Two years ago, the world was captivated as a chain of popular uprisings swept across Middle Eastern countries, and hope for democratic reform reached a fever pitch.
But that fantasy has faded — particularly in Bahrain, where protests against corruption that started in February 2011 have yet to bear fruit. Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets, calling for transparency and an end to nepotism. But the government responded with a violent crackdown that ended in hundreds of injuries, widespread reports of torture, and at least 47 deaths. Hopes for reform have dimmed.
“We must forget about this thing called ‘Arab Spring,'” said Mohamed Jawad, an audio engineer who took his oud and his anti-corruption message to Transparency International’s 15th International Anti-Corruption Conference in BrasÃlia in November.
Jawad feels the international community has abandoned the democratic aspirations of his country, due in part to wealthy nations’ need for Bahraini oil and other resources.
In this 100Voices video, Jawad expresses his despair to anti-corruption groups as they gather in BrasÃlia. He was interviewed by 100Reporters’ Chad Bouchard.