Thursday, April 28, 2011

Another Random Moment

I'm tracing a vivid memory as I stare out into the flickering dark waters.

The breeze laps at my neck and I suddenly feel a great void within me, as if I had misplaced something precious to me and I cannot seem to recall where I had last seen it.

The memory lingers, and then transforms into another.

I've been feeling misguided by my wanton for a familiar touch. For a whole month, my heart pumped liquid pain through my veins instead of blood.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Song For A Generation

If there is one song that captures the feeling, aspirations and fears of a generation of young, moderate Bahraini, it is the haunting and bittersweet “Rebellion” by Bahraini folk singer/songwriter Ala Ghawas.

As we live in extraordinary times and witness an era that has ravaged our humanity, our peace and our nation, the words that resonate with us are that which we hear so achingly sung by Ala in this song.The song is originally a very personal one to Ala. It is perhaps his most personal of all his songs. It tells of his heartbreak at losing a dear part of him, a close friend, to cultural and social prejudices.

Let’s take a closer look at the lyrics of “Rebellion”, which starts with:

Father, I’m running through the fire

I don’t want to belong, I just need a place to admire

Which makes me think of how our Bahrain, the one we were all used to, before the recent tragic events that unfolded. It’s a cry for help, for someone to hear us, help us. It evokes an image of our country on fire, us running through trying to find salvation, our search for not a place to belong, but to embrace.

My friends are gone, one by one

To the fighting, they just can’t live without it

How many of us have lost friends because of what happened? Either because of our strong difference of opinions, or due to fear, or even a friend in one of those who had lost their lives?

And yet in spite of this bloodshed, we continue to fight each other. We continue to distance ourselves, as if fighting has become the only thing we know how to do, even though it was never in us before.

You know I’ve never lost the faith within

If God is with us, then who’s with them?

In the second line of this verse, we find perhaps one of the strongest statements ever put to song. “If God is with us, then who’s with them?” we all claim that god is with us and are sometimes blinded by faith so much that we forget the very basics of what makes us human.

Towards the end of the song, Ala spells out his guts, bears his soul out to us, and in those next few words, paints a picture of how perception, ideas and conflict can either break us or make us stronger.

I don’t wear the black

I don’t close my eyes and ears

To prove piety

I don’t grow my beard

I don’t preach slaughter

I don’t raise a sword for the lord

To show loyalty

And that’s what I see

What’s wrong with unity?

Indeed, what’s wrong with unity? If there is one thing we desperately need today it’s abandoning our own prejudices, religious phobias and piousness, and to remember why we were all here to begin with.

Friday, April 15, 2011


I never used words to hurt you

The way you used your burning gaze on me

To leave a gaping hole in my soul

It was only after thirty-six days that I found

The last memory we made

Fractured by your fall from grace

Would have been easier for you to drag me

Through the thorny sheets of your bed

Than to remove yourself from me