Alter Ego: Today's the day: Bahrain nationalism and Iran
The day has finally arrived. The do or die day for the Bahraini team: will they whoop some hairy smelly iranian ass, or are they going to surrender to mediocrity? We will know withing the next 24 hours. Good luck Bahrain!
A few days ago I posted an arabic article that described an incident where a few Manama team supporters went around waving the iranian national flag, hurting the pride of many Bahrainis. How can these guys betray the country that they moved in, voluntarily leaving the country that they moved from (Iran)? How can this be anything but bad?
Me, ever the lone rider, I decide to see some good points from this.
Let me explain. In any country with a large immigrant population, you find the same event. Look at england for example. When the Indian or Pakistani national team come to play here, there are swaths of fans from Pakistani or Indian origin that fill the stadium supporting either India or Pakistan. The English press duly complains about this, regretting how they do not show any loyalty to the country that they have voluntarily adopted as their new homeland. They see it as a kind of embarrassment, that their own citizens support another country. That somehow their citizens prefer to wave the flag of another country, defying the land that they have chosen to move to by their own free will.
I actually take the other side, and flip the argument. I think it is a sign of the hosting country being more developed than the original country, and that it is the country where the migrants came from that should be ashamed. Basically, what these fans are attesting to is that the country that hosted them is in some ways much better from their original country, and that is why they are here, in Bahrain, and not in Iran. It is Iran that should be embarrased that large swaths of its people and their decendants have decided to move countries, abandoning their original homeland (whether Bahrain, UAQ, UK, or US). This points to one thing: Bahrain, in some ways, has managed to surprass Iran, to the extent that thousands of people of Iranian origin have decided to move to Bahrain and become Bahrainis. The political and economic situation has deteriorated so badly over the last century, that many have made the momentous choice of abandoning their original place of stay, leaving behind it's political and social regime, and choosing another place as their new homeland, embracing with it its political and social regime.
Things might be bad in Bahrain, but at least it's not as bad as it is in Iran.
So if by chance you see a couple of Iranian flags fluttering today in the stadium, do not think that it is a shame and a disgrace, but rather give a sly smirk and a grin, reflecting on how our tiny nation has managed to provide benefits the mighty juggernaut of Iran has failed to achieve. They might be able to beat us in a football game, but we have so far beaten them on the grander scheme of life.
Anyway, good luck to the team, and may we whoop some Iranian ass!