the championship, we always had our races in the beginning of the season so it would definitely be exciting.
@AndrewTanner Thank you so much for your kind words! Yes there is a beacon of hope, thank you for understanding :)
@dansus @Ned Flanders Don’t remind me of such a terrifying sight! No one can accept this. And I’m sure this will be investigated! It is that same exact scene that caused the Crown Prince to get up head to the TV station and call for immediate calm and the withdrawal of the army. (In that video no one died, only one at the time of the CP’s CNN interview was critically ill.) I’m not defending anything but just mentioning that they were marching towards the army who took over the lulu roundabout and it became a military confined zone, and were clearly told to stay away from. They knew the dangers of what they were doing, and did it anyway. To make myself clear, I repeat they shouldn’t have been shot at! I just want to point out the danger and risk of the whole situation. I hope we heal after this, I hope we have explanations too..
@Zahir thank you for your wishes. Thank you for addressing the media issue (omg all of a sudden I feel that I’m in a press conference! Lol please know that what I wrote are all my personal opinions and I’m trying to answer the questions with the best of my knowledge. I can tell you firsthand the internet was NEVER shutdown. We were all on twitter reading news like crazy! This was a social media war, and the internet played a major role, in fact, it might have played the most important role in this. So no we had internet all along. People kept complaining that it was slow, maybe, but I had no personal problem at all..
About the media, I heard the story as well, not sure how true is it.. But in Bahrain the people have the freedom of speech, which is why the protestors chanted their death wishes and chants with their loudest voices. Secondly, I take the example of Nick Kristof who was openly taking the opposition’s side was never stopped contrary to his claims on twitter. If there were more media maybe the real picture would’ve came out better? People were just angry with him for his bias and he got hate tweets, but that’s it. He was allowed to roam as he pleased and write whatever he wants. Yesterday he even tweeted a picture of him getting a haircut at the lulu roundabout! Not sure whether to be happy that they aren’t really angry anymore if they have time to give a round of hair cuts, or be angry that the whole country is trying to heal and mend from their divide and are working hard to reconnect, reconcile, and progress, while at the lulu roundabout some were busy having a haircut..20th February 2011, 20:41 at 8:41 pm #159872
Oh Wow! I’m beyond touched with all your comments!! Can’t thank you enough, whether you agree with me or not – thank you! It was one of the hardest things to write because with all the press we recently got, you’d probably think I’m not saying the truth. I really spoke from my heart and to think that I’ve managed to change some of your beliefs is such a relief, God I feel like celebrating! Being in Bahrain in this current situation and listening to how the world sees us is suffocating! I cannot describe it any other way, and you all have allowed me to breathe again and see that the world is not all bad. The world can see who we really are!! Our reputation cannot go down in a day, it simply cannot..
Ok sorry for my emotional rant LOL but I cannot help it (and if you want the truth.. you did manage to jerk a few tears out of me lol they’re happy ones.. This is the true feeling of freedom, I feel I’ve won the media’s propaganda, I do feel liberated in some sense and it’s due to your support – so thank you again! LAK +1 CNN, BBC, Sky 0 haha! Ok I need to calm down lol
@damonsmedley Oh you don’t have apologize at all, as I said I’m not asking for an apology, I simply do not blame you and understand that that’s what you see on TV! On TV the only scenes you see are of fighting, it looks like a warzone! But in Bahrain people are going about their daily lives I just came back from a shopping mall and it was bustling with ppl. If I didn’t know what happened I wouldn’t have guessed something was wrong in the country. There just was a huge rally of people all supporting our Prime Minister HH Prince Khalifa Al-Khalifa and he was there himself down in the streets shaking the people’s hands! If Bahrain wasn’t safe believe me he wouldn’t be in public! Wow thank you for trusting my single voice to be the other side!
@BenH Thank you for your heartfelt words, and I’m a 100% confident that the Bahrain GP will be back. And whenever it is back, it’ll be because the Bahraini people want it back not the people above, not even Bernie..
@NedFlanders Thank you for such an insightful reply. I don’t blame you, we too think that the use of force could’ve been avoided, but things are blown into huge proportions.. I cannot single handedly prove that but I know evidence will emerge and the truth will prevail. But still the loss of lives are sad no matter what..
The CP went on Bahrain TV unprepared very brave of him to step up and say yes we made a mistake, no one can deny how genuine he was
Re-Nick Kristof OMG!! I know right??!! Who would ever ever ever imagine someone as reputable as himself to not represent both sides? Why are all his tweets one sided? Beyond disappointed, just check out #nickkristofsays tags on twitter for some comic relief. Oh I just tried to search for the tags and they’re gone I guess they got deleted, they were popular here a few days ago, too bad they were hilarious to read, and sad at the same time that that’s being said about him. He should know better..
Oh and about being ‘paid’ or asked to be pro-government, they’ve accused the rally of a 100,000 ppl to be paid! I can tell you, no one paid me anything yet LOL! And to pay a 100,000 means that we wouldn’t have this problem in the first place! And calling up a 100,000 plus ppl is sure a waste of time! The people of Bahrain are so friendly, remember we are a small island and a very tight knit community, this is the true voice of the Bahraini people! We truly love our leaders and never asked something else in return for it..
@Steph dearest Steph, as I said you don’t have to apologize at all! And thank you apologizing on behalf of F1F, I feel that you all are like my F1 brothers and sisters, which is why I love the F1F community – nothing like it! <3 See @BasCB‘s comment re-Nick.
@George thank you George for not jumping into conclusions even though everybody else says so! I might not been able to do the same if I was in your place, so I commend you for that!
@BasCB I agree with you, I wish they didn’t use the force in the way they have, but it has been blown into proportion as well, the army weren’t there to attack, more to protect, and they only attacked in self defense – they were attacked as well, and needed to defend. No one in their right sense of mind would intimidate the army! Yet the CP still said both sides are wrong, and withdrew the forces. One point I forgot to make is that after the withdrew the forces, as you may have seen in the news, they were allowed to freely go back, and they are still there peacefully with no forces at all! This just shows the world that our agenda was never to “kill our own ppl” lol
Of course the protestors’ demands are real, and HM the King promised that he will deliver, and that we are still moving towards change and that the path to reform is still going on..
Very good point about forgiveness, this is what we all need to do now. It’s weird but I kind of feel huge good is going to come out of this.. The Bahrainis are really stepping up to make a difference and make their voices loud and clear, and also the people are very aware that if we were to progress we need to forgive and forget and progress..
I completely agree with you, I doubt the race will happen now, but I’m sure it will eventually and when it does it will be huge!
@Keith I am beyond touched again that you’ve been concerned it truly means a lot!
@slr Lol I know it was long but I had to say it, that’s why I said thank you for taking the time to read it! Appreciate it :)
@Adrian J Thank you for your concern :) If the GP happens now it will mean that we have progressed, if not we’d be a work in progress and maybe have one later on, but most importantly we are out of the mess and have a mission stronger than ever to never go back..
@djdaveyp87 Aww thank you! Lol for my only sake? That’s very generous of you :D means a lot!
@xtophe Very good point! And I respect your views completely. I am not saying my view is the view of every single Bahraini, my view is the view that was not voiced by the media. There are still people who are chanting their death threats at the lulu roundabout, and they are doing so without being attacked – and that alone says we’ve made progress.
@sato113 The situation is calm in the sense that there are no more attacks. No more need to worry about more loss of lives. The CP’s promise to start National Dialogue has begun he already started to meet with all people from all political and religious parties, look at the video on the link I posted. People went to work today and resumed their daily lives. We have trust that things will be resolved. Sometimes you need to experience a bit of pain to truly know what your priorities are, and all people are feeling this and want to reconcile, yet there still is a very small group representing certain political parties that are still at the lulu roundabout.
@Ads21 Exactly Ads21, they’ve seen what’s happened in Tunisia then in Eygpt and automatically that we want the same things! Not all Arab countries are the same, each one has their own problems. Look at Libya now, very different!
Exactly, we all felt that too, and for the HRH CP to simply say “when I heard that news (referring to the last shooting that happened on the 18th) I hopped into my car, drove straight to the TV station, addressed the nation and appealed for calm” and from that literally there was calm! Very humble of him, very wise, very brave.. Everyone was touched, as Bahraini people we will remember this gesture for years.. I completely agree with you on the GP.. Having something go wrong in the GP is too detrimental and risky, knowing my country, Bahrain will not put anyone in that situation, it will either go one safely or be postponed for the best off all.. Yes it’ll cost us but that’s the least of our concerns right now, it will cost us way more if we run it and something wrong happens!
@BS Thank you even for leaving your comment blank. Shows me you’ve taken the time to read it..23rd November 2010, 3:58 at 3:58 am #151987
I feel like I wanna watch every race so that I don’t leave something out, which I’m sure I’ll leave lots out lol Here’s my attempt on the best and worst moments… It’s a bit personal/biased towards McLaren lol as I’m a fan, but I have mentioned other stuff as well :)
Let’s start with the Best Moments:
-Karun Chandhok’s patience in Bahrain, the first time he drives the car is in Qualifying!
-The Australian GP raising our hopes up, Hamilton’s amazing overtaking, Button’s 1st win for McLaren was sweet
-Alonso’s hilarious radio in the AustralianGP when he tells his engineer “I don’t want to know” (about Hamilton)
-The Chinese GP: Hamilton racing Schumi :) McLaren 1-2
-Webber’s back flip into the pool after winning Monaco and his jump in the sea – was fun to see a driver really celebrate!
-McLaren drivers racing each other at the Turkish GP right after the Red Bulls crashed into each other (heart stopping moment!), and doing it right! Leading to a McLaren 1-2
-Lewis’ win in Canada, he drove brilliantly, JB did a great job too = 3rd McLaren 1-2
-Webber rubbing it in the team’s face after winning Silverstone: “Not bad for a #2 Driver”
-Hamilton’s win in Spa in the rain :)
-Alonso’s and Massa’s superb 1-2 in Monza, the tifosi’s celebrations! One couldn’t help but feel happy for Ferrari, felt like chanting the Italian anthem with them too bad I don’t know it’s words.. That was one mad podium celebration, great to see the fans in the bottom of the podium – fans should be allowed to do that in every GP :/
-The fireman of the year: -Heikki putting out his own fire in Singapore
-Hamilton’s Radio in the Korean GP wanting to go racing while others were complaining
-Alonso’s evil laugh after winning the Korean GP as a result of both RBs DNFs, haha that was so funny
-5 drivers in contention for the WDC going into Brazil!!
-The most surprising pole of the season: the one and only Hulk! Everybody was happy for him, and excited that none of the WDC contenders were on pole!
-Red Bull winning the constructors in Brazil, liked the confetti on the podium, we should have more confetti on the podiums, but I guess it would be a pain to clean the cars afterwards lol
-Vettel winning the Championship! I really wanted Webber simply because of his experience, but happy that an RB driver won it in the end as I felt they were more deserving..
-Vettel’s celebratory cry in the radio was so touching! And then him screaming 2 secs later haha was great!
When it comes to the worst, I’m not sure if ‘worst’ is the right word, I’d rather call them exciting/OMG moments because some of them include crashes that are good for some drivers and bad for the others.. So I’ll call them Exciting/OMG moments that aren’t all good :)
-The Chinese GP: Buemi’s tyres shooting out in sync! That was a sight never to be forgotten!
-Realizing that the old Schumi isn’t really back..
-Ham’s retirement in Barcelona
-Button’s retirement in Monaco
-Barrichello throwing out his wheel in Monaco, then the HRT sweeping it under
-Trulli’s car going over Karun Chandhok’s head in Monaco!
-Schumacher passing Alonso after the SC went in – the whole confusion with the rules that followed after that!
-The infamous Red Bull crash, Vettel signaling that Webber was crazy, Hamilton zooming by to take the win! (That was crazy to watch!!)
-Valencia GP: Mark Webber taking off of Kovalainen’s Lotus – Very scary Hollywood type action! Glad he was unhurt!
-Hockenheim: Of course the dreaded slo-mo radio of Rob Smedley: “Fernando-is-faster-than-you!” Then he adds the straw that breaks the camel’s back: “Sorry!”
-Felipe Massa’s solemn podium celebration, we all felt for him!
-Mayhem in the pitlane in Hungary: the loose Mercedes wheel that flew and narrowly missed the Williams’ mechanics, then Sutil and Kubica crashing into each other in the pits!
-Hamilton painfully retiring in Hungary due to mechanical failure
-Schumacher pushing Barrichello towards the wall in Hungary!
-Webber slamming into JB in Spa
-Hamilton’s DNF in the 1st lap in Monza due to contact with Felipe! His 3rd DNF of the season – really affected his WDC chances :/
-Hamilton’s 4rth DNF in Singapore after contact with Webber :'(
-Waiting for Race Control to bring in the Safety Car in Korea
-Webber spinning out the race in Korea taking Rosberg out with him, the worst for me was seeing the other teams celebrating Webber’s crash without even knowing if the guy is OK (I remember when Ferrari did that to McLaren a few yrs back and it stung, so seeing McLaren & Ferrari doing that to Red Bull must’ve hurt other fans a bit..
-Vettel retiring in Korea due to an engine failure right after Webber, disaster for RB, but opened up the WDC doors!21st September 2010, 21:20 at 9:20 pm #14476615th August 2010, 2:59 at 2:59 am #143531
Congratulations to the new couple!! Hope you enjoyed your day and have a blast in your honeymoon :D
Show care, always communicate, and make compromises (sometimes) = the recipe to marital bliss ;)
Maybe she’ll get sucked in the world of F1, if not, don’t worry she’ll come around sooner or later hehe