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An Irish delegation visit to Bahrain to demand some medics jailed in connection with the recent unrest be freed ended in fiasco – just as expected.

And what transpired at the so-called press conference by the delegation was also expected – except for Bahrain’s very own Slapgate!

The conference ended abruptly after delegation members were heckled by Bahrain Medical Society members, even as one of the doctors was allegedly assaulted by a journalist.

Some doctors repeatedly accused the delegation of “wasting time” and not listening to their side of the story.

Details about the shameful incident have already been well-publicised but just for the record, it involved a female journalist allegedly slapping a female doctor right in front of television cameras and shocked onlookers.

Just as the delegation walked out, one of the doctors, Hind Al Fayaz, was allegedly verbally abused and roughed up by a female journalist, Reem Khalifa for trying to record her on the mobile phone.

There are some questions to be asked here.

One, why did the delegation come from Ireland in the first place when they knew they would not be welcome? Was securing the release of Bahraini medics their only interest? Were they independent ‘investigators’ or were they influenced by other vested interests?

These questions were not answered even when a journalist asked the delegation whether their country would allow any ‘human rights activist’ to casually walk into Ireland and demand to see detainees and senior government dignatories.

There was also no answer on why the delegation did not even make an effort to speak to alleged victims of medics’ criminal acts and looked the other way when video evidence was shown to them.

There was an obvious vested interest, claim the Bahrain Medical Society. Perhaps, they were right in demanding they give the other side a hearing too.

Now, coming to the second question. Why were the medical society members at the hotel when in fact it were a press conference and they were not invited? Did it not amount to trespassing?

Not only did they disrupt proceedings, they also denied the media a chance to question the delegation on why they were in Bahrain and what they had achieved.

Clearly, the delegation would have been cornered and hard pressed for answers. That would have made great copy and served the interest of Bahrain.

The argument that medics were not given a chance to get their point of view across could hold some water for arguments’ sake but they could have expressed their views immediately after the press conference – which some members of the fraternity did in any case after the proceedings were disrupted.

As for Slapgate, or a ‘woman’s thing’ as it was made out to be, it is deplorable behaviour in any case, even when the howling of the ‘victim’ created a hilarious end to the drama.


It’s about time Indian authorities woke up to the reality the major cities of the country are reduced to global terrorism’s killing fields and dumb those cliched responses to the so-called terrorist incidents.

The latest incident in Mumbai is a case in point – immediately after which politicians clamored for television ‘space’ offering ‘sound bites’ in a bid to outdo one another with their theatrical condemnations. It is so sickeningly predictable and depressing. What a sorry state of affairs!

As many as six major incidents in the last decade and we still have nothing more than the same old theories being propounded by the same old politicians with the same old constipated expression, at all times surrounded by gun-toting body guards.

The media willingly falls into the trap, highlighting and publishing those non-responses.

All this while people, whose only interest is to go about their daily business in the hope of feeding their families, bleed to death on the streets like hunted animals.

Yes, Mumbai is resilient – India is resilient – but do the people have a choice? One day off work would mean pay cut, hunger.

Meanwhile politicians sit in their comfy homes and offices and appear momentarily in public surrounded by Black Cat protection, read out the standard responses to television cameras and then go back into hibernation to emerge once again after another incident.

Why can’t these politicians, who pretend to be God’s gift to the country, get into a huddle for once and hammer out a plan to completely eliminate terrorism and let everyone breathe a sigh of relief?

Why are they not able get someone like Ajmal Kassab to the gallows, he who had mowed down scores of innocent people? Why is the main accused in the Parliament attack several years ago still alive despite being sentenced to death?

The reson is we as a nation are complacent. We have decided to take huge amounts of garbage in the form of political rhetoric  – and we the people are so getting used to suffering.

We should move quickly to get things right. Because, if not now, it never will be!

Strange times these. The rich have the audacity to apply and then find prime locations at Bahrain’s trade fair that the government has so thoughtfully organised to help small traders who suffered heavy losses after the recent unrest in Bahrain.

How can well-to-do businessmen compete with small traders and exhibit wares at an event meant to help the smaller, independent traders?

Not only that, they end up with a huge attitude; throw their weight around and browbeat the organisers into getting prime locations for themselves at the event.

This happened at the Bab Al Bahrain trade fair and again I saw it happen at the Muharraq fair.

Perhaps, it is time these high-fliers should be grounded – or rather, brought down to Earth!!


What would you consider a ‘must’ to be included in a documentary on the Kingdom of Bahrain. A friend of mine is working on a grand project and seeks inputs from us who live in this beautiful country. I use this opportunity, my first blog, to do my bit and help gather creative suggestions to the project.

Do mail me on and I shall forward it to the person concerned who chooses to remain anonymous at this point in time to escape being plagued by requests to act!