Bahrain: Food, Money and Traffic

Bahraini bloggers are sticking to the important subjects this week: food, money and traffic congestion.

But we start with a painting by Bashayer, who has a blog called Bashayer Art:


The art of cooking
Reeshiez explains why she has a cooking blog:

If you knew me, you'd be surprised that I started a cooking blog. Although I love cooking, I am more interested in politics, religion and current events. … So why a cooking blog? Well a cooking blog doesn't take much effort. You just post your recipes and thats about it. But
most importantly, cooking makes me happy. I see it as an outlet to life's frustrations. Whenever something is bothering me, be it personal or political, I start cooking something. Cooking is almost magical – You take a bunch of ingredients, put them together and then end up with something delicious and satisfying. If someone enjoys a dish I made or a recipe I gave them, then I feel happy and satisfied. I also love listening to people's ideas on how to improve a recipe and make it even better. I love how recipes can become personal – with each cook adding a special something that makes a recipe uniquely their own. I hope you enjoy my recipes and please feel free to send me some of your own!

Naz, a Bahraini student in Melbourne, also has cooking on her mind as she writes an open letter to her neighbours:

Is it Ramadhan already? Last week I suffered the taunting and delicious samboosa cooking fumes that you sent up my window, for a whole week, every night at midnight. … Right now I would like to not only thank the mystery chef for sending me a smell I so dearly missed, hitting me with waves of nostalgia, but I would also like to reprimand them for the very same reason. It is a beautifully cruel thing you are doing. Getting my stomach to rumble with hunger even though I’ve just had dinner. … But to take it another step further, and to start cooking ramadhan kebabs?? Now that’s just playing dirty. So dear mystery chef, if you happen to read this, and feel sorry for me, and suddenly get the urge to feed this poor international student who loves food just as much (if not even more than) her boyfriend, then please feel free to do so.

Food for thought
Gardens of Sand is another Bahraini studying abroad, in the States. She tells us about something that made her stop and think in her economics class:

Dr. C was pontificating on how non-economists wrongly view the world through pessimistic eyes and how we economists being the wiser need to dispel the misconceptions. For example he says, most people are negatively biased towards immigration. They think it’s the worst thing that can happen to their country. They blame the foreigners. Everyone blames the foreigners. No jobs, it is the foreigners’ fault. High crime, it is the foreigners’ fault. Inflation, foreigners’ fault. Failing education and health systems, yup you guess it, foreigners’ fault. … Foreigners are always to blame yet who those foreigners are depends from one country to another. One thing the countries have in common: IT IS NEVER THE LOCALS’ FAULT! … In the USA, people are freaking about the influx of the Mexicans. The Mexicans meanwhile are going crazy trying to stop the Guatemalans from illegally entering Mexico! An Indian newspaper lamented the influx of Bangladeshi immigrants to India. Apparently they are lowering the standard of living in India and taking away all the jobs! Upon hearing the last statement I burst out laughing. How many times did I hear Wonderlandians [Bahrainis] complain about the Indians taking all the jobs and driving the wages down….aaaaah sweet justice!

Paying for the privilege
Jaafar Salman is also thinking about economics:

مدرسة خاصة , مستشفى خاص , مدرس خصوصي , هذه من الصطلحات المتدوالة بشكل يومي في البحرين , فحياتنا تتجه تدريجيا نحو ( الخاص ) , والخاص ببساطه هو مصطلح معبّر عن الخدمة المتلقاه لمن يستطيع ان يدفع والتي بدورها تختلف من ناحية الجودة عن تلك المتوفرة لمن لا يستطيع ان يدفع. … في بلدنا للاسف الحياة تتحول الى ثقافة الخاص وثقافة المال , فمن يملك يحصل ومن لا يملك لا يحصل , فانت هنا تقاس آدميتك على حسب المال الذي تملك فكلما كثر مالك كثر مقدار آدميتك , وربما انتهز الفرصة لالفت نظر الحكومة الموقرة الا ان في بعض البلدان مثل تايلند واندنوسيا هناك شوارع سريعه غير مزدحمة يستطيع المرء السير فيها باريحيه تامة بعد ان يدفع قليلا من المال فياحبذا لو تضع الحكومة الموقرة المشروع نصب اعينها وتبني طرق جديدة كما في تايلند لحل مشكلة الزحام , فحينها لن يستطيع احد ان يشتكي من الزحام , فالرد سيكون ادفع قليلا وانت تتخلص من الزحام

A private school, private hospital, private tutor – these are the main phrases being circulated among people on a daily basis in Bahrain. Our lives are gradually moving towards the private, which is simply a word which connotes a service rendered to whoever can pay, and which, in turn, is different in quality than that available for those who can't.. In our country, it is unfortunate that life is moving towards the cultures of private (services) and money. Those who own, get what they want, and those who don't, don't. Your humanity is measured according to the money you own. The more money you have, the higher the level of your humanity. I might take the opportunity to tell the government that in some countries like Thailand and Indonesia, there are highways, which are not congested, where people can drive at ease in return for paying a little money. I really hope that the government takes this project into consideration and builds new highways to put a solution to congestion. When that happens, no one will complain about traffic and the reply to them would be: Pay a little and get rid of congestion.

Birthday boy
Yagoob asks a question, and gives us a surprising answer:

What do all people born in Bahrain during the 20th Century until the mid-1960’s have in common? … They all have the same birthday!

If you want to know why that is the case, see here.

In fact Yagoob's blog celebrated its first birthday this week. Yagoob has taken a new direction, by starting vlogging – and he's encouraging other Bahraini bloggers to do the same.

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