Camel Caravan on Block 338

فأكل الجمل وعلى كل ما قامت.

He ate the camel and all that carried.

 To eat someone out of house and home.

– From the delightful Apricots Tomorrow by Primrose Arnander and Ashkhain Skipwith

To compete with the donkeys and elephants in Washington DC and the Arabian horses of Dubai, Bahrain has created a caravan of camels to enliven Block 338 and the Seef Mall Entrance.

In a bid to encourage the local artists’ paints to beautify the community, the government sponsored a camel painting contest.  Personally I liked number 23.

If you have always wanted a camel but were put off by having to feed it, then these are the camels for you.  They are up for auction.

Although real Bedouins will wonder what is the use of such a camel, for the city dweller, they are a perfect reminder of their ancestral past.

You are Invited to a Year of Culture

Bahrain National Museum

Every year UNESCO designates an Arab city as the Arab Capital of Culture.  This year Manama, Bahrain gets to take center stage.

As things happen in Bahrain, the “go-ahead” to officially begin the year was given at 6pm on January 9th just in time for the first lecture at 8:30pm that evening.  James Koch kicked off the year discussing the Beyeler Foundation’s achievements to a small audience tucked away in a tiny room somewhere.

Again, as things go in Bahrain, events are not well advertised.  If we did not scour the social pages to see what the Sheikhas were up to, then the visiting musicians perform and we read about them a month later.

My friend Shandra the EXPERT Court Circular scourer read that HRH Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of His Majesty King Hamad and Supreme Council for Women President visited the Bahrain National Museum on January 11th.

“The Sheikhas were at the museum.  Would you like to go and see this exhibit?” Shandra asked.

“Of course.  When should we go?”

“The article says nothing about the time or the dates.  Check around and see if you can find out.  But I think the museum is closed on Mondays,” she said.

This led me on a search to find out what is going on.

Yesterday’s front page headline had proclaimed THE POWER OF ART and highlighted HRH Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa opening the Fine Art Exhibit at the museum.

But I was distracted by BD2,000 incentive to pay Electricity and Water bills (EWA) headline.

The government is planning to give Bahrainis about $5,300 to pay off their outstanding EWA bills.  The people who pay on time get a BD500 bonus.  Why? Because EWA needs money and 75% of the past due account are residential customers.

Seems to me the Bahrainis should be celebrating their good fortune.   Not only will they get the electricity bonus, they can go to the free exhibit at the museum where they might be inspired to use their talents constructively.

Bahrain National Museum.  This first exhibit features 90 works by 54 artists and a pavilion with artwork by 16 Arab artists.  It will run through the end of January.

As the official website does not show the hours, I believe the museum is generally open 8am-8pm.  Shandra said it is closed Mondays.

The National Museum is fantastic.  It’s a great place to learn about Bahrain.


Tales by Chapter

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