Tuesday, March 29, 2011

From Spain to Bahrain - Two Old Fools Shed Tears

by Victoria Twead

What a sad month... As you all know, Joe and I left our beloved Spanish village to work in the Middle East for one year, teaching at an International school. Many people had hardly heard of the Kingdom of Bahrain, but then, on Valentine’s Day it catapulted to top BBC and CNN news topics.

I’m just an expat, and would never presume to pass an opinion on the politics of Bahrain. Forgive me if I over-simplify matters; this is just how one old fool outsider understands it. All I know is that Joe and I have grown really fond of this little island, and the events of the past month have really shaken us.

The Muslim community in Bahrain is either Sunni or Shi'ite and most of the time they co-exist very happily. For instance, our school is Sunni owned but the Muslim pupils and staff are a mixture of Sunni and Shi'ite. This Sunni/Shi'ite mix usually poses no problem in Bahrain. However, the majority of the population is Shi’ite and unhappy that the Government is largely Sunni, arguing that the Sunnis get the best jobs and preferential treatment. Small protests flare up sometimes, with tyre-burning being the most common occurrence. (Now I understand those black, doughnut-shaped stains on the road!)...

Read more at www.expatfocus.com/victoria-twead-140311

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