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Umm Guwaifa Garden in Riffa

Plan to ban men from Riffa park in Bahrain

MANAMA, May 5, 2015

Men will be banned from entering one of Bahrain's public parks based on a petition submitted to a municipal council.

It follows claims that the Umm Guwaifa Garden, in Riffa, is being monopolised by cricket-playing Asians and Sudanese expats playing loud music at night, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

The Southern Municipal Council has now voted to allow only women and children access to the park, after hearing that they were previously too afraid to enter.

There are now plans to hire female-only security guards and increase the height of boundary walls to guarantee privacy at the park, based on a petition presented on behalf of 300 Bahraini residents by area councillor Abullatif Mohammed.

“The noise from the park is extremely loud and it robs residents of their peace of mind and relaxation,” said acting council financial, administrative and legislative committee chairman Mohammed Al Khal.

“But the noise is just one aspect. Difficulty entering the park is another, with families unable to go in due to fears of being harassed and because there is nowhere for them to sit.

“The Asian cricketers and Sudanese musicians are not alone - there are tons of spectators watching or getting involved in what's going on.

“The committee has looked for the best available option and that's making the park women and children-only. It is easy for these youths to find another empty plot to use.”

Southern Municipality director-general Assem Abdullatif said the council's decision would require major changes at the park.

“We are not against this concept, but with it will come huge costs that we may not have now,” he said.

“If the council wants it, we will do it whenever we get the required financing.

“Women and children-only park means we must have higher walls, hire female security guards, increase the number of rest areas and shades and even change the toilets, especially for children's usage.

“Another matter must also be addressed - and that's whether a father who wants to be with his family should be allowed in.”

Acting council chairman Isa Al Dossary agreed the costs would be expensive and urged fellow members to find alternate solutions, but without success.

The Southern Municipal Council last week banned lingerie shops in the Southern Governorate from hiring male staff and using mannequins to showcase provocative lingerie in shop windows. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Ban | Park | plan | Riffa | men |

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