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Entries in Pearl Roundabout (7)


Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The 2nd Anniversary of the Mass Protests

A man, referring to today's killing of teenager Hassan AlJazeeri, defies Bahrain security forces, "You killed a 17-year-old kid. Shoot me, I don't fear you"

Syria Live Coverage: Rebel Gains and Civilian Losses Grow
Wednesday's Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Is There Any Hope in the "National Dialogue"?

2025 GMT: Bahrain. Clashes in Sitra today:

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Bahrain Video Special: A Tribute to Ahmed Ismail Hassan, Citizen Journalist of Salmabad

Ahmed Ismael Hassan AlSamadi, a 22-year-old man from Salmabad was shot and killed late Friday night by an unknown assailant who fired at him from a Toyota Land Cruiser. Ahmed's tragic death --- and the quest to bring his killer and any individual or institutional accomplices to justice --- will rightly dominate much discussion in Bahrain. One hopes also that his loved ones will be allowed to mourn, free from police harassment or attack.

Here, however, we want to pay tribute to a vital part of the legacy of Ahmed's life. It has been suggested that Ahmed was targeted by the gunman because he was known to be a citizen journalist in Salmabad, documenting events and distributing his work through social media.

Ahmed's work in documenting the Pearl Revolution goes back over a year. It is valuable for anybody seeking insight into events on the ground, particularly the police activities in Salmabad.

One of the first videos Ahmed uploaded captures a women's march to Pearl Roundabout, the iconic centre of the protests, on 4 March, 2011:

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Bahrain 1st-Hand: US Activist Radhika Sainath "Joining the Protests, Being Detained"

Police arrest protesters in Bahrain's capital Manama, 11 February

The police started questioning me about my attendance at the protest, how I go there, and why I was present. Did I know that "they were saying bad things about the Bahraini regime, that they were chanting down with Hamad"?

Do they allow people to say bad things about the government in America?” asked one. The others nodded at his logic, certain that I would now understand the outrageousness of the protesters’ actions.

“Of course. People said bad things about George Bush all the time. They hated Bush. And now lots of people protest against Obama.”

They were quiet, and I pressed on, telling them that I was in their country, Pakistan, a few years ago supporting the lawyer’s democracy movement. “The people hated Musharraf, and they went to the street.” I hoped I played my cards right—what if these guys liked Musharraf? But nobody liked Musharraf. I watched their eyes blink in understanding. They hated their dictatorship, but were supporting another non-democratic regime.

Eventually, they left, taking the youth with them. The woman thanked me, if I had not been there, perhaps they would have taken her too.

I walked back towards where protesters had re-gathered. Little did I know that in the next few minutes, I would not escape so easily.

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Bahrain 1st-Hand: "48 Hours in Sanabis" (Al Jazeera English)

A message to Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa

We left the house into the streets. Some stone-carrying shabab were starting to return to the main crossings in central Sanabis, standing over broken glass and spent tear gas cartridges --- all clearly marked "made in USA" --- waiting for the police to return.
We passed through the narrow alleyways, some barely wide enough for a car to pass through. Some parts were well lit with the bright orange glow of the street lights, others pitch black. Some areas were tight giving a sense of protection, while others were more open, leaving us completely exposed for a number of seconds when anything could happen. We could only hope as we approached the next street corner that there wouldn't be any police waiting around it, while we kept looking backwards to make sure there were none there either. Too fast and we would come upon them with no place to run, too slow and we'd get caught from behind.

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Syria, Yemen, Bahrain (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Children Chant in Damascus, Protesters Die in Sana'a

2030 GMT: Today was a very important day for two countries, where we witnessed a dramatic escalation in Yemen and the shutdown of an entire city in Bahrain. In Syria, large protests continued, despite more violence.

This video reportedly shows a large protest in the al Saqba district of Damascus:

And this video was taken in Al Hula, Homs, where 9 people were killed by security forces today. That alone would make it important. But it is unique in and of itself, because of the unique messages, written in English, on the signs that the protesters are holding:

Muslim or Christian, we all want freedom

Religion is for God, but Syria is for All Syrians

Large night protests in Dael, Daraa:

And in Khalidiya, Homs, the site of much violence and a brutal crackdown that has been intensifying in recent days, the people chant that they want the execution of President Bashar al Assad:

Our coverage will begin early tomorrow morning. Stay tuned.

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Bahrain Special: New Martyrs, New Protests, New Crackdown

Protesters chanting after police force withdrew from the village of Dair, 15 September

See also Bahrain Feature: Repression Tears Apart a Country

I remember when I read my first article about protests in Bahrain. It was short: in the second paragraph, the author said that the King of Bahrain was going to give the people of his country more than $2650 per family. The conclusion was that it was highly unlikely that protests would catch on.

It's hard to be more wrong.

More than seven months later, and protests are becoming a nightly occurrence. The protest movement has been reinvigorated in recent weeks, partially inspired by Libya, partially inspired by fresh martyrs, entirely dedicated to regain the momentum they had at the start.

On Wednesday, 31 August, 14 year old Ali Jawad was shot through the eye with a tear gas canister that fired directly at civilians by police who were standing less than 30 feet away.

Within a week, protests were growing, specifically in Sitra, the home of young Jawad. On 4 September, we received this video, a man standing in from of a police convoy, refusing to stand down:

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Bahrain Video: The Attack on Pearl Roundabout

Protests at Salmaniyia Hospital:

Opposition party Al Wafaq demands probe into deaths:

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