On 4 April 2004 Michael Schumacher's Ferrari received the chequered flag to win the Bahrain Grand Prix, the first FIA Formula One World Championship event held in the Middle East.
This symbolic act marked the end of an amazing 16 months — and the beginning of a brilliant future — for Bahrain International Circuit (BIC).
The track was conceived as an integral part of His Highness the Crown Prince Shaikh Salman bin Hamad's objective of increasing the awareness and profile of the Kingdom.
Designed by Hermann Tilke, the German architect responsible for new GP venues in Malaysia, China, Turkey and Valencia, BIC was scheduled for a two-year build.
But then Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone asked if that schedule could be brought forward — by six months. Without a moments hesitation we agreed.
"There was a flood of press speculation that the track would not be ready for its inaugural Grand Prix," says Martin Whitaker, BIC's CEO since August 2004. "But under the guidance of Shaikhs Mohammed bin Isa and Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa it was more than ready.
"It was a period of intense excitement and hard work. The drive to have the circuit finished on time coursed through the veins of everyone connected with it: pride, passion and, ultimately, huge satisfaction in a job well done."
The first piece of ground was broken in December 2002. The 'keys' to the circuit were handed over to His Majesty King Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa on 17 March 2004.
In just 16 months, and at a cost of US$150 million, a world-class motorsport facility had risen out of the desert 30km south of Bahrain's capital city, Manama. And BIC's reputation has grown ever since. Its annual Grand Prix is renowned as one of the most friendly, atmospheric and exciting of the season.
And its success — based on the sound foundation of BIC's friendly and professional staff — has brought other international race series flooding in: international Formula 3, GP2, GP2 Asia, the FIA GT Championship and the BMW World Final have all raced at BIC — and its annual Desert 400 is the only round of the V8 Supercar series held outside Australasia.
BIC has also encouraged local motorsport: its drag strip has given new focus to what has long been a popular sport in the Middle East; its Kart Zone will help unearth young local talent; and its on-site technicians provide vital racing expertise.
Off track, its 4x4 desert obstacle course is home to only the world's second Hummer Academy and BIC stages events — competitive and corporate — almost every day of the year.
It's as busy now as it was when it was being built.
(Warning: RT's exclusive video contains graphic scenes of violence)
Last Friday, at least 50 people have been injured as security forces in Bahrain opened fire on protesters for a second straight day. Protesters who tried to march to the square on Friday described a chaotic scene of tear gas clouds, bullets coming from many directions and people slipping in pools of blood as they sought cover. Some claimed the gunfire came from either helicopters or sniper nests. The video shot by RT crew shows chanting protesters marching towards military vehicles before sustained gunfire erupts. Throngs of anti-government protesters took over the square earlier in the week, setting up a camp with tents and placards, but they were driven out by riot police in a deadly assault on Thursday that killed five people and injured more than 200.
According to a respected religious rights organization, the Christian population of Syria's third largest city has dropped from around 55 thousand to less than one thousand.
BarnabusAid links a mass migration from Homs to strife between the troops of President Assad and anti-government forces.
The report goes on to say, "During the worst of the conflict, the opposition forces attacked churches and also occupied an evangelical school and home for the elderly, which were then shelled by the army. Church leaders have reported that Muslim neighbours are turning on the Christians, and that Muslim extremists from other countries have been coming to Homs to join the fighting." This must be exposed and stopped!
But beyond Homs, Barack Obama and many in the media continue to portray the uprisings throughout the Middle East as "freedom fighters." In reality they are often sects of radical Islam overthrowing existing, sometimes more moderate regimes.
BarnabusAid tells us "Christians have also suffered kidnappings and gruesome murders. Some Christian families, unable to pay a ransom for their relatives' release and fearing that they may be tortured, have been driven to ask the kidnappers to kill their loved ones at once." Yet their reported plight is ignored by the media, UN and the Obama administration. How many more innocent Christian families will eventually be slaughtered in what appears to be imminent US-backed genocide.
And how does one reconcile Obama's wholesale abandonment of the Christian community in Muslim countries with his dropping of all state business to fawn all over Trayvon Martin and how if he had a son he'd look like Trayvon?
What will it take for the world to wake up and realize that Barack Obama is apparently working at break neck speed to help the most radical Islamic regimes eradicate Christianity and take over the Middle East and perhaps the world!
~ ✟ Veritas ✟ Vincit ✟ Omnia ✟ ~
"We want the Syrian Army to come into Homs."
"We want the Syrian Army posted on the roofs of the houses, with helicopters and tanks."
"Stop these snipers from killing us."
~ The Residents of Homs, Syria.
Mossad vs Assad? 'CIA death squads behind Syria bloodbath'
Moscow has accused the West and co' of stirring up tensions in the Arab world by calling for the overthrow of President Assad and the Syrian Government. Russia has commented that those nations who are calling for the "Syrian opposition" to avoid dialogue with the government, are only encouraging and provoking further violence.
Author and journalist Webster Tarpley, from a visit to Syria, says it's very simple: the Western powers, Israel and the Gulf States are the true forces behind the violence in Syria. They are funding Foreign Terrorist Snipers; "Death Squads", to come into Syria and Murder Innocent Syrians randomly in their twisted bid to destabilize Syria.
Many of the so called "free syrian army" are in FACT just foreign fighters and fanatics, brought into Syria by the Western Powers, the CIA and Mossad, so as to engineer a false and highly exaggerated impression of the situation there, in order to intervene militarily in Syria and depose Assad's Government.
What worked so wonderfully for them in Libya, they are trying to repeat in Syria. This engineered and false situation the Western Powers, Israel and the Corrupt Gulf Monarchies are engineering and cultivating is ultimately part of their unjust Zionist agenda and War against Iran and must be Exposed for the Pure Evil it is.
KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian discuss the story and show snippets of the film.
Watch the film here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4MnpzG5Sqc
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