This is an account of Ebrahim Sharif’s arrest on March 17, 2011, provided by his daughter Yara Alsayed. It was earlier published on Jadaliyya.
1:50 AM bell rings at Ebrahim Sharif’s residence. There are a lot of boys/men outside. My mother assumes they are um-alhassam boys/men who trashed the um-alhassam National Democratic Action Society (Wa3d) branch with Molotov cocktail bombs less than 20 hours ago .
Their faces are covered (mulathimeen). No indication that they are police from what they are wearing. After a while, they noticed men wearing all black. Mother says they assumed they were just thugs at first.
Parents came down to address the situation (Ebrahim Sharif and wife). As soon as we stepped out of the door they noticed one of the boys/men climbing the fence (shiga7 ilsoor). One of them was trying to open garage door after hopping the fence (not really a fence, more of a cement barrier…you know what I mean).
The first man who hopped the fence had a gun in his hand and pointed it towards Ebrahim Sharif. Ebrahim Sharif said “nazel il musadas” (“put down the gun”). Parents ask “WHO ARE YOU?”, someone replies “open the door!”. Parents ask “wain ta9ree7kom?”, their reply “a7na gilnalkom ba6lo ilbab”.
Ebrahim Sharif says “Who Are YOU?” At this point they say “Amn el dawla”. Ebrahim Sharif and wife now buzz open the gate from inside. Ebrahim Sharif remains calm. Mother says he put on his shoes and went out to talk to them.
Ebrahim Sharif talks to who seems to be leading the group of men. Leader-guy says something along the lines of “come with us fe ta7qeeqat”. My mother was not close enough to hear the whole thing but this is what she understood.
During this time the some of the men outside start coming into the garden through the gate that was opened as mentioned in the last paragraph. Some were still on the road infront of the house. Mother and father walk outside to where the cars are and my mother notices 2 black cars, 2 jeep landcruisers, and about 3-4 small vehicles similar to corollas in size. Inside these small cars is about 4-5boys covered (mulathimeen).
All in all about 35-40 people outside the house. About 6 or 7 of the total are armed with rashashaat (guns).
Most of the men/boys are mulathimeen (covered), about two of them wearing white thoobs and ‘3itra is covering their mouths.
Mother says they have no idea where my father is right now. There is no way to contact him. She says they are waiting, praying, and hoping for the best. Hoping that the government will release an official statement in the morning of his whereabouts. Working with other Wa3d members on the situation. I asked my mother “Did they not tell you where they were taking him?”. My mother replies by saying “I told them I need a number to get in contact with him or to know information”. A few of them replied by joking and said “call city center (a large mall
in Bahrain)”. She doesn’t appreciate the humor is such a situation and shows this by saying “shinow city center!?” (What do you mean City Center??). The men joke again by saying “al6abeq ilthani yam iltilifoonaat” (second floor next to the phone booths). She mentions that only a few of them were replying to her question and the ones that did were the ones who made these jokes.
May God have mercy on my father. He is not an extremist. The National Democratic Action Society (Wa3d) is a secular one, meaning it is NOT religiously-backed. He is not a violent person. He is peaceful. He asks for reform but has done so in a way where he has never laid a hand on someone and never resorted to violence. I will not be able to forgive the ones who lay a hand on him. Only God knows the truth. Allah Yaster. I’m thinking about you Baba, I love you so much. You make me proud by voicing your opinion and not being scared for your safety, but right now, that is all I am thinking about. You have taught your children to stand up for what they believe in, to educate themselves, to be open minded, and to listen to people. You have played your role in making me the strong woman I am today, but I have never felt so helpless. I hope there are people out there who will protect him.
Peace & Respect; always,
Yara Ebrahim Alsayed