Bahrain, Dezember 2015
A few years ago Bahrain had been on the news in Europe, an incident that rarely happens to a place that small and in the pocket of Saudia Arabia. A Shiite upheaval in 2011prompted the royal family of Bahrain, the al Kahlifas, to ask the Saudis for help. So it happened that the resistance got shut down quickly by armed forces of either countries.
I travelled there last year to watch the 70.3 IRONMAN race. Ralf and I arrived there on a beautiful sunny day with gusty winds, not really hot, very soothing after the cold and wet weather at home. It was a stay of 2 days only. For filming the story I had in mind a too short a time. I was behind the camera for hours, very focused and carried away by the seen.
If you ask me whether I felt tension or hostility when moving around with the camera. I can only say no. We were warmly welcome everywhere. Our camera was received with openness which is not always the case in the Middle East. If you ask me whether I saw the traces from the violence back in 2011. Yes, I saw them. But you have to be vigilant and stroll through the old parts of Manama. You have to search for the Shiite districts. For us these areas where easy to find as it was still the feast of the Kerbala. You could not miss the places if you followed the black flags and the huge painting of the Kerbala.
This video clip shows modern Manama and it also shows the other Manama where the Asian merchants and the proud indigenous people mingle. They tolerate but they don’t love each other. The Arab population with their own tradition feels pushed aside. At least this is what the old men we were talking to told us.
As always you see a fragment of my view. It’s up to you to follow me or not.