Bahrain’s pearl project


Until a couple of days ago, I wasn’t even aware this place exists in Bahrain.
However,  a visit to Muharraq’s Coast Guard base revealed the excavations and restoration that have been going on for years.
The site is now in the final stages of completion and a new museum will open shortly. And this will throw light on the ancient pearling industry in this tiny island nation.
Bu Maher Fort was first built during the Portuguese occupation of Bahrain. Renovation works first commenced in the 1970’s, during which only some of it was rebuilt but in 2010, excavation works had the site uncovered until its original foundations and dimensions were visible.
The fort represents the first step on Bahrain’s historic Pearling Trail, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A dedicated visitor center, established next to the fort, houses an illustrated map of the Pearling Trail and models of the sites that can be found along the way.
The visitor center aims to introduce the public to the architectural character that went hand in hand with the traditional pearling trade, as well as highlighting its surrounding environment both within Bahrain and beyond, and building an understanding of the social components of that era.
The Ministry of Culture also now offers daily trips by sea from the Bahrain National Museum to the fort, which help shed light on part of the story of Bahrain’s traditional pearl divers and sailors, and enable people to re-live some of their experiences and sea expeditions.
This is especially so since the Bu Maher Fort and its coastline was the spot from which pearling dhows departed and returned many months later.

That’s the way it is!

This is not a circus performance. It’s also not a joke. The images are real – from India. Such sights are common everywhere across the length and breadth of the country and makes one wonder what lies in store for road users in the event these precariously-balanced vehicles topple over.
Having stayed outside India for several years, we are also now used to a road discipline not seen at ‘home’ and that’s the reason why such images evoke a sense of amazement and awe. And, in case you are wondering, the man on the two wheeler on the left is riding pillion. How the driver is managing is certainly not my guess!

Welcome to India! Welcome to reality!!

Electric moment

We had what is called and ‘electrical storm’ in Bahrain tonight. It came out of nowhere, really. Window panes rattled, trees shook and television went off air. This is a rare occurrence in this country but it does happen. I have not, however, heard thunder for a long time and tonight wasn’t an exception. The rain, too, did come down but it was a sharp, brief shower that, at best, will make the car cleaners’ job a little tougher tomorrow morning. It was some kind of a relief, though, from the regular kind of day. And it had probably delayed the impending summer a wee bit.



We even have ostriches

This is one creature I never expected to see in Bahrain. I had been told there are “dozens” at the Al Areen Wildlife Park far away in the desert but had not “seen” them in so-called flesh and blood.
However, when I had time to kill on a trip to the area, I drove towards the park and along the perimeter. And this is what I saw. Just two of them but majestic in all their glory. I could also spot some large eggs in the background and images of “Gods Must be Crazy” flashed in my mind.
Yes, this place is surely worth and visit – and some serious exploration is overdue!