The Documentary Film Script: The Political Naturalization in Bahrain

June 2002

The video can be viewed here.

Camera shots of a trip by car from Bab Al-Bahrain to Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, via the King Fahad Causeway. The Car stops at a place called Al-Dawaser District.

Place: Al-Dawaser District in Dammam – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Event: The Political Naturalization in Bahrain

Name: Ali…

I was born in Dammam, I have lived here for years and suddenly heard news saying that they are granting Bahraini …

Interview with:

Fahad …. Residing in Dammam, Al-Dawaser District

June 2002

The video can be viewed here.

Camera shots of a trip by car from Bab Al-Bahrain to Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, via the King Fahad Causeway. The Car stops at a place called Al-Dawaser District.

Place: Al-Dawaser District in Dammam – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Event: The Political Naturalization in Bahrain

Name: Ali…

I was born in Dammam, I have lived here for years and suddenly heard news saying that they are granting Bahraini …

Interview with:

Fahad …. Residing in Dammam, Al-Dawaser District

My name is Ali … I was born in Dammam and I am 47 years old

In the name of Allah … I am Jumaa …. Residing in Dammam, Al-Dawaser District

May peace be upon you .. My name is Jassim and born in Dammam

In the name of Allah … My name is Abdulla …

My name is Ibrahim …

Name: Abdul-Rahman .. living on the East Coast, I work for ARAMCO in Saudi Arabia.

How Were You Granted Bahraini Citizenship?

Fahad: I got it through the Chief [chief of the tribe], here in Dammam … you apply through the Chief and it goes for processing in Bahrain; and the passport comes to you here ..

Ali: … we heard that you can apply for a Bahraini passport through the Chief .. Chief of Al-Dawaser .. Chief of Al-Dawaser of Dammam … I took my Saudi documents and applied to him [The Chief] … in six months’ time, the Bahraini passport was issued.

Jumaa: Getting the passport was not difficult. Passport! You just go to Ali bin Isa [the Chief] … he will give you the papers .. fill them .. take a copy of your family cards and personal identifications .. number of sons you have .. number of daughters you have .. that’s everything .. I was one of them; which means I might have received the first passports — around 13 Bahraini passports, Population Registration Cards, Personal Identifications and everything.

Jassim: I received the citizenship from the Chief of Al-Dawaser, Ali bin Isa … Requirements were documents and copies of passports. We got around seven passports; for me and my family members which are six; I am the seventh.

Abdullah: I applied for a passport through Ali bin Isa’s office .. Oh God; there were no difficulties; it means that they gave me applications and I filled them; I applied at the office and after around six months, the passport was delivered to me .. .. they called me and brought me the passport.

Ibrahim: We applied to the Chief; we gave him documents and copies of Saudi passports .. that’s it .. this was the procedure .. They gave me the passport and they were very cooperative… no procedure .. we just submitted the required documents and gave it to our Sheikh .. Sheikh, the son of Ali bin Isa .. he followed the procedures .. and copies of the Saudi passport and that’s it. These were the procedures .. they took the documents and brought us passport himself.

Abdulrahman: I got Bahraini passport through the Chief, Isa bin Ali, who is a prince [chief] of the East Coast… Chief of Al-Dawaser on the East Coast … Sheikh of Al-Dawaser in the same region .. I applied and it took around three months.

Where Does The Processing of Getting Bahraini Citizenship Take Place?

Abdulla: The office in Al-Malaihi Building

Jumaa: Only this office; it has everything … an office in Al-Malaihi Building – 3 rd Floor.

Is There Any Other Way of Getting Bahraini Citizenship?

Ali: … and I tell those who want a passport should go themselves; it’s better than going through the Chief, frankly; because the Chief waits to collect [all applications] and when they become five thousands .. six thousands applications then he takes them [to Bahrain]. There are people who went [to Bahrain] and it did not take them more than two weeks to get their passports; it means that they went to Bahrain and processed their application and returned back.

When Did You Get Bahrain Citizenship?

Fahad: Before two years.

Ali: I got the Bahraini citizenship a year and half ago; now I go and return with the Bahraini passport .. there is no objection and no need for anything.

Jumaa: .. it has been three years since I got the Bahraini [passport]…. passports for me, my children, grand children since three years back .. two more years to expire.

Abdulla: Oh Allah, around two years.

Ibrahim: My passport, around three years.

Abdulrahman: I had applied for the passport; it took, probably, five months to get the Bahraini citizenship.

Do You Only Carry The Bahraini Citizenship?

Jumaa: I also have Saudi passport and all of them have Saudi and Bahraini passports… listen .. listen .. listen .. this person and I .. this gentleman, Abdulrahman, who had also applied, went with me to Ali bin Isa [the Chief] and we sat with him … I told him: see, this is a Saudi passport and this is the Bahraini one; but you are responsible if they withdraw my Saudi passport … He said: they will neither withdraw the Saudi one, nor the Bahraini one .. they neither withdraw this nor that … this what Ali bin Isa said.

How Many Members of Your Family Were Granted The Bahraini Citizenship?

Jumaa: I and my sons with my daughters are six .. and four .. ten .. and I and my wife .. 12 O.K. … and daughters of my daughters .. and daughters of my sons, Hisham, Khalid, and Jassim – they all have Bahraini passports.

Jassim: I got around seven passports; I and my six children; and I am the seventh .. .. I and my family are above thirty .. forty individuals .. we are all one family .. all kids and adults .. All from mothers to husbands, daughters, and sisters.

Ibrahim: I was the only one to take .. .. Only one of my children, Meshal, may have taken passports for him and for his children.

What Is Your Estimation of Number of Those Who Had Received Bahraini Citizenship?

Fahad: Oh God .. a lot …. Most families here in Al-Dawaser District had benefited from the Bahraini passport.

Ali: Oh God … a lot .. more than 15 thousands .. around that or even more .. so many .. so many .. I went to the Chief’s office and I found, oh God, a lot of documents .. a lot means around six, seven, eight thousand applications.

Jumaa: Around 20 thousands .. 22 thousands people have both Bahraini and Saudi passports .. Because you have Saudi passport, you must copy it and keep the copy with the Bahraini passport according to the number of your family members. If you have ten, you get ten .. You are given applications; you fill them and sign them .. that’s all.

Ibrahim: How many?! … Oh God, I don’t have the count … They have given to a lot.

Which Saudi Tribes Were Granted Bahraini Citizenship?

Ibrahim: Oh God, apparently, when it started it was only limited to Al-Dawaser [tribe] in Dammam .. and then it happened … as they said … was also given to people who were not from Al-Dawaser; they give ‘Qahatin’ [tribe].. they give ‘Zuwaitriyeen’ [tribe].. they give .. they were very helpful .. .. Oh God, first it was for Al-Dawaser only.

Have You Benefited From Housing Facilities in Bahrain [Provided by The Government of Bahrain]?

Jumaa: When I went to apply for a house, they told me that I was old and they cannot grant me a house; we can only give your children .. I said, that’s fine I am their father and responsible for them … they said no, we don’t give those who have passed 60 years of age .. I said, it’s your order and we will see. It’s good if I get a house instead of staying in a hotel or renting an apartment … I will go . .why not if I can get a house from the government [of Bahrain] and furnish it the way my sons and daughters like.

Jassim: I wish I had a residence in Bahrain. My brothers and I applied for a house and we got the approval.

Abdulrahman: If God wishes, I will apply for a house .. if God wishes.

Did You Participate in Voting for The Charter and The Elections?

Fahad: Yes, definitely, I participated in the last elections.

Jumaa: Yes, yes, on the Causeway [King Fahad Causeway: from Bahrain to Saudi Arabia] .. with my Bahraini passport which is still in my car … they stamped it for me and for some youngsters from Al-Dawaser.

Ibrahim: The Charter [the National Action Charter] ! Yes, we went and voted for the Charter, but we voted on the Causeway that day … we went and voted for the Charter .. That’s it.

The Camera moved to the King Fahad Causeway, showing scenes of Saudi brothers while casting their votes at a voting center on King Fahad Causeway.

A Saudi Voter: Oh God .. As for the election process, it was operating at its best. The process was smooth, thanks to God. There was no obstacle.. as for the Bahraini passports, of course, there was no problem .. although the Saudi center was crowded, the process was operating the way it should be, thanks to God.

Another Voter: The process is smooth and comfortable .. Thanks to God, smoothness in all aspects. It does not lack anything.

An Interview with a member in a campaigning committee of one of the candidates for parliamentary elections:

My name is Yousif .. from Buddaiya and now living in Hamad Town … I work for Adel’s .. Committee. I was in the committee on the King Fahad Causeway .. We have orders from his Highness the Minster of Interior to help voters on the Causeway by not stamping their passports … it means they don’t stamp the passport … they bring them by bus. One staff from Immigration Department and two from Custom Duty take them to the voting place .. they get them off the bus while holding passports .. one by one with the committee … no one goes to them to tell them this and that.

Back, once again to Al Dawaser District

Who Did You Elect in the Elections?

Fahad: The Chief [of tribe] in Bahrain called me … so I voted .. I don’t know what was the matter.

Jumaa: They came to us here, in this Diwania [gathering place], and told us this and this and this. Ali bin Isa [the Chief] told us to forget about them: I tell you the particular place. This means that we got lost, we don’t know where to go and where to come; do you know that there are places in Bahrain that we don’t know.

Do You Carry Your Population Registration Card or Bahraini Passport?

Ali’s Bahraini passport was shown in the film; and the date of issue showed was 22nd October 2000.

Then his Population Registration Card was shown:

Issue Date: 4th November 2001

Birth Date: 22nd January 1958

Occupation: Welder

Employer No. & Name: Outside Bahrain Unit

Then another Passport was shown for Jumaa and the date of issue was: 21st October 1999.

After that, Jamaa’s Population Registration Card was shown:

Adress: House 1631

Road 1632

Moharraq 216

The camera moved to Moharraq block # 216, Road 1632; and exactly to House # 1631 .. the door was knocked. An Indian expatriate opened the door and stated that the house belongs to someone called Waleed … … and the people living in the house are workers working for a construction company!!

What Are Your Suggestions?

Abdulla: Oh God, from my side, I suggest to have an office here so it can help the citizens in case they need anything such as applying for the government housing. The office can also renew the expired passport.

Abdulla: Oh God, I would like to see a main office here; any matter one wants can be taken to this office … one might need something; or might need to do something ; or might need to renew something .. he can come to this office which is better for him then going there .. he might have work to do; he might reach there late and find the office or the department that he was intending to go to is closed.

We asked one of the brothers in Saudi Arabia: Why Did You Not Apply For Bahraini Citizenship?

He Answered: I am a military man which means I cannot have a Bahraini passport… I don’t know. What do you suggest me to do…. Oh God, my brother .. Now, they are tightening on some of Al-Dawaser people .. they started to know them and to tighten on them as much as possible .. they said that their passports will be withdrawn .. I don’t know what … we are people of a type that are afraid; we cannot apply for something that can lead us into problems.

After this we said goodbye to our brothers in Saudi Arabia and return to Bahrain.

The End of the Film; And the Beginning of the Hard Work

Against Political and Secret Naturalization