Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Just wanted you to know Mom...

Ive been having a war of sorts with my mother lately. Even across the span of an ocean she has the uncanny ability to make me want to pull some hair out... merely by sending me a text message of all things. What is it about Mothers that make us wish we didnt have one from time to time...I mean I love my mother more than anything...would never want anything to happen to her even during my more darker moments when she is being particularly difficult...but I have to admit she can make the saint in me definitely turn to a sinner at the worst of times when she decides she is most definitely right...and by comparison I must be wrong...the sooner I accept that fact the sooner the emotional headlock she has me in will be loosened. All I can say is I must be a glutton for punishment and crave a daily dose of Mothers headlock...cause I certainly havent learned by now that just shutting up and agreeing with her would speed things up considerably.

At any rate....I was thinking about her and what she told me the other day...that mothers know alot more about their kids then the kids would like to believe. In other words...our secrets are not always as secret as we would like to believe. Now in some respects I would have to agree with her statement as in my youth she knew things about me that could only be known if she was a mind reader(something I suspect she revels in and is a tad too smug about). There were certain times in my life where I tried in vain to not think of anything at all just to thwart her in her attempts to probe and discover my most precious inner thoughts. I didnt have that many secrets growing up...I was a fairly boring child...but the few I had I wanted to keep.

So I was sitting here thinking of some of the things my mother most definitely does not know about me even though she believes she knows everything there is to know. There is always the chance she would see this list and then my secrets would be blown...be that as it may...I'll go ahead with it anyhow....nothing ventured nothing gained.

10 things my mother doesnt know about me

1. Mom...I know you think Billy is the one that set the hayfield on fire because he was a trouble making kid and did just about everything else....but it was me. Not only did I set it on fire...but I nearly got burned up in it. To my shame I stayed quiet while he got the beating of his life...but then again...he tortured me later over it so I feel I paid for it. Im sorry.

2. Mom...I contrived to stay after school that one day that I "missed" the bus because I wanted to spend time with Mr Dayton...the teacher I had a crush on. Dont worry...it wasnt like that...he was the father I wish I had...and I just wanted to be around him and wish that he was my dad. He was a good mentor...and never ever did anything inappropriate...all though I suspect you think he did. I know that Dad beat you over it...thinking I was out with a boy or something and blamed you for being a terrible mother...even knowing you were beat over it didnt take away the good memories I got and still have over that time I spent with him. Im sorry.

3. Mom...I nearly shot Dad with a shotgun one day while we were out hunting. I figured everyone would assume it was an accident.. I was only 14...who would blame me. My finger was on the trigger and Im sure I would have pulled it if my sister hadnt gotten in the way(unknowingly)...the reason is explained in number 10. I have always regretted that I didnt do it...even now...25 years later. Given another chance Im believe I would have. Im not sorry.

4. Mom...when I was 6 years old and playing in the park with my brother...an older man touched me in a sexual manner. I didnt tell you because I thought I would get a spanking...and that you wouldnt let me play in the park again. I wish I had told you because he went on to molest other kids...I could have stopped him. Im sorry.

5. Mom...I stole some things when I was young. Im not proud of it. You always praised me to other people as being the "good girl" when in fact...I wasnt always that good. Im sorry.

6. Mom...I knew you were having an affair with Bill...I pretended I didnt know because I loved you and didnt want to ruin this small piece of joy in your life. I dont think any less of you...your choices are yours...not mine. Im not sorry.

7. Mom...I am angry at you so much for your inability to leave my father and give us a life without abuse and chaos. I felt you were weak and uncaring of our daily tortured existence and were just selfish in your own misery. I never tell you that because I know you did the best you could....and you were a victim too. Im sorry.

8. Mom...I didnt feel sorry or remorse when Gramma died...even though she was your mother. You know that she never treated me well and never had a kind word or thought for me...even as a small child. I do not recall her ever saying my name even once in my whole life. She was never my Grandmother...I was sad for you that you lost your mother...but from my side...I felt nothing. Im sorry.

9. Mom...I blame alot of the emotional problems in my life on how I was raised...I made the horrible choices I did because I emulated the one person in the world that meant more to me than anything...your mistakes eventualy were my mistakes. I sometimes feel a very real anger and resentment towards you that you taught me how to be a victim all my life. I had to teach myself how to stop thinking and acting like a victim...and now I have to teach that to my daughters. I hope Im not too late...for myself or for them.

10. Mom...you have asked me a million times in my life whether my father was more than just physically abusive to me...Ive always swore to you that he wasnt. I knew you all ready had the heavy burden of bringing him into our lives and forcing his evil onto us. I couldnt add to your burden by revealing this last horrible thing....I have reached a point in my life though that burdens of the past are just too draining to carry...I need to put this burden down before it brings me down by its weight. I swear Mom...if you ask me just one more time...I will tell you the truth this time...are you ready for it?

Anyhow....those are 10 things you dont know about me...not sure if I want you to know them...but then again...the burdens we carry are burdens we choose to carry...only we can decide to put them down. I realize that by putting down these burdens I might be adding to yours...but considering what you have been through and survived Im sure you can handle it. And if you feel you cant...Im here for you...always.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hey Dude....where do I park my car?

I walked outside last night to discover a parking ticket on my jeep. My jeep happens to be parked about 6 feet from my door. As some might know by now...I live in Hidd. Hidd is basically one long road running right down the middle of the town with a few smaller roads turning off...and then the little alley ways not much wider than the cars that drive through them. 11 years ago when I moved to Hidd there actually werent that many cars for the amount of people here. It was rather refreshing not to compete with traffic when walking...or when parking. Now days though...Hidd is congested...there literally is no where to park(as in many many places around Bahrain). In my particular little patch of neighborhood...its just the street or nothing. Back behind my flat is the Hidd fish and meat market...but they get extremely irritated and possessive about their small patch of parking spaces. The few times I parked over night there...I went out in the morning to find a sign on my car ordering me not to park there again...I can take a hint(eventually)...but really...where are we supposed to park our cars?

Im really ticked off I got this ticket considering my car was not blocking traffic...there is not a "no parking" sign anywhere in the vicinity...and Ive seen people park in much worse areas and not have a ticket stuck to their window....talk about injustice. Now my problem is...I have no one to complain too. In American if we feel a ticket was given unjustly we can argue against it in traffic court...and quite often the judge will judge in your favour...and sometimes not...but at least your given the chance to air your grievances. Here...what am I to do with a ticket that I believe was given unfairly...suck it up and pay it is all the advice I have been given with much shrugging of shoulders and cursing of the traffic laws and dirth of parking spaces.

Im starting to believe the traffic dept are in cahoots with the Minister of whoever the hell is doing the infrastructure planning in this shoebox size island with a population much to big for it(lets not mention those wide open spaces taking up much the middle of Bahrain...shhhhh...lets not go there)...they are handing out parking tickets left and right...but giving us no options of parking legally in many area...its either park illegally(according to whatever traffic cop wanders by and has a quota to fill) or park a hell of a long way from where you want to be and hoof it to your destination....I know exercise is good for the body...but everyone deserves to park reasonably close to their residence...is that too much to ask for?

It would be nice if I could go drag somebody from the Ministry of Confusing and Destructive Infrastructure Planning down here to Hidd and let them suggest a suitable parking spot for me...so that I dont rack up some more parking tickets while parking a mere 6 feet from my door. Ive currently racked up two...and considering that parking is not getting any better...I can probably look forward to adding to it...yay me....sigh!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Paradise Lost?

I havent had the pleasure of visiting the new Dilmun Lost Paradise Water Park...but Ive heard it is a blast. Lots of fun...lots of water...lots of opportunities to finally enjoy something other than shopping in the malls or braving the littered beaches(when you can find them) in order to reach the sea. Cost a bit high considering most families have numerous members...but so is everything else these days.
However, lately there have been some rumors running around that the Wahabi's have their sights set on Dilmun...and their agenda is to make if forbidden...or haram...for women. The women they can control anyhow...I doubt very much a "fatwa" of sorts issued by the Court of Jesters masquerading as our Virtue Watchers would hold much water(lol) with us Western bred women.
Anyhow, I digress. It would seem that people are having fun there...too much fun. All that laughing...running about...wet bodies for Gods sake can only lead to wild wanton sexual orgies...or so the thinking goes. Bluetooth has been blamed for this latest moral outrage...how dare our women go out half naked when there is a chance they will be bluetoothed and their image sent to who knows where!!! Never mind that the men there are fairly half naked themselves and the women that view them are managing to behave themselves reasonably well, Wahabis seem to think men are incapable of behaving in any sort of moral way when in the company of women...remove a bit of clothing and all bets are off.

I cant remember the number of times something new and interesting has been opened here and within a few weeks or less the unspoken word is that women(Bahraini women particularly) are forbidden to go there...the potential for fitna is without question when women are allowed to participate in fun...or anything else for that matter that holds even a mediocum of interest or entertainment. If any woman does dare cross the "unspoken ban" their reps are quickly destroyed and they are deemed unworthy of respect or friendship or even marriage for some. Do these men assume that women should be quite pleased just to sit at home cleaning or raising babies while the men go out and partake of lifes pleasures or what?
One would assume that these Wahabis that deem it within their power to make such proclamations never get up to any sort of mischief...I mean fun...themselves...that would explain the often dour look on their faces at all times. Apparently even smiling is considered haram among many of them...all though I do recall reading that the Prophet would laugh so that his back teeth showed...sounds like a man that enjoyed life....why dont these Wahabis do the same...better yet...why dont they go get one and leave the rest of us alone to enjoy a bit of splash about in some water during the long hot days of Summer.
Having said that...I would seriously urge any Bahraini woman or teen girl that hasnt all ready visited and enjoyed Dilmun to hurry on down and partake before the "ban" comes into affect. And while I realize that the people in charge at Dilmun have instituted a womans only day every Thursday evening...Im sure the Wahabis will still have their excuses as to why women cant participate. It would seem the whole point of Islam(in the eyes of Wahabis) is to make sure women do not get any enjoyment out of life...I say Islam but you know I really mean culture...dont ya?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How come Daddy gets all the credit?

A friend of mine is Philippina. She's married to a Bahraini(trying to get divorced but hey...the Bahrain courts just love to keep us women married to our abusive spouses at all costs) and has 3 girls. Its not difficult when looking at the girls to see that they have Philippina blood in them...its in their faces. Interesting thing is that they dont speak Philippina...it was forbidden by their father for their mother to speak it to them when they were small. Apparently, they are thought of as being only Arabs and speaking their mothers tongue was considered beneath them. Incidently, their mother doesnt speak Arabic and so they speak to each other in English...father doesnt seem to mind his daughters speaking English to his Philippina wife...but not Philippina...why is that I want to know?

My own children are half American of course...unless your talking to a Bahraini...then they are only considered to be Bahraini...I as their mother...apparently had nothing to do with their creation other than to house them within my body for 9 months(you know the story about the birds and the bees right)...Im starting to think many Bahrainis never heard that story...you know...the one in which we are informed that BOTH the father and the mother contribute chromosomes etc in the creation of their child. Child comes out maybe looking like the dad...or maybe looking like the mom...but is essentially a little of both...right?

Im getting really ticked off the more time I spend here when I realize just how racist Arabs are...my apologies to any Arabs that read this that arent racist. Not only are they racist against other races...they are even racist against other Arabs...sheesh...it gets old fast. But my beef is mainly with foreign wives of Bahrainis(Im guessing its a problem within other Arab nationalities but I will stick with what I know).

So lets set the scene first....Bahraini man either travels for study or goes deliberately to another country and either way ends up with a new foreign wife.(some of them dont go to the trouble of travelling etc and just marries the housemaid or other imported employee). Now, if your a lucky new foreign wife you will have married into a family that accepts that other nationalities are worthy of marriage to their son...if your not so lucky(like so many of us) your new family will be hostile and unwelcoming....but rather than kick the ass of the errant son who brought home this foreign invader into their midst...they decide to take it out on her....and for many of us...life in the family home is about as far from married bliss as one can get. (another story another time).

Heres the thing that really irks me though...despite whether or not you accept the wife or not...when children come along...why must you also make the children...her children...feel ashamed that they have a non Arab mother? Why must you degrade their mothers nationality...her tongue...her culture...her country...basically everything that has anything to do with her and where she comes from? Why make innocent children feel ashamed of the one person in the world they should love more than any other?

I know many many sons and daughters of mixed parents that refuse to even tell people that their mother is not Arab...they hide the fact and are made to feel ashamed of themselves for feeling they must hide that fact about their mothers. Nice!....my two sons had a rough time growing up in Hidd...it would seem that while Arabs like to worship all things American(you know you do despite your loud protesting) ... this worship only extends to material things...clothes...music...movies...lingo etc...mothers are not included(of course by worship I mean hold in high esteem and treat with respect and or dignity). My sons were made to feel ashamed that their mother was American...why was this done to them...what did they have to do with whom their father chose to procreate with...and why is the nationality of your mother something to feel ashamed of anyway? Didnt God create "nations to know each other"...Im assuming the "knowing" extends somewhat past what your neighbors like to do on Friday nights...yes?

So here we have all these Bahraini men going and shaming the Arab race by making babies with non Arab women...as a result...these mixed babies are raised(most not all) as only Arab and nothing to do with whatever their mother happens to be. Many of them never even visit her country...meet their grandparents from her side...know even the most basic things that are half of their identity. Doesnt anyone ever wonder why Bahraini men never seem to consider this choice they are making is no doubt going to have far reaching affects...and never good ones? Shouldnt they be concerned about the life they will subject their children too if they should have any...dont they care enough about the mother of their children to want their own children to never be ashamed of her merely because she is not Arab? For many Bahraini men...their selfish desires are pretty much the only thing they are thinking of(if your not one of them then my apologies to you....and are you married?)

And heres the real kicker in all this...Bahraini women are not allowed to marry non Arab men(I know some do but its something very rare and she usually does it outside the country...and this holds true for all Arab countries)...Arab women are only for Arab men...and mixed race children are only credited to their Arab daddies...and Arab men are never blamed for any of this shit....Arab women are scorned and shunned for daring to marry outside her race...mixed children are scorned and shunned(for the most part) for "daring" to be born to a non Arab mother(Im inclined to believe that if many of these children had the choice before birth...they would choose to have the Arab half of them removed rather than their mothers half...just a guess here as most of the families that have such racism among them are generally not very nice families anyway)

I guess my point being that Arabs are the recipients of the Holy Quran in which God mentions time and time and time again that our race should never be a factor in determing how we treat each other...but after 21 years in Bahrain...Im a firm believer that for many Arabs...its the only thing that matters....and thats something worth being ashamed about.
*my sincere apologies to any and all Arab families that treat foreign wives with all the acceptance, love, and respect she deserves.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

When the line is Crossed...!

Nobody wants to go through life being anti social(ok some people cant help it but that doesnt mean they necessarily choose to be that way) so we strive to be friendly and approachable to a certain extent. Many of us will smile when smiled at....laugh when someone says something funny....joke along when others are joking. Its social human interaction and its what we need to learn to do as children so that we can be considered "normal" socialized adults.

Its rather hard sometimes to know though where to draw the line from just being friendly...to crossing over into sexual harrasment territory....from either side of that line...the one who does it...and the one who is a victim of it.

I started working at my job last year in Jan...I was nervous and scared...just getting out of a very long very abusive marriage. It was my first in many areas of my life...first real job in Bahrain in 20 years...first time in my life being single and making all my own decisions etc(married when I was 18) and first time that I was in the company of other men basically as my office is 99% men and I had just spent 20 years enjoying the company of women almost exclusively. My only real contact with men was to say hello etc to maybe the husband of one of my friends or talking to a doctor etc. Nothing too socialable...nothing at all personal. In other words...I was stunted a great deal in my social interaction abilities with the opposite sex...but how hard could it be...really?

Everything started out well...all the men were very nice...very friendly and helpful in getting me situated and up to speed about my new job and what it entailed. Even though I felt nervous starting and performing a new job adequately...I wasnt all that nervous about being around men almost exclusively. Im a nice person...Im fairly easy to get along with for the most part....how hard could it be?

Within a short time though I realized that one man in particular was a little more friendly than the rest. He took time out to give me directions with work...he talked with me about things other than work...but nothing really personal....and he liked making jokes etc. They were fairly funny so I laughed along. Im known for my sense of humor...and laughing is a great stress reliever...right? Eventually though it became clear that he had other things on his mind...and the office that was once a fun and relaxing place to be...now became a minefield that had to be walked through carefully on a daily basis....and how hard could that be?

The man in question is the second in command at my office...and he holds a place of great respect among the other men who work in and outside of the office. I noticed right away that they treat him with a deference mostly held only for royalty etc. I wont give his nationality but I wil say that he held a unique position that is not commonly held among men from his country...and all the rest of the men who are from his country that worked there look up to him a great deal and respect him without exception. I would assume they see him as the one that made it big while they are all just common labourers...he is their hero is my guess...at least by the way they openly grovel for him and jump when he commands it.

Now I have never been and will never be someone that promotes segregation. I believe men and women are meant to be together in all aspects of life...we share the planet...we share living and we share dying...why cant we share an office space without all that sexual mess getting throw into the mix? Why cant men behave themselves when its clear that the lady in question doesnt want their attention? Why cant married men remember they are married even when the wife in question isnt around to remind him? Why cant men allow you to be a women alongside them...without constantly making it clear that they know you have breasts and an ass and that little place between your thighs(considering women all ready know what their bodies consist of...why do men feel the need to constantly remind us of what God created us with)...and how, as men, they should have a right to talk about it...touch it...and do more than that if given the chance...even if the chance isnt given willingly? In other words...why do men have to constantly be on the hunt for the next sexual conquest...and more importantly....why when men behave like animals around women...why are women blamed for the behavoir men do to them? Why do men see themselves as keepers of morality...when it comes to women...but not to themselves?

I have been made miserable by a man that has no right to do or say the things he has been doing and saying to me. I have considered quitting my job because he has decided my body and my personal space is his right to invade...merely because he is a man. I...believing I would not be believed if I complained about him (I considered the fact that Im no spring chicken and my "hot" days of youth are long behind me...so who would believe me) kept quiet about it to others...all though I let him know time and again that his behavoir was unwanted and not tolerated. I threatened to break his finger if he touched me again...he just laughed and walked away. How do you deal with a man that doesnt see you as having any sort of power over him...or even over yourself? Im guessing things would have gone on much the same way until he made a mistake that got the ball rolling as they say...and he has only himself to blame for this...karma and all that is a good thing Im guessing for some of us. He decided to call my best friend and make slanderous accusations about me to her. For what reasons I have no idea but I have the feeling he fancied her..she had been to my office many times and he made it clear that he liked her...so possibly he was thinking that by showing I was attracted to him...she would "want a piece of that action too"...so to speak....but I dont know really why men do some of the things they do. If your a man...let me know...clear up some of the confusion. So he involves her in this little sordid game...and it was at that moment that I found my backbone...my spine...my balls in other words. How dare he say those disgusting things to her...how dare he hurt her and make her feel that the precious person she saw in me was just a facade and I was just like everyone else...easy and not particular about my choices in life. I saw red...and the rest...as they say...is history. (Many would ask why I didnt cry out before...if your the victim of child abuse...then domestic abuse all your life...there would be no need to ask this question. I have done a lot of growing this past 2 years since becoming single etc...but there is a long road ahead still....I have many self esteem issues to overcome...and men like him seem to home in on these failings and use them to his benefit. Once again...why?)

I marched into his office and he was rather surprised to see me all fired up I believe. I shouted at him that if he ever touched me again I wouldnt break his finger...Id break his f*****g nose...then I would make a formal complaint to the head boss...and then we would see who walked away laughing.

He apologized but I should have known it wasnt over...men like him dont give up so easily...do they? The next night the phone calls started...to her for some reason...not me. More slander against me...I still dont understand why they were calling her..telling her these things. Im not married.I could play around if I wanted...even with a married man if I chose...even if its not a moral thing to do..so who cares what I do...its up to me right? You would think so anyways.

Long story short...he played his hand and he lost. I complained to the head office...he is being dealt with now...I hope its something adequate for the damage he did to me...and to my friendship with my best friend. She didnt believe him or the mysterious phonecaller....but she was hurt a great deal to think that men were using me in this way...were able to easily slander me and make my life hell for no reason other than they could. What I want to know is...why could they. Why do men trash the women that dont want them...why do women trash the women that are subject to the immoral actions of men? Why are the victims of sexual harrassment quite often seen as "deserving of what they get" merely because they are there...in an office..or somewhere where as women..."they have no right to be"(many still believe women should remain in the home and raise kids and get the husbands dinner on the table on time)?

I wont find out what is done to him...about him...until later this week....but I do feel sorry for his wife(yes he has one)...she is the one that no doubt knows all about his immoral behavoirs...and suffers this in her way. For sure Im not the first...and can I believe I will be the last? At least I walk away from him satisfied he will get what he deserved because of what he did to me...but she suffers still.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Reading between the lines

A good friend of mine is a regular writer for Al Wasat newspaper...an Arabic newspaper here in Bahrain. She gets varied responses from her articles...some for and some against what she may have written...but nothing compared to a recent article she submitted. This one has provoked a firestorm with rather sinister undertones.

Her article on June 29th was about a well known Egyptian traitor who collaborated with the English occupiers for personal gain and who nearly destroyed the Egyptian royal family because of it....his name was Hassenein Basha. Most Arabs will no doubt know all about this man and what chaos he caused in his lifetime.

Now...through her entire article this was the only man she mentioned by name...and yet...through the gifted ability to read between the lines(a gift many people seem to have but dont always utilize properly) many many Bahrainis have reached the conclusion that she is referring to a member of the royal family here in Bahrain...including some members of that royal family themselves. She has alternately been praised and castigized for her words. She has had her ass both kissed and kicked depending on who was talking to her...or about her.

Now here is my question to you dear readers...if she did not mention any particular person by name...other than this long dead infamous Hassenein Basha...and therefore cannot be accused of referring to any person currently living, Royal or otherwise, then how can she be accused of referring to one particularly and reprimanded for it? It would seem easy enough to sort this out...if you read her words and recognize yourself through your actions and talk...then you should feel ashamed of your actions and take her words as guidance to changee your ways before Judgement Day catches you with your hand in the proverbial cookie jar...if you dont recognize yourself in her words...then why are you so upset by them? Why subject the male members of her family to threatening phonecalls ordering them to "control" her writing...why cause long standing business relations to suddenly jump ship and pretend ignorance of her existence...why put her in the unenviable position of having to decide whether freedom of expression espoused by the National Charter means anything compared to possible harm done to either herself of her male family members? She wrote an article...once again Arabs have proven their real fear of the written word...words are dangerous...words cause people to throw away their firmly held ignorance and forcibly pry their eyes open to the truth...words have the uncanny knack of causing people to think...and thinking is not a required or desired skill in the Arab world...as a matter of fact...its a skill best left to the few in charge...but then again...the kind of thinking they do could be best described as the fingers in the ears...hands over the eyes variety.

Unfortunately...or rather fortunately in my opinion...she is not about to be swayed or diverted from her belief that writing the truth should always take precedent over sheilding the treasonous actions many in power undertake without fear of reprisal...all I can say to that is...if you dont see yourself described in her words...why bother yourself...if you do see yourself...may God grant you a little extra guidance and a hell of a lot more days on earth to make up for the life you have made stealing from those that you are meant to take care of...after all...not every person who inherits a chair...gets the luxery of sitting in it forever...time has a way of coming full circle...in other words...what goes around ....comes around. Something to think about...eh?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

When every fils counts!

Most months my salary arrives within the last few days of the month...give or take...so by the first of the month Im ready and able to pay my rent...my electric...phone etc...and buy some food and whatever I need for my children. Most months my bank account is fairly empty pretty much 3 of the 4 weeks until the next salary comes...my salary isnt all that much...and we are 6 people....but we manage to get by with the help of friends and just plain patience.

However, my patience is truly being tested this month as today is the 5th and my salary is still not in my account. Each day that I check I become more upset and worried about the bills not being paid..and thus problems I dont need coming my way. A call to my office informs me that salaries were delayed so increments could be given...well, should I rejoice over that or what? Im not too worried about an increment possibly coming when my landlord is wanting his rent money 4 days ago....Im not worried about an increase in my next salary when I need this salary to buy some much needed food so my kids are not left eating cheese sandwiches 2 meals a day....Im not worried about anything that might happen next month and next salary cause all my attention is focused on this month and this salary....its my right to have my salary for the work I did in a timely manner each month. Why is it my fault they couldnt organize themselves sufficiently to get the salaries out on time? Why should I be put under stress and duress through no fault of my own?

Of course this makes me feel all the worse for those employees that get cheated on a regular basis...who might go months without getting paid and are still expected to show up to work on time or get accused of "escaping" etc...who are still required to work long hours even though there is no benefit for them and their family all because they are trapped in the sponsorship slave trade. I felt sorry for them before...now I feel rage for them.

Who are these owners of companies that no doubt have big fat bank accounts that wouldnt suffer too much if one month went by without some sort of increase? Who are these employers who sit down to dinner with their families not worried in the least that some of their employees might not have that luxery? Who are these human beings that can sleep comfortable at night not giving a second thought to the fact that some of their employees might not be able to sleep worrying about unpaid bills etc...all because the salary they should have for work they honestly did has not been paid? Do these employers worry about salaries not reaching their employees on time the same way they worry when employees miss work and dont have a doctors sick form etc to account for it? They are quick to deduct from salaries but not so quick to make sure they are paid on time.

A quick look at the papers will indicate that the authorities in Bahrain arent all that concerned with unpaid salaries...many labourers and housemaids etc are forced to leave Bahrain with much of their back owed salaries unpaid...where is the justice in that? Who should one turn too when for the most part...nobody really cares how employees are treated here?

Im tempted to name the company I work for(maybe I have in previous posts...not sure)...since Ive heard from others they can be quite unfair when it comes to appreciating work done by us slaves...but I will let it go for now...I shall see what happens tomorrow when I enquire at head office as to why my salary has gone unpaid thus far...if the answer is not satisfactory...then we shall see what my next post and my next letter to the GDN sounds like. Until then...Ive got some cheese sandwhiches to fix....sigh!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Whats in a Name?

After spending a very hectic week zooming all over Bahrain with my sis...we arrived in the airport ready for my two daughters and sis to leave for the states on KLM. Imagine first our surprise and then our anger when we were told my daughters would not be able to board the plane. My sis could go but not them...and since she came here specifically to take them back with her to the states...then of course she was forced to stay behind as well...even though her life and her child were waiting for her patiently back home.

And what was the reason for this unexpected delay....? Well, one little name apparently. As anyone that knows Arabs will know that they go by as many as four or five names...their whole name...not just shortened version of maybe two or three names. Such as if a mans name is Ali Ahmed Yousif Abdullah...he might just go by Ali Ahmed Yousif etc...in everyday life. So it seems that when we purchased tickets for my daughters only 3 of their 4 names were printed on the tickets...me being influenced by 21 years of Arab life...did not think too much about the lack of the 4th name as its common not to write it all out...however...on arriving and presenting passports that did have all 4 names...we were absolutely refused the right to board...with barely apologies for money spent...time wasted...and the subsequent scramble for new tickets ASAP so my sis could get back to the states and her responsibilites.

No amount of arguing would convince them to allow them to pass...even though birth certificates etc were presented to show they were the same two girls etc...nothing worked and we were forced to return home. We were angry and sad and worried that 3 seats would not be found on another flight as the summer exodus of Bahrain was in full swing...not to mention the rising price of tickets that was astronomical as it was. We were afraid that not only was our thousands of dinars we had spent all ready now wasted...but that we wouldnt be able to come up with all that again in just a short time...and my sis had to go even if my girls were left behind. Talk about a hectic night spent waiting for the travel agents to open up.

Luckily for us our travel agent was able to find some seats and only made us pay a fee for the issuing of new tickets...and tonight they were able to leave...but we are still left with a bitter taste in our mouth that KLM left us with. They did nothing to help us or cool our anger...just turned us away flat out.

To add insult to injury...the next day a KLM rep called me wondering if I would like to join the frequent flyers club...even though I told her we probably wouldnt fly with them again after this...she was still fairly perky about the whole thing and signed us up anyway...oh well...it was free.

I miss my girls all ready...but I hope they enjoy this adventure.