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Democracy Is Coming To Bahrain  
User currently offlineEg777er From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 1837 posts, RR: 14
Posted (11 years 11 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 1259 times:

Today, Bahrainis will go to the polls in the first parliamentary elections for 30 years. All members of the population over the age of 21 are allowed to vote. They will be electing 40 members of a parliament, with an appointed 'second house' of another 40 members.

The New York Times has a very good article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/24/international/middleeast/24BAHR.html.

Personally, as an Englishman living in Bahrain, I've very proud of the progress that has been made since the dark days of 1995-1996 with the civil disturbances. The people of this marvellous little island have siezed the oppourtunity to make a differnce for future generations.

All hail the newest Persian Gulf democracy! (Something we need a lot more of!)

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTwaneedsnohelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (11 years 11 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1229 times:

Funny the first country to run out of oil is the first to embrace democracy.

Hmmm..

TNNH


User currently offlineQatarAirways From Qatar, joined Sep 2008, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (11 years 11 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1170 times:

Eg777er,

Congratulations! Are you in Bahrain now?


"Funny the first country to run out of oil is the first to embrace democracy."

TNNH, that statement shows your complete lack of knowledge of the situation. Bahrain had democratically elected officials since 1920 where women were allowed to vote, at that time I can recall several western nations that didn't give women the right to vote. In 1970 they had a parliament at the time when the oil industry was booming. Nowadays they are expected to have new oil and gas discoveries especially in some teritories which have been rightly named theirs after the ICJ hearings so no they are not running out of oil. Bahrain's economy is also booming and un-employment is getting under control, the people seem more and more happy about their country than every before.

I also see no correlation between democracy and oil/gas. Look at Qatar for example with the second largest natural gas reserves in the world, increasing oil reserves (after recent discoveries), we will be the richest nation per capita in two years time and this year the non-oil sector contributed the highest percentage of the GDP since oil was discovered and yet we will be the next to embrace democracy in the region after Bahrain. In fact our new parliament is set to go into operation next year at the same time as our new constition which includes: Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Association, Freedom of Worship etc....

Bahrain is taking a step in the right direction, the leadership is forward thinking and just ask Eg777er (who I consider much more knowledgable about the Gulf than you) about the developments in Bahrain.

The Bahrain and Qatar examples are perfect to back up my theory which I presented on the board here with much critiscm that no one should force democracy into the region and instead let evolution take its course.

TNNH, Imagine I fly over to visit your dorm. As I am walking through I say "I hate the decor have a re-design, the lighting is terrible change it, the security is not tight enough do some thing about, your room is messy tidy it up, you drink too much try to get a long with a little less" how would you feel?



User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 3, posted (11 years 11 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1169 times:

Not really fair TNNH. Bahrain has never been particularly rich in oil, but along with Dubai has been preparing for a life after the oil runs out for some time - particularly in the development of tourism. Here is an article you might find interesting. It is over a year old now, but outlines the Sheikh's plans which are now being delivered. It is something to be applauded, not ridiculed even though I'm sure you didn't mean it that way.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;$sessionid$TZSWTYXCQFCPXQFIQMGSFF4AVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2001/07/22/wbar22.xml



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineEg777er From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 1837 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (11 years 11 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 1162 times:

Aside from TNNH's asinine comment, good responses.

Qatar, no I'm not in Bahrain now but will be in about a month or two. My family is actually in Dubai at the moment, playing golf (without me  Sad). Apparently the weather is almost perfect.

Banco, that was a very good article and I remember reading it. Despite the protests of the opposition, the election will be good for Bahrain....after all, it's progress and that can only be "A Good Thing"TM.! The Opposition are mainly upset as they have been marginalised. They are seen as extremists, with policies such as the "Islamicalisation" of public life - a demand that is not viable based on Bahrain's open, tolerant society.

Things are looking good for Bahrain....growth last year was 4.8% and with new projects such as the Durrat Al Bahrain, Formula 1, Amwaj Islands, Hawar Projects, Bahrain Financial Harbour and some Airport expansion, the future is looking bright.

All we've got to do is sort out Gulf Air, and then we'll be set!


User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5644 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (11 years 11 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 1150 times:

Things are looking good for Bahrain....growth last year was 4.8% and with new projects such as the Durrat Al Bahrain, Formula 1, Amwaj Islands, Hawar Projects, Bahrain Financial Harbour and some Airport expansion, the future is looking bright.

I would hope so, but Bahrain (and Qatar) is likely to face difficult times if and when Shitty Arabia explodes. A Taliban-style fundamentalist regime in Riyadh is not likely to look kindly on a democratic open society in its tiny neighbors.



"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
User currently offlineEg777er From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 1837 posts, RR: 14
Reply 6, posted (11 years 11 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 1145 times:

nah........the US would never let that happen!

Bahrain is the closest bar to the thirstiest nation in the world....can't see the Saudi's giving that up easily!


User currently offlineUdo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (11 years 11 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 1139 times:

So, then it's time for the US to run of oil as well...


Regards
Udo


User currently offlineRai From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (11 years 11 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 1135 times:

So, then it's time for the US to run of oil as well...


Regards
Udo


Uhhh...what do you mean? Are you trying to be funny?


User currently offlineUdo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (11 years 11 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 1131 times:

I just mean some Florida voters who were cheated...


Regards
Udo


User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (11 years 11 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 1128 times:

Whats the status on voting rights in Dubai?


User currently offlineRai From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (11 years 11 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 1124 times:

Then why do you mention oil?

User currently offlineQatarAirways From Qatar, joined Sep 2008, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (11 years 11 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 1121 times:

Jaysit,

Even though Dubai and the UAE are traditionally viewed as the most progressive nation in the Gulf, they are progressive in their economic policies but politically there hasn't been much if any progress in Democracy and such.

Some of you also might be surprised that Saudi Arabia is advancing in the areas of personal freedoms and human rights. In my last visit to Riyadh this year, western woman weren't covering their heads (as was the situation a few years back), television censorship has been reduced, the religious police were getting quite rare and I didn't see them shout at people who didn't go to prayer (as was the case about 10 years ago).

Kuwait used to be a very open and democratic society in the 60's and 70's but a lot has changed after the Gulf War.

Eg777er,

Weather has been nice here in Doha too too bad I am leaving in a few days  Sad

Rai,

It was hard to understand what Udo was trying to say at first but if you look at TNNH's reply you will understand what he said.



User currently offlineMarco From United Arab Emirates, joined Jul 2000, 4169 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (11 years 11 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 1116 times:

Dubai doesn't have elections yet, it's still a sheikhdom. In terms of democratic progress, Dubai is probably behind both Bahrain and Kuwait (national women are given more freedom in Kuwait believe it or not).

I'm glad for these Arabian nations, hopefully, they will join the rest of the world and turn to democracy.



Proud to be an Assyrian!
User currently offlineLOT767-300ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (11 years 11 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 1106 times:

" just mean some Florida voters who were cheated..."

Cheated by the Democrats who made the ballots? LOL


User currently offlineRyanb741 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 3221 posts, RR: 15
Reply 15, posted (11 years 11 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 1105 times:

I used to live in Bahrain, and our next door neighbour was the ruler's brother who had a gold plated Rolls Royce!

By the way, is the British Club still going strong? We used to virtually live in that place.



I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
User currently offlineEg777er From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 1837 posts, RR: 14
Reply 16, posted (11 years 11 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 1096 times:

Absolutely........along with the Dilmun Club, Bahrain Rugby Club, Marina Club, Yacht Club, Golf Club(s), Country Club etc. (Although the Rugby and Yacht Clubs have had some trouble with their finances recently...)

Keep going to back to the Brit Club though....purely becuase of the massive photo of you-know-what in the Concorde Restaurant.........


Also, in car terms, the Crown Prince has a Maclaren F1. Very nice when it overtakes you on the Corniche......!


User currently offlineTwaneedsnohelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (11 years 10 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1062 times:

QatarAirways:
TNNH, that statement shows your complete lack of knowledge of the situation. Bahrain had democratically elected officials since 1920 where women were allowed to vote,

Oh please. On Thursday October 24, 2002, was the first time ever Bahrianis voted for a parliament that will, get to share some decision-making with Bahrain's king, in this case the progressive Sheik Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa.
This is the first election ever in the Arab gulf region where women were allowed to run and vote.

Bahrain is unique. It is progressive. It is because it will be the first gulf state to run out of oil. Bahrain's young king - unlike the Saudis, Qataris, or the UAE has gone to extraordinary lengths to plant the first seeds of democracy in his tiny island nation in part to end the country's terribly legacy of Sunni-Shiite tension.

The King has invited exiles home, loosened reins on the press and repealed laws permitting arbitrary arrests. In an even more extraordinary move, the Kings wife campaigned for women to go out and vote. This is UNPRECEDENTED in this region of the Arab world.

Guess what? You can bet everyones watching. This election was not about empowering a new batch of lawmakers - it was about empowering a new batch of Arabs - a batch of Arabs confronting the forces that created and produced 9/11.

This was an important election for America too. A good experiment for what could possibly occur in Iraq. Similar situations Iraq and Bahrain: countries with Shiite majorities, which have been economically deprived, and Sunni minorities, which have always controlled the levers of power.

Democracy never worked in the Arab world for tons of reasons- one of them because of the feeling that if one's tribe or religious community was not in power, it would lose everything — so no rotation in power could be tolerated.

We need that to change. Now. That is in America's interest - and in the Arab's.

TNNH


User currently offlineKHI747 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 1615 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (11 years 10 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1055 times:

Its always been my favorite place in the Khaleej.....i will inshallah visit Bahrain again in March.
Eg777er yeah he does have a Mclaren....i have a few friends from the Khalifa family and they told me about his McLaren.


User currently offlineEg777er From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 1837 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (11 years 10 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1049 times:

They're building new stuff at the Airport as well........$115m worth of it.......



A VISION OF THE FUTURE

By RICHARD MOORE

MANAMA

A $115 million (BD43.47m) business and leisure complex is to be built at Bahrain International Airport.

It will create about 1,000 new jobs, mostly for Bahrainis, Transportation Minister Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said yesterday.

He signed a letter of intent with Optimum Development chairman Dr Abdullatif Al Khaja at Civil Aviation Affairs headquarters.

The Paris-based company, which has a regional office in the Sheraton Commercial Centre, will oversee the project and work could begin by January.

Its subsidiary, Europtima Rome, has provided the architectural blueprints.

The five-storey structure will be located in the current airport parking area between Gulf Air headquarters and the passenger terminal.

more from http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/Articles.asp?Article=35796&Sn=BNEW





User currently offlineAirmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 377 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1027 times:

The Islamic parties won big, surprising many, just like they did in Pakistan. Now what?


.....up there with the best!
User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5644 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1017 times:

The Islamic parties won big, surprising many, just like they did in Pakistan. Now what?

The old joke about voting in Islamic countries is that they involve one man, one vote, one time - in other words, a free vote is likely to result in the election of Islamic fundamentalists, whose first order of business is ensuring that there won't be any more free votes. Let's hope that Bahrain and Pakistan prove this wrong.



"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
User currently offlineEg777er From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 1837 posts, RR: 14
Reply 22, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 1007 times:

Excellent Op/Ed. piece in the New York Times by Thomas L. Friedman:

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/30/opinion/30FRIE.html

Recognises that nothings perfect, but the Bahrain way is the way for the rest of the Arabs to go.


User currently offlineTwaneedsnohelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 1005 times:

Thomas L. Friedman  Big thumbs up Right on the mark!

TNNH


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