Bahrain: One-Woman Demo!

This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011.

Since the uprisings started around the Arab world, we have become accustomed to seeing the image of thousands of protesters taking to the squares and streets.

Phrases like Million Man March have been added to the dictionary, and scenes like the one below have become symbols of the “Arab Spring”.

Mass rally in Tahrir square, Cairo by Nameer Galal (25/11/2011). Copyright Demotix.

However, it takes extra courage to be part of smaller protests, where there are fewer people to defend each other and less media to report a possible crackdown. So what about a single protester conducting a sit-in on her own, like the one in this image?

Zainab Alkhawaja outside the Financial Harbor in Manama, Bahrain (21/4/2012). Image by Twitter user @Kareemasaeed.

Zainab Alkhawaja is seen in the above image protesting on her own on April 21, outside the Financial Harbor in Manama, the Bahraini capital. Her father, Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, is a prominent human rights activist who was arrested on April 9, 2011 and sentenced two months later, along with other opposition leaders, to life imprisonment. He has been on hunger strike since February 8, 2012 to draw attention to his detention and mistreatment, and recently netizens around the world expressed their great concern over his deteriorating state.

Zainab, who tweets as @angryarabiya, has been detained since yesterday. Her sister Maryam AlKhawaja reports that she has refused to go to the public prosecution. It is worth mentioning that this was not Zainab's first arrest, nor the first time she stood her ground alone.

I'm still wondering how she has such courage, but I guess nothing can answer my question better than what she has written as her Twitter bio:

When ur in chains, living with no dignity or rights, bowing to criminal dictators, the first step is to forget ur fear & realize that its ur right.. to be angry

This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011.


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