Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2018

Aerial Old Photograph of Manama and Muharraq, 1933

This is a rare composite aerial photograph showing the northern portion of Bahrain , predominantly Manama (L) and Muharraq island (R). Dated from 27 September 1937 and written up by the British Royal Air Force (RAF), the following locations are indicated by means of identifying letters in red ink:

Juffair Naval Base - still in use by the American 5th fleet and more recently, the British again.(One) site for new ResidencyRAF PierRAFImperial Airways (the predecessor to British Airways)(One) site for new Residency [alternative site]Quarantine island

Drama in Manama: A Foreigner's Guide to Muharram in Bahrain (1940 Edition)

Bahrain holds a special place in the Persian Gulf for being one of the few countries to openly host processions commemorating the Islamic month of Muharram throughout the country. However, this post will not go into the history of Muharram itself and its significance to Shia Muslims in particular (though I do encourage independent research on the matter). In Bahrain, the first recorded public processions occurred in Manama in 1891, with it becoming an annual public event since. British records showed public Muharram processions also emerged in villages throughout the country in 1939.

Now the main subject of this post is the Muharram of 1939 which was during a significant time in Bahrain's history; oil was discovered in the country only 8 years before (the first in the Gulf region). With this oil and the establishment of the Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO), the country saw an influx of engineers and experts in the oil & gas industry (predominantly British and Americans). For …

A Study of Bahrain in Old Maps

One of the many ways we can perceive and analyse the past is through depictions of contemporary geography onto maps. Cartography (the study of maps) has long helped historians understand and appreciate how peoples and empires perceived themselves in their time. And, more often than not, they were the centre of their own universes
Historically & up to the 18th century, Bahrain referred to the eastern shores of Arabia, an area that currently encompasses Kuwait, eastern Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and parts of northern Oman. The German map, made by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin, below from 1745 lays testimony to this. 

Other interesting maps of Bahrain throughout the ages that I could find and appreciate are the following. All of these have been found, scanned and uploaded by the Qatar Digital Library (which is doing an incredible job at documenting and preserving primary source historical documents of the Persian Gulf)
Trigonometrical Map of the Island of Bahra…