A great, great post from Global Soul in Reflections from Canada. It is about the history of demonstrations in Bahrain. Once again, I thank you for such an enjoyable post.
It made me remember all the stories I've heard from my family about the demonstrations, strikes, and political activities that occured in Bahrain since the thirties. My family has a long history of getting in trouble with the authorities, and other than getting a few bloody noses, it does produce some good stories to tell. I'm going to share two of them here.
The first one concerns my grandfather, allah yru7ma (may his soul rest in peace). I've heard many stories concerning his escapades, and this is one of them. Apparently, there was a strike that was to occur one day in the 1930s (I think it was 1938, I'm not sure). Now word got out to the police chief in Muharraq (he was a sheikh, but I can't remember his name), and he decided action needed to be taken to stop this strike. The leaders of the strike had to be arrested, and the police needed to be organized.
My grand father heard about the plans about the police chief, and decided this should not be allowed to happen. So what did he do? He did what any sane, logical, and grounded man would do. He took a big shotgun, found the sheikh, and cornered him in a kharaba (a metal yard) a few meters from our old house. He stood there pointing the gun at the sheikh for a few hours until the strike was over, and then let him go.
Needless to say, after that he spent a couple of nights and received a bit of a beating in the police station.
Now I don't know how much truth there is in the story. My grandfather has been known to tell a few tall tales, so maybe it should be taken with a pinch of salt. In anycase, it was an entertaining story to hear anyway.
The other story was narrated to me by my father. My father spent a year in jail in the early seventies (no, not for taking up a shotgun or anything like that, he was just a political activist.) While he was in jail, he had a cell mate called Majeed Marhoon. Now apparently Mr. Marhoon was famous in Bahrain as the best (and probably only) saxophone player in the country. Mr. Marhoon was in jail for life. Why was he in jail for life? Well here's the story:
In the 1960s the intelligence department in Bahrain (led by the British governor of course) had a fearsome officer by the name of Ahmed Mohsin. Apparently this guy was feared and loathed by everyone in Bahrain. Mr. Marhoon decided to find a solution to this problem. In 1966, a bomb exploded in a car, and in this car was Mr. Ahmed Mohsin. Take a wild guess who planted that bomb.
Apparently people went out celebrating in the streets after this. Mr. Marhoon, however, was caught and sentenced to jail for life. He was released in 1990, and is still somewhere around in Bahrain playing the saxophone.
The bombings in the 1960s in Bahrain were effective in eliminating the intelligence and interrogation officers. However, they had an unwanted side effect. In order to replace these officers, Henderson and Co. were brought in. No one needs to be told about what Henderson (a demented Brit whose CV includes working in Kenya to stamp out the Mau Mau insurgency in Kenya) has done to Bahrain.
Ahh.. the good stories of the old days...I'm sure there are tons of people out there with stories to tell. If you have any, please do share!