Monday, January 2, 2012

Back in Time

It was around 10:30pm on New Year's eve, we were all gathered together; my family that is playing, chatting, and laughing away, simply enjoying what's left of the ticking hours before we journey unto a new year, all of us hopeful and undeniably optimistic after a long dreadfully dragging year. It was time for Pictionary, one of my favorite team games as a youngster, I remember playing it in 6th grade for the first time. Many had their turn and we all giggled hysterically at what each drew, even the kids managed to get their drawings guessed.

Then of course was my turn, I looked into the pile of folded paper, excited to say the least as I didn't know what my lucky hand would pick and there it was. I had to draw "Year 2011". Disappointed at what I got, I hurried into the whiteboard, grabbed the marker and doodled away, first came the Pearl Roundabout, followed by a sad face. Everyone started blurting things- all wrong of course. Many of which were "Pearl Roundabout", "February 14", "Sad", and the worst of all "Bahrain". How can I illustrate the year 2011 in a simple drawing that everyone would understand I thought to myself. Only to receive some harsh comments from the rest not knowing what I had just drawn, I quickly revealed, "It's the year 2011!". It took a simple drawing to turn the mood of a fun family outing to a momentary steadiness, where a cousin said, "Man, you could've drawn something else". Could I really?

If we all take a moment, close our eyes and try recalling the year 2011, what is one image that would pop in your heads? We might all think of different things, but I can assure you that they will all be connected, if not linked to what triggered our thoughts; February 14. The night had not ended there, nope, there were more games lined up, dinner and some fun activities until we watched the fireworks on Dubai TV to witness one of the region's best fireworks displays of the New Year. We soon were put into teams to design a model of a Bahraini Roundabout of our choice, where most teams picked Riffa Clock tower, my team decided to go with Pearl Roundabout. I guess it was the easiest to model due to it having 6 curvy lines which we made using Styrofoam cups and a centralized pearl that was basically one of the items that were given to us to use. Soon, the game was over and we came in fourth place, just before the ugliest Riffa Clock tower I have ever laid eyes on. The night quickly came to an end, each of us parting ways, heading to our homes. That same night, like I do always, I would think up everything that I have done throughout the day, outlining them, trying to remember all the good and bad things I've possibly done during the day so I either continue doing the same things I've done or just stop. That night was different, instead of going through my day-to-day breakdown, I flipped through the entire year, breaking it down to smaller bits and pieces trying to evoke what happened, how I felt and dealt during the year- all in a chronological order. It was not an easy task as many would imagine, especially to the loyal Bahraini's who I'm sure have gone through what I have, if not worse due to them losing loved ones and experiencing terrorism first hand. After an intense thought train of all the recollections, one just one left me with sheer optimism. I'm sure we all remember it, both the pro-Bahraini's and the terrorists alike. It was a moment that I will never forget in my life- the TV coverage of Peninsula Shield making their way into my country. I felt liberated as if just released from a cell, knowing that my brothers from the GCC were there to hear our honest cry, after Allah that is.

Today, despite what my country has gone through, 2011 has left us with a bittersweet end, especially after HM King Abdullah Al Saud pleaded to his brothers and neighbors to join hands and unite in the face of domestic and foreign hegemony. What more can I ask for to end my year which felt like the longest rollercoaster ride ever ridden- passing through stages of grief, starting with shock and denial during the months of February and March, followed by pain and guilt in April and May, then anger and bargaining in June and July, depression and loneliness in August and September, then of course the upward turn in October waiting impatiently for Bessouni's report, reconstruction in November after the release of the report and finally acceptance and hope in December and then again leaving it all behind to start a new year yet folding this chapter of my Bahrain as there will come a time in the very near future that we will go back to it, looking at it as the year that Bahrain stood firm and overcame a treacherous plot against its friendly land. With this my friends, I leave you thrilled about a new year, that will only be a continuation to the previous but with us being more aware of our surroundings and stronger than we have ever been before. Wishing you all a blessed 2012.