Jassim Al-Abbas and Exploration of Forbidden Topics: Our Narrative, Not the Ruling Family's
2023-11-17 - 12:18 p
Bahrain Mirror: On Friday, November 10, 2023, historical researcher Jassim Al-Abbas was arrested by Bahraini authorities following a summons for interrogation. The Ministry of Interior stated that Al-Abbas is accused of challenging Bahraini society's religious and national constants, promoting false historical information that could incite strife, and threaten civil peace.
As the proprietor of the "Sanawat Al-Jareesh" blog, Al-Abbas delves into the unwritten history deliberately overlooked by the state, aiming to marginalize and erase the presence of the Shiite community before the ruling family's arrival. Al-Abbas's relentless work, along with other individual efforts, has thwarted the state's decades-long project.
Today, thanks to individuals like Jassim Al-Abbas, the average citizen is well-versed in ancient cemeteries, historical tombstones, textile craft history, ancient construction methods, vanished village names, and ancient manuscripts.
For his invaluable contributions in documenting Bahrain's unwritten history that's not recognized by the authorities, Al-Abbas has been a long-term target of harassment, with multiple hacking attempts on his blog, the latest occurring about 10 years ago, leading to a temporary shutdown. Additionally, more than three years ago, Al-Abbas was arrested for allegedly spreading false information related to Bahrain's history.
Established in 2008, Jassim's blog evolved into a significant Instagram page after 2011, boasting approximately 320,000 followers who actively share his posts on WhatsApp, sparking discussions among friends and family in the country's most popular chat groups.
Al-Abbas certainly didn't expect all this popular interaction with his publications and posts, and didn't expect people to be this eager to learn the stories and history of their ancestors. The unexpected popularity of his publications became a thorn in the side of a regime unwilling to recognize the Shia faith and people and their associated narratives. Despite constant monitoring throughout the years, the regime could not find legal grounds to prosecute Al-Abbas. Expanding beyond his blog, Jassim actively participated in councils, funerals, and religious and cultural events, prompting the regime to seize any pretext for his arrest.
Today, unjustly behind bars, Jassim Al-Abbas finds solace in the fact that his influential publications have penetrated the minds of those who seek to erase the identity of a crucial component in the country.