20 January 2008

My Problem with Authority

I passed by the new Gulf Air building next to the airport yesterday; it's a wierd design, some sort of curvy shaped thing made out of glass. I decided it might make a reasonable photo, and so decided to stop and get down; for some reason there are no parking spots anywhere on this main road. There was an emergency parking spot a minute or two away so I went and parked there; took out my camera and tripod and walked over to the building.

Took a shot or two and I heard a whistling noise, but I didn't really pay it much attention and kept going. The whistling continued, so I turned around; some dude was standing by my car whistling to me. I looked at him and figured if he has the decency to want to say something, he can come over rather than whistle to me. I'm not a bloody dog, you know. I kept taking photos so he walked over; he's obviously some sort of Gulf Air security personnel, judging by the way he was dressed.

Now before I mention the conversation that ensued, you have to understand one thing. In this region, you give any person a little bit of authority, and they think they're some sort of god; they'll talk down to other people, expect others to consider them something great and follow their every word. And the truth is, most people actually do worry when being talked down to by "a figure of authority". However, if you want them to lose their balls all you have to do is talk down back to them:

Security Dude: What are you doing? شتسوي؟

Me: Is there a problem? نعم اخوي, في شي؟

Security: You're taking photos اشوفك قاعد اتصور

Me: No, really? I know i'm taking photos, is there a problem? احلف؟ ادري اني قاعد اصور, في شي؟

Security: I'm security (actually thinking this would scare me) معاك الامن
(عباله يخرع)

Me: I know dude, so what? Again, is there a problem? ادري اخوي, المهم, في شي؟

Security: (confused that i'm not fazed) Erm... Do you have a permit for taking photos? اه... عندك تصريح علشان تصور؟

Me: I'm taking photos from the main road, why the hell would I need a permit تصريح شلا؟ انا قاعد اصور من برة المبنى

Security: (again, getting worried) Uh.. Which magazine or newspaper are you from ام... انت من اي جريدة او مجلة؟

Me: Dude, i'm not from a magazine, i'm not from any newspaper, i'm taking photos for myself. See that gate? I'm not standing inside it, i'm on the main road, so I don't need a permit. People driving by can take photos from their car, I don't see you making a fuss. Now, if there's a problem, go ahead and tell me, otherwise please go back to whatever you were doing. انا لا من مجلة و لا من جريدة. قاعد اصور حق نفسي. شوف السور هناك؟ انا ما طفت السور, انا عالشارع الرئيسي, احتاج تصريح ليش؟ الي يطوف بسيارته و يصور اتقولون له شي؟ المهم, اذا في شي, قول لي, واذا مافي رجائآ توكل اخوي

Security: (now sort of trembling) Erm... Ok... Thanks... ام.. اوكي.. مشكور

Dick. Seriously, I hate people who think they're all that. I would have more than talked to him nicely if he had come up to me nicely, but sitting there whistling thinking I would obey his every command? Prick. He shouldn't have messed with the ammaro.

But the thing is, this isn't just about me talking back to a security guard. We have a sort of epidemic in this region, and whenever someone gets any sort of power or authority, they think they're better than everyone else. I've seen it, whenever you give someone a position as a manager or supervisor somewhere, as a security, or even as a doorman at a club or so. I don't care where you work, or what authority you've been given, you have no bloody right to talk down to people, and don't expect that you're going to get any respect just because you showed your muscle. If you want respect, you better earn it. That guy deserves walking away with his tail between his legs.

Anyway, just for your enjoyment, here are two photos of the building in question, lol (click for large):

I still don't understand why he stopped me. It's a big building made out of glass. Yes people, glass. The whole thing is see-through. It's not like I was trying to extract any damn secrets!


..::Amu::.. said...

first of all beautiful pic!

second, I am sure he is a dick head who wanted to scare you..but what u did was right!! we have a few in this part of world too :D

Cupcake of Bahrain said...

Ofcourse you shouldn't take photos! That was the flight simulation centre, you could have been preparing for a future act of terror!

Shionge said...

This is cool and yes many times people are intimidated by 'authority', by men in uniformed....esp airport security.

You did well :D

Woozie said...


If that was America, air marshals would have stuck a ball gag in your mouth and given you a cavity search.

Unlike air marshals, the TSA doesn't do anything though. They literally sleep on the job.

ebtihal said...

Because it's Gulf Air and their image in the newspapers wasn't that good, they would be afraid of your intentions of the photo specially if you are doing it for a newspaper. The photos can not be harmful offcourse but if the security man knew that, he wouldn't be a security man.
Nice photos.

Jay Cam said...

aha! thanks to you the secret is revealed! i know what the meaning of life is now! all because of your two pics!

lol jk
but wouldn't that be cool?

awesome place btw, and way to handle that security dude!

Missy said...

OMMMMMG!! Mister! ur unbelievably rude! :|

cookie said...

cool pictures

many people get scared when a security comes to them and say "hey there I'm security be afraid"

I think that he didn't expect you to say huh! so what !? that is why he invented the permit thing :P

Re.Loaded Soul said...

Man, you could have heated it up more if you have said "Show me your identification first" !

Anyways, great job ammaro. I can now depend on you working without my consultation :P

ammaro said...

amu; i know you do!

cupcake; yes, thats exactly what i was doing. using the worlds crappiest airline to formulate a terrorist attack.

shionge; thank you. good to have you back

woozie; but this isnt america! this is the REAL land of the free. in your country, you guys take photos and you get hands up your ass. here, we say whatever we want to these security guys. now tell me which country has the most freedom? wierd huh?

ebtihal; true, but he still can't question why im taking photos. i could have taken them from the car!

jaycam; im glad the pictures mean something to someone! i wasnt even gonna post them until the situation happened!

missy; i am NOT rude! he was rude to me, so ill be rude back to him.. what the hell, whistling to me like im supposed to run over to him. screw him and his uniform..

cookie; theyre all kids, trying to play big

reloaded; he was wearing a security uniform. i dont think i need to ask for ID :p

flymenian said...

Pretty pics, God I miss Bahrain!

I'm dying to know 1 thing only, What the hell is going on in Bahrain?

I guess I've been away for so long.

taqo said...

You bad ass, you!

Merlin said...

Smite them and let them tremble in your presence, for they are nothing more than minimum wage bums!

M. J. Kout said...

looks like a cross secton of an airplane wing

June said...

Absolutely ridiculous. Good on ya, standing up to authoritaaay. I think us Arabs, we've all got Mafioso blood in us.

Redbelt said...

Well, the Gulf Air Building is supposed to look like a wing. So.. there.
And Bahrainis really go on power trips. Kudos to you Ammar. I am usually the brat and act like you do. Of course you know that if you read my pebble of doom posts. By the way, retrial is in Feb 26th! Can'ty wait.

Coolred38 said...

the policy goes like this...you might be up to something shady...he doesnt know but in order to cover his ass he confronts you just so later when all hell breaks loose cause of whatever you were plotting was put into action...he can say with a proud puffing of his chest that he did interogate you prior to the event....but tough cookies that you were...you played it cool so he didnt have a clue...he is just a poor sercurity guard trying to make ends meet feeding his 12 kids, 3 wives, and 2 goats....or maybe Im thinking of someone else....hmmm

anyhow...they do it to cover their ass...so later they can say...they noticed you and thought you looked suspicious...lol

Shale bin Agnon said...

(Ammaro's intense pride at standing up to the bad man barely disguised by his suggestion that power-blindness is a local phenomenon)

ammaro said...

flymenian; lots of things! what are you wondering about specifically?

taqo; thats me! mr badass

merlin; wise words, from a very wise person who will not reveal his identity

mj; i think thats what its supposed to look like

june; you mean the mafioso have arab blood in them!

redbelt; pass me a link to the "pebble of doom" please

coolred; cover their ass? why dont they do their bloody job and report me to some higher authority if they really suspected me of doing something suspicious? chicken craps...

shale; oh, you're good dude, you're goood...

moon-light7 said...

I'd have laughed in the face of that guy had I heard u speaking to him!! met some ppl like that... i think it's a kind of 'lack of self-esteem' thing LOL, look at me trying to analyze this!! or maybe it's just ignorance coupled with stupid curiousity! whatever that means!!

U did the right thing.

SoulSearch said...

Good for you. If this guy had time, I'm sure he would have made a big deal out of it. People here (esp. those in uniform, don't know that the public has a right to free photography)
Power trips are what these people feed their egos with!
Great pics by the way! Dying to get my hands on some!!!

Shoaib said...

damn right he shudn't have messed with THE AMMARO! :-P lol.. tat line rox!

LiB Team said...

Wow and I was wondering where I had seen this building before, it was at the shithole where I used to study, Greenock, UK. Here is a pic which shows a resemblance.


Such rude people on power trips should be plain castrated and hung in public.

ammaro said...

moonlight; power trips. thats all it is.

soulsearch; sure. my price has now increased to $500 a piece.

shoaib; hell yeah!

LIB; where the hell you been guys?