Bahrain, the third smallest country in Asia, is believed to have been the country where Arabian and Persian cultures coexisted. This country located in the Persian Gulf has no land borders with any other countries. Originally consisting of 33 islands, the kingdom expanded its territories and turned into the country uniting as many as 84 islands under its rule.
The name given to the country means “two seas” which makes sense because Bahrain has one of the longest coastlines in the world, has no land borders and used to serve home to two cultures.
Unfortunately, few people know about the accomplishments and success that made a considerable part of its history, culture and traditions. Today, we want to fix that by sharing with our readers the information that will help them learn more about Bahrain. Here are the facts we have managed to gather…
The Kingdom of Bahrain: 8 interesting facts about the “country of two seas”
1. Bahrain was attacked and overtaken several times throughout its history
Bahrain is one of those countries that had to live under the rule of different kingdoms and empires during the course of their history. It attracted the attention of several ancient empires, like the Babylon Empire and the Assyrian Kingdom, an interesting fact about Bahrain.
In the 16th century, the Kingdom was captured by the Portuguese who ruled and developed Bahrain for almost a century. The end of the 19th century was the time of radical changes because Bahrain was proclaimed to be one of the British colonies. The reign of the British Empire on the islands ended in 1971 when the country’s efforts to gain independence resulted in success.
2. The Kingdom of Bahrain was famous for its pearls and textile
In the times of ancient Greece, when Bahrain was known under the name “Tylos”, the country was known at the worldwide market for its cotton and textile industry. A fun fac tabout Bahrain is that pearl fishing was one more industry that contributed to the reputation of the country and increased its popularity. Many of those involved in pearl trade came to Bahrain in order to dive and fish for precious pearls of the best quality. The economy that once saw rise due to the pearl trading declined after the first Japanese pearls were introduced to the market.
3. The country has one of the largest mosques in the world
You may be surprised to know that Christianity was once a predominating religion in Bahrain. This changed in the 7th century when the native population was converted to a new system of beliefs called Islam. Soon after that happened, the government decided to invest in the building of the Khamis Mosque that is located in Manama, the capital and the biggest city in the country. The building finished in the 11th century due to the lack of techniques that allowed to construct certain parts of the mosque.
The Al-Fateh Grand Mosque is one more mosque based in Bahrain that deserves the attention of every tourist visiting the country. The mosque, included in the list of the biggest worship places in the world, now serves as the National Library of Bahrain that has as many as 7000 books in its collection.
4. Bahrain has a series of bridges and causeways that connect it with Saudi Arabia
The building of the link called Middle Island was finished in 1986. The money spent on construction paid off because the link carries around 25,000 vehicles a day. Before the decision to build the link was made, the government changed the driving rules by stating that all the drivers should drive on the right side of the road.
5. The country’s natives love coffee
A fun fact about Bahrain is that the natives consider the “ritual” of coffee drinking one of the most important aspects of their social life. That’s why there are so many coffee shops where one can enjoy a cup of coffee while talking with friends. The coffee offered in Bahrain has a different taste than European coffee since it’s flavored with either cardamom or saffron.
The majority of dishes presented as part of Bahraini cuisine are based on fish, shrimp, meat and rice. The list of traditional meals that one should try while in Bahrain includes the so-called machobus (rice served with either meat or fish) and muhammar (sweet brown rice with sugar).
6. The Kingdom of Bahrain can boast a high level of literate females
The country’s education system said to be the oldest in the Arabian Peninsula is divided into primary, intermediate and secondary levels. Since education is free and compulsory for boys and girls, the majority of the natives can read and write. The government can be proud of the fact that the efforts that were made in terms of education resulted in a high level of female literacy.
7. The natives cherish their traditions that withstood the test of time
Even though Bahrain is rapidly developing and becoming closer to other urban cities of the world, the natives respect and keep on following the traditions that were passed to them by their ancestors. People never forget to devote time to spiritual development and respect their elder relatives who have the right to permit or forbid to do something. While alcohol and cocktails containing alcohol are strictly forbidden, smoking is not banned but disapproved of.
8. Bahrainis are friendly and open people
Upon arriving in Bahrain, one will soon realize that its natives are open and friendly people who are willing to help if their help is needed. An invitation to drink either a cup of tee or a cup of coffee is the sign of hospitality that shouldn’t be ignored, an interesting fact about Bahrain.
One of the busiest places where one can easily meet new people are local markets. Many people have a habit of spending all day in one of these markets, communicating with friends and enjoying life.
Even though Bahrain is a safe country to visit, there are certain rules to remember while staying in the country. It’s better not to wear clothes that show certain parts of your body and attract attention. While tourists are allowed to buy alcohol in shops, they are forbidden to drink it on the streets and in public places.
We hope that the facts about Bahrain we shared with you today were informative and helped you to learn more about Bahrain. If you are interested, visit the Country Facts Page!