Bahraini Authorities Underestimate Lebanon's Pains after Explos by Sending "Fashionista" to Express Solidarity

2020-08-10 - 6:12 م

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The Kingdom of Bahrain has found no one but a boorish "Fashionista" to head a delegation to Lebanon to stand in solidarity with the civilian victims of Beirut's port explosion. Omar Farouq, a government-backed social media celebrity, stood to take self-portraits with the remains of the wreckage as if he were on a vacation. "I can't believe my eyes," he wrote in the Lebanese slang language.

In another video, he appeared asking the civil service personnel at a tourist facility to line up for a photo promising them with a reward of millions of viewers, "Come on, come on, let's take a photo. Millions will follow you."

His triviality led to an additional criticism from Bahraini social media activists who saw what he was doing as a dance on the pain of victims whose blood had not yet dried, while other missing persons were still being searched for under the rubble. This forced him to delete the photos and post an apology, claiming that he was not aware of the sensitivity of the issue.

*Omar Farouq: Photo from above rubble as a means of solidarity

Indeed, no one blames Omar Farouq. He is a sectarian and insensitive "Fashionista" who lacks conscience. He has previously called for crushing and killing peaceful protesters in Bahrain, as well as denying members of a whole sect scholarships. He insulted them in extreme racist rhetoric and sectarian hatred. He later apologized also under the pretext that he was young back then at the age of 17, but only after many demonstrators were actually repressed and killed.

The Royal Charity Foundation, the country's highest-ranking national charity, headed by the King's son Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the king's representative for charity and youth affairs, national security advisor and president of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, is the one to be blamed.

This comes as part of a strange approach which appeared in the state's stance since the early moments of Beirut's port explosion. Government pressure led the Bahraini Shura Council (appointed chamber in the Parliament) to withdraw a condolences letter it sent to the local media news outlets by the chairman of Shura Council, Ali Saleh Al-Saleh, following the blast that rocked Beirut's Port on Tuesday, August 4, 2020.

Two hours after the statement was sent, the Shura Council's Department of Relations and Media sent a note to the media, urging them not to publish the news sent concerning the condolences of the President of the Shura Council to Lebanon, without giving any explanation.

The Bahraini Foreign Ministry only wrote a brief statement and a phone call was made between the Bahraini Foreign Minister Abudlatif Al-Zayyani and his Lebanese counterpart, Sharbel Wehbe. Meanwhile, Bahrain has not published any condolence messages from the King of Bahrain, the Crown Prince or the Prime Minister. The House of Representatives  has also not issued any statement yet.

It is therefore unlikely that "Fashionista" Omar Farouq decided on his own to take these photos on the ruins of Beirut. He is just one of the government media arms the state uses to send its messages to those concerned. Just as he did in a series of #Omar-Experiments video reports in which he showed Bahrain's prisons and torture chambers, which are condemned by all international human rights organizations and reports, as villas and five-star hotels.

While France sent its president Emmanuel Macron to visit the explosion site, walk in the alleys of Beirut and meet the victims, Bahrain's "mission" was just a YouTuber "Fashionista", who is only good at showing beautiful photos of the ruins of the city. Even the amount of aid announced by Bahrain from the Bahrain Red Crescent is only 19,000 dinars (about US$50,000), which is not enough to build a modest housing unit in Bahrain.

In a video he recorded from Rafic Hariri Airport, Omar said "what a coincidence. This is our plane, check out who our neighbor is, Saudi Arabia. We are neighbors even in Lebanon." The cold-hearted "Fashionista" has done everything in Lebanon, except reflect a real message of support on the behalf of Bahrainis.

It's not Omar's fault that "he doesn't know how sensitive the issue is" as he said. The fault is in the government's approach in underestimating the Lebanese people's pains and calamity and settling accounts with an internal party not even at the right time. We also "can't believe our eyes". 

Arabic Version