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Showing posts from June, 2015

The Treaty that Outlawed Slavery in the Gulf

Officially known as the General Treaty for the Cessation of Plunder and Piracy by Land and Sea, this treaty was initially signed between the British government (represented by the British India government) and  the rulers of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman and Umm al-Quwain on the 11th of January 1820. Bahrain later signed the treaty in February. This treaty is significant due to the simple fact it effectively outlawed piracy and slavery in the Gulf, whilst also requiring seaworthy ships to be registered with the British.

This was part of a greater strategy employed by the British to exclude European powers (especially the ever-threatening Russian Empire) from exerting influence in the Middle East and disrupting communication lines with British-controlled India.

Thanks to the wonderful people at the Qatar Digital Library who have digitised more than 500,000 scans & documents from the archives of the India Office records and many more; we are able to see a transcript of the actual docume…

A History of Contemporary Theatre in Bahrain

Below I'm reposting the Wikipedia article I've written:

The history of the theatre in Bahrain is one example of the modernisation that swept Bahrain in the 20th century, as a result of the British-backed reforms.  Contemporary Bahraini theatre, in its present form, originated in the early 20th century, resulting from the introduction of formal education in the country.
Traditionally, shadow plays and puppet shows were widespread forms of entertainment in Bahrain. The European-style drama plays were first introduced in schools and plays written by Arab dramatists would be later included in the school curriculum.

As civil society became more interested in theatre and influenced by the likes of Tawfiq al-Hakim and Saadallah Wannous, Bahrain experienced a golden age by the 1970s of playwrights such as Ali Al Shargawi, Ebrahim Al-Arrayedh, Aqil Sawar and Yousef al-Hamdan. The country hosts three notable theatre companies; Awal Theatre, Al-Jazira Theatre and the Al-Sawari Theatre co…