April 14, 2007

brick over blood

It was the penultimate insult. It took six years to spew out but it was finally hurled, for and behalf of the ruling circles of the land, by Khalifa al-Dhahrani, their favourite chum. The head of the minority-takes-more-seats-than-majority House of Deputies is proposing to compensate proprietors for properties affected during the Trouble years of the 90’s.

It was a strong enough jolt to spring a thus far sedated al-Wefaq into upright consciousness, with Mohammed al-Mez’el leading the charge. After all, this is a government about to set a milestone. A government rushing to make amends for damaged and burnt bricks but not for damaged and burnt lives. They couldn’t have managed a greater insult. A nation of families of the fallen, survivors of torture and returnees from long and dark years of exile was reduced to arsonists. A struggle era was reduced to a burnt tire.

Rhodesian MP’s rushed to back al-Dhahrani, and so did Rhodesian columnists. One of the latter revealed the motive behind the motion. “Criminals and terrorists” (of the other sect)were unduly rewarded by gaining their freedom in 2001. What did (Sunni) landlords who were on the side of law and unmitigated order gain in exchange?

Yet it was a high office first to use the C word. About five years ago, a group of former exiles met with an adviser to the King. One of them uttered the word compensation in passing. The adviser bristled. He won’t hear any of it. The higher-ups won’t entertain it for a moment. He wants the end of it. Victims of torture were repeatedly told the official line: that that was bygone era. Case closed. But here is Mr. Al-Dhahran, the government favourite chum and beneficiary, opening the books and gates again. Will Al-Wefaq and other civil rights groups capitalize on this official blunder?



Something never changes, House in or out.

Speaking of what appears to be less sedated al-Wefaq, here is another story worthy of a question period. Now that the PM has announced an increase in workers pension premiums to 18%. And to ensure that pension funds are there for their retirement time and ours, would any of their honourable MP’s care to ask Minister of Finance about why did the Undersecretary of Finance instruct Bahrain Development Bank (whose funds come in part from the two schemes of pension funds) to grant unsecured loan of BD 200,000 (two hundred thousands dinars) as urgent cash injection to Al-Watan newspaper two months ago? Why was the mandatory BDB Board approval of this transaction only secured after the fact?

At least to prove that they, unlike the BDB board, do make a difference.

6 Comments:

At 10:51 PM, Anonymous Cradle of Humanity said...

Very well said, and an enjoyable read!

 
At 2:57 PM, Blogger Abdulhadi Khalaf said...

The Foolish Friend

The Panchatantra

A king, while visiting his wives' apartments, took a monkey from a neighboring stable for a pet. He kept him constantly close at hand for his amusement, for as it is said, parrots, partridges, doves, rams, monkeys, and such creatures are a king's natural companions.

It goes without saying that the monkey, fed on the various dishes that the king gave him, grew large and was given respect by all who surrounded the king. Indeed, the king, due to his love and exceeding trust of the monkey, even gave him a sword to carry.

In the vicinity of the palace the king had a grove artfully planted with many trees of various sorts. Early in the springtime the king noticed how beautiful the grove was. Its blossoms exuded a magnificent fragrance, while swarms of bees sang praise to the god of love. Thus overcome by love, he entered the grove with his favorite wife. He ordered all his servants to wait for him at the entrance.

After having pleasantly strolling through and observing the grove, he grew tired and said to his monkey, "I want to sleep a little while in this arbor of flowers. Take care that nothing disturbs me!" Having said this, the king fell asleep.

Presently a bee, pursuing the aroma of the flowers, betel, and musk, flew up and lit on his head. Seeing this, the monkey thought angrily, "What is this? Am I to allow this common creature to bite the king before my very eyes?"

With that he proceeded to drive it away. However, in spite of the monkey's defense, the bee approached the king again and again. Finally, blinded by anger, the monkey drew his sword and struck down the bee with a single blow. However, the same blow also split the king's head.

The queen, who was sleeping next to the king jumped up in terror. Seeing the crime, she said, "Oh, oh, you foolish monkey! What have you done to the king who placed such trust in you?"

The monkey explained how it had happened, but thereafter he was shunned and scorned by everyone.
Thus it is said, "Do not choose a fool for a friend, for the king was killed by a monkey."

And I say, "It is better to have a clever enemy than a foolish friend."

Source: The Panchatantra, book 1, story 12.

http://www.rain.org/global-garden/folklore-gardening-stories-dec-2001.html

 
At 9:04 PM, Blogger MR said...

COH,
You're being gracious. Thanks for dropping by.

AbuRasool,
This Panchatantra tale begs a question: is the honourable monkey's reincarnation a successively progressive or regressive one?
Honoured to have you drop by.

 
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