March 26, 2011

Bahraini Echoes

It is important that whenever you establish change as your motive in life, to recognize that the price is not one that you can afford on your on. The wisdom in that is that you ought to understand that with great measures comes obvious risk and that risk is mainly having to put your faith in people you are getting to know as each day passes.

Bahrain has been wounded by its own government long time ago. Many people have chosen to look the other way and enjoy the luxuries of their life when others suffered the greatest sacrifice. What has started as a hopeful move towards democracy and freedom in Bahrain has turned violent and stained with the blood of martyrs of the youth who want to see equality perceived and a constitution above all men in the Bahraini society.
It has been decades and the people of Bahrain were attempting to establish a system above the individual power of humans in a country that long suffered oppression. Alkhalifa family has ruled Bahrain since its establishment and there was no objections to a royal family ruling over the people Bahrain. Under the British government's control, the people saw the measures of abuse that people like Henderson has attempted to control the wills of the free and silence those who defy what they sought to be injustice. My grandfather was young and ambitious and wanted to test if these dreams can come true in a country that long claimed respect for the will of the people. Nonetheless, his friends' efforts to pursue the punishment of the abuser, rectify the wrongs in the systems and recognize the need for a better society did not continue for long. Ian Henderson's established means of torture have gotten the best of the league of change seekers in Bahrain in the 1960s and 1970 leading the majority of them to leave for exile elsewhere.

Ever since, Alkhalifa have accumulation wealth and fortunes, privatized public property and appointed the lands of the people to the members of the royal family. As years progressed and greed was evident, the people refused to continue to accept. Long before anyone knew it, we became an oppressed people limited by circumstances but still seeking change. Not many found this aspect of politics in Bahrain very necessary as they had what they wanted and avoided involvement in politics. Thus, the struggle was buried under everyday offenses that are misreported to the general public.
It seems that what started as a clear statement of rejection for further oppression in North Africa, has lit a fire of hope in the rest of the Middle East as nation after nation has exploded with demands and civil disobedience against regimes they believed were no longer to rule a people that rejects it. Bahrain might not achieve what Tunisia has accomplished in such a short time but I sure believe that my people are courageous and will stand against the tankers, guns and open ammunition of the government as long as the world watched the atrocities taking place.

This is where I found it to be important to be able to help being away as I wish so much to be on the streets amongst my people calling for a government by the people, for the people and from the people. However, as I am here miles and miles away, I found the opportunity to hold the door wide open and let Americans and the rest of the world see my people and learn about my country. Soon I will be doing a presentation about my country on campus where I will be evaluating the situation in Bahrain from my point of view and promoting for the support of my oppressed people.

 I pray that God will help us get through this, that people will stand united despite the government's means to demolish our unity, and that this is the year where thing will change for the good of Bahrain and its people and not for the benefit of Alkhalifa and their interest holders.

March 8, 2011

Florida Baby!

 In times of stress I write. I write because my heart is too tired to beat, my lungs and too exhausted to entertain air and my body is paralyzed. I write because my mind feels trapped as if I am in a comma and I cannot move but I feel everything around me.

March 4th, 2011 was the day I realized I am a mortal being. Don't get me wrong, I never though I was a superhero or acted as if I was invincible in any way or shape or form. I simply was too occupied with my morality to understand that at the end of the day, what we see in dreams, what aspire for through our ethics and what we feel deep inside is distinctively separate from our physiology.

I am merely a human, a lump of flesh and blood, a female with weaker physical power in battle verses a male, an overweight, scarred, self-conscious, detail-oriented twenty-one year old me. I have never in my life felt that I am better than anyone around me, even when I proved and was told I was. I always think and believe will continue to think that I lack something and need to acquire more of whatever it is I feel I am lacking at that moment in order to move a step ahead. Fairly ambitious you would say. Not at all!
I am aware of my lack of self-esteem which I have always referred to with excuses such as the need for more knowledge and empowerment, or even convening myself that it is best to assume you know less than to make a fool out of yourself. You know what, I have been a fool for too long thinking this way. I do not think it is a wrong strategy for self-improvement, I simply think it did me no good.

I have done a lot in my life, i have been an active member of the civil society in my country, have been interested and involved in politics from a very young age, i have taken steps that no many people in my age and under my circumstances have where i come from and I sure have consistently achieved miles ahead from what i aspired for in my life. Why do I still feel threatened and deny myself the right to feel superior sometimes. There is nothing wrong with claiming the ripe fruits of what we plant or even those we have not yet planted as long as we have had prominence in our approach in life and have come far from where we started.

I do not like looking back in time, I do not enjoy seeing the miles i have walked in lonesome denying myself from enjoying the simple things in life. I have been too hard on myself always and I have just realized that I need to change that. or maybe not, I probably have realized this before but failed to let go of myself and just enjoy life. As tedious as this sounds, i have always known that i wanted to break away from my own life, from the lack of love and family, the broken homes i lived in, the arrogance of men in my life, the abuses, the lack of belief in my dreams, the discouragements, the advice, the forced support and my parents. I never loved my life even though I loved my sisters and my aunt dearly, i never was able to be myself around anyone in my whole family but them, simply because they believed in me and they trusted me with their lives.

I have made one of the best transitions in my lifetime last year when I got accepted to a non-degree exchange scholarship of one academic year to study in a college in the United States. I came here hesitant as I was not going through the best things in my life at the time, and was keen on getting away on a similar program for only the summer of last year. however, things happen the way they are the best to teach us, and looking back now, I would not imagine me being home and struggling the same things for this whole year.

During my time on this scholarship I met wonderful people who inspire me day by day to be a better person and pursue my dreams no matter what. I became more expressive about my emotions, more touchy and hug-gy, more reflective and gained better understanding of how things work in different environments. I have changed, I do not know how, when or due to what, but I have changes hopefully to the best. I have not seen it in me even though I feel it, but my friends have and my close ones. I see the power that lies in that as much as I fear it but I cannot wait to experience more through this transformations.

March 4th, 2011 was an indescribable experience to my closest of friends who were involved and myself. We were victims to random armed robbery three hours after arriving in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Consequently, we ended up spending the night being interrogated by police officers, identifying the captured suspects and providing more testimonies at the police station until 6 int he morning of the following day.

I cannot seem to find the appropriate adjective to describe this misfortune but all I know it has made me aware of the reality of everyone around me. Losing official documents, identifications, a lot of money in cash, credit cards and precious items in our purses does not amount to the loss of relationships that came out of this.

After going through the first night in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, all we wanted to do is to get out of there and getting to a better place of comfort. I was glad no one was hurt, contemplated on the possibilities over and over again, blamed myself for the what-if due to my stupidity and tried to make sense of what happened. But what I came out with every time, it was beyond my ability to comprehend or event prevent.

At a time like this, where we were trapped in a place we did not want to spend another second at, with not even a single means of comfort, we all fell into despair. Luckily, we pulled ourselves together and we pulled through! We managed to get the police reports to travel, made ti through check points at the airport and finally landed in Washington D.C. This was freedom, I am not even exaggerating.

I am now back to Junaita College a couple of days after Spring Break had started, and I do not feel at all relieved. All I feel is loss, anger and despair but unsure for what or towards whom. All I know is that I have failed my friends and myself on this trip and I would never be able o change that.

Again, I am back at the point where I question myself and take away from my accomplishments in life. I have only myself to blame for this habit and I ought to set my mind to get over such weakness.

Florida has given me a new perspective and I still am unsure where to go from there.
Let's wait and see!