British Writer Denied Entry to Bahrain: Highlighting How Paranoid & Unstable Al Khalifa’s Rule is

2015-05-14 - 1:56 ص

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Bahraini authorities denied British artist and writer of Lebanese origin, Tania El Khoury, entry to the country on Wednesday (May 6, 2015), who sought to visit the island kingdom for art research purposes.

El Khoury expressed her frustration and disappointment with the decision in an article she posted on her blog on Monday (May 11, 2015), as she stated: "Some individuals were sent back by Israeli border officers [upon] seeking entry into Palestine... I have been contemplating such scenes ever since I obtained British citizenship a few years back. For me, such "privilege" meant that I am more likely to be able to enter Palestine one day. Yet imagination turned reality, if at the hand of Arab border officers."

"I arrived at the Bahrain airport on the evening of Wednesday 6 May 2015. I smiled, evidenced that I'm an artist and PhD student visiting for only four days researching art in the Arab world and planning to see the national museum. I did not mention the name of my journalist friend who was imprisoned and tortured in Bahrain during the 2011 uprising against the authoritarian rule of the Al Khalifa regime. I did not confess to knowing that four years later, the specter of revolt still haunts the regime and the reality of resistance is lived everyday among many of its citizens. I calmly presented my British passport that officially allows its bearers a three-month stay in Bahrain. In return, I was presented with a simple response: no," she said.

The Lebanese-British writer also highlighted that it was "a rejection with no reasons given, despite being made to wait for 2 hours while they did their "security check." I later discovered that this check basically consisted of running an Internet search on the names of those trying to enter."

"I saw the look on their faces when they understood me as undesirable. They said I needed to leave on the next plane to Beirut, which was in 14 hours. Until then, they added, I should remain in the airport" El Khoury added, stressing that "the experience of course (...) pales in comparison to those that live the realities of authoritarian rule in Bahrain. Yet it highlights how paranoid and unstable Al Khalifa's rule is. While the power to deny me entry and deport me is rooted in nationalist and authoritarian principles, its deployment is premised on the reality of an uprising that brought the regime to the brink of collapse. It was this uprising that I sought to learn about in my visit to Bahrain. It was the reality of its persistence that was the basis of my refused entry."

Arabic Issue

التعليقات المنشورة لا تعبر بالضرورة عن رأي الموقع

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