That magic oasis of peace has disappeared!
Nothing warms the heart this winter more than meeting former Bahrain residents and reminiscing about the Bahrain they knew until they left - the land of peace, calm and tranquillity and where the hospitality and friendliness of Bahrainis smothers you to death.
It fills me with pride and joy to know that Bahrain has carved a niche for itself in the hearts of all those who have passed by the Land of Dilmun and experienced life as it was in that magical oasis of peace.
"But what is happening in Bahrain now?" asked a man, who left Bahrain in 1995.
"What do you mean?" I answered, trying to sound as naïve as I possibly could without laughing.
"All the attacks on foreigners," he ventured to explain.
"It isn't that bad, just isolated incidents," I replied, trying to steer the conversation to another topic.
"And all the stabbings and armed robberies," he pressed.
"What stabbings?" I interrupted.
"You know. Locals stabbing expats!" he said.
"No, I don't. And no society is immune to crime."
All of a sudden the friendly Bahrainis have become knife-wielding vandals going about stabbing and attacking expatriates, as a part-time job or a form of recreation, I presume.
As much as such generalisations annoy me, what annoys me more is the fact that workers are being attacked and the incidents are brushed aside as if nothing had happened.
The perpetrators aren't punished simply because those victimised do not have the protection necessary to make them equal in front of the law.
Over the previous two weeks, two attacks were reported in the GDN. One involved a Nepali employee attacked by a Bahraini at Al Muntazah Supermarket in Hoora, for no reason.
The other was about an Indian driver dragged out of his minibus and punched by a local, following an accident in Salmaniya.
Would those two have been attacked had they been locals? Would the man involved in the accident punched the driver had he been a Bahraini, wearing a thobe and driving a Mercedes?
They would have thought twice, just as they should have done if they had any respect for themselves and understood the gravity of their actions and how they are interpreted by people around the world.
Violence is an unacceptable form of dialogue and as such should not be tolerated, if we are to protect the reputation of our country.
Whatever happened to reasoning, in a civilised manner?
* Amira Al Hussaini currently lives in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.