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Published: March 7th 2011
Note the traditional Arab decor.
Jason and his friend Dan are renting a house from a Bahraini man. He was originally planning to live in it himself with his family so it is very traditional and very well appointed. Many of the homes and apartments in this area were built to be rented to U.S. service people. We are only about a mile from the naval base where about 3,000 naval personnel are stationed. The house is quite large with five bedrooms and a separate apartment over the garage. I have attached a couple of pictures to give some idea of the decor.
The house is in the main city of Manama which is in the NE corner of the island and we are in a neighborhood called Jufair. I think there is a map on this site which you can expand if you want. There is a small island called Muharraq just to the NE of Manama and connected by several bridges. The airport is there as well as many historical places.
I spent much of yesterday driving around and found it relatively easy to do so (however, there are very few street signs!). I visited the ruins of one of the oldest
Stairway to second floor
Jason's room is thru arch on the left
mosques in Islam called Al Khamis. It was founded in 692 AD only about 60 years after the death of Mohammed. I then made my way to the ruins of probably the oldest settlement in Bahrain. Qal'at Al Bahrain was founded about 2500BC went through many transitions before it was abandoned in the 1700's AD. Before coming here, I had no Idea that this small island had been so important for so long. The most direct route to get from Al Khamis to Qal'at Al Bahrain would take one thru the Pearl Roundabout which I didn't think was a wise thing to do. But, of course, despite taking a route which I thought would bypass the roundabout, I ended up driving right into it!! Fortunately, there were no major demonstrations going on so traffic was light and I made the transit easily.
Last night, Jason took me down to the Souk (or Suk) which is the historical market area. It is an extremely densely packed area of small shops and vendor stands where you can buy almost anything. Very noisy and colorful. We ended the evening with a traditional meal of "mixed grill" at a very local outdoor restaurant
Carved main entrance.
This is a tradition you see everywhere. Beautiful doors.
(we were the only westerners in sight).
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