Sunday, March 25, 2007

Nicely Said...

I came across this article by Ali Al-Saeed who is a famous blogger in the Bahraini blogosphere and this was an article in his column in the Gulf Daily News.. All I can say is amen to what you said, nicely put...

Facing the music over creativity...

By Ali Al Saeed

Rock music is the Devil's music. That's what I kept hearing as a teenager. I thought it was absurd back then and I still do now.

A couple of weeks ago, I was standing amidst hundreds of wild rock fans enjoying their favourite bands playing live in front of their eyes in Dubai.

I saw no devils around, only happy, smiley faces - including yours truly - having the time of their lives!

At the age of 16-17, I was your typical angry boy with an attitude problem - and I wanted to be in a band.

But, for any self-respecting Bahraini family, to hear their son wanting to play the devil's music, well, back then that was a big no-no, as you can imagine.

My cousin and I used to "smuggle" our guitars into our homes secretly, behind our parents' backs and try to practise as quietly as rock music can possibly be played.

I must admit though, we were terrible. But let's not go there.

We feared our parents' wrath if they were to find out about our newly discovered passion.

I, as a person, am one of those who honestly cannot live without music in their lives. My bedroom had posters of all shapes and sizes of rock stars and heavy-metal bands on every inch of its walls and I would spend my weekly savings on buying records of my favourite bands.

Even now, there is nothing like those moments when I sit at home and listen to the newest CD, fresh out of its plastic case.

We'd wait for the day that everyone in either of our households had gone out so that we could let our guard down and "jam" without having to worry about getting caught. We were often told that rock music would be the end of us, that it would lead us to alcohol and drugs and into a world of chaos.

As a child, that seemed to me as far-fetched as man landing on the sun. I knew that it existed, I wasn't that naïve, but I also knew that wasn't all there was to it.

People seem to have these myths about rock music and they cringe at the sight of an electric guitar.

Twelve years ago, it felt as if I was living that 40s/50s period when rock 'n' roll was witnessing its majestic birth in America.

What frightens people about the music is that it is daring, original and highly evocative. It is bound by no rules.

Rock music is arguably the most innovative, creative and musically satisfying genre of music out there - starting with the likes of Woody Guthrie, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan, to Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Lynyrd Skynyrd, to today's Ryan Adams, Idlewild and Muse.

The transformation over the years of the music scene in general has always been led and influenced by such bands and musicians.

That is the reality of it. And I wish more people would see the benefits of musical creativity, rather than focusing on the negative myths they associate it with.

My parents didn't grasp it at the beginning, but now they see it as it is - another outlet for talent and creativity. If you disapprove of something, it doesn't mean that there is no value to it.

Fast-forward to the present and my 16-year-old brother sits upstairs in his room blasting the solo from Hotel California all through the afternoon.

He wants to be in a band.

Fuck all extremists and their dinosaurish mentalities...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

LiB Team at the Dubai Desert Rock Festival 2007

Coming back after a successful trip to Dubai, where the LiB team attended the Desert ‎Rock Festival in Dubai, and boy what a hectic trip it was!‎

First of all, the airlines, and man it was PERFECT!!! And NO I did NOT fly on fucking ‎Gulf Air this time. I used Al-Jazeera Airlines which was not only cheaper, but had ‎comfier seats, get this, they were leather seats! It’s true that for such budget airlines you ‎have to pay for snacks but I don’t mind, I mean, count with me: ‎

Airline return ticket incl. taxes: BD 32‎
Snacks: BD 1.5‎
Total: BD 33.5‎
Gulf Air getting owned by such airliners: PRICELESS!‎

Gulf fucking Air charges a whopping BD 100 for the same return flight with a snack ‎worse than gruel and prison food. Yet they whine about fuel prices and madree sheno* ‎and operating costs. FUCK YOU GULF AIR. Jazeera owns you any day of the year and I ‎am definitely flying with them again. I paid one-third of what I would have paid for a ‎fucked up flight which will probably be delayed by a couple of hours and cost THREE ‎times more and TEN times shittier attitude.‎

‎50 minutes later I arrived at Dubai Airport. After going through the customs and other ‎crappy procedures that you have to go through, I was one meter away from the door ‎when I heard a voice shouting “Hey you!”. I turned around and it was a local Bedouin-ass ‎customs officer. I gave him a strange look when he approached me with an angry face as ‎if I just raped his mother, and said to me with a shitty tone “where passport?”. I said ‎‎“na3am?”**, and he got shocked for some reason, asking me if I spoke Arabic. I said of ‎course I do, and that was after he saw my Bahraini passport! Now I know that a lot of ‎foreign fucks got Bahraini passports, but is it that bad that people have to ask you ‎whether you can speak Arabic or not? Answer: YES it is. Apparently the “speaking ‎Arabic language” part is not a must to get a Bahraini passport nowadays, sad but true. ‎

Anyhow back to the story. So this fucker pulls me to the side and I follow him to a ‎counter at the opposite side of the customs area, where he opens my backpack and starts ‎taking out my stuff, and me of course staring at him with a big smile on my face, telling ‎him to do whatever the fuck he wants just to get it over with. 10 minutes have passed and ‎the guy was shocked to see so much crap stuffed into a small backpack. I told him “It ‎took me an hour to pack all this, now when you’re done you’re going to put everything ‎the way it was”. He gave me a grin and continued. I asked him why he stopped me and ‎let all those fucking foreigners pass by. He said it was just a random procedure where ‎they pick a random person and start searching him. Hmmm now that’s good, I mean it’s ‎his job after all, and I was more than cooperative, but think about it, he’s taking 30 ‎minutes of his time to search me. And I’m looking at all the other suspicious looking ‎mother fuckers pass by. What makes him sure that none of those guys carry anything ‎suspicious or illegal (drugs, weapons, dildos etc)? I guess he would’ve left me alone if I ‎was a white guy with blonde hair, god damn white worshipping fuck. Maybe they should ‎hire people with a better judge of character, instead of just looking at skin color, fucking ‎fags. ‎

So with me waiting patiently and continuing to smile just to piss him off even more, and ‎him not being able to find anything in my bag, he decided to take me to a small room at ‎the back, where he strip-searched me, and yet again, I had a big fucking smile just to get ‎on his nerves for wasting my fucking time. ‎

After searching every inch of my body (literally), and sniffing my underwear (procedure ‎or kinky fucker? You decide), I put my pants back on and looked at him. I asked him if ‎there was anything else. He said “NO” with a fucked up face and just left the room, ‎slamming the door behind him. So basically, if I was an ass to him, he would’ve given ‎me a hell of an attitude. And if you’re nice, they still give you shit for it? I mean what the ‎fuck? Don’t I deserve a “thank you for your time or cooperation” or whatever? Fucking ‎good for nothing dumb-ass Bedouin. I guess spending all that time 6a33ising*** in your ‎Land Cruiser with your friends rather than staying in school is probably what got you ‎here, sniffing my stinky underwear. I guess that’s enough and fair punishment after all. ‎

Anyhow, with that out of the way, I left the Airport looking for a taxi, where I started ‎calling several hotels looking for available rooms, guess it was dumb not to confirm the ‎reservations before, but I managed to find a hotel that wasn’t half bad. All I needed was a ‎bed and a toilet, so I wasn’t really bothered about which hotel I stayed at, but BD 40 a ‎night? For a 3-star hotel? Prices were much cheaper before. Apparently as the friendly ‎taxi driver explained; prices are going up each year, so probably it would cost you BD 60 ‎to stay at the same hotel in 2 years time! So I arrive at the hotel and go through the check ‎in process, and the guy behind the counter asks where I’m from. I said Bahrain. And he ‎goes “this is a family hotel, no girls allowed”, oooookaaaaay, so I’m guessing other ‎Bahrainis come to Dubai to raise hell and go back to the shit hole they came from ‎‎(probably riffa3), kinda like the reputation Saudis have in our country! ‎

A few hours later the rest of the LiB team members reached the hotel, with a rental van to ‎take us around. They checked in their rooms and then we all got into the van and went to ‎grab a quick meal to eat while we were driving to the event. We were already late as their ‎flight arrived at 2 pm and the doors for the thing opened at 3 pm, until everyone was ‎checked in it was already 3 pm. We stopped at a Burger King near the hotel and got a ton ‎of food in order to satisfy the hunger of all 7 of us! We were starving. We took the food ‎and were now on our way while massacring the poor burgers and chicken burgers. Even ‎the poor fried potatoes were screaming for mercy! But nothing escaped the ruthlessness ‎of the guys where only the paper wrappings were short from being devoured as can be ‎seen below.‎

We stopped for a quick petrol filling session and we were well on our way after that, at ‎the petrol station we saw the amazing Dubai skyline. It’s amazing to see all the ‎development that goes on in there while we sit and watch them become something they ‎weren’t when we were something in the past and now it’s totally the other way round. ‎Then all we do is sit and whine and bitch about how we WERE something in the past. ‎Yes we WERE, now we are NOT, instead of whining we should do something about it. ‎Still though there are a lot of people in Bahrain who care about their own well being, so ‎instead of uniting to work for a better Bahrain, everyone works for their own people. ‎Baba if you work together everyone will achieve prosperity, dumbasses. Well until then, ‎this is what we have to compete with:‎
Dubai Skyline

It was now 4 pm and we were heading on the Hatta-Al Ain road where the map said we ‎should be heading and took the turn where it was shown on the map and then continued ‎to follow the arrows on the shitty map (a shit ass map on the back of the ticket which ‎looks like something drawn by hand, kinda like the ones you find on kids birthday ‎invitation cards). The road sign said that Al Ain was about 120 km away and we went on ‎and on until the sign read 50 km to Al Ain! WTF! We were like half way to Al Ain and ‎still haven’t reached our damn destination? We went all the way back and took another ‎turn thinking that it was the turn we missed; we went on and on until we reached the ‎same place. What the fuck was that? So we called some damn fucking number they have ‎for tourist information and you tell them where you are and guide you on the phone ‎telling you which turns to take and what signs you will be seeing ahead. That they were ‎accurate at, I mean we were actually seeing which signs they said we would see, only ‎thing is, we still haven’t reached the fucking place and were actually going in circles. So ‎finally we took a turn using our instinct and then we told the shitty services to guide us ‎from there which they have also failed at. Finally it’s 5:30 pm and we arrive at the damn ‎venue where we only reached at the end of In Flames’ performance and we only got to ‎see them play 2 and a half songs! Needless to say that we told the tourist info services to ‎go fuck themselves for the shit ass service they provided and cursed the Dubai Country ‎Club -where the event was being held- for putting such shitty maps on their tickets.‎
Driving to the DDRF 2007
Driving to the DDRF 2007

The event itself was great and we all had fun. There were a lot of people there and it was ‎noticed that a lot of shitty Indians were there. I mean we’re not like racist or something ‎but these people had the shittiest attitudes we had ever seen. One wanted to pick a fight ‎with my brother just cause he wanted to get past him to get a bit to the front where he ‎ended up (the Indian of course) getting a punch in the face. I mean it was crowded and ‎people were sweating from moshing. Hell I know I was, but I didn’t smell half as bad as ‎those guys from Bangladesh. I mean talk about B.O.! Don’t they sell deodorant in their ‎country? I mean I know it’s a poor country and shit, but if they can afford a plane ticket ‎to Dubai and tickets to the concert, you think they can’t spare half a dinar on a small can ‎of deodorant? Guess not. Goddamn didoogh**** smell makes you high man!!! And ‎what’s worse, at the end of the concert when Iron Maiden were done, they were throwing ‎the drums’ sticks for audience to collect, pretty normal, it happens in every rock concert. ‎What happened here was that the stick landed right on one of our team’s shoulders and he ‎grabbed it. What we didn’t realize is the 1000 other subcontinental fuckers who ‎immediately came to our guy trying to get the stick from his hands! I mean get over it ‎you misers! The guy got it, but no, our poor teammate got pulled right inside a vortex of ‎stench and he had to let go in order to stop being pulled away from us, it was not worth it ‎being crushed and by whom? However, as he let go he was still being pulled then those ‎black assholes realized that the stick is in their gang’s grip they let go of our guy. That’s ‎what they always do, gang up on people until they get something. Like the fucking ‎lottery, they gather half a Dinar each to buy a BD 10 lottery ticket, then you realize that ‎they won a fucking Jaguar. Go figure. For them it will be worth it cuz after splitting the ‎prize money they will build a palace in the shithole where they came from. Good for ‎nothing asswipes.‎
Dubai Desert Rock Festival 2007

We managed to get our signature on the board where it had the bands’ names on and ‎people would write all sorts of shit.‎
Signature Board at the DDRF 2007
Signature Board at the DDRF 2007
Signature Board at the DDRF 2007

All the bands came and went, Stone Sour were cool. The Prodigy also had a nice ‎performance. Just watch the “Firestarter” video below.‎
The Prodigy at the Dubai Desert Rock Festival 2007

Then came Iron Maiden. They performed incredibly and rocked the whole house with ‎their exhilarating songs and great crowd-pumping tunes. Everyone was happy and people ‎were enjoying themselves to the fullest.‎

I had to take a quick toilet break when I saw a Scottish dude talking to me, just being ‎friendly and I told him that I was in Scotland just a month back and before that as a ‎student, when suddenly a guy came from behind and started telling the Scottish person ‎‎“Why you kick my ass?” and I was like “Huh?” and then this guys started throwing ‎punches at the Scottish person with me in the middle, I could have ended up being stuck ‎between these two people and their fight where I was holding them apart and shouting ‎‎“KNOCK IT OFF GUYS!” and then a couple of people came and took the Scottish guy ‎and I took the other guy aside. I asked him what was up and he said “This guy kicked my ‎ass” and other shit which I couldn’t understand then I asked him where he was from and ‎he said “Bahrain”. Okay so el akh Ba7raini? He was like yeah! And I told him I was ‎Bahraini too and whatever the reasons were it was wrong for him to act like that, and I ‎asked him how he got his ass kicked by the Scottish person, thinking he might have hit ‎him hard in the mosh pit or something like that. Then the guy told me that the Scottish ‎guy pinched him in the toilet! Oh so that was his ass kicking adventure! I told him that he ‎still was wrong cause even if he complains, no one would believe him cause Emaratis as ‎well as the rest of the Khaleejis are white skin and blond hair worshippers. I also told him ‎that it was NOT worth it to get the boot because of such lowlife people and just walk ‎away and I pushed him towards the crowd telling him to go find his friends and have fun ‎and not bother with worthless people. Finally he was convinced, thanked me and went on ‎to enjoy the rest of the show.‎

By now the place was packed and that toilet break cost me my place deep inside the ‎crowd. I tried to push myself in to get to where I was but I reached a point where I ‎couldn’t get any further, but hey no complaints and the view was great. But wait! What’s ‎that flying over our heads? Oh no! They are flying beer cans and people were throwing ‎them all over the place and everyone standing in the range of these flying cans got ‎drenched! I smelled like a brewery by the end of the concert but that didn’t stop me from ‎taking the following shots!‎
Iron Maiden at the Dubai Desert Rock Festival 2007
Iron Maiden at the Dubai Desert Rock Festival 2007
Iron Maiden at the Dubai Desert Rock Festival 2007
Iron Maiden at the Dubai Desert Rock Festival 2007

Here are other pics from the Iron Maiden performance shot by the other LiB Team ‎members who were on the other side of the stage. Again, enjoy!‎
Iron Maiden at the Dubai Desert Rock Festival 2007
Iron Maiden at the Dubai Desert Rock Festival 2007
Iron Maiden at the Dubai Desert Rock Festival 2007
Iron Maiden at the Dubai Desert Rock Festival 2007

In all, it was an unforgettable outing and we will definitely do it again next year.‎

I met some Arabs who, when I told them I was from Bahrain, asked me “But a lot of ‎Bahrainis like rock music more than Emaratis, why don’t you hold such events?” To ‎which I answered with a grin: “As long as we have those bushy bearded extremists, we ‎will only go backwards”. What do you expect from a bunch of backwarded fucks who ‎attack a normal Spring of Culture event? What do you expect from a bunch of dickwads ‎who label local rock bands as Satanists? Do you expect those to allow Rock and Metal ‎bands to perform peacefully in Bahrain? I suspect that. I mean seriously, I was sitting ‎there and imagining the possibility of having such bands perform in our country. This ‎reminded me of an outing I had a few months ago, where I met this lovely lady that ‎works for a local company called “8th wonder”. We started talking about her job and ‎apparently they are responsible for organizing events of all kind, sports, music, cultural ‎whatever. And I asked her why they never organize anything like the desert rock festival, ‎and I explained to her how a lot of locals would attend, and people from abroad as well. ‎She clearly answered: “We can’t deal with rock music because of the image it has in our ‎country”. THANK YOU VERY FUCKING MUCH YOU KHAR KOSSA BUSHY ‎WAHABI FUCKS!‎

I mean I read the goddamn newspaper and its all about some good for nothing Mulla MPs ‎attacking the damn cultural events, I mean the whole reason behind these events is to ‎introduce close minded fucks like them to other countries’ cultures. But noooo, just ‎because the ballerina is wearing tight clothes, that makes them INFIDELS!!! Go back to ‎your fucking camels you retarded fucks, even Saudi Arabia is going forward, and we are ‎aiming for the Stone Age. ‎

It’s ok for these Mulla MPs to own bars and night clubs (I know, shocking! But yes some ‎of them do). Then they talk out of their asses as if they know everything and they are ‎god’s messengers to spread peace across Bahrain. Kiss my hairy ass! Islam is not a ‎religion of force, it is a religion of choice. If you find these events offensive then stay in ‎your goddamn caves. No one is forcing your ugly beardy ass to attend (seriously I ‎wonder everyday how these fuckers fuck their wives every night with a face like that and ‎a beard full of fleas, no wonder most their wives are looking for dick). I swear one day ‎I’ll run over one of these mulla fuckers, then I’ll reverse on him, and then I’ll get out of ‎the car and get the bat out of the trunk and tenderize his ass. Man I hate them ‎so much it brings tears to my eyes. ‎

Fuck these retards, I’ll go get high, someone get me a dildoogh!‎

‎* Madree sheno = Don’t know what – Watchamacallit‎
‎** Na3am? = Yes?‎
‎*** 6a33ising = Driving Huge SUVs on Sand Dunes‎
‎**** Dildoogh = Armpit‎