Immigrants Show Support for Pro-Democracy Protests in Bahrain
A protest in front of the United Nations in support of Shiite Bahranis who have been demonstrating for democracy in Bahrain. (Photo: Mohsin Zaheer)
NEW YORK–Ever since a wave of protests began sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East, Arab immigrants in the U.S. have been showing their support.
On March 27 the Al-Mahdi Foundation of New York along with a coalition of Muslim organizations staged a demonstration in front of the United Nations building and the Saudi Arabian Consulate to express solidarity with Bahraini Shiites who have been demonstrating for social equality and democracy in Bahrain since February.
Demonstrators also called on the United Nations and the United States to prevent Saudi Arabia from sending troops to support the Bahraini government, which has used force against the protesters. In New York, the speakers criticized the Saudi Arabian government and the Sunni ruling family of Bahrain, the Al Khalifa family, which has ruled for more than two centuries over a Shiite majority.
The organizers are planning a follow-up protest in front of the White House in Washington D.C. on April 15, said Javed Hussain, secretary general of the Al-Mahdi Foundation.
Mohsin Zaheer is a Pakistani-American journalist and editor based in New York whose work spans two decades. He won the New York Community Media Alliance’s Ippies Award in 2009 and has been the beneficiary of numerous Pakistani-American awards. Zaheer joined Daily Khabrain, Lahore (the Urdu-language newspaper with the largest circulation in Pakistan) in 1989 as staff reporter, eventually becoming the Deputy Editor of Reporting. Zaheer moved to the U.S. in 1999 and joined the staff of Sada-e-Pakistan, an Urdu-language weekly, as Editor and set a new trend for Pakistani-American media by reporting on local issues and activities taking place in the U.S. He covered the 9/11 attacks, wide raging issues within the Pakistani-American community in a post 9/11 era, and the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan. Zaheer also launched the Pakistani American community's first online newspaper in 1996, “The Pakistani Newspaper” (www.pn.com.pk), and continues to contribute news stories and columns to Daily Khabrain, Lahore. Zaheer earned his Master degree in Political Science and History from the University of Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan.