10th Oct, 2012 –

The February 2011 unrest in Bahrain created a new culture, where the main topic of discussion in every social gathering revolves around politics. It has certainly raised the political awareness of Bahrainis but has also resulted in highly tensed conversations that affected the social fabric of the Kingdom.  Following more than eighteen months of political instability and the failure to have a constructive dialogue between the government and opposition, we can clearly notice that many Bahrainis have started losing interest in the protest movement.

“ The protestors use violent methods to deliver their political messages, this has showed us that the opposition movement is uncivilized and moving towards destruction. They have therefore lost many of their supporters and the movement will eventually phase out if all parties do not reach to a certain agreement,” said Ebrahim 43 from Budaiya

“ Most loyalists have started losing interest in the current political situation as they believe that the protesters have a certain sectarian agenda which will never be fulfilled and the government has continuously failed in engaging in a serious dialogue with the opposition” said Khalid 31 from Manama.

“ All the protest images and videos we see involve teenagers throwing Molotov cocktails, this is a result of brainwash. I support reform and I did believe that the gathering at the roundabout in February 2011 was peaceful at start since many political leaders and professionals were present, but all I see today is violence and that makes me worried about the future of this country, not only on the political level but also on the educational, social and economic level ”said Mariam 28 from Hamad Town

“ We have witnessed acts of violence in Bahrain for the past two decades, starting from burning tyres to blocking roads and bursting gas cylinders, it is almost a weekend routine, therefore I don’t feel it is currently much different then it was back in the 90’s and I do believe that the protest movement should be disregarded when it is led by groups of extremist religious scholars who incite teenagers on committing acts of violence within their own villages” said Sarah 38 from Muharraq

On the other hand there are many Bahrainis who are highly concerned with the current political situation and are emphasizing over the importance of rationally dealing with the current situation. Many believe that violence through the use of molotovs or tear gas will ruin the country and the government should engage in a dialogue with the main opposition societies which can bring an end to violence and disruption.

“The protest movement has not and will never lose momentum. The opposition might have different objectives as it is led by several groups with different agendas, but all it takes to have thousands of people protesting on the street is one call by Ayatollah Isa Qassim. We see protestors defying the police on weekly if not daily basis, this is a dangerous phenomenon that has to be dealt with and we will not have peace in the country unless we solve our problems” said Ali 30 from Saar.

“Tired of hearing horror stories of protestors suffocating from tear gas or policemen attacked with molotovs, many of us want to lead a peaceful life away from politics. The only problem is that some of us live in areas where protestors clash with policemen, we are teargased and our roads are dirty and blocked every day. It is normal to be concerned with the situation since its affecting our daily lives, but I do believe that if I lived in a peaceful area then I wouldn’t have cared about what’s going on between the government and the opposition” said Zainab 27 from Diraz

The protest movement is not as active as it used to be in 2011, the opposition has lost many of its followers and its violent means have led to condemnation by many Bahrainis who support reform. The opposition is divided and so is the protest movement, there are weekly incidents of violence and attacks on policemen that lead to the disruption of the traffic flow. Many segments of the society are adapting to the situation and are moving forward with their lives, since they believe that being engaged in politics would result in many losses on the social and economic level.

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