History repeats itself...more so in a kingdom like Bahrain, which most of the time seems to be in a limbo!

It doesn't seem to know whether it is coming or going or stuck somewhere no one wants to go.

Yes. I know I moan. And yes. I will continue to speak my mind and shed light on all the negative aspects of life even though I am sure that nothing will be done to change the situation we are in and there is no light at the end of this abyss.

The Bahrain Chamber of Commerce announced yesterday that the Eid Al Adha holiday begins on Thursday and will continue until Sunday - giving private sector workers a total of FOUR days off.

The Government hit back today saying that the Eid Al Adha holiday begins on Wednesday and will continue until Monday - giving civil servants and people who don't work anyway SIX days off.

Traditionally, Bahrain has always marked the Eid with a three-day holiday. If the holiday period falls on Friday, then we are compensated by an extra day, making the holiday a total of FOUR days. The whole period was declared by the Cabinet as a public holiday and that was that.

With more occasions, celebrations and the recent deaths of several monarchs, starting with the death of the King of Morocco, followed by the King of Jordan, followed by the late Amir of Bahrain and finally the death of Shaikh Zayed of the UAE, more holidays were declared making people have counting competitions on how many days people in Bahrain are supposed to go to work.

The nose kissing traditions were thrown aside and the private sector decided "enough was enough and the government should not dictate upon us which days should be holidays and which should not."

This is what was related to me by a businessman - off the record of course.

Now the problem is that there is no one in the business community with balls to go back to the government and ask it what it means by the circulars it issues regarding holidays.

Businessmen are smart and questioning the government will make them look stupid, you see. It is also not part of our tradition to question a regime as knowledgeable as ours.

So everytime there is an unexplained public holiday edict, every businessman does what he wants and the losers are the workers who don't know where they stand and what to do and how to plan their lives and their holidays.

This really is a typical attitude towards people in Bahrain in general. Those with authority who decide when a holiday should and when it shouldn't be should have a little bit of respect for individuals and give them enough notice about holidays, in order for the masses to plan what to do with their lives.

I know that Eid holidays are dictated by a Lunar calendar and depend on moon sigthings by a bunch of blind people who decide on when Eid is the minute our neighbour Saudi Arabia declares it is.

However, such holidays can only fall within a limited period of time. A government which respects its people could do the following: it could announce in advance that if Eid falls on X day, the holiday will be on those days. If it happens to fall on Y day, the holiday is ....

But a Eid like Eid Al Adha, which falls on the 10th day of Dhul Hijja, surely could be announced much earlier and such confusions of whether the holiday is a public holiday or one which applies to the private sector or the public sector or both or no one at all could be ironed out.

To add insult to injury, this holiday poses a new quiz for the government and the parliament and the private sector.

The unsolved mystery is the Day of Arafa.

In line with a recommendation from the Useless Parliament Not Elected By The People For The People, the Day of Arafa, which falls immediately before the Eid day was declared a holiday last year.

Since this day was declared a holiday by the Cabinet and not by a Royal Decree, the businessmen have disregarded it as a public holiday. This is a first in Bahrain by all standards. What? A showdown between the government and businessmen? Why?

What will happen now? The King will declare it a public holiday by Royal decree? The government will decide that enough is enough and there are so many unwarranted holidays that businesses are suffering? Or will the question be left hanging until the next Eid Al Adha?

My guess is as good as everybody else's.

Eid Mubarak and have a good one - whether you work in the government or private sector or don't work or don't want to work!

17 comments:

shawarmaboy said...

Loved the post! Love your blog as well!

In the end (it may take a while) the business community will prevail and there is light at the end of the abyss. It may seem to be flickering but it is there.

Chrisamillion said...

I heard that Bahrain is coming second in the competition to have most public holidays (first places goes to another gulf country, i forget which).

This year my old school had to extend the school year by a few days to make up for all they days they missed last year! (This is a UK school and they have a minimum number of days they must be teaching)

SillyBahrainiGirl said...

Thanks Shawarma boy ;)

Let's hope they will stand up against the tsunami before it's too late!

And Chris...Yes...It must be scary for teachers and parents, if I may add.
Don't know how schools will manage with so many holidays and don't want to even think about the poor parents having to deal with the spoilt brats for almost a week!

The Truth said...

Dear Silly Bahraini Girl,

Dont be Silly....The government always knows best.

Your loyal citizen of another nation,

Understanding your frustration,

But Unfortunetly Misguided.

Rex Venom said...

What does the holiday a Eid like Eid Al Adha celebrate?

SillyBahrainiGirl said...

Misguided,
Yes.. I am being silly in the same way you are so out of sorts and misguided ;)
Yes.. the government knows better
Why shouldn't it?

SillyBahrainiGirl said...

Rex Venom,

In very simple terms: Eid Al Adha is one of two major festivals in Islam.

This Eid (meaning celebration) commemorates the end of Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca while Eid Al Fitr celebrates the end of the Holy Month of Ramadhan (fasting)!

Eid Mubarak

McMenon said...

Happy Holidays. Happy Shwarma Holidays!

sume said...

Eid Mubarak, SBG! I hope you enjoy the days off anyway.

SillyBahrainiGirl said...

Dear Hawky,
Thanks...
and Eid Mubarak to you too!


Dear Sume,
Eid Mubarak and contrary to all rumours - I AM AT WORK TODAY!
Nevertheless, I will still be able to say Eid Mubarak to family members by visiting them (Thanks to the short distances from one place to the other in Bahrain) and friends (Thanks to e-mail!!!)

Eid Mubarak to you all!

Anonymous said...

Why you no like holiday? Holiday very nice. Why you not go to seef or beetch or see family? Why you want to take holiday away?

Anonymous said...

Why you no like holiday? Holiday very nice. Why you not go to seef or beetch or see family? Why you want to take holiday away?

SillyBahrainiGirl said...

Anon.
Why me no like holiday?
Thanks for making me smile ;)
An extremely rare occasion nowadays! I mean smiling, that is!
And YES, I did visit family and wish more than 300 people (and that's a minimum estimate) an Eid Mubarak in person...some I have never seen before in my life.
As for beaches...I am sorry to inform you that although Bahrain is still technically an island, surrounded by water on all sides (!!!), there are NO beaches. I mean, there are no public beaches... besides, the weather is cold here...and I don't happen to be a BEACH BUM ;)

Muslim said...

eid mubarak

injinuity said...

how I miss Bahrain.. in Qatar.. most all in the pvt. sector started from saturday, I had my workers work even on friday after their prayers.. give overtime and all will work happily.

injinuity said...

don't tell me that the time I've been away they have closed down zallaq beach :-(

SillyBahrainiGirl said...

Zallaq Beach?
Yes.. I think it's still around..
However, it's camping season and all of Bahrain's wanna be Bedoiuns are camping in what they presume is a desert!

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