Missed Date

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Rows of date trees at the park
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Rotting fruit on one of the trees
The bountiful crop a few months ago

A couple of months ago, I had written on these pages about how Bahrain’s rich date crop was readying itself for the ensuing Ramadan and Eid and how there were plentiful supplies of a “fruit” so commonly consumed throughout the year in the Arab world, but in particular during the festivals.
I had also posted pictures of raw dates at the Princess Sabeeka Park in Awali. Now, several weeks later, when I went to the park last weekend, I saw the same dates there but most of them were over-ripe and rotting, some even dried up completely, and unfit for human consumption.
It was a pity to see them thus, especially when the park managed by the Bahrain Petroleum Company, the country’s biggest industrial entity.
I would have imagined the dates would be picked and sent to the local market or, better still, given away to local charities.
I am sure there would have been any number of takers for the rich crop, innumerable volunteers who would have plucked the dates and taken them to charities or even distributed in the villages.
And what about the few thousand company employees? They would be elated at getting the dates as an Eid or Ramadan gift.
It was quite appalling – upsetting, really, to see them go waste. I even tried to jump and get a few in my hands, with no success but one that I found lying on the ground was the sweetest one I have ever had.
What a waste?
I hope company bosses will wake up and organise themselves better the next season. It does not take a rocket scientist to manage such a task, only determination and some foresight!

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