Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): On 16 July 2010 a baby girl “Sheima” was born for Nasser the King’s son. The King was so happy that he presented a gift to his granddaughter, a small piece of paper, a cheque worth of BD 10 million (more than USD 26 million) only. What did Sheima’s grandfather present to Bahraini babies? Zainab Haram’s eyes would answer that question. Zainab is a baby girl of only a year and 3 months. Last year, most of Bahrainis saw her on TV on 15 March.
Zainab was shown on TV receiving artificial respiration after being suffocated by tear gas in Ma’ameer village. That happened when Peninsula Shield Troops executed Sitra’s massacre. Zainab suffered suffocation. How is she after a year? Zainab has turned blind. The regime wanted that. Zainab was a premature baby. She remained in the incubator for 4 months. Her parents took her from hospital. She was healthy according to her medical reports. However, when Zainab was discharged from hospital the situation was chaotic. 14-Feb revolution was escalating, while the regime was blundering. It only found its way by calling for Saudi occupying forces to collaborate with it in its crackdown and massacres. The horrible 15 March landed. The army and Peninsula Shield troops attacked Sitra area. They fired at people as they were hunting for birds. People in neighbouring villages revolted. Ma’ameer village where Zainab lived was among those villages.
The police mercenary forces attacked Ma’ameer. They fired their teargas. A number of gas canisters fell on the upper floor of Zainab’s house. The upper floor was under construction. That made it easier for the gas to find its way to the lower floor. Everyone suffocated. Zainab was affected severely. She vomited and brought up all the milk she had ingested. She turned blue, and fainted. Her mother and grandmother took her and ran quickly to the street, screaming. One of the area residents was able to bring Zainab back to consciousness. Her mother and grandmother went back home.
Early in the evening, Zainab resumed her vomiting. She was blue and gasping for breath. It was a dangerous situation in the outside. The army and Peninsula Shield troops set up road blockades. Zainab’s grandmother could not bear seeing Zainab suffer. She took her granddaughter and went out. A passing-by car took them to Nuwaidrat [a nearby village] Health Centre. The doctors decided Zainab’s transfer to Salmaniya Hospital. Later, the baby girl’s father arrived at the Health Centre. They waited for the ambulance. Four hours passed. All the villages suffered the crackdown. The army and Peninsula Shield troops were preparing to attack the Pearl Roundabout. The thugs were everywhere firing their guns indiscriminately.
Finally, the ambulance arrived. The doctors and nurses tried hard to save her. They decided to admit Zainab at hospital. In hours, the army and Peninsula Shield troops attacked Salmaniya hospital. They occupied it. In their unprecedented brutal attack on the hospital, they arrested doctors and nurses. They prevented Zainab’s parents from visiting their baby. After a week, the family got a phone call: “Come to take your daughter!” Her father went to get her from the hospital. Everyone was relieved. After a few days, the grandmother noticed that Zainab was moving her hand as she was searching for something in the air. Her eyes were not following her hands. Her eyes were in one direction and her hands were in another. The grandmother informed Zainab’s mother of her observation. She moved her fingers in front of Zainab’s eyes. Zainab did not blink. “Zainab can’t see” The grandmother screamed.
Her family took her to a specialist clinic. There, they asked for Zainab’s treatment file. The family went to fetch a copy. However, the file had disappeared. The Field Marshal’s army stole all the wounded files in order to hide its crimes. It hid the doctors and the nurses who witnessed the murdered and victims’ wounds and extracted bullets from their bodies.
Now, Zainab cannot see. She could not walk or crawl yet. Why? A specialist says: “Zainab
feels she’s in a dark room. Does anyone move normally in a dark room?” He adds: “She hasn’t seen anybody move or crawl to understand that and try to imitate it. She lives in the dark” Vision cells have atrophied in Zainab’s brain. Those cells would not grow again. A while ago, a specimen was taken from Zainab’s blood and was sent to Germany. The family is still waiting for the result.
Two incomparable situations. The King’s joy of his granddaughter, Nasser’s (the executioner) daughter, on one side. On the other side, Zainab’s grandmother’s panic while she was running carrying her in the dark streets of 15 March 2011 evening searching for a Health Centre. The paradox of those situations was similar to the disparity of the BD 10 million that Sheima received on her first day and the gas canister that suffocated Zainab.
What is the difference between Zainab and Sheima? Are not their childhood and innocence the same? Why one of them becomes a millionaire on her first day of life and the other gets blind in her first year? How will Sheima spend her life? And how will Zainab? Who will answer those questions, when Zainab realizes what Sheima’s grandfather did to her?