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

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