Bahrain and Me: By Nirmeen Ilyas


This is a comment on one of the updates on our Riyadh Real Talk Page on Facebook. This comment is by one of the members on the page and it is something that really hit my heart deep. I decided to copy / paste it here and add it as a post. Opens eyes and makes one think.

“I am not Bahraini. I have lived my whole life (23 years as compared to the 7 years I have been married to a Bahraini) in Bahrain as a Srilankan. And also as a non-muslim. But have been getting equal treatment from the Bahrainis. I have played with Bahrainis, eaten in the same plate with them. I would like to see a Riyadhi eating from the same plate as a non-muslim Asian child! The women here don’t like to smile at a muslim grown woman or their children! The beauty of Islam there is what helped me to decide to convert to Islam. If I had seen the oppression here I would have thought twice. And I didn’t convert because I married. I converted a month before I met my husband. Also I know for a fact that here they give u a bribe to convert. My own father has been offered one many years back. That would certainly put me off a religion. I am glad I got Daawah in Bahrain and not here. Don’t get me wrong I am a strong believer in the Hijaab and an admirer of the person who can wear the Niqaab. It is really very hard to do both with complete faith. And I put Hijaab from day one of conversion but that is not the oppression I talk about.

Not being able to move around is the biggest reason to feel bad here. I mean what is the use of all this progress if the higher population (which is women) cannot enjoy it. I don’t think not being able to drive has even slightly stopped the people who do wrong here. Why does everyone else have to suffer because of some who will do anyway. In my case I hate going out without my husband anyway and the only reason I would like to drive is to pick my kids from school and maybe the groceries. Then why do I have to go with some strange man for this! So I have decided to stay at home. I don’t go anywhere unless my husband takes me there. So far I have only gone out alone once in my two and a half years here and there too the questioning at the gate of a compound put me off so much I decided I m better off at home minding my own business.”

Nirmeen Ilyas

3 thoughts on “Bahrain and Me: By Nirmeen Ilyas

  1. nirmeen your article has touched my heart deep have pictured the true aspect of are not the one who is suffering from these hurdles there are so many like you including me .that is why we always say that we love ksa but hate the segregation and discrimination .

  2. Subba,

    I dont think the subject here is the Nationality of Nirmeen’s husband.. it does not matter. What matters is what she got from Bahrain that she would not get here.

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