Bahrain: Blame Ahmed Zainal!

The Blame Ahmed Zainal Facebook Page

Got anything to complain about in Bahrain? Disgruntled about something in your life? Look no further. Just Blame Ahmed Zainal! There's even a blog, a Facebook group dedicated to blaming the young Bahraini for any mishaps or unfortunes in the country and further afield and a Twitter hashtag!

Whoever said the Internet is only being used for activism in the Middle East. Here is a large online community having fun toying with online tools while being united in one mission – putting the blame on Ahmed Zainal for everything and anything under the sun.

How did all this start? According to the blog, set up by Bahraini blogger Ammaro:

Simple. Bahrain's Twitterers (is that a word?) decided to meet up for a geekup. Espalion Cafe, 7:30pm. Simple enough, yeah? Obviously since geeks are almost always guys and most girls are generally women who play with fluffy pencils and paint their nails pink, the geekup was a bunch of guys sitting around talking about IP addresses, hotspot sheild, rapidshare vs bittorrent, and streaming the whole thing live for the world to see via Ustream.

Over at Twitter, the conversation continued, with tweeps blaming Zainal for a variety of things. Ammaro explains:

And there it started… But accidentally, through just blaming Zainal, a whole family of people was involved in the blame, and suddenly…

He continues:

And so it took off… Within a couple of hours, it seemed everyone was blaming Ahmed Zainal, and with that, a load of stress and troubles was taken off their minds…

In a follow up post, Ammaro lists “some favourite random #BlameAhmedZainal's”. They include:

@ammar456: Dinosaurs died like 100 milion years ago #BlameAhmedZainal
@Lamya: Loool RT: @omar9944 CNN reports that George Bush #BlameAhmedZainal for 9/11
@ahmed2250: Twitter is distracting today because of all the #BlameAhmedZainal and for that I really #BlameAhmedZainal
@baderkamal: Global Warming = #BlameAhmedZainal

Over on Facebook, Yacoub Al-Slaise takes it a step further – and dubs this video. Click here for a laugh!

Ammaro too posts this video on YouTube, where he tells the world who to blame for any mishaps!

The Redbelt too exercises some liberty with this cartoon, which blames Ahmed Zainal:

The Redbelt's Blame Ahmed Zainal

Global Voices Online caught up with Ahmed Zainal to find out some more:

Q. Who is Ahmed Zainal? And what do you do?

I'm a Bahraini living in Bahrain. I work as a PR specialist at Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco). I'm also an electronic music artist and a social media addict.

Q. How do you feel about #BlameAhmedZainal? How has it affected you?

Let's just say I'm glad it died down lol! But in all seriousness I'm glad to have been a part of a meme that got a lot of people on twitter trying to trend. I always wanted to start one, but never thought I'd be in the centre of one! The funniest part was reading the results of a Google search on the hashtag… so many blames… -_-‘

Q. What are your online activities?

I tweet a lot. A LOT. Follow @ahmedzainal to see what I mean! I showcase my music on virb and Facebook. I'm online most of the time (be it on a computer or smartphone) and it has become an essential part of my daily routine.

Q. How has social networking impacted your life?

Not a day goes by without the urge to tell the world something; anything! Twitter and other social media tools have enabled us to do that. The world has become so much smaller.

Small world indeed! But remember, if your plans for a barbecue are ruined by the rain, if your car won't start on a day you are already late to work, if your boss is nasty to you or if your cat gets into a fight – all you have to do is #BlameAhmedZainal.


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