Editorial: Bahrain in December 2022: The Allegiance of Expats and Discontent of Citizens
2022-12-20 - 2:37 p
Bahrain Mirror (exclusive): It is indeed paradoxical that expatriates in Bahrain celebrate its National Day that marks the king's accession to power, which the ruling family deems an alternative to Independence Day, while most citizens celebrate Martyrs' Day. By martyrs, we mean the martyrs who called for freedom and dignity for the people and were killed by the regime's firearms, whips and brutality.
Foreigners residing in the country are aware that the regime lacks popularity among the people, and that there is internal discontent plaguing the kingdom. These foreigners almost do not believe what is happening. The regime prefers them over the people of the country, and provides them with facilitations for their employment and livelihoods. Even those who violate residence laws are offered solutions, so that they could become legal workers. They are even trained with amounts paid by companies to the Tamkeen Labor Fund.
For this and a plethora of other reasons, foreign groups proudly display patriotism and wave the national flag. As for Bahraini citizens, they opt to celebrate Martyrs' Day because they simply gave their lives and blood in order to change this awful reality, and realize the dream of a homeland of justice, equality, and an Arab-Islamic identity that champions the causes of the whole nation, especially the Palestinian cause.
The only shared memory between the people and the government is that of cruelty, pain and deprivation. The government celebrates the anniversary of its invasion and takeover of the seat of power, while the people celebrate their sacrifices, martyrs and true leaders such as the late Sheikh Abdul Amir Al-Jamri.
The people celebrate by insistently voicing their demands, and by raising pictures of martyrs and detained leaders, while the government celebrates by spending millions on lavish festivities, distributing gifts exclusively to officers and executioners, as well as medals and awards. All of this takes place to achieve an absent popular legitimacy, which will not happen without meeting the demands of the people who are the source of powers, pursuant to the texts of all constitutions.