The battle for culture, the conquest of space, the re-interpretation of heritage and the competition for writing Bahrain’s collective memory are well under way in an island roughly half the size of New York City.
In the Gulf, it is all too easy to succumb to the temptation of catering to the population’s excessive tendency to consume as opposed to engaging in innovative entrepreneurship with an exportable added value.
Although conservatives within the ruling establishment will go to considerable lengths to ensure Shiite political movements are kept at bay, expect them to be equally relentless in ensuring an uncontested domination over its core Sunni constituency.
Given the country’s regressive welfare system and the absence of a progressive income tax regime, households on the top of the income ladder who can afford to consume more end up benefiting disproportionately.
Bahrainis of all
political affiliations waited in tense anticipation as rumours
of a Saudi – Bahraini union circulated days before the Gulf leaders
convened in Riyadh for the Gulf Cooperation Council summit on May 14th,
2012. The summit fell short of expectations however.
Scrambling to adjust to the new reality of the
have fallen back on Orientalist stereotypes. Portraying the Arab peoples as unready for democracy, the sole goal of these remaining regimes is to prolong their people's subjugation.
Rather than calling upon the United States and other western powers to abandon the Bahraini leadership at this time, we should instead be calling upon them to increase their ever-so vital support of the kingdom’s reformists through a series of different aid and development packages.