"I am going to stay in Bahrain for two days and then I am going to fly to Jordan, to continue my trip around the world which I started last year from Australia" Those were the words of an American pilot, in his 60s on New Years Eve of 2011. This American man was sitting in a tent in Bahrain on 31st December 2010 celebrating New Year with Bahraini youth who he was meeting for the first time. This American man is an adventurous pilot who took the challenge and decided to fly his private old plane from Australia to the USA in an around the world experience. One thing I asked him after midnight, "Did you ever imagine that one day you will be celebrating new years with some Arabic youth, in the desert of a tiny island in the Middle East?" his answer was "Never! But you must know that life will always surprise you in a way that you will never expect" And here I am, 12 months later, chilling at Durrat Al Bahrain… listening to Marilyn Manson's 'Coma White'… wearing my Juventus jacket... drinking Lemon juice... thinking about what he said and looking back at how this roller coaster year of 2011 proved to all of us how life can be different from whatever we expected or planned for.
Although many people complaint a lot about 2011 and how they can't wait for the year to end, for me it is quite different. 2011 was one of the best years to remember, the amount of positive things happened are way more than the negatives. Anyways, it depends on how we take and digest events and then put them in good or bad criteria.
2011 was the year of travel. I have been to 10 countries (Lebanon, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Australia and Vanuatu). I have learnt and remembered at least something from each country I visited.
§ You can never get tired of walking through down town of Beirut, thinking of how this down town changed through history from a dead place to a live cheerful one. I also attended the first come back of Fairoz concert ( I fell asleep in one of her songs)
§ Dubai will always amaze me and inspire me to develop our Bahrain more. Every time I land in Dubai is like landing there for the first time, discovering new things and places there.
§ In Makkah, being a guest of God during Hajj carries out tremendous thoughts that can be written in tons of posts.
§ The beautiful scenes in Phuket gets into you, but the publicity of prostitution there makes you think twice before going there again.
§ Bali was a place where I learnt how to surf. In addition, the people of Bali know how to host guests and they are always friendly, no matter how many times Bali was targeted by terrorist's bombings. They stand up, build and work again towards living a better life.
§ Tokyo was amazing in a way where you can see everything organized. Walking through the temples in Japan with the beautiful nature and architect flies your mind to a Hollywood movie.
§ Brisbane taught me how people can overcome disasters. They had a big flood, which made them lose a lot. Yet they rise up and rebuild their city like nothing happened. The behavior of the People of Brisbane and the way they dealt with the floods must be taught in books.
§ The beach which I spent a full day at in the Solomon Islands was a magical beach that until today I question whether I was really there or not. Crystal clear water, with white rocks and gorgeous nature.
§ The village which I visited in Fiji will stay in my heart forever. I will never forget how the people of that village hosted us, despite their very poor condition. They lived in huts, but the warmth of their welcome made me feel like walking inside a castle. They were happy and grateful to god for what they have. At that point I remembered how people I know complain about everything and never thank god for what he gives them.
§ Vanuatu was a paradise on Earth. No matter how much I talk about the beautiful scenes I saw, I won't be able to picture one second of what my eyes saw especially that I traveled between those countries by ship [Japan, Solomons, Fiji, Australia, Vanuatu]
2011 was the year that made us all wake up from our bubbles and widen our eyes of what is going around us and within us.
2011 was the year that we sadly saw our country shatter into pieces. But it is our task now to take our Bahrain and put it back together like it was and even better.
2011 was a difficult financial and political year, but somehow we survived it.
2011 was a challenging year for Chelsea football club; they keep going on reverse...
2011 was a historical year for Juventus football club. They have their own stadium now (the first of its kind in Italy); they ended the year without a defeat after a disastrous last season. But I don’t know if I can ever forgive Andrea Agnelli on what he is doing to the king Allesandro Del Piero.
And finally 2011 was a year of keeping your good friends, making new great friends (Especially those international friends I have made through my experience on the ship), and getting in touch with old ones.
One thing I will never forget is the American pilot's words when he said "But you must know that life will always surprise you in a way that you will never expect"
So buckle your seatbelts and be ready for what 2012 is hiding for us! Happy New Year.
Below is a memory from every country
But there is nothing nicer than this