“My Beautiful Bahrain” by Robin Barratt, is one of the first books that I have purchased since moving to Bahrain. I find it to be more than a collection of stories and poetry about this island. In fact, I often find myself going back to it to read some of the stories and poems. It contains a wealth of information that most expats and visitors to the island would find not only useful but even inspiring. The following poem written by Kathleen Dodd, one of the forty writers that have contributed to this collection, describes the contrast and the variety that you can find in this country:
“And then there are
the high rise works of art
and worldly malls,
cool for ardent expats
searching for a taste of home.
There is ambivalence;
a deep and complex blend
of bounty and the beauty
of the Call to Prayer.
The ancient and the new,
and seeking for the true
Kathleen Dodd from “My Beautiful Bahrain” by Robin Barratt.
While browsing the local section of one of my favorite bookstores, I have found an interesting graphic novel titled “The Awakening of Shamal: No Time to Waste!” by Anna Thackray. While living in Japan, I developed an interest in manga, therefore I was immediately attracted by this novel’s detailed cover. The author is a British expat and a professional artist. The novel is based in Bahrain and it is the first of a trilogy. The story contains both historical and fantastical elements. The illustrations include animals and Bahraini landmarks such as the Tree of Life, the Bahrain World Trade Center, and the Twin Towers. I am looking forward to the second chapter of this trilogy, which should be available by the end of this year.
In Bahrain, there are a few publications that are available free of charge: Bahrain This Week, Weekender, and Fab. Bahrain This Week claims to be “the island’s first augmented weekly” and it covers local events as well as some interesting advice on travel, health, motors, and technology. The last few pages feature reviews on books, games, and movie trailers that can be viewed on your smartphone or on your tablet with the GoLive app.
The Weekender includes a list of places where to eat, upcoming events, and shopping advice. It also features a travel article usually about a local or an expat who has visited another country. This week’s Weekender features shops and restaurants where you can find the best “Ramadan Treats.”
Fab is a periodical that is distributed every term to schools and bookstores. I usually find a copy at a major bookstore. It is essentially a guide to life in Bahrain. The Spring/Summer 2014 edition contains 44 pages that are packed with useful information on things to do and places that you can find on the island. You can also access this information at www.fabbahrain.com