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Bahrain: Ancient Roots, Modern Life

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Bahrain, once known as Dilmun, is actually thirty-three islands.  It’s capital, Manama, sits on the largest island, north of Qatar, with a causeway connecting it to Saudi Arabia.  Bahrain is one of the few remaining constitutional monarchies in the world.  Because of its importance as a center of trade throughout its history, it has been conquered and reconquered by Persia, Arabs, and Portugal. It even became a protectorate of Great Britain until 1971.  Since its first discovery of oil, Bahrain has diversified its economy so that it is not as oil dependent as its neighbors.

World Heritage Sites

Much of Bahrain’s attraction for visitors is its preservation of history. Tourists will find an abundance of sites to visit including forts, mosques, burial sites and water attractions. Two forts, Qalat al Bahrain and Bu Maher Fort are registered as World Heritage Sites.  Other sites to visit include the Shajarat-al-Hayat Center, which is built around the Tree of Life.  This ancient tree is over 400 years old and a popular attraction for tourists.


One of the sites contains a series of burial mounds that date as far back as the 3rd millennium BC.  According to Bahrain.com, the Dilmun Burial Mounds, “is believed to be the largest prehistoric cemetery in the world.” There is no way to know the exact number of mounds remaining today but there are still thousands.  If you enjoy water sports there is skiing, boating, and swimming of course.  Several popular islands to enjoy Bahrain’s natural attractions are Al Dar, Jarada, and Hawar islands.  For more information on Bahrain, or any Arab country, listen to Hona Tours. Hona Radio USA is the voice of Arab Americans.


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