When I am in Bahrain, a feeling of euphoria accompanies me where ever I go for the first few days. I want to embrace every person I see, tell them how much I missed them; I want to kiss every child and feed the ground beneath me my tears of joy. I want to breathe in all the scents, the good, the bad and the ugly. I want to shout of the roof tops, scream out loud that I am home, I have finally come home.
Then the reality of Bahrain, the reality of my homeland and my people set in. The rosy glasses are taken off and I see all the ugliness. I take in the hypocrisy and double standards, the unemployment and poverty, the racism and sectarianism, the obsession some people have with all things trivial and the ignorance that still prevails, the conditional freedom and acceptance, the distorted freedom bestowed upon us and the decades-long struggle of my people for what they may never experience.
I try to reason with myself and others; how can we take one step forward and so many behind? How can we struggle for our freedom and at the same time let sectarianism and racism divide us? How can we think we are better than others when we have been put down all our lives? How can so many of us be ignorant of the plight of my beloved country? To the plight of those who gave up their lives, blood, family and efforts for the dignity of a country? I get mad, I become angry, my blood boils and I get agitated. Then I get jaded. I write off the dream of my beloved being free, a warm and loving embrace that encompasses all of its children.
Now that I am far far away, I hear and read of my beloved’s news, the same old stories that just take on new faces and names. Why am I not angry, why isn’t my blood boiling? Why does my heart ache and tears overflow my eyes? Why is it so difficult to write it all of as the same old story and a dream that turned to be just that: a dream? Why do I still long for a perfect beloved and a warm embrace that exists only in my head? Why do I feel so sad?