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Funny, and Not so Funny . . . Bad, and a BIT Better: in Bahrain, Arizona and Rhode Island

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(1) Funny

(especially if you’ve experienced what they’re talking about)

Welcome to caught.net’s

Tongue in cheek but pathetically true!

Copyright 2009 – All Rights Reserved

(2) Not Funny: Broke in Bahrain


Breezy Globalsapiens Travelogue perspective: narrative

The Arabian Peninsula for an “infidel” traveller

It took me almost one month to get my Saudi Arabian visa in Egypt. I decided to visit all the Arabian Peninsula countries in a row (except Yemen, where I had already been in the past): Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Oman, Qatar, and Oman. I succeed!


Mosque of the Prophet in Medina
Mosque of the Prophet in Medina

In the Arabian Consulate in Cairo I was told that they only issue visas to enter their country under three conditions: if you are a muslim pilgrim, if you are a businessman with invitation from a commercial company in Arabia, and if you are in transit. Immediately I requested a transit visa. First I had to go to my Embassy to request a letter stating that I had no pending trials in my country, and therefore was a bona fide citizen. Then I obtained my Kuwait visa (after me one more week), and finally the Arabs gave me a three days transit visa. From Cairo I travelled to Nweiba, in the Sinai Peninsula, then by boat I reached Aqaba, in Jordan, and the next day I boarded a bus to Kuwait together with emigrants from Turkey, Sudan, Syria and Egypt. We crossed the town Tabuk, wholly militarized because of the proximity to Israel. Five times a day we stopped for the muslim prayers (except me, being a Christian. I just waited for them sitting in a Buddha position under the shadow of a palm tree drinking a cup of tea). We ate in some small restaurants in several oasis and small villages, where the waiters were from India or Philippines, and the Arabs, almost all fat, dressed with immaculate cleaned white clothes, where sitting indolently, smoking in their nargils, and only raised slowly from their cushions when they had to cash the consumptions. We stopped for a full day in a restaurant open 24 hours a day, called Almuhaya, in the town of Hafar al Batin, which I visited during a few hours. Then some of my companions invited me to go with them to Ryad and afterwards to Mecca and Medina. But although I dreamed to visit these holy places, I knew that it was not possible because of the controls of the Religious Police along the way (these policemen watch that you observe the Sharia, with the Ramadan and all the muslim rules, otherwise they can punish you or expel you from Arabia), where they ask for the muslim documents to visit these places. The third day I arrived to Kuwait.

Favourite spots:
Historical dhow in Bahrain
Historical dhow in Bahrain

Everybody that conversed with me in Kuwait was surprised to see me, being an individual traveller, no a businessman or an Asiatic worker (in Kuwait, most of the population are immigrants from Philippines, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, etc). I was invited several times to drink tea or to have dinner by the astounded rich Kuwaitis. They even offered me a ride around their country in their Mercedes. They were bored and for them talking with a European was something unusual. There is practically nothing to see or to do in Kuwait apart from admiring the futurist forms of the skyscrapers with exotic and original designs. I used to eat in the Filipinos restaurants (chicken prepared in the style of Cebu city is delicious!), or in the cheap Indian restaurants smelling at curry from the street. I slept in a hostel for Filipinos in the Catholic Mission, besides the Cathedral, because in the communal dormitories for Indians I was refused. After Kuwait I flew to Bahrain.

What’s really great:
map of Qatar
map of Qatar

Bahrain is one of the most authentic Arabian countries. It is a small archipelago with a population of about 700.000 people. There are three main islands united by bridges with Saudi Arabia, which are claimed by Qatar. Be careful! If your next destination is Qatar, get the visa beforehand. There is no Qatari consulate in Bahrain because of the lack of diplomatic relation between the two countries owing to the islands claims. I did not know this, and suffered a lot with immigration while arriving in Qatar. In Manama, the capital of Bahrain, I saw people playing n’tchuva, a game very popular in Africa. Almost everybody dress like in ancient times, and there are many chaikhanas to drink tea in the streets, and I even saw beggars, very hard to find in Arabia or Kuwait or in the Emirates. After Bahrain I flew to Qatar, not so interesting country for a traveller, half deserted, but people are friendly and it is very easy to get rides hitch hiking. After two days I flew to Dubai.

The Peninsula above is not Bahrain, but Qatar.  Bahrain is between Peninsula and mainland, as following images show:

The 25 miles between Qatar and Bahrain “Friendship Bridge,” the longest bridge IN THE WORLD,

has not yet been built (@ 2008 article).

The contract to construct the $3 billion causeway was signed on Tuesday
by Ahmad Hasan Al Hammadi, director of the legal affairs department at
Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, and Pierre Berger, chairman of Vinci Group.

transport link between the two Gulf states will reduce the travel time
from one to the other from approximately five hours to around 30


Where is Bahrain?

Bahrain is an island

located in the Persian/Arabian Gulf. http://www.redorbit.com/modules/imglib/download.php?Url=/modules/imagegallery/gallery_images/0_784ddcaaa0c71692a6f64ff689e2d89a.jpg

Can you see BAHRAIN in this NASA photo of a Dust Storm over Bahrain and Qatar, posted at “redorbit.com

[Credit: Jeff Schmaltz; MODIS team; NASA, Posted on: 26 September 2007, 06:45 CDT ]”?

To the East
lies Qatar, to South Saudi Arabia and to the North, across the Gulf,
looms Iran.

Next to these Bahrain is a midget, making even tiny Qatar appear large
in size.


Early History

Bahrain was not always as dry as it is now – in the last 40 years development
has dried up much of the natural springs that used to lure the Qatari
bedouin to its shores in the hot summers – and there has even been speculation
that it was once the Garden of Eden.

There is evidence that the country has been inhabited for 7000 years,
and it was also a major part of Dilmun, a Bronze Age trading empire
which lasted for 2000 years. Later on there was a strong Greek influence
and the country was renamed Tylos – itself a Greek name. Trading was
once again its main activity for 600 years.

In 629, much of Bahrain accepted an invitation from the Prophet Mohammed
to accept Islam, and Bahrain was ruled by Mohammed through a governor.
However, Bahrain was later taken over by the Qarmatians, who used Bahrain
as a base to sack many of Islam’s holiest cities, and desecrated the
Zam Zam well with the bodies of Hajj pilgrims.

The Qarmatians were in turn replaced by a series of invaders, including Genghis Khan.

Modern History

In the 16th century Bahrain was invaded by the Portuguese, who defeated and
beheaded the local king, but they were kicked out by a revolt in 1602.
The Portuguese were replaced by the Persian empire until the Persians
themselves were replaced by the Khalifa family. The Khalifas eventually
fell under the influence of the British, who flexed their muscles after
the Khalifas laid waste to Doha and Al Wakra. Bahrain remained a protectorate
of the British until 1971, when the British left the Gulf and Bahrain
declared its independence.

After oil was discovered in the 1930s Bahrain boomed,


The Nightmare Gets Worse for An American Woman and Her Child Trapped In Bahrain

by Phyllis Chesler
Fox News
August 27, 2010

On Thursday, August 26 in Bahrain, the country’s police stormed into the home where Yazmin Maribel Bautista was hiding her five-year-old daughter, Fatima, an American citizen. She was hiding her child to keep her from being handed over to her Bahraini father for weekend visitation as ordered by a local court. Yazmin, an American citizen from Arizona, was helpless to prevent this from happening.

Her lawyer, Majid Shehab, who nobly took on the case pro bono, was arrested for trying to report the police and keep them from taking the child away. The lawyer has since been bailed out. Yazmin does not know whether her daughter, Fatima, will be returned to her. She also does not know whether it is safe for her to remain in the country. Yazmin has no money, no job, no financial resources, and no powerful relatives who can help her fight for her daughter.

Fatima is terrified of her father’s family and once hid under a café table when she saw relatives approaching. She said: “I don’t want to see my father. He will take me so that I will never see you (my mother) again.”

. . .

In 2003, Yazmin met Sadiq Jaffar Al-Saffar, a college student, and in 2004 Yazmin was born. Sadiq was a deadbeat dad who seemed more interested in getting a green card than in being with his family in Arizona, spending most of his time back in Bahrain. In four years, he visited only three times.

In January of 2009, Yazmin divorced him and received custody in Arizona.

Later, however, Yazmin went to Bahrain because she got laid off from her job in Arizona and because she chose to believe Sadiq’s promises: that he would get her a good job, an apartment of her own, a car, a cell phone, and that both she and/or Fatima would be part of a loving, extended family.

Major mistake. Unemployment and compromised circumstances can tempt someone to make poor decisions. This makes me think that Yazmin’s own extended family / support system were not able to step up, or involved at this time.

He lied.

Even as I write, her advocate, Beth X, who must remain anonymous, is meeting with Senator John McCain, who represents Yazmin’s state of Arizona in Congress and who previously had written a letter to Bahrain’s Ambassador to the United States urging her to “allow Ms. Bautista and her daughter to return home peacefully.”

Arizona’s got its own issues also, about letting women divorce safely. Or mothers relocate after they have, for safety reasons.

Her ex-husband’s lawyers, Fatima Abdullah and Majd Ramadan, both women, who found Yazmin’s address where she has been hiding ever since the court ordered her to turn over her daughter every week for the Muslim weekend. Yazmin initially complied with the court order but she stopped doing so when her daughter made it increasingly clear that she did not want to be with her father, her father’s new wife, and her father’s extended family. Yazmin called the American embassy, which dispatched consul Nausher Ali, who observed what was happening but did nothing.

This behavior continues the shameful inactivity of the American embassy in this matter. In fact, it was an American consul who prevented Yazmin from escaping with Fatima in the first place. At one point the two had cleared customs before boarding a plane bound for the United States, but the consul convinced them to cross back over to Bahraini-controlled territory, telling Yazmin that this was just a formality and that they would soon be free to go, at which point the Bahraini government apprehended them and put a hold on Fatima from leaving the country.

Yazmin remains dependent on the kindness of strangers and at the mercy of the American government.

She told me: “We’ve been here over a year and I’ve gone to court hearing after court hearing, and it’s not going anywhere

Aspects of this sound like someone stuck in the courts in the USA for years. I can’t imagine it in a foreign company.

I’m sure the embassy has done everything it can, but at the end of the day we’re still stuck in Bahrain. I was told that I’ll be getting her back on Saturday, but who’s to say that I’ll be getting her back? I feel like even though she’s an American citizen no one is looking after her rights…I feel like there’s no more hope…I’m just hoping that someone somewhere can help us…”

I wonder whether a new foreign policy in the Middle East will be able to bring these two American citizens home or whether it is another tragic tale like Betty Mahmoody’s, the American author of “Not Without My Daughter” who was similarly trapped in Iran with her young American citizen daughter.

. . .

= They’ve Got to be Kiddin’, but Aren’t . . . .



Judge imposes gag order on mother in R.I. custody case

01:00 AM EDT on Saturday, August 14, 2010 [don’t miss the comments submitted]


Judge lifts gag order in Torres custody battle

August 18, 2010 [don’t miss the comments submitted]

By Tatiana Pina

Journal Staff Writer PROVIDENCE — Faith Torres left her credit card and other valuables at home Tuesday when she went to Family Court. She didn’t know how her hearing was going to go, and she might be spending time in jail.

Torres is in a custody battle to get her children. On July 29, Family Court Judge Debra E. DiSegna had ordered her not to talk about her case with anyone, including the media, or post anything about it on the Internet. Torres feared DiSegna would find her in contempt of court because she had contacted the American Civil Liberties Union, and a story had appeared in Saturday’s Journal.

But after conferring with lawyers for about an hour Tuesday, Judge DiSegna lifted the gag order, though she forbade Torres and her lawyers from identifying her children or giving out confidential information about them in regard to the case.

“I was hoping for the best,” Torres said after she got out of court. “I was prepared for the worst.

Preparing for the worst is GOOD advice for anyone going anywhere near a family law courtroom.

I wouldn’t hang our hopes on consistent respect for the First Amendment, or any of the others, in places like this, though. The price of freedom is Vigilance (NOT “vigilante, which is a better description of where our civil rights went, and some of the DCFS groups around the country who prefer operating “behind closed doors,” like most abusers, not to mention child molesters, do).

“I thought I might have violated the order. … I was happy she kind of lifted it.”

But Steven Brown, executive director of the ACLU’s Rhode Island affiliate, said DiSegna’s new order is still too broad, and still violates the First Amendment.

THANK YOU, The Providence Journal, Steve Brown of the ACLU, and Faith Torres for persistence!

On Tuesday, DiSegna allowed a reporter in the courtroom for Torres’ hearing, where Torres told the judge that the court visits were financially draining for both her and Fernandez.”

Ya THINK!? — read the articles!

QUESTION: Why is it a “domestic dispute” (per the agency that requested the gag order, referring to the violence between the parents) but a “custody battle” (per the headlines — referring not to her battle primarily with her ex, but with the STATE, who has retained, apparently, legal custody of 3 children that actually live with Ms. Torres. This is odd — unless one understands the implicit “Kids for Kash” concept behind being American, giving birth, not living off 100%non-taxable income, and seeking any form of help from the courts, or social services.

Formerly, the recruiting poster read:

Wikipedia informs us that the first concept of “Uncle Sam” as the U.S. comes from:

“The first use of the term in literature is seen in an 1816 allegorical book, The Adventures of Uncle Sam in Search After His Lost Honor by Frederick Augustus Fidfaddy, Esq.”

What else might one expect from a “Fidfaddy.” (Esq.)?

and that

The female personification “Columbia” has seldom been seen since the 1920s.” The word “Columbia” supposedly combines “Columbus” (as in, Christopher) and “Britannia” (the colonizer), hence, “Columbia.” Despite the civil war and westward expansion, it still appears, at least as to national symbols, that this country was basically uninhabited except by people of this pale color.

Not suprisingly, around the 1920s women were (FINALLY) getting the vote, so I guess this wasn’t a great image to publicize. While Uncle Sam is an older, paternal figure, this one is certainly not very Maternal (or of similar age)

Not much has changed in the meantime. Ms. Torres is to be gagged, and those speaking for her, then partially ungagged, as a mother, and fork her kids over to Uncle Sam (Rhode Island) on behalf of, not the war on poverty (which was Part 1 of “welfare reform”) but the war on “Fatherlessness” (which is Part 2 of “welfare reform”).

In Bahrain, Ms. Bautista, totally stranded, had her attorney actually jailed, not just threatened with it, bailed out, and what appears to be a very uneven custody battle.

Maybe Arizona can redeem some of its tarnished image by helping out!


Blogger (that’s me) Just Got Jilted by Slow/Interrupted Internet time, lost my commentary on this case. But I did get a comment in on the second news site under “StillTalksBack” (cf. “StandsWithaFist” from “Dances with Wolves”)

and referred to explanatory comments here:

RIGHTSFORMOTHERS.com 08-07-2010 post

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