Badriya Ali is a Bahraini housewife in her fifties. She ended her life with her bare hands by burning herself. She saw flames eat off her clothes and burn her body. The day passed as if it was eternal before her soul left to its creator, leaving behind children, grandchildren and a husband who is still in need.
What state pushes a believer like this lady to end her life in such a painful way with her bare hands?
How can a person's hands obey its owner to torture himself/herself through burning? I would have wanted to ask those questions to Badriya directly, but Badriya left and I am in my optional exile. I have read much about her, but her story was not complete until I sat pondering the image which told me the rest of it.
Badria is a mother from Sanabis. It is a village that sleeps on the smell of teargas and the sounds of shots and wakes up on the news of those arrested and injured. Last April Bahraini security forces attacked them while they were asleep, as usual. Here security forces are like thieves. They attack at night and treacherously kidnap people. And I wish the distinguished Interior Minister would tell me why his men insist on storming houses after 2 a.m. As if the sunlight terrifies vampires!!
That night Badria read Quran and slept to wake up to the sound of shattering in her house. When she gained consciousness, she saw dozens of masked men break into her house and were pointing guns to her head and the head of her husband. After a moment, she saw her son who was just over the age of 17 years in the hands of masked men. They kicked him and pulled his head and were beating his head repeatedly on the wall. Badriya pulled her son Ahmed from their grip. She screamed at them, "My son did not do anything, leave him" but the police who are not fluent in Arabic, shouted at her and pushed her brutally. They were pulling her child whose face was covered in blood.
She opened her eyes to see that Ahmed was taken away. They took him and she could not deter them. Badria began to cry that night and was not able to stop. She thought about how they would beat him, would they rape him or not, will they feed him, and will they torture him?
Questions were hovering in her head every minute of the day.
10 months, 300 days, 18 thousand hours, Badria spent crying over her son, shuddering every night for the idea that her son was tortured now. She feared that her other sons might be arrested too.
Her son was released after ten months while maintaining the charge of "participation illegal protests". Ahmed returned from prison after months of suffering to see that his mother was not the same. She was sad and depressed.
When Bouazizi burned himself after receiving a slap from the officer, the world sympathized with him and requested a revenge. In Bahrain, people ignored Badria’s story and the loyalists mocked it.
Badria is a victim of this regime’s atrocities. May Badria’s soul rest in peace, may all the Bahraini mothers remain strong, and may victory be granted to Bahrain’s people.