Thursday, February 24, 2011

@ Pearl

Everyone's been talking about Pearl roundabout - this is where the protests began and where they remain. It is now an amazingly organized sit-in, as people have set up tents, food stalls have sprung up and the rather large roundabout which usually takes us towards the major shopping centres now resembles a carnival.

In an average week, I pass by this place at least twice, to attend various children's activities or to get to the shopping malls. Since the protests began, I hadn't ventured out that way. A couple of my friends had visited Bahrain's 'Tahrir square' over the last week out of curiosity more than anything and they told me that it was quite amazing. I couldn't imagine the transformation of this ordinary, run-of-the-mill intersection to a vibrant hive of political activity, so I decided that I had to see it with my very own eyes.

I ventured out this morning for a quick drive-by, I was amazed. People are peaceful. Pots of tea were being boiled on a makeshift gas stove, food was being cooked on one side whilst a man handed out flyers and bottles of water on another. Blasting out of a louspeaker was a woman's voice, making what I could only guess to be an impassioned speech about the cause. Traffic was running better than it ordinarily does as protesters took turns to assist with directing vehicles. I can now almost picture what Egypt's Tahrir square must have been like.

We've received notification from the British Embassy that another demonstration is scheduled for this afternoon and will go from the Pearl roundabout towards the Grand mosque. I'm not sure what the weekend ahead has in store. Hopefully resolution is on the way.

I took a couple of pics from my car, not particularly impressive photography, but worth sharing.

The Pearl that you see in the background of this pic is at the centre of the roundabout. Tents have been put up all around it:

The pic below is of a tea stall - there are photographs hanging in front of it, I think of people who died in earlier clashes:

This website and specifically, the article on Bahrain is worth a look:
Middle East Report

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