2022 Roundup Editorial: Harvesting Regret, Bahrain's World Cup Retrospective
2023-12-04 - 4:43 p
Bahrain Mirror (2022 Roundup): In the Bahraini reflection on the year 2022 and the World Cup, the harvest of fields unveils a disappointing reality in terms of competition, production, and development. Across these arenas, Bahrain finds itself devoid of any semblance of competitiveness, productivity, or progress. Instead, we witness a desolate landscape in every aspect.
The World Cup, a global football competition, serves as a platform for nations to showcase their developmental prowess and self-perception on the world stage. While neighboring Qatar was thriving and expanding, Bahrain appeared to diminish, oblivious to the fact that geography transcends disputes over small islands and extends into broader fields. We faded away while the world fell in love with Qatar.
Despite our geographical proximity to Qatar, our relationship is marked by distance in every aspect, or one can say animosity. Even this proximity, which should naturally bring benefits from neighboring resources, has only resulted in regrets, losses, and disappointments. Neither our newspapers nor our state officials have gained anything from this geographical proximity. Our tourist facilities suffer an economic downturn, and even our airspace and geography witness no substantial traffic except for lost fans sought after on social media for emotional compensation.
We, naively, sought absolution from the Pope under the auspices of public relations companies, anticipating forgiveness for sins of injustice, torture, theft, corruption, and the false appropriation of divine wealth. Instead, the Pope metaphorically slapped our left cheek, while Qatar submerged us in the brilliance of its stadiums, rendering our Vision 2030 evaporate under the kicks of the football world. Meanwhile, we continue indulging in childish games through a press that garners no respect, readership, or credibility.
Oh, the curse of geography! It exposes weakness, failure, and defeat until it infiltrates the strong ruling family's abode, instilling fear and shame that its supporters might incline toward fields rich in gas, oil, and World Cup arenas. Passports of employees and prominent loyalists are seized, threats loom over the lesser figures, and tribes are warned.
The gap has become an unbridgeable chasm, where even the famous slogan raised in the Pearl Roundabout, "Return to Zubarah; the visit has ended," loses its relevance. Not due to political impossibility or lack of political finesse, but because Zubarah is no longer a market but a playground. It's not a market where small tribes roam here and there but playgrounds of powerful nations that welcome or turn away whomever they wish.
The ruling family failed to grasp the lesson from its geographically small neighbor. The lesson is clear: do not be a suspended tail on the bodies of the strong, a small pocket in the attire of the mighty, a trivial item in the wallets of the wealthy, or the fool whose tongue is manipulated by manipulators against its own people in normalization agreements. Be distinct and draw others to you.
This is the harvest of our small island for the twelfth consecutive year - nothing but disappointment.