Ruling Family in Bahrain Even Steals Cemeteries

2023-03-06 - 10:27 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Bahrain suffers from issues that are not quite similar to any of those found in other conflict zones in the world, as the ruling family has allowed itself to take control over everything, even endowments and cemeteries.

Two stories within one week about the theft of Shiite Islamic endowments by the country's ruling family; the first is the seizure of an endowment belonging to the Sheikh Saleh Mosque in Tubli and the second is the nationalization of a large land plot, on which a hospital was built with a low-cost lease contract with the Jaffaria endowments. 

The ownership of a private endowment for the historic Sheikh Saleh Mosque in Tubli was transferred to a member of the ruling family, after bulldozers demolished the mosque's historic endowment and its fence, which dates back more than 500 years.

Meanwhile, the government seized 4,689 square meters of land in Karzakan, by order of the Royal Court, which directly oversees all real estate transactions in Bahrain.

The government had signed a lease contract with the Jaffaria Endowments in 1986 to lease the land for an amount not exceeding 2000 dinars annually to build a hospital that serves the area, provided that the ownership of the building returns to the endowments after the end of the contract period. 

However, the contract expired and the ownership of the land returned to the Ministry of Health according to a decision by the Royal Court without the knowledge of the Jaffaria Endowments and without any financial return. 

Explaining the behavior of the ruling family, the political agent Prior wrote in the 1920s, "All members of the Al Khalifa consider themselves worthy, of their birth as Al Khalifa, to have a share of the plundering of Bahrain."

"They already own all the agricultural land on the islands, land that they have taken away from the Baharna and are draining all the money they can get, in addition to having fiefdoms with market value, and they have markets as well," he said. 

Nothing at all has changed even after hundred years later, members of the Al Khalifa family seized more lands including more than 11 Shia cemeteries, or parts of them.

Members of the family extended their influence over the cemetery of Sheikh Murshid in Al-Malikiyah, as well as the Al-Jufur cemetery in the same area. Others cut off parts of the southeast of the Saar cemetery and the cemetery in Karrana and sold them as housing vouchers, seizing parts of the Damistan cemetery. 

Parts of the Sadad and Al-Hemla cemeteries and parts of the Buri cemetery were also seized. Although the court issued a decision to return the land, it was not implemented. 

Some of the cemeteries that the ruling family stole were transferred to the Sunni Endowments Directorate by force; Sheikh Maytham Al-Bahrani cemetery in Mahooz and Al-Sada cemetery in Tubli were transferred to the Sunni Directorate, while the management of the Al-Khamis Mosque (the two-minaret scene) was transferred to the Ministry of Culture.

Even large parts of A'ali historic cemetery have been bulldozed to build palaces for members of the ruling family and housing projects for senior military and police officers. 

The sons of the ruling family are used to taking over any land they want, whether it be an orchard, endowment or even a cemetery, and what all these spaces have in common is that they belong to Shiite citizens or Shiite Islamic endowments.

Arabic Version