Bahrain was enveloped in a heavy dust storm on Thursday night, the beginning of the weekend, and TechZ wrote about getting caught in it:
I couldn’t see anything ahead, other than for the windshield and my wipers. Headlights were useless in this much sand and rain drops. I had to wait till the wind died down just enough to make out the road ahead of me and crawl at a few km/h home bound.
Manaf Almuhandis thinks he should have had advance notice, given his family connections:
Ironic that it catches us by surprise since my father is a meteorologist. He hardly ever warns us for some reason.
Another storm has taken over Bahrain's cyberspace this week – a debate about a branch of the American chain Hooters, known for its scantily clad waitresses, being opened in Dubai. According to Mahmood:
The issue…is the continuing disappearance of the Arab and Muslim culture from that thriving city, a fact which has been quite evident for some time. If they understand and appreciate this state of affairs, then all power to them. I hope they make their residents and visitors happy. But is there space for both to coexist?
Mahmood's visitors have focused more on whether Hooters per se is degrading to women everywhere. One of them, Zara, decided to state her position on her own blog, listing her objections:
1. It's sexist
2. It objectifies women (turns them into a product) to sell other products to men:
3. It reinforces already existing mythological stereotypes about women
4. It runs an authoritarian workplace
I would never advocate banning Hooters as a means to challenge the problems it perpetuates. But challenging what Hooters stands for and whether or not it is acceptable, for me is part of the wider struggle for women's rights, human rights, and dignity, and against sexism and economic exploitation.
Finally, bint battuta finds it ironic that despite being able to speak Arabic, she is sometimes at a disadvantage because there are some situations in Bahrain where only Hindi will do:
This is the second time this week that I have had to ask a Bahraini friend to speak Hindi to someone on my behalf, and I find it ironic for two reasons. First of all, even though I can speak Arabic (and English, obviously) there are still situations here in which I can't manage by myself. Secondly, many Bahrainis are shocked that I don't speak Hindi, because I have Indian roots; I have to explain that although I was born in India, I grew up in Britain, and in addition my family in India are not Hindi speakers, as they are from the south. … I just wonder how Bahrainis must feel, having to manage in English and Hindi and goodness knows what other languages. Bahrainis are definitely more culturally open than nationals of other Gulf countries, and many of them speak a number of other languages without feeling they are compromising or losing their own culture. But it still feels weird to me to have to ask Bahraini friends to speak Hindi on my behalf!
That's all from Bahrain this week, so goodbye – or should we say phir milenge…