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BD200 bonus barely enough for necessities

Vol XXVIII   NO. 141      Monday      8 August 2005

By Amira Al Hussaini

Bonus today. Gone tomorrow! Government employees got a whopping bonus this month. A whole BD200 to spend as they please, as a thank you for their dedication and hard work towards Bahrain and its people.

And the workers were delighted.

I bumped into a driver from one of the ministries the day before the bonus was announced.

He couldn't stop smiling, I felt his jaw would fall off. He was actually singing to himself with excitement.

"Is it true that we will get our bonus tomorrow," he asked, drooling all over the place.

"Yes, but it's only BD200," I replied.

"Wow! Thank you. Thank you for letting me know. Thank you. May Allah prolong your life and may all your dreams come true.

"You really are the bearer of good news. I don't know what to do, but I am so happy. It's as much as my salary. This means I will be getting two salaries this month," he said.

"But what can you possibly do with BD200?" I asked, still not comprehending why anyone would be so happy over such a small amount of money, considering it was the first time ever for all government employees to get a bonus across the board.

"I will buy a new air-conditioner for the children. All six of them are in a room without an AC," he said.

This really left me speechless. He will spend his money to buy an AC for his children's room.

After waiting for years for this dream (the bonus) to come true, he will blow it on one purchase. An AC.

But with the temperatures soaring, I am not surprised that is the only thing he wants in life right now.

Two days later, I bumped into another government employee.

"You know what I did with my bonus?" he asked me.

"You bought an AC," I ventured.

"Yes. My seven children are so happy. The old AC was making a lot of noise and wasn't cooling the room," he said.

"I even took them to ... (a junk food joint), where they all had hamburgers. They have been nagging for months. I am so happy with the bonus. It couldn't have come at a better time."

Great. I wait for years for a bonus and then spend it on burgers and an AC.

I don't want to sound ungrateful, but do you really know what I would personally do if I were to get a BD200 bonus for my work. I would flush it down the toilet. But that's me.

I expect to be paid and appreciated in direct proportion to the work I do, and I certainly am worth more than BD200!

At least I think so.


mmm 200bd, maybe is it too much for you.
you would only need 100bd to buy a new creme de la mer, or 5oz la prairie cream; or nourish a nigerian family, vaccines included, for one year.
little brooks do bring great rivers, don't they?

Posted by: PaX | 13/08/2005

And to think that a "concerned reader..objected to the implied "sarcasm "in this article..the mind boggles...
The issue here is is BD 200 a fair "bonus"??
But.let it be or else maybe someone will say "ungrateful wretches' dont deserve bonusses??
One issue though...3rd world nationals..unqualifies for the jobs they hold here..having paid "agents" "slick or grease money" to get here??
What crimes are being committed in unknowing sponsors names??just a question...

Posted by: Sunil | 17/08/2005


Flushed with anger

I WAS sickened by the arrogance of Amira Al Hussaini, sarcastically jeering at poor people who had spent their BD200 government bonus on air conditioning for their children, while at the same time saying that she would flush any bonus down the toilet.

A disgusting attitude, but one that seems to be all too familiar in Bahrain particularly when it comes to anything done by the authority.

For instance, when the government announced the introduction of elections in 2002, instead of taking advantage of Bahrain's exceptionalism, several parties immediately announced they were going to boycott parliament.

People are now free to hold rallies and demonstrations, so what do some people now insist on doing?

Protesting in the only place in the Kingdom where protests aren't allowed and making clear they want to throw eggs and rubbish at parliament, so that they can engineer a confrontation with the authorities.

The government allows freedom of speech, so what happens? Self-declared 'human rights activists' use this to publicly call for people's deaths and praise terrorists who had planned murder sprees.

I've no idea where this crazy attitude towards authority comes from, but sadly it seems very deep.

It means that whenever a Middle East government tries to head down the road towards democracy as Bahrain has done, the result isn't that people try to move forward with the changes, but instead seek to flush any gains down the toilet.

Concerned reader

AMIRA Al Hussaini replies: "It was not my intent to ridicule anyone, only to highlight how little the bonus amounted to in real terms."


This is an example of how stupid people are. When I get responses like this I sometimes wonder why on Earth am I writing to begin with.

Do people really get the wrong end of the stick or are people just plain and simple stupid.

It is a shame that this anonymous writer is too much of a coward to put his name to what he/she wrote. The writer obviously has a good command of written English but he/she seriously need to brush up on their comprehension skills.

Posted by: Amira | 22/08/2005

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Posted by: Magdu | 08/07/2006

great comments.

Posted by: Blog | 25/01/2007

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