Social Media Outlets Speak of People’s Sufferings: Authorities Turn Deaf Ear to People’s Pains

2019-11-21 - 10:44 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Social media outlets are flooded with stories about people's sufferings. Bahrainis have nothing left but to publicly speak up about their grievances and sufferings and, perhaps someone would hear them and take action to solve their livelihood crises which the authorities put them in, while drowning in corruption and tyranny.

Bahrainis lack job opportunities, while job doors are widely open for foreigners. Bahrainis, both Sunnis and Shiites, loyalists and dissidents, agree now that the country is no longer a place suitable for living, while foreigners enjoy living in the island kingdom with all the privileges they receive.

Everyday we hear a new cry from a breadwinner of a Bahraini family whose livelihood has been jeopardized, to the extent that he can no longer provide food for his children, pay his house rent or accumulated debts.

Activist Nader Abdulimam is one of these voices who is constantly demanding to be reinstated in his work in the Ministry of Education, where he worked for 14 years before being dismissed in 2015 over "tweets". He was imprisoned for 4 months and was then released to find himself without a job, also facing restrictions in opportunities to secure another job. Nader tried everything he could to get back his job or secure a new one that would provide money for him and his family, but all his endeavors were in vain. After 4 years of suffering, Nader decided to protest in front of the House of Representatives, and publish a video expressing what happened to him due to the accumulated debts, inability to pay his house rent and how his family had no choice but to move to live in the living room of his father's house. He says in the video, showing the room which is overcrowded with his house belongings, which he stacked in his father's house: "I sleep in my father's house, my children on one side and my wife on the other side. I can't pay my house rent. I have accumulated debts, I don't want sympathy, I don't anyone to feel pity for me, and I don't want anyone to reach out to me. I have been silently suffering for 4 years after my dismissal and I am responsible for a family."

He writes explaining the reason for his decision to stage a protest: "The one who decides to protest in the street and raises the voice of his suffering is not looking to be a hero and does not intend to embarrass anyone, but this person has reached a stage where he cannot remain silent, unable to look his children in the eyes because he can't meet the most basic requirements of living. I don't ask for sympathy."

On the other side, social media outlets are circulating another voice message of a head of another family, who was dismissed from his work at the Ministry of Education also in 2011, explaining the details of his long and painful suffering after his dismissal and the debts accumulated owed to the bank and the Ministry of Electricity and his inability to provide a living for his family. This citizen painfully appealed to be returned to his job. He does not want charity from anyone, he only wants his right to an honorable job."

Another voice message from a retired citizen is being circulated in which he is complaining about the destruction of the country's marine environment and fisheries and his inability to make a living from the sea. The man says: "We are a people getting by making a living from the sea. Our pension is low and the sea is being destroyed. Where should we go? We can't get anything from the sea now. We don't have a job on land and you didn't leave us the sea. The sea is ruined. You took the land, just let us have the sea to make our living. We have been harmed. This is not acceptable."

Before them, Mohammed Khatem, a father of four children, who had been dismissed from the Ministry of Municipalities since 6 years ago, protested more than once in front of the government building under the sun, wearing a worn out garment that read, "I am a Bahraini citizen. I can't find food for my wife and children. Where shall I go O king?" Every time he protests the authorities answer quickly by arresting him.

Twitter is the only platform left for Khatem to express his sufferings. He tells us that he searched for jobs everywhere but couldn't find one. He also confirms that his living situation is extremely deteriorating, and that he can no longer provide food and clothes for his children. He has no money left to spend. He only had this option, which is to take to the streets holding a banner, saying that he won't return until officials find him a solution.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what is posted every day on social media outlets. No one answers these people or looks at them, as if they were nobody. On the other hand, the Ministry of Education and official Bahraini companies such as Bapco are racing to publish their advertisements for job opportunities in their sectors, but not for Bahrainis. They publish their ads in the Jordanian, Filipino and Sri Lankan media. There are no job opportunities for Bahrainis; however, there are many open for non-Bahrainis and foreigners. "Do I and other Bahraini citizens not have the priority to secure these jobs over Filipinos and Sri Lankans, Bapco? Should we change our nationality so that you could love us? Your game has been exposed," Abdulimam stressed. 

Arabic Version