May 22, 2011
edited with partial translation in New York by Rawlinsview
Story of a young woman university student in Bahrain.
This story comes from a verified source in Bahrain with whom I have contact. It continues the series of articles describing the life of women and students there as they face the ongoing harassment of the Kalifa monarchy’s security forces which are backed by troops from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
As a Student in UOB (University of Bahrain) “I give up. I don’t want to continue there especially in the next weeks. We don’t know what will happen to us”
All my friends keep saying this sentence but I will not give up, not yet. I have to continue what the revolution has started since 14feb. Well, most my colleagues are dismissed or in jails in the last semester, especially the best Shia students, and those with scholarships.
In UOB there are Bahraini (Sunna and Shia), Indian, Egyptian and more nationalities as students.
There are more than 14 thousands students. In the mornings we wait more than 2 hours outside the university!! My lecture at 10 so I have to arrive by 7 and sometimes I am not able to enter until 11 o’clock!! just so that the authorities can check every car and bus trying to find weapon or something similar. After that, they police check every student body and bag, but they are checking the Shia more (sometimes the let the Sunni go without checking) and often the Shia are humiliated by the police.
One girl asked the police woman not to put the x-ray wand above her stomach because she is pregnant and she feared that it would be dangerous to her unborn child.
The woman answered her that the Shia women are all pregnant from fornicating in the tents in the lulu roundabout! [The Lulu or Pearl Roundabout was the epicenter of mass demonstrations in Bahrain’s capital Manama. Protesters camped there overnight during the height of the demonstrations in February and early March of this year before their non-violent movement was crushed by security forces with the help of Saudi Arabian and UAE troops.]
In another case during a bag check police found a a mirror in a young woman student’s bag. They through it away, saying that “no Shia girl is beautiful and you should not look at your faces!”
In my own experience I was in a line with more than 20 girls. We were standing waiting for our turn. The police woman look at the line and pick out their friends and start chatting to them just to make us wait more under the desert sun ! After that they ask their friends if they had any perfume because the Shia “smell nasty” and they can’t stand this smell!
Sometimes they ask the student about where they came from ? If their village is a Shia one they keep checking the bags and say insulting things to the student. If they are Sunni they can go !
For the dismissed students they don’t know what to do. More than 80% from them can’t afford to travel outside and start studying again. They will have to repeat their subjects because the university refuses to verify their transcripts.
I don’t know but everyday they are dismissing more and maybe in the next few days all the Shia will be dismissed. Just pray for us