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Bahrain GP 2011-2012 and Bahrain public unrest (merged)


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#1 finignig

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 14:29

Dont mean to jump the gun but this has been bothering me lately, it’s all what public are discussing, Embassies sent warnings to their citizens in Bahrain and heavy “preparations” on FB...

I believe it has the potential at least to get ugly. and that certainly puts the grand prix in doubt doesnt it?

Edited by finignig, 11 February 2011 - 14:29.


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#2 goingthedistance

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 14:38

It's not impossible. Anyone here an expert on UAE politics? I'm not sure if there will be the same degree of latitude enjoyed by the Egyptians and Tunisians to protest effectively, or even if there is the same sense of discord towards the leadership in the Emirates.

#3 finignig

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 14:47

the least you should worry about is Emirates, Qatar and Oman. Bahrain however is a VERY different case.

#4 goingthedistance

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 14:52

Ah yes, showing my ignorance. Bahrain is adjacent to the Emirates, but not part of them. It is a hereditary dictatorship, yes?

Do you believe the day of anger will cause the sort of turmoil we have seen in Egypt and Tunisia?

#5 Smile17

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 14:53

I don't think the situation in Bahrain will escalate like it did in Tunesia and Egypt. Bahrain is a very wealthy country and most people are fine with how things are going, so even if there are demonstration I don't think they will be massive. On the other side, Bahrain is not like Tunisia or Egypt, we are talking about a constitutional monarchy here, which are normally pretty stable. The king has already done a lot of reformations, we will have to wait and see if that's enough.. Last but not least, I don't think protest will disturb the Grandprix or testing, if F1 does decide to cancel , it will be more of a political decision.

#6 PayasYouRace

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 14:54

Could someone explain what the Anger Day is, and how it could affect the Grand Prix, please?

#7 RoutariEnjinu

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 14:55

It's a bit like pancake day, but instead of pancakes it's FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

#8 Mark521

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 14:58

As an western expat that has been here (live in Bahrain, work in Saudi Arabia) for over a year, I can give you my perspective. It's an over simplfication but I think I am pretty close.

Bahrain has a significant Shia population (~65%) but the ruling class are Sunni. The Shia have been protesting that the Sunnis get everything and they get little or nothing. A large number of those protesters (100+) have been arrested and will soon stand trial for terrorism.

While the Shia youth like to set fire to old tires and block some roads, most of the protests are very tame. Lots of people, a handful of signs, a guy with a bullhorn, etc. Frankly the Bahrainis are generally very nice people so they really don't make much trouble.

They already held a rally in support of the uprising in Eygpt, a couple of hundred people a couple of blocks away from the embassy. No rocks were thrown, everybody went home safe.

I am sure that the traffic in the effected area on 14 February will really suck but beyond that you won't really know it happened a coiuple of hous after its over.

Now sure, I could be wrong ( I hope not because the little people get hurt the most when these things go bad), but there is no indication that this will be any different that all the other protests.

As for the GP, it will go on as scheduled.



#9 finignig

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 15:00

I don't think the situation in Bahrain will escalate like it did in Tunesia and Egypt. Bahrain is a very wealthy country and most people are fine with how things are going, so even if there are demonstration I don't think they will be massive. On the other side, Bahrain is not like Tunisia or Egypt, we are talking about a constitutional monarchy here, which are normally pretty stable. The king has already done a lot of reformations, we will have to wait and see if that's enough.. Last but not least, I don't think protest will disturb the Grandprix or testing, if F1 does decide to cancel , it will be more of a political decision.


You couldnt be more wrong. We have high unemployment rate, very expensive to get housing, government housing orders (?) are still serving applications the 1990s, salaries are the lowest in the G.C.C, Royal Family is sunni while majority is Shiite (added upon the tension between the two sects after the Iraq invasion, New “governing system since 2001/2002 brought great hope followed by great dissapointment, many clashes with police and riots since 2004 peaking last year. 25 people are currently on trial for “terrorism and setting up a coup” on the government (all shiites) and the list goes on.

The government lately have been giving a lot or reassurances to the public through faster housing orer from the King, early release of “price hike subsidy” to everyone below a certain salary level, and today order to hurry up building to new “housing cities”.


Day of anger is basically a date AFAIK just spreaded online in regards to Bahrain, with many other dates for various Arab countries.

#10 PayasYouRace

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 15:02

Thanks Mark. Going by what you said it shouldn't be a huge problem getting F1 going as planned. Odd choice of day though, Valentine's day. :confused:

#11 finignig

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 15:02

As an western expat that has been here (live in Bahrain, work in Saudi Arabia) for over a year, I can give you my perspective. It's an over simplfication but I think I am pretty close.

Bahrain has a significant Shia population (~65%) but the ruling class are Sunni. The Shia have been protesting that the Sunnis get everything and they get little or nothing. A large number of those protesters (100+) have been arrested and will soon stand trial for terrorism.

While the Shia youth like to set fire to old tires and block some roads, most of the protests are very tame. Lots of people, a handful of signs, a guy with a bullhorn, etc. Frankly the Bahrainis are generally very nice people so they really don't make much trouble.

They already held a rally in support of the uprising in Eygpt, a couple of hundred people a couple of blocks away from the embassy. No rocks were thrown, everybody went home safe.

I am sure that the traffic in the effected area on 14 February will really suck but beyond that you won't really know it happened a coiuple of hous after its over.

Now sure, I could be wrong ( I hope not because the little people get hurt the most when these things go bad), but there is no indication that this will be any different that all the other protests.

As for the GP, it will go on as scheduled.


I guess you havent been here in the 90s' :wave:


#12 Smile17

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 15:20

Thanks Mark. Going by what you said it shouldn't be a huge problem getting F1 going as planned. Odd choice of day though, Valentine's day. :confused:


Valentine's day is a western concept. It doesn't mean anything in an more Islamic organised country like Bahrain. In most Arab country's it's Eid el Lhob every day  ;)
No really, 14 Feb is just one of those dates spread around the internet, looking at all those dates, the whole Mid East will be protesting the upcoming days and months, which is of course not going to happen.

#13 highdownforce

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 15:30

Valentine's day is a western concept.

And even in the western culture it has different conceptions.
Here in Brazil, our version of Valentine's is celebrated on 12th June, eve of Saint Anthony of Padua feast day.

#14 RoutariEnjinu

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 15:53

Religion bollocks then.

#15 finignig

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 15:59

Religion bollocks then.



More like socio-economic grievance

#16 Scotracer

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 16:13

It's a bit like pancake day, but instead of pancakes it's FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUU


:rotfl:

#17 Louis Siefert

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 16:28

we should all embrace this day of protest
if not only for the minuscule chance that change forces the GP out of their country

#18 finignig

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 16:29

we should all embrace this day of protest
if not only for the minuscule chance that change forces the GP out of their country


uncool :( it’s the only event i look forward to here :(

#19 goingthedistance

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 16:47

Mubarek is now officially gone. So anything feels possible across the Middle East.

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#20 finignig

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 16:49

Things are moving very very very fast here, since Mubarak fell (hour ago?) news are filtering about 1000 bd for every family and a rumor doing rounds about release of all political prisoners. Bahrain is buzzing with worry and anticipation of the 14th!.

#21 Fastcake

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 16:55

uncool :( it’s the only event i look forward to here :(


Aww :kiss:

Well it's good to know there is at least one F1 fan in Bahrain, just a shame there's not more and your country's rather uninspiring. :p I haven't heard much about problems in Bahrain so keep us posted if it turns serious. :)

#22 finignig

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 16:59

Aww :kiss:

Well it's good to know there is at least one F1 fan in Bahrain, just a shame there's not more and your country's rather uninspiring. :p I haven't heard much about problems in Bahrain so keep us posted if it turns serious. :)



Come for a visit sometime :), its quite a place to visit, very liberal(compared to the rest of em :p), a multi-race society and a very chill out fun place to be.

#23 Fastcake

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 17:18

Come for a visit sometime :), its quite a place to visit, very liberal(compared to the rest of em :p), a multi-race society and a very chill out fun place to be.

It's funny you mention it, I've got a good friend who works as a logistics consultant out there, and we've always planned to go to a Middle-Eastern Grand Prix if it proves possible. So who knows, I would like to and I very well might :)

#24 Grenada

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 18:51

I don't think the situation in Bahrain will escalate like it did in Tunesia and Egypt. Bahrain is a very wealthy country and most people are fine with how things are going, so even if there are demonstration I don't think they will be massive. On the other side, Bahrain is not like Tunisia or Egypt, we are talking about a constitutional monarchy here, which are normally pretty stable. The king has already done a lot of reformations, we will have to wait and see if that's enough.. Last but not least, I don't think protest will disturb the Grandprix or testing, if F1 does decide to cancel , it will be more of a political decision.



I have some connections to Bahrain, and I know there are a lot of very unhappy people there. They aren't all happy with the hereditary dictatorship that has kept a vice grip on the country for so long. I wonder how big the protests will be on 14/2/11.

Not sure if this will affect the GP though.

#25 gaston_foix

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 19:09

Come for a visit sometime :), its quite a place to visit, very liberal(compared to the rest of em :p), a multi-race society and a very chill out fun place to be.

Are you a native from Bahrain? Because when I hear that Bahrain is very liberal I'm smiling you know... and I'm thinking that you have never visited an European country. Liberal in which sense? Maybe you want to say more liberal than most Muslim countries, because really I don't understand...

#26 finignig

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 23:54

Are you a native from Bahrain? Because when I hear that Bahrain is very liberal I'm smiling you know... and I'm thinking that you have never visited an European country. Liberal in which sense? Maybe you want to say more liberal than most Muslim countries, because really I don't understand...



Yes I am, born and raised :), british schooling though lol. And I did mention “relative to the rest of them”.

Compared to our close neighbors we are considered pretty Liberal;

- Freedom of religion, we have churches and temples and all that
- dress the way you want (sad to even mention, but thats not the case in neighboring saudi for example)
- alcohol is legal, drink shops and all
- Pumping party scene/night life
- freedom of speech but not no so in the press, things been going bad there lately
- WOMEN CAN DRIVE! hahaha and off course vote etc

it was a much secular/liberal country prior to the 70s before the islamic revolution in Iran and the heavy usage of the powers that be in the middle east using religion as means off divide and “rule”.

and to answer your question, Yeah I visited and experienced most of Europe and lived in Australia for a few years. We’re no where as liberal as those places but we are quite the anomaly in the G.C.C.


#27 genespleen

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 00:29

Yes I am, born and raised :), british schooling though lol. And I did mention “relative to the rest of them”.

Compared to our close neighbors we are considered pretty Liberal;

- Freedom of religion, we have churches and temples and all that
- dress the way you want (sad to even mention, but thats not the case in neighboring saudi for example)
- alcohol is legal, drink shops and all
- Pumping party scene/night life
- freedom of speech but not no so in the press, things been going bad there lately
- WOMEN CAN DRIVE! hahaha and off course vote etc

it was a much secular/liberal country prior to the 70s before the islamic revolution in Iran and the heavy usage of the powers that be in the middle east using religion as means off divide and “rule”.

and to answer your question, Yeah I visited and experienced most of Europe and lived in Australia for a few years. We’re no where as liberal as those places but we are quite the anomaly in the G.C.C.


Sending best wishes to you and the people of Bahrain over the next several days.



#28 Disgrace

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 00:41

Bahrain anger day? You mean the day when, having just watching a processional season opener play out on an awful circuit, fans pour over the BB?

#29 finignig

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 00:49

Bahrain anger day? You mean the day when, having just watching a processional season opener play out on an awful circuit, fans pour over the BB?



Nah that anger occurs when such processions happen in valencia, barcaleno, hungary and the rest of them as well, not limited to bahrain ;)

#30 PayasYouRace

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 17:57

uncool :( it’s the only event i look forward to here :(


Give us a wave from the grandstand. :wave:

Hopefully there won't be anything that affects the race going ahead, though I'm sure the teams would like one less race in a 20 race season.

- alcohol is legal, drink shops and all


So why no champange on the podium?

Edited by PayasYouRace, 12 February 2011 - 18:35.


#31 gaston_foix

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 18:30

Yes I am, born and raised :), british schooling though lol. And I did mention “relative to the rest of them”.

Compared to our close neighbors we are considered pretty Liberal;

- Freedom of religion, we have churches and temples and all that
- dress the way you want (sad to even mention, but thats not the case in neighboring saudi for example)
- alcohol is legal, drink shops and all
- Pumping party scene/night life
- freedom of speech but not no so in the press, things been going bad there lately
- WOMEN CAN DRIVE! hahaha and off course vote etc

it was a much secular/liberal country prior to the 70s before the islamic revolution in Iran and the heavy usage of the powers that be in the middle east using religion as means off divide and “rule”.

and to answer your question, Yeah I visited and experienced most of Europe and lived in Australia for a few years. We’re no where as liberal as those places but we are quite the anomaly in the G.C.C.

How can be considered a country pretty liberal when it is governed by Shari'a? :cry:

My best friend now works in Saudi Arabia and indeed is bad. To have a fan they spent an weekend in Bahrain :D. To be honest I don't believe and trust in Muslim liberalism and I think what was happened in Tunisia and Egypt is for bad.

You are probably know better the reality from your country but I think being so reach no revolution will occur so our GP will be safe.

#32 Bunchies

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 18:33

Thanks Mark. Going by what you said it shouldn't be a huge problem getting F1 going as planned. Odd choice of day though, Valentine's day. :confused:


About as weird as if they held it on George Washington's Birthday, or Easter Sunday. It is of no meaning and consequence to them.

#33 finignig

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 19:58



Give us a wave from the grandstand. :wave:

Hopefully there won't be anything that affects the race going ahead, though I'm sure the teams would like one less race in a 20 race season.

So why no champange on the podium?


Ill be in the paddock club having my champagne ;);)

and in regards to champagne on the podium its because drinking in public is not allowed, plus its a bit insulting to the grandstands of mostly practicing muslims.



How can be considered a country pretty liberal when it is governed by Shari'a? :cry:

My best friend now works in Saudi Arabia and indeed is bad. To have a fan they spent an weekend in Bahrain :D. To be honest I don't believe and trust in Muslim liberalism and I think what was happened in Tunisia and Egypt is for bad.

You are probably know better the reality from your country but I think being so reach no revolution will occur so our GP will be safe.


It is not strictly covered by Sharia law, that would be saudia arabia, and i stated above in which ways its more liberal than REST of the G.C.C

IMO we have long awaited those puppet governments to fail, you dont believe in muslim liberalism and i dont blame you, the current regimes made sure the westerners perceive this region this way, way off topic sorry for that.

About as weird as if they held it on George Washington's Birthday, or Easter Sunday. It is of no meaning and consequence to them.


It coincides with the 10 year anniversary of signing the new constituion

Edited by finignig, 12 February 2011 - 20:01.


#34 PayasYouRace

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 21:10

and in regards to champagne on the podium its because drinking in public is not allowed, plus its a bit insulting to the grandstands of mostly practicing muslims.


I see.

#35 finignig

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 13:53

Seems this is more serious than previously thought

Am getting various calls about gatherings around the country, and its not the 14th yet. FB and twitter have been buzzing since last night with pro and against arguments, planning, etc.

Roads seem eerily quiet and empty even though its the rush hour after work. I have a meeting now on the other side of the country, will see if i spot any unusual activities.



#36 mtdd

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 17:29

I was in Tahrir when the news of Mubarak's departure became known. This certainly does not make me a pundit on Bahrain, the sole experience of which I have, is the airport.

The rage in Tunisia and even more so in Egypt was driven by social and economic deprivation, capped by blatant corruption trickling down from the highest to the lowest levels of administration, and police brutality that was casual and common.

Is Bahrain like that? I don't think so, but I don't know.

#37 finignig

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 17:40

I was in Tahrir when the news of Mubarak's departure became known. This certainly does not make me a pundit on Bahrain, the sole experience of which I have, is the airport.

The rage in Tunisia and even more so in Egypt was driven by social and economic deprivation, capped by blatant corruption trickling down from the highest to the lowest levels of administration, and police brutality that was casual and common.

Is Bahrain like that? I don't think so, but I don't know.



www.vob.org or google cos am not sure of the URL. its blocked here. :wave:

#38 finignig

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 17:43

A little update:

Riot/Police jeeps at entrance of all villages, heavy patrols going on.

Heavy and very rare presence of army vehicles parading through the highway, i witness one myself, its a few lorries with carrying small tanks sorrounded with hummers having a machine gun on top with a guy holding on to it in full gear

Theres a peacefull small protest in Manama center next to the country's biggest hospital (not witnessed by me)

Cyber activity is BOILING UP, twitter went down for a few minutes earlier. no one knows whether its internal or something wrong with twitter.

Edited by finignig, 13 February 2011 - 17:43.


#39 simplyfast

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 18:07

Things are moving very very very fast here, since Mubarak fell (hour ago?) news are filtering about 1000 bd for every family and a rumor doing rounds about release of all political prisoners. Bahrain is buzzing with worry and anticipation of the 14th!.


according to the AP wire service this happened last week and it was 1,017.90 BHD.
Surely if you are in Bahrain this is something you would have known and not have got so wrong (time not amount).

Last week, Bahrain's king, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, granted each Bahraini family the equivalent of nearly $2,700 in an apparent bid to calm tensions.
Available online Bahrain promises media freedoms amid protest calls @ http://hosted.ap.org...EMPLATE=DEFAULT


Also unlike Egypt where a dictator was only interested in himself it seams other reforms are also going through such as greater freedom within the press etc (covered in the article linked above).
Of course i am not there, so certainly cannot and will not claim it makes any difference but its clear there are welcome differences in approach.

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#40 RoutariEnjinu

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 18:13

More like socio-economic grievance


So it's nothing to do with Shia and Sunni then?

It's just rich people versus poor people, and the only differentiator is bank balance?

#41 finignig

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 21:53

according to the AP wire service this happened last week and it was 1,017.90 BHD.
Surely if you are in Bahrain this is something you would have known and not have got so wrong (time not amount).



Also unlike Egypt where a dictator was only interested in himself it seams other reforms are also going through such as greater freedom within the press etc (covered in the article linked above).
Of course i am not there, so certainly cannot and will not claim it makes any difference but its clear there are welcome differences in approach.


the statement was made a few minutes prior to the announcement of mubarak's resignation, on the 11th of February. In-fact i got many calls the moment it was stated on the radio from friends wondering how the procedure of payment will be.

Those concessions are coming too late, whether they will act as a deterrence or as a sign of weakness we will find out soon, announced reforms on press laws were announced only today.

Edited by finignig, 13 February 2011 - 22:06.


#42 finignig

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 21:57

So it's nothing to do with Shia and Sunni then?

It's just rich people versus poor people, and the only differentiator is bank balance?



its complicated, Bahrain always had a national opposition movement since the 50s' and participation of religious figures was minimal. since the Islamic revolution in Iran the state media worked on labeling the opposition as shiites that are loyal to Iran.

Right now IMO most sunnis label this as a shiite movement rather than a national one. which is the problem, and which why I predict chaos.

Keeping in mind it is also mostly shiites that are mostly suffering under the current status quo, out of our 20,000 to 30,000 "Special Forces" there is not a single shiite, they are also not permitted into the army, our of our government's senior positions (i think it was department head and above) only 16% are shiites. (to be honest am not sure about the figure, i remember as either 12 or 16, but its definetly less than 20%) keeping in mind shiites make up atleast 65% of the population now, while they were 75% less than a decade ago, this demographic change is the result of systematic handing over of the citizenship to carefully selected "sunnis" from the middle east and pakistan, mostly uneducated and given jobs in the police force.

this article sums up the situation nicely.

http://www.guardian....ulf-arab-states

Edited by finignig, 14 February 2011 - 23:52.


#43 finignig

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 22:29

BBC report uploaded today:

part 1: http://www.youtube.c...eature=youtu.be

part 2: http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

btw am pretty much anti-iran doing anything to do with my country! i dont want this lovely island to turn into what iran is.

Edited by finignig, 13 February 2011 - 22:30.


#44 kr964

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 05:59

Bahrain opposition calls for rally

"Bahrain's security forces have set up checkpoints to monitor people's movements as opposition groups blanketed social media sites with calls to stage the first major anti-government protests in the Gulf since the uprising in Egypt. Units patrolled shopping centres and other key spots in a clear warning against holding Monday's rally, which has been the focus of social media appeals and text messages for more than a week.
One cartoon posted on a Bahraini blog showed three arms holding aloft a mobile phone and the symbols of Facebook and Twitter."

Opposition groups call for protests

And the King just gave away $2,650 for all Bahraini families to stop this :eek:
He should also give away all the GP tickets so the grandstands look good on TV :D

Seriously though, knowing what just happend in Tunesia and Egypt is F1 season opener in jeopardy ?
What about security and electronic communication with the teams going to Bahrain in just couple of weeks ?
I guess there will be no tweets from the paddock during the testing...

#45 404KF2

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 06:11

I guess money can't buy quite everything....

#46 BigCHrome

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 06:27

I will be soooooooo pissed if they don't race in march 12th.

#47 finignig

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 09:43



last night:




afternoon:




photographic coverage:

http://www.ahrarbh18...read-291-0.html

I cant see the last link, its blocked here.


the police riot presence is HUGE. its still work time in Bahrain, there has been several clashes in the morning in some villages, but most are scheduled to protest at night.

#48 finignig

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 13:02



Protest going out in big force in Sitra right now heading out to the main road where a large group of riot police are standing, same scenario taking place in villages across the country. it is very tense. most private companies closed early.

how can i upload pictures taken???

#49 mclarensmps

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 13:15

I wouldn't say this is the correct forum for this, but be safe!

#50 Buttoneer

Buttoneer
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Posted 14 February 2011 - 13:23

finignig,

News starting to get through of violence and injuries. Whatever happens, best of luck to you and your family. I hope things work out.