The National Union Committee of Bahrain, a key force in the 1950's in Bahrain
Bahrain had been festering since the suppression of the 1956 protests. Although it had taken on the appearance of normality, dissent had been building up. The original demands for a small amount of representation in the government and British supervision of this representation had been ignored, and the were now being seen as too soft by many inhabitants of Bahrain, particularly the youth of the country. Although many still believed in peaceful reform of the current system, a number of Bahrainis, influenced by Arab Nationalist ideology coming from Egypt and other areas of the Arab world, were beginning to contemplate a more radical change in Bahrain. This is the story of their triumph.
9th October, 1964 - Sitrah, Bahrain
Ahmad al-Janabi Pulled his small boat up to the beach around half a mile down the coast from the village of Sitrah, on the island of the same name. He saw the campfire of Ali al-Shaikh, his contact here. He shouted his name, and gestured for him to come over.
“You must be Ahmad, yes?”
“Correct. I’ve got what your comrades asked us for right here”
Ahmad pulled back the sheet that covered part of his boat. Underneath was a small arsenal of guns, ammunition and various other weaponry.
“How many here?” Ali enquired.
“Not much. 20 AK-47s, 30 Makarovs. I even managed to get a RPG in there”
“And this is supposed to kick out the British garrison and the security forces of the whole country? Is this a joke?”
“No joke. Even getting this through was hard enough”
“You cannot be serious. You could have easily brought more on that shitty little dhow of yours”
“Look, you can take it or leave it. Be creative with them, I’m sure you can manage something interesting. And in the name of god would you please stop insulting me and my boat!”
“I wasn’t insulting you, I was insulting the boat”
“Look, I was offended anyway, and we are getting sidetracked. Do you actually want what I’ve got here or have I got to risk getting these back to Oman with the British crawling all over the gulf?”
Ali took another look over the guns, contemplating for a moment before turning back to Ahmad. “Well, I guess they will suffice. They would certainly be better than knives”.
“That they would be. As I am said, you’re sure to find a use for them. You should really read this”
Ahmad pulled an English copy of Mao-Tse Tung’s On Guerrilla Warfare, and handed it to Ali.
Ali looked quizzically at the book and said “What use is this going to be? I can only speak a few words of English, never mind read any of it”
Ahmad looked increasingly annoyed at the obtuseness of his contact. “I’m sure you know someone who does. Ask them to translate it for you”
Both men looked toward the main island of Bahrain. “Take these over to Jurdab with me. From there on, I can take it to the rest of my comrades myself”. Ahmad got into the boat. Ali gave a push to it, and then got into the boat himself. Both sailed off to the main island of Bahrain, finishing the last leg of a journey that would change Bahrain forever…