Bahrain: Swine Flu Arrives

Earlier this week the first case of the new H1N1 flu, or swine flu, was confirmed in Bahrain, arriving with a Bahraini student who had been in New York. As in other parts of the Arab world, however, the threat of swine flu has taken on political and religious ramifications, with Bahrain's MPs calling for a ban on pork. Some bloggers are not impressed.

The Dude says:


Swine flu. Swine bloody flu. The man-made disease that has nothing to do with bloody swine has arrived on our sunny shores, despite parliament’s ridiculous attempt to prevent it from doing so by banning pork. Hurrah!

It was bound to happen. Not just because of the utter ignorance of our elected peers who were likely delighted by the emergence of this new strain of evil, but because Bahrain is a prime candidate for such a disease – especially now that students are coming home from all across the world for the dreaded summer.

If parliament really cared, they might have done a bit of reading on the subject. Instead of trying to use the panic to pass pointless legislation, which they are guilty of doing, they might have been better served trying to limit the influx of US Military into our Kingdom. That there have been no cases, reported as yet, amongst the servicemen and women in Bahrain does not mean that it won’t happen. Look at Kuwait, with 18 or so sniffly new cases. We're hosting an aircraft carrier. There is a lot of room for sniffles to hide on board a ship bigger than Manama. The families of military personnel are set to flood back into Bahrain, bringing with them their savings, pets, thoughts, and quite possibly, disease. But our guardians, the mighty Members o’ Parliament think it wiser to prevent our damnation instead of protecting our health.

Ammaro has written a satirical tale called “Sweating Like a Pig”. We join the protagonist Ahmed halfway through the story, as he goes to the parliament to request the help of the MPs in relieving an intense heatwave:

He stood in the middle of the hall, and pleaded to them: “Oh great MPs, we have a situation on our hands. The temperature of Bahrain is rising. Just an hour ago, I noticed the temperature at 53 degrees [127 Fahrenheit] in my car, and it only seems to have gone up since then. This heat is causing damage to our infrastructure, causing problems to our telecom systems that cannot handle these temperatures, and affecting our people, turning them into zombie-like mobs who cannot think. I plea with you to solve this problem.”

One of the MPs stood up and said; “We already know the reason for the problem. It is because of the 1, 2 and 3 star hotels serving alcohol.”

“What!?” Ahmed said, “How the hell does that contribute to temperature change?!”

“Oh unwise one,” the MP continued, “God does not like these petty hotels serving the forbidden drink, therefore he has condemned us to a sample of hell”

Ahmed: “Umm, and what about the 4 and 5 star hotels then?”

MP: “You ask too many questions! Don't question the wisdom of the mighty MPs! We also need to make sure the pork is banned, otherwise our land will be cursed for ever!”

To read the rest the story (including Ahmed’s discovery of some “pig-zombies”), see here.

We end with a question by Silly Bahraini Girl:

اذا الخنزير حرام وانفلونزا الخنازير تنتقل من الخنزير إلى الإنسان، فهل انفلونزا الخنازير حرام أم حلال؟؟
If pigs are haram, and swine flu is transmitted from pigs to humans, is swine flu haram or halal??

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