Friday, October 10, 2008

Your free to say what you want....but know there are consequences!

I find it interesting in the Arab world that many many members of the govt etc will wax eloquently about new freedoms that are being given everyday across the Middle East. New charters being laws being enacted that are supposed to satisfy the populace that what they want matters...what they have to say is important...and the right to say it can be undertaken without fear of reprisal...or so we are led to believe.

I also find it interesting that all Arab countries routinely round up those that speak in a negative manner about those "in charge"...however "under the table" that talk might be. Journalists....authors...and even the occasional blogger is made to pay for daring to go up against "the man" or in this case the resident King or dictator...and publish any form of disatisfaction. People are happy dammit and we dont want to hear anything to the contrary...or else pay the consequences. At least we in American can publicly finger point at our brain dead president without fear of reprisal...we even do it live on tv...without benefit of those pesky 5 min delay tactics. Good ole Bush made himself a target by daring to lead the last Superpower on earth...and must deal with and suffer the consequences...would be nice if all these overstuffed...bullet proof SUV driven...cant make a "spontaneous" public appearance without first a weeks advance notice so the "surprised" neighborhood can spruce the place up with greenery and paint jobs....could do the same.

A friend of mine works for the Ministry of Education as a Social Worker in one of the govt run girls schools. She is also a writer for the local Arab paper Al Wasat. She has become rather well known for her sharp tongue and continued ass kicking she routinely pens out about the various Ministries but specifically the Ministry of Education because of its unfair practices...its inability to get with the times and update its education process...and the fact that Bahrains children are suffering from this lack of real concern for their future. She has come under fire more than once for airing her views...even though she has been congratulated over and over again for her valid points and audacity to write on such "scandolous" topics to begin with. In the Arab world...its best to leave sleeping dogs lie and all poke the dog can only result in a vicious bite...and she has been bitten at last.

Rather than listen to her and possibly all those around her voice their discontent at the state of education current in Bahrain...she has been blacklisted and removed from her school of 8 years to be sent to one of the worst girl schools in Bahrain...reputation wise its not just a step down in prestige and status....its a freefall....and one shes not likely to recover from.

All this because she is unhappy with the current policies practiced by the Ministry of Education....and because when her pleas for reform etc fell on deaf ears at the Ministry she decided to take it public and let the people know whats going on...and for this, rather than listen to her...possibly gain some insight and improve their practices, or at least pretend to...she is made to pay for causing "dissent" and daring to present the Ministry of Education as anything other than an efficient concerned authority in charge of this nations youth. How dare she take such a step and not toe the party line...the line of "shut up your job...get your salary...and always smile and praise those that least deserve it" if you hope of ever receiving a promotion etc.

Whats the point of being so vocal about "free speech" and our doors are always open for our peoples complaints...and why sit in your cushy chair and call yourself a Minister of anything if your not prepared to listen to the very people you serve and let their complaints improve your actions...why even bother coming to work if all your going to do is collect a can do that from

Many many people in Bahrain prefer to smile and kiss some "royal or ministerial ass"...but some..a very few...but maybe enough to get the ball for reform rolling...have decided they just cant pucker up any more...chapped lips and all. I hope she stands tough...I hope she doesnt let her family and friends convince her she is "just asking for trouble" by standing firm and sticking to her priniciples...I hope she remembers that she has two daughters that consider the future of Bahrain their future too...and so should make her choices with those two in mind...and not let the concerns of her fellow adept 'ass kissers' convince her she is going to take them all down with her. Would be nice for once that instead of stepping on her and pushing her back down in the dirt of silence...they gave her a hand...and lifted her up on their shoulders...better to see her target...and be seen as a force to be reckoned with. I would hazard a guess and declare that if she were actually successful and managed to make some change for the better with her articles etc...then these same people who are urging her to shut her mouth...would then step forward and reap the rewards of knowing her and maybe even declare her ideas were theirs all along. It seems to be the norm for ass kissers...complain secretly....ass kiss publicly...and enjoy the benefits when other peoples harwork and suffering bring about actual change....but at no time...ever ever...will they acknowledge her as having the right to say these things...and giving her credit for having the balls to say what they themselves are too afrid too.

Go Butterfly...your not alone girl.


Anonymous said...

Thats pretty messed up. I think that if more people EVERYWHERE, (here in the US included) stood up and yelled very loudly against those "running the show", things could change. I've already emailed both US Senators from Virginia and the House Reps that no incumbants will be getting my vote any more. I guess I should feel lucky that I can send them nasty emails and fear no repercussions. I wish the best for your friend.

Susie of Arabia said...

It's really unfortunate that her friends don't rally behind her and demand change too. What a bunch of wimps! On a more positive note, maybe she can make a difference and some positive changes in her new post. Sounds like there is a lot of work to be done, and she seems like the type to be up for the challenge! Tell her I said, You Go Girl!

Aafke said...

So you are not at all free to speak your mind. Bah! I feel for your friend!
I hope things will turn to the better for her.

Um Naief said...

i'm not surprised by this in the least. i worked in the govt here for almost 3 yrs, and no one wants to hear anything. most are ass kissers and the ones that aren't, keep quiet or else.

i feel bad for her, but it seems that they've basically put her in a place where she'll be miserable or quit. quitting is probably what they'd prefer... but who wants to give ppl such pleasure?!

i get sick of the politics and the lies in the paper about free speech. i find that many don't care about the issues here. it's all about getting your face in the paper, looking good, and kissing ass to make more money or to be on the 'in' list.

coolred38 said...

Um Naif....well said. thanks all said...

May Allah make things easy for her. :(