Kingdom of Bahrain
Current local time in Manama: Friday, May 24 - 2013 - 16:40:53
Men leaving the Grand mosque after Friday prayers, the women have a separate prayer hall, Bahrain
courtesy of arabianEye.com
Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 islands in the Arabian Gulf offering a blend of ancient and modern. Skyscrapers share the landscape with majestic mosques, embodiments of Islamic art, culture and architecture.
Manama, Bahrain's capital, is modern, dominated by a Manhattan-style skyline. The souk lies in the centre of the old town, near the archway of Bab al-Bahrain and, although much of the surrounding area is modern, the street layout follows traditional lines.
To sample some of Bahrain's past, a visit to the A'ali Burial Mounds (the world's largest cemetery) is recommended. Other sites of antiquity include The House of Al Jasra (birthplace of the Amir, the ruler of Bahrain) and the Al Fateh Grand Mosque (Bahrai's largest mosque).
Other attractions include long stretches of sandy beaches and coral reefs. The largest and most pleasant beach can be found at Al Jazair. Arabic food is spicy and strongly flavoured.
Lamb is the principal meat, while chicken, turkey and duck are also eaten. Arak (grape spirit flavoured with aniseed) and beer are the most common drinks. Restaurants, nightclubs and cinemas showing English and Arabic films can be found in the main towns.
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Information in this section was last updated: Fri Apr 12 2013