Saturday, February 19, 2011

Eyewitness Report from Friends in Bahrain

This report just came in by email from our Australian friends, who've lived in Bahrain for nearly a dozen years, and who are not politically partial to one side or the other (I'm underlining some key points):

A great day in Bahrain!
Thank you everyone for praying, it has been a wonderful afternoon here in Bahrain. The Army, and then the Police, withdrew from the Pearl Roundabout. Thousands of Bahrainis poured into the area and have now set up camp.
I went down there with Aisha and Peter to see democracy in action. It is a joyful, orderly, peaceful group. The crowd is organised into men's and women's sections, people are setting up tents to stay the night, and the rubbish is even being cleaned up.
It was a moving and profound privilege to be part of a group that has stood resolute in the face of overwhelming aggression. I hope the kids will remember it forever.
You might remember I asked you to pray for something we could do, something the kids could do. One thing we can do is tell the truth. Here is what Aisha has written based on her observations:
"Bahrainis are peaceful
Hi, I live in Bahrain but come from Australia. Tonight I went to see the ‘protests’ at the Pearl Roundabout, which was more like a celebration.
The police had gone and the tanks have given up. Probably because yesterday one police man threw down his gun and joined the protests.  The people here are very friendly and are trying to win peacefully.The news may have told you some things but do not trust the news.
One man shared his story saying that he was put in jail, for 1 year and a half, for no reason and didn’t even get to go to court.  They don’t want this to happen to their children. Some have had no proper education and can’t get a job then get kicked out the country.  Another lady made a poster in English saying: "First they ignore us, then they laugh at us, then they fight us and finally we win."
There are THOUSANDS of people there split into two groups, women and men. They plan to camp there until they get what they want. Peace.
Please don’t change what I have said we want people to Know the truth. Fwd this to everyone you know."


  1. This is awesome, Dr. W! Thanks for sharing. It is incredible what is happening in the Middle East right now. All of these protesters are incredibly brave and are truly an inspiration. It certainly puts things in perspective for those of us who have enjoyed democratic freedoms our entire lives. I imagine given your ties to Bahrain, you are glued to news reports right now.

  2. Yes, I've been following the reports from Egypt and Bahrain very closely. I was supposed to go to Egypt in early May on a service-learning trip with students and another faculty member, so the events there were also quite personal. And the Bahrain news is incredibly personal. It's such a small country that we've been to nearly all the sites that are on TV.