In a world dominated by superpowers like the United States of America or China, one tends to turn a blind eye to certain remarkable realms of the world thereby depriving oneself of the virtue of understanding different cultures and beliefs.
Little do people know that among the fastest growing economies in the Arab world, Bahrain is also the smallest among the Arabian countries. The name ‘Bahrain’ means Two Seas, which is attributed to the sweet water springs and salty water in the seas that surrounds the island country.
Bahrain is undoubtedly the ideal destination for anyone who has been bitten by the bug of wanderlust. Experience the country’s rich culture, tradition, and heritage at the Bahrain National Museum and Qal’at Al Bahrain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site or indulge with the extravagance that is on offer at the Lunar Fest or the full moon party on Al Dar Islands.
Unlike popular belief that Bahrain is a conservative country with several rules and regulations, the country with its increasing tourism is taking strides towards a liberal mindset and growth with its nightlife experiences.
Garden of Eden to Fish Eye to Black Gold
The burial mounds that cover about 5% of the island signify that people who took such sophisticated care of their dead were equally cultured in matters of life. Being at the epicenter of the illustrious empire of Dilmun, the residents were not only engaged with matters of trade but were similarly considerate on the social front.
Pearling, that played a crucial role in the country’s contemporary embodiment turned out to be a shortcoming as well, as it attracted the dominating powers of Europe looking to establish themselves here. In the middle of the dessert, lies the spot where Arabs discovered what was going to change the balance of power in the world. With the discovery of oil in 1932, the nation led the way to steer a course of swift modernization in the region.
It is a shame if you visit Bahrain and do not visit the Bahrain National Museum which offers an introduction to the history of the country or the Bahrain National Theatre, which is the third-largest theatre in the Middle East. Other attractions include the Al Fatih Mosque, which is the largest mosque in the country; Busaad Art Gallery, which is the former home of and showcases the work of Ebrahim Mohamed Busaad; Spice and Gold Souq; and eateries like Haji Gahwa, famous for its biryanis, and Isfahani, known for its pocket-friendly Iranian food.
The people in Bahrain are widely known for their artistic temperament and craftsmanship. The poets of Bahrain are known for their poetic verses as well as their exploration of new themes. Births and marriages are celebrated on a wide scale.
Khaleeji, a style of Arab folk music influenced by the music of Africa is very popular in the country along with Liwa, a type of music and dance performed in communities with descendants of East Africans, such as Muharraq and Hidd.
Festivals like Ramadan, Nasfa, and Habiba are also widely celebrated.
A Heaven of Food
Traditional Bahraini food consists of fish, meat, rice, and dates which make up the famous dishes such as biryani, harees, machboos, mahyawa, maglooba, and zalabia. Qahwah is the national beverage. Much of the cuisine of Bahrain is a mixture of Arabic, Persian, Indian, Balochi, African, Far East and European food due to the influence of the various communities present as Bahrain was an important sea port and trading junction since ancient times.
The Bahraini uprising, also known as the 14th February Uprising or Pearl Uprising was a significant event in the history of the country. It was a series of anti-government protests led by the Shia-dominant Bahraini Opposition from 2011 until 2014. The roots of the uprising date back to the beginning of the 20th century where the Bahraini people have actively taken part in protests and demonstrations demanding social, economic, and political rights. The people sought for democracy and an end to the discrimination against the Shia muslim community.
If you truly have been bitten by the wanderlust bug, then a week-long stay at a holiday resort just won’t cut it for you. You can’t really experience a country from a superficial visit to its most famous tourist spots. Volunteering is a great way through which you can experience the true essence of the culture and create an impact at the same time.
There are always certain underlying issues that the locals struggle with every day and all they require is a few great volunteers that are ready to change the world.
You can use your personal experience and skills to help young Bahrainis improve their capacities. Gender equality is one of very important topics in the country which you can work towards as it is an integral part of a democratic setup. While the world may be at the edge of climate change, Bahrain is one of the countries that suffer under pollution. You can become a part of the project that supports raising awareness and promotion of a safe ecological environment in the country.
Sign up as a Global Volunteer today and live the impact in the Kingdom of Mystery!