Bahrain Vacation TripsBahrain Culture
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Bahrain is sometimes described as "Middle East lite" because it combines modern infrastructure with an Arabian Gulf identity and, unlike other countries in the region, its prosperity is not solely a reflection of the size of its oil wealth, but is also related to the creation of an indigenous middle class. This unique socioeconomic development in the Persian Gulf has meant that Bahrain is generally more liberal than its neighbours. While Islam is the main religion, Bahrainis have been known for their tolerance, and Churches, Hindu temples, Sikh Gurdwara and a Jewish synagogue can be found alongside mosques. The country is home to several communities that have faced persecution elsewhere.
It is too early to say whether political liberalisation under King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has augmented or undermined Bahrain's traditional pluralism. The new political space for Shia and Sunni Islamists has meant that they are now more able to pursue programmes that often seek to directly confront this pluralism, yet political reforms have encouraged an opposite trend for society to become more self critical with more willingness to examine previous social taboos. It is now common to find public seminars on once unheard of subjects such as marital problems and sex and child abuse. Another facet of the new openness is Bahrain's status as the most prolific book publisher in the Arab world, with 132 books published in 2005 for a population of 700,000. In comparison, the average for the entire Arab world is seven books published per one million people in 2005, according to the United Nations Development Programme. Ali Bahar is the most famous singer in Bahrain. He performs his music with his Band Al-Ekhwa. On 20 October 2005, it was reported that Michael Jackson intended to leave the United States permanently in order to seek a new life in Bahrain. Jackson reportedly told friends that he felt "increasingly Bahraini", after buying a former PM's mansion in Sanad, and was seeking another property by the seashore. Jackson reportedly moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2006. Other celebrities associated with the Kingdom include singer Shakira, and Grand Prix driver Jenson Button, who owns property there. In Manama lies the new district of Juffair, predominantly built on reclaimed land. This is the location of the U.S. Naval Support Activity which hosts the headquarters for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. Fifth Fleet. The concentration of restaurants, bars and nightlife make this area a magnet for U.S. service members and Saudi weekend visitors.
Bahrain, Middle East - Bahrain Hotels - Bahrain Hotel & Suites - Bahrain Travel
Bahrain Travel Informations and Bahrain Travel Guides
Bahrain History: Pre-Islamic - Islamic conversion and Portuguese control - Origin of the Bani Utbah Tribe
1783: rising power of Bani Utbah - Al Khalifa ascendancy to Bahrain and their treaties with the British
Discovery of petroleum - Bahrain Politics - Bahrain Governorates - Bahrain Economy - Bahrain Geography
Bahrain Climate - Bahrain Demographics - Bahrain Culture: Language and Religion
Formula One & Other Motorsports Events - Bahrain Military - Bahrain Education - Bahrain Tourism
Bahrain Tourist Attractions: Al Fateh Mosque - Al Khamis Mosque - Arad Fort - Bab Al Bahrain - Bahrain Fort
Bahrain Grand Prix - Bahrain National Museum - Barbar Temple - Beit Al Qur'an - Dilmun Burial Mounds
Scuba Diving - First Oil Well - Horse riding - King Fahd Causeway - Riffa Fort - Tree of Life