February, 16, 2011, midway through Wednesday, we were sent home from work.
We just finished a sumptuous giant fried Tilapia and ginataang gulay at Expat for lunch. It was the kind of lunch you take when you’re getting ready for a battle at work. As we go out to shrug the excessive food we took down to the stomach, we crossed path with the head of our office. Only to find, we ate hard for nothing. He advised us to go home as the protesters are gaining momentum at the moment due to a comrade’s death the previous day.
The death irked the emotions of the demonstrators further than the day they started. I haven’t really seen the site of the demonstration. I haven’t witnessed the crowd on rage. We tried the other day but roads are just blocked for people like me–on-lookers, curious witnesses. But people around me are buzzing around what they have heard of the progress of the rally. One said, it was the policemen’s overreaction to the demonstration that severed the situation. Their response to the angry chants agitated the madmen more.
The authorities used rubber bullets and tear gases to disperse the crowd, to an extent that some were wounded, and as of this date, 2 have died. No one has confirmed as to how these 2 died. Some playful speculation said that the wounded guy was sent so Salmaniya Medical Complex and there, was led to his death.
I called first my brother before going home. I heard protesters were roaming around the city and that they have people in Zinj, which is a way to my home. I called just to be sure which route is the safest to pass. He said there were demonstrators in the morning but is clear as of the moment. I called the driver and asked to be driven home.
I was keen at observing the roads so I can be prepared whatever happens, not that it is that worse, but paranoia, sometimes, is just the best defense. All roads were clear, operating normally. Other than the lessened traffic, everything seemed as usual.
I was trying to “horrify” my driver by saying imaginary scenarios like how at the end of this road the crowd is packed on the bend, blocking our road and not letting us out. We laughed and added more imaginary details to each other’s stories. I said, all the oil tanks will be bombed soon, he said there will be no more business for Bahrain; I said, our building will be on fire, he said “we will be finished,” with hands gesturing, palms open facing down from chest level swiping forward, to mean over, done, dead. (“Finish” is their universal word for used up, nothing remains, done, and all the synonyms pertaining to a zero value).
I got home safe and sound, earlier than usual.
This is my most unproductive day at work.
- Death of Bahrain protester sparks further clashes (ft.com)
- Bahrain Protests: What you need to know (including where it is on a map) (gadling.com)
- Bahrain protester killed in clash (bbc.co.uk)
- Violence Mars Protests in Bahrain – Wall Street Journal (news.google.com)
- Bahrain Mourner Killed in Funeral March Clash (abcnews.go.com)
- 2nd Death Heightens Fear of Bahrain Upheaval (cbsnews.com)