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Unity in diversity should be goal...

Vol XXVIII   NO. 168      Sunday      4 September 2005

Sunni, Shia, Holi, Arabi, Bahrani, Hasawi and Ajami, to name a few, aren't the names of local exotic dishes you can find in traditional restaurants.

They are what we call each other to describe the ethnic and religious background we come from in our small Bahraini society. And I am using the word small on purpose, to belittle the sickening state of mind many have plummeted to in this age of modernity, reform and national reconciliation.

I find this name-calling business repulsive to say the least. It makes my blood boil because I can't find a reason why such a small society should be torn up and shredded by so many differences and allegiances, when the suffering is one; the happiness is one; and the destiny is one.

At the end of the day, we are all Bahrainis - the good and the bad; the 'original' and the 'not so original'; the ones from a pure Arab descent and the ones whose ancestors came from Iran or wherever; and those who claim to be have lived the land from time immemorial, those who came to Bahrain 200 years ago and those who were granted Bahraini nationality yesterday.

I personally am not ashamed of my background - and like many Bahrainis have a mosaic of traditions, cultures, cuisines and arts to enjoy and appreciate.

In my family alone, we have the Baharna (Shia Bahrainis) and the Arabs (Sunni Bahrainis) and the Ajams (Bahrainis of Persian descent), all living under one roof, eating the same food and laughing at the same jokes.

It isn't heaven on earth all the time as sometimes individuals may become childish and pick on someone else's accent, pronounce a word wrongly or do something which is culturally not acceptable from the collage of civilisation we have picked things from as we progressed.

But there is never mayhem, name-calling and back-stabbing because of one's ethnic and religious background. And no one is ever accused of treason against the state because he prays at this time and breaks his fast at that.

Like our ethnic background, we have inherited our religions and sects. Whether it is the wrong or the right type, is between us and Allah and not for Man to judge.

Bahrainis have lived together, embracing people of all kinds and faiths, and treating them equally over generations.

And now is not the time to create rifts for no other reason than to satisfy the whims of a few children who think that politics is a game they can try their hands at.

To those I say: Grow up and don't meddle in things which could backfire on you and society. This is not the way to show appreciation of one's homeland!


great comments.

Posted by: Blog | 25/01/2007

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