In my second post on this weeks theme of woman in the Bahrain democracy movement I want to call attention to Bahyia al Aradi.
On Tuesday March 22, at 5:27 am Eastern Time Reuters reported the seventh civilian death of a Bahraini since the March 14 occupation of Bahrain by Saudi and other Gulf Council forces and the imposition of martial law by the absolutist monarchial al-Kalifa regime. Including the reported deaths of four members of the security forces and two South Asian migrant workers. The death toll since the beginning of peaceful democracy protests which began on February 14 2011 stood at twenty people in all at that time. Bahyia al Aradi she was reportedly the first person to die in the conflict who was a woman. She was 51 years old and lived in the capital of Bahrain Manama. A reader who is familiar with Bahyia reported to me that she was a joyful person who was youthful in her demeanor.
The exact circumstances surrounding the woman’s death may never fully come to light. She was reported missing on March 16, her car was found with bullet holes the following day she was pronounced dead from a bullet wound variably reported either to the head or neck and delivered to the family four days after her disappearance.
It has been well documented that military and police check points crisscross Manama and surround the many villages in which the majority but unrepresented Shia population reside. Harassment and beatings of people thought to be of Shia background are reported to be commonplace.
Photographs showed hundreds of women and men attended the funeral of this woman “martyr” in honor of her and in protest against the political repression in Bahrain.
A full AP report on Aradi’s funeral can be found at this link Mourners Bury Bahraini Woman Killed in Unrest
I am reaching out to obtain background history on this unmarried woman who has come to be known as “om alsha’ab” “our mother,” the mother of the democracy movement. I plan to update this post as I obtain further information on her life.