August 29, 2011

Why? Because..

My government is covering up the silenced uprising and attempting to contain its effect to convince the world that everything is restored to its normal state when prosecution and oppression continue to exist in Bahrain.

I am a twenty-one Bahraini citizen who is terrified for my situation in the country as I have come to recognize that the patterns of my government are different this time; in order to have a life in Bahrain, you literally have to look the other way and ignore what you know. I have lived most of my life interacting with human, youth and child rights activists who have devoted their lives for these causes and have maintained a lifestyle of recurrent danger as threats by the government's forces continually obstructed their lives and posed all sorts of threats. This was the pattern for as far as I remember since I became a youth and rights activist in my country. However, since this year's uprising on February 2011, the government has attacked everyone including men, women and children whether they were involved or affiliated with political activism or civil society was no the matter. The mainstream media allover the world seems to be focusing on the sectarian targeting which the government also emphasized on and used to justify its means. Nonetheless, the reality is different, at least this year, the victims of the crackdowns included individuals from all sects of the society and with all sorts of backgrounds.

As the uprising took place and evolved, I nervously watched and attempted to do what I could to support the demands I believed in from here in the United States as I was taking part in a program by the Stat Department for the past year. I have written online, translated articles, supported the political society I am supporting, the National Democratic Action Society "WAAD" which was a stream following believes my grandfather died for in the 1970s, and educating people in my current community and in my reach here in the United States. This all seemed to me the right thing to do and the only way I could possibly help my country, until I realized that in this round of conflict my life could be at risk as I am a firm believer in the cause I stand for which is a better government system and the need for the supremacy of law with reforms.

Today, I am an asylum applicant who day-by-day loses hope in gaining asylum in the United States. I did not want to apply, hesitated, procrastinated and hoped that things would turn for the better knowing the risks I would be taking. But what has made me sure I needed asylum is when friends and family turned against me and considered me a traitor of the country as do many people simply because I am a Sunni girl who does not follow the traditions of mainstream Muslim Sunni females in Bahrain who are mostly in constant praise of the government for their own reasons. My grandfather, WAAD, my colleagues in activism and my Bahraini heritage has taught me one thing for sure, that change will survive arbitrary regimes only if you cna stand the cost.

I have no hope of getting asylum and at this point do not even hesitate to go back home and put my life at risk by continuing to stand up for what I believe in as an individual. But, I still hope that the political alliances of my government, the abuses of the royals in my country and the lost hope in the silent cries of my people won't go to waste as activists continue to fall liek domino pieces as some avert to siding with the government, simply because they can live this way, running away or applying for asylum around the world and continuing their work, which it seems I won't have the chance to do, or die either physically or mentally behind jail bars as torture methods are perfected upon their meager bodies every passing day.

I am writing to you because hopelessness seems to learn its way to my passion and dedication to spreading the truth and promoting for justice in a tiny country of th eworld, Bahrain, with a humble request that if people like me reach that point and are in a situation where they cannot offer others hope and solidarity that people like you with everlasting hunger for truth and aspiration for a better world would still fight for a cause like mine in a place as humble as Bahrain.

~ Fatima Bunafoor

August 21, 2011


When you're stripped from all the virtues and blessing of life, all that becomes of you remains the attic's storage material you've been hiding from people for years. All that is today is all that you have always strongly defied with no despair. All that is of you today is the images of the misdrawn portraits you have buried under dust-collecting sheets of hazy white. All that is today of the promise of you, is a screaming nothing.

Stripped to the bones from hope, dreams and aspiration to achieve what for so long you viciously fought to preserve  Left with an open door welcoming the ghosts of envy, hatred and despise to step allover what's left inside. Drowning in a pool of disappointments, surrounded by moving bridges, blinded in the midst of daylight, you see so clearly now how powerful nothingness is in the verge of your yesterday's dawn.

You clap your hands, stomp your feet hard to the ground, and fall with humility to pray to a God you have always tried to appeal praying for the best of this world, asking him today to cleanse your soul and lend you a hand when you are so desperately in need of. You covered with sorrowful tears of the sins you have kept, the trespasses of your past and the guilt that's slowly devouring your spirit for ever falling short to your own expectations. You praise the lord and seal your heart with a plea for some mercy and help that this world no longer looks so dark, hopeless and misused, and that you for one passing hour the same person you used to be.

But, there is no mercy in this world, no hope, humanity or happiness that can replace the harm that unfolded flooding our world from town to town invading the stillness of the dust in our secure and crowding attics and turning what once was simply sublime and beautiful to the mere echo of what once never was and again shall not be on the face of earth.

The spell has been cast upon our race and the last song was song when cease-fire is erased from our dictionary.

August 13, 2011

August 14th: Bahraini Independence Day

Calling for political and constitutional reform is as historic as can be in timeline of the establishment of the state of Bahrain. It was not birthed in this year's February 14th uprising in Bahrain as the world might view it.

Bahrain was a British colony before its independence in 1971 and in that era the current royal kingship has established its dominance, role and values of "accepted" citizenship. The country's freedom was not one that many worried about or understood at the time, all that mattered is seeing Ian Henderson leave the soils of Bahrain and torture and torturers punished for their crimes under that phase of "State of Emergency" laws.

Ian Henderson was the notorious British head of stat security in Bahrain who is also known as the "Butcher of Bahrain" for claims of torture and crimes in the prisons of Bahrain since the 1970s. Allegations of torture against the said "Butcher" have been denied by both Henderson himself and the Bahraini government who in its tun also denied any involvement in any torture, something that we see today.

The irony in this is not that the government denies and protects this notorious abuser of human rights, as seen during his experience in Kenya, but is that the Bahraini government has been accused of many human rights violations, power abuses and oppression almost since the dawn of the twentieth century, a time when all other nations enjoyed the evolvement of human rights and emancipation from all sorts that promoted such countries into leading pioneers in the respect of international as well as humanitarian laws.

The State of emergency of the 1960s and 1970s, that which came to terminated the 14th of February revolution this year and those to come in the future, stand as historic stains in the history of Bahrain where the youth were determined to secure change, the same patterns of government prevails, the same victims are arbitrarily silenced, and the same revolution to seemingly be put into sleep. Nonetheless, the significance of each resonates as the earlier one was victorious despite its failure to achieve the change set and the many who were lost, people were much more aware of the value of self-sacrifice and the power that one can bring into a society, and secterianism never devided us as it did today. When today's revolution will not last long if we continue to allow the government's sectarian brainwash to take over our lives, do not share a common reasonable respect for change, unite under the umbrella of peaceful protest and go the extra mile to guarante that the dawn of our tomorrow comes with a sun bright enough to awaken the souls of the past.

Many youth have a great respect to the heritage and history of beloved Bahrain, are hurt by the divisive society that the government is all so responsible for, and want to grab freedom by the horns until it is tamed to the love of Bahrain that it never leaves. However, the first step to see liberation for Bahrain is when we are able to throw the books out of the window, the Quraan, the Bible, the Torah, the failing Bahraini Constitution and use our minds. WE have read those books, lovingly ro not, we have made sure as intellectual youth to appreciate the values or the lack of there is to liberate our souls from social conformity and have then set our minds to mold our futures with our own hands. That major step is what we need in order to appreciate the ups and downs that this glorious country has undergone in 4 decades only, thus, reviving hope in the giving hearts that seem to be slipping away.

The ties that have been broken; kinship, friendships, or simple acquaintances. The bridges of great activism that seem to be attacked all the time and the lessons of our great teachers who sacrificed their lives for a promise of a better Bahrain, should not go in vain. What do we gain from trashign one another, from dismissing the great theologies one enemy might bring to us, the possibility of a decimle of truth in the heart of an idea pressented by the opposing part to ours, and the sheer genuinity that without our undying love for Bahrain, we would not have been able to maintian such tenssion for so long. Because those who don't care about what you think will not wast a single moment of their lives trying to convince you with what they think.

Today "civil" society in Bahrain is left in the ICU, the streets are far more different from one town to another, today, religious leaders seem to have the upper hand, political activist are mocked, trashed and targetted by everyone and no respect for civil honest dialogue is left. I used to think that dialogue is the best solution for the conflict between two opposing sides and even believed it would mend the situation somehow in my country, not that I believed the National Dialogue of 2011 was of that sort as I cleary stood against it from the very birth of its concept. I also used to think that the need for a guide to live a better life is an essential aspect for a productive life.

What I have always held up high is the reality that in Bahrain nobody needs a book to tell them how to live nor does anyone need a religious, political, ethical or even an intellectual supervisor to control them. We are perfectly capable of constructive destruction in order to see things progress. So, why listen to the government or opposition? Why debate over loyalties? Why not focus on the bigger issues?

The aim of the 14 February revolution is to protest the Bahraini Constitution, revoke the unjust system, call for justice for martyrs of the country's history, and prevent the continuance of human rights violations. It seems the biggest concern today in some of the posts allover social media, local Bahraini media and international media is the sectarian divisions, the social structure and the use of violence, only.

I blame Ian Henderson for all the destruction that has taken over my country's history for the past 40 or so years. Since his time in Bahrain and until today, he played a role in establishing the oppressive system that we live, denied by some citizens. And until he is trialed and punished, reform is initiated by a promising government, and the regime is modified, Bahrainis will remain to celebrate their National Day on December 16th instead of their Independence every August 14th.

Let's not let Ian Henderson and Al-Khalifa control our present and let us all rejoice our past for a future.

Happy Independence Day Bahrain ...<3

August 11, 2011

Bahrainis: Prisoners in their Homes

Those who claim we have no tankers, armed men, arbitrary policemen, use of violence and live ammunition in Bahrain, are simply blinded from the reality living in areas populated with pro-government or royals. Isolation from those in need and under attack have struck some people indifferent to the massacres that continue to exist in Bahrain.

Claims that this is a special uprising where many laws have been broken and the whole country's people have gotten involved making it a unique crisis, is absurd. This is no different from the events in the 1990s when people were constantly isolated, cornered, threaten, imprisoned, expelled, dismissed, trialed, convicted, attacked, and killed. We have had such death occur before in the 1970s and the 1960s as far as my mind and heart could stand. How can we still claim that no one died on the hands of the Bahraini government, no one was targeted unjustly or even treated as traitor in the past and until today? People have been lost, families are being destroyed, friendships have ended and conspiracy lives on.

I do not support violence, not any sort of violence nor by any party and condemn those who committed it and want them to be trialed. What I refuse and will do until the moment I die is to see my people be played by Bahrain's local media and projected as mere traitors supporting Iran's agenda in Bahrain, Saudi military's invasion of the streets of my country as the "State of Emergency" was declared in Bahrain, and I moslty refuse to give up my fight.

I am proud of those speaking so bravely to the international media, spreading the messages of the locals to the world as the Bahraini government's campaign to silence us from saying what we think to the world in order to show them that there are voices being silenced, victims being oppressed and confessions being forced under torture.

Bahrain is not KSA where people are successfully silenced, many a majority has better choices than activism, one man speaking out out of a million can disappear without being noticed, women are enslaved by men and a few brave ones, especially those courageous women who want to see the best of their country to reach the surface.

Bahrain is not the USA where justice is still a dream when the people believe it is achieved, equality is far more progressive, the death of a national is a state-level crisis that could reach the national attention, where you can be who you are and even work to make laws legal for your existance to be protected by state and national laws.

Bahrain is no longer "lemharraq", "elmanama", "aali", "elrifaa", "madinat hamad", "madinat isa" or "sitra.

Bahrain today is a wounded nation forgotten for its small size, for being part of the Gulf Corporation Council, for being a strategic economic and trade station where the United STates' fifth biggest fleets is stationed expressing where the world stands from the uprising in Bahrain.

Today, citizens are trapped in targeted areas inside of their homes, avoiding too much movement in order to avoid being shot through the windows by riot police bullets, others are on the edge of hysteria are bullets and gunshots have demolished what's left of hope in their hearts, others are begging you to hear their cries as they are beaten by police, shunned by the society and their families for simply debating what they believe in.

Now tell me, if you truly and righteously believe that the protesters just want Iran to form the new religious government, the fall of the regime, simply to purposely incite hatred and divisions, or to simply try to be one of the other Arabic nations that occupied the international community, then why isn't everyone being trialed as we all committed crimes according to the Bahraini government's pattern.

The government has held Investigation Committees in universities consisting mainly of BDF military staff have charged students for participating in unlicensed gatherings and marches, carrying offensive mottoes to the political leaders, urging for the downfall of the system and offending the political leaders of the Kingdom, thus, expelling students. It also charged employees in different jobs, imprisoned doctors, nurses, journalists, political leaders and protesters for speaking out what they blieve is right, marching to emphasize that, writing, posting and expressing their feelings on social media websites. My question here, if the government truely believe that these peoplehave either fabricated or spread unconfirmed news and lies, what about the pro-government protests? What about the pro-government swords and weapons that were raised next to Al-fateh mosque, is not that a bigger threat of national security, hatered towards another segment of the population that is? Is blocking roads more dangerous that hateful religious men calling for execution of who they believe to be traitors? How about the websites that they used to target individuals, companies and NGOs? Isn't that spreading unconfirmed news and lies, the same crimes the government accused opposition of? What about Bahrain TV's constant condeming, acclaimed and absolute knowledge of the truth, entitling those sought fit of the opposition as traitors, Iran-allies and causes of unrest in Bahrain? Is not that offensive mottos to the political leaders as they seem to "surprisingly" agree with the military and normal courts in terms of judgements? And let's not forget the newspapers that were shut for speaking against the governmetn's actions when those who continue to praise th egovernment and incite hatred and violence amongst the citizens still run without any disturbance?

If the government is truely trying to calm the situation by preventing hatred and divisions led by Iranina supported agendas, maintaining the flow of normal life in the capital, preventing violence, then why do the Investigation Committees refuse to hear the investigated individuals' own statements ans sayings, force them to sign a statement they cannot keep a copy of, riot police seem to be wandering untamed in the streets of Bahrain, hateful speech walks proudly and freely in all meduims of communication in the country and not a signal pro-government have been found at fault?

The answer is simple; if you need to fight so hard to prove your truth, you are either not the power in the country or you are and you're scared.

Under attack on daily basis, frightened to reveal the curtains of the windows to see what is going around them, cornered by tankers and bullets and beastly men, Bahraini do not give up your cause.

August 5, 2011

"Bahrain: Shouting in the Dark"

I believe that this Aljazeera film came as a heart-filled bow to the struggle in my country. It has been ages since I wrote last and it is not because I ran out of words, silenced or occupied by other ridicules of life. But, because I have been terrified in a way I have never been in my life.

My name is Fatima, I am 21 years old, I believe in one thing above all in my life, morality, and I have fought through my life standing on that sole principle. Those who know me know how committed to that I am, those who  view me as an acquaintance probably are not bothered by my tendencies, and those who have enlisted me amongst their enemies know exactly how determined I am to stand for my principle regardless. Remembering this bio of mine has reminded me of a principle in my life, fear nothing and nobody but God. Thus, I will no longer hide behind my hesitation nor allow those who have made me a target misuse my kindness and destroy me.

The Aljazeera documentary came at a perfect timing as the "National Dialogue", which I personally all along viewed as a simple charade by king Hamad's dynasty in order to distract international attention, which terrifies the Bahraini government, from the reality in the streets, prisons and movements of Bahrain. It echoed the pains and oppressed souls of the Bahraini people who for so long have dreamed of a place where government is not afraid of its people. Yes, a government of that sort.

The current Alkhalifa family along with its GCC allies and foreign strategic supporters have sought to silence any rebellion that would threaten their continuance. In the past decades and prior to this year, it has always been more contained, much fewer people suffered arbitrary treatment by the military and riot police, and with the same arrests, marches and protests, people still remained in better conditions than 2011 arbitrary attacked of the Alkhalifa dynasty.

Many people around the world tuned in as the events in Bahrain were the main focus of the international media, not because of the uprising in Bahrain or due to the unique demands of my people; they tuned it merely because it marked, to them, as it occupied the front pages of newspapers, the fall of another oppressive regime in a backward democracy in the Middle East. The reality is, Bahrain is the most democratic country in the Gulf region regardless of anyone's claims; we have been protesting, gathering and demanding for constitutional change since king Hamad's new constitution of 2001, even before that people have asked for a better regime and a just government. All of these are things that are rare in countries in the Gulf as powerful royalties work hard and simultaneously to sustain and prolong the lives of their era on terms of economic, political and constitutional oppression that has exploded in Bahrain and KSA this year due to the crimes of the Bahraini government.

I have failed to be part of this revolution in person, which is what I have struggled with the most being here in the United States. However, I tried my best to spread their calls, keep people I knew here interested and also help in whichever way I was able to to support the uprising.

This film full-heartedly describes the feelings of the free people of my country who stood for change throughout the arbitrary campaigns and still do, believed in one another, and defied the power of Alkhalifas. Unfortunately, many have been beaten to death, tortured to death, silenced, dismissed from jobs and school and trialed, and many more are still suffering that, all as a part of the Alkhalifa dynasty's systematic arbitrary oppression in order to silence the uprising, maintain their power, restore fear to the majority of people, further establish the long-lived claims of Iran's influence theory, and to continue stealing lands, money and resources from the people of Bahrain.

The only way out of such oppression in Bahrain, as proved by our king's appointees, supporters, ministers and Bahrain TV, death. What a democratic way to rule a country once a significant majority of the people had a unified dream that was beyond race, ethnicity, gender and sects. We all dream of a better regime where there is no fear to say what you think at any place and time based on our humanity and morality.

International interest is significantly lost int he past few months providing success to the master plan of our royals. I am trusting in the youth generation of my country to guarantee that does not go on any much longer and to project the world that a well-informed audience is one that questions everything especially that which suffers a great deal of opposition.

The strength behind every uprising is the belief in its cause and the acceptance of the consequences. My people have expressed such principles and they our ought to see it through sooner or later.

طريقنا انت تدري.. شوكٌ، وعرٌ، عسيرُ 
موتٌ على جانبي.. لكننا سنسيرُ
إلى الأمام، إلى الأمام، إلى الأمام سنسير

(أشد على أياديكم على طريق النضال والنصر". رفيقكم سعد (محمد بونفور"