February 02, 2006

a death in Sitra

While our “parliamentarians” were busy entertaining themselves with the news on the Danish front, the very first day of the Hijri year broke a heartbreaking tragedy to a Bahraini family. Their young daughter of 13 years has died electrocuted. Fatima Jaffar, who went to the washroom shortly after midnight on Tuesday night, was found by her mother lying on the floor fifteen minutes later, but was still breathing. A relative called for an ambulance which took too long to arrive, and when it finally did, it was too late to save the young girl’s life.

A tragic accident? An accident it is not.

Fatima’s mother told Al-Wasat reporter that her sons and daughters had suffered frequent electric shocks in the past due to the wearing-off and the bad shape of the electrical wirings in their house. The family didn’t have the money for electrical repairs, as the father had a disability. The mother said she always hoped and prayed that nothing sinister will happen before help arrive. But help didn’t arrive and a sinister thing did. Al-Wasat reporter who printed the story in the lower corner of the first page - an upper corner headline was about the upcoming IPO in Al-Salam Bank- said the family’s home in Abu-alaysh village in Sitra was a wreck of a house.

And perhaps Sitra explains it all; an island hard hit by successful exclusionary policy, that almost guaranteed that this island, brimming with poverty, misery and crammed humanity as it is, saw nothing of oil wealth over decades, in good surplus years or bad. But who really knows of an island so neglected, it has no public transport service for its 60,000 inhabitants? Who whould care enough about Sitra to hear the pleas of Fatima’s mother before it was too late? A government busy redressing Sitra’s wrong sectarian imbalance with gradual ethnic in-sourcing? A pseudo-political class busy angling for an election year? Or a clerical establishment with more immediate concern for a cover on every girl’s head rather than a safe ceiling over her family?

" أحد يعرف رخيوت وحوف؟

فما تلك من الأفلاك السيارة والمكتشفات

ولكن وطنا عربيا

مملكة للجوع والأوبئة الجلدية

وللثورة أيضا"

مظفر النواب


At 10:54 AM, Blogger Abdulhadi Khalaf said...

It is distressing.
Fatima should not have died. Hers is another version of many distressing stories.
What price did a barrel of oil fetch on the day Fatima died?

Modhaffar al-Nawwab could be right.

At 4:03 PM, Blogger SillyBahrainiGirl said...

Once again you have hit the nail on the head and ventured where many have not gone before.

Fatima did not deserve to die. I wonder whether her home was on the list of dilapedated homes for renovation as part of His Majesty's renovation scheme - remember that one, the one municipal councillors debated for way too long, it got really boring after some time ?

At 9:19 PM, Blogger Gardens of Sand said...

This is just one more example of the many injustices and 'things gone wrong' in Bahrain. In all these grand schemes our country seems hell-bent on doing, grand prix, financial harbor, etc, where does improving the lives of Bahrainis figure into all of it?? The answer: it doesn't. Who cares if Fatima is now dead? Who cares that 60,000 are without public transportation? Who care if Bahrain is brimming with unemployment and poverty. As long as the people have their cell phones, malls and coffeeshops, and the government has its grand plans for Bahrain, very few really care.

At 4:22 PM, Blogger MR said...

SBG, the family was on the waitinig list for that makramah, and waiting it did.

The reporter who broke the story followed with a note the following day to say that -apart from two charity donors, he received no call from any official organ, not even from the housing ministry.

At 7:58 PM, Blogger SillyBahrainiGirl said...

Yes.. indeed.. what is the point of the makrama when it comes a bit too late?

Oops.. I really am sorry. I don't mean to sound ungrateful.. but the scope of poverty in what is supposedly an "oil-rich" KINGDOM, is appalling.

At 12:19 PM, Blogger jaffar Al-Omran said...

what about all the money spent here and there on endless occasions, social ones? where is the charity fund? why the scapegoat should always be the government.

At 12:09 AM, Blogger MR said...

Thanks for passing by, Jaffar. As for scapegoating the govt, العتب على قدر المحبة
Or in this case, proportional to the oil revenues they administer and distribute on our behalf.

At 7:08 PM, Blogger jaffar Al-Omran said...

or may be proportional to the 20 % (khums)sent to Iran. Also, it may be proportional to the millions spent on food during the last 10 days.

thank you


Post a Comment

<< Home