I was always fascinated by the name ‘Bahrain’, which means two seas. Though it is a city nation but due to its strategic location it is hub of international travel in the Middle East.  I got the opportunity to visit Bahrain when I went to Dubai and Oman. On way to Dubai from Delhi I took Gulf Airways flight GF 131 on 3rd January, 2009. After arrival at Bahrain airport I roamed around inside the airport building. I could not go out as the time to board the connecting flight GF 566 to Dubai was short. I had visa for one entry only which I had decided to utilize in my return journey. I found many Indian working at the various airlines and also at the airport. Frequent announcements were made besides Arabic and English, in Hindi or Hindustani as well. I boarded the flight GF 566 departing Bahrain at 3.30 pm. I reached Dubai in the evening.

On the return journey from Dubai and Muscat I reached Bahrain on 10th January 2009 by Oman Air flight no. WY 0655. Faisal Sultan received me at the airport. This city nation was always attracting due to its location and unique culture. In 2004 when I visited Saudi Arabia I came upto its border by King Fahad cause way. The view of Bahrain in night from tower on Saudi Arab side was spectacular. It looked like big fair. It is an archipelago of 33 islands in the Arabian Gulf, situated between Saudi Arabia’s east coast and the Qatar peninsula. Bahrain is the largest of the islands and second largest is Muharraq where international airport is located. Manamma is the capital. The majority of Bahrain’s oil wells are found in Jebel Dukhan. Out of total population of about eight lakh half of them are expatriates of various nationalities, majority of them being from Indian community. Bahrain is a constitutional monarchy, governed by the Al Khalifa family since 1783. The

Royal family is Sunni whereas the majority of local population is Shia. When there was rebellion against rulers in many Arab countries in 2011, Bahrain could check protest by Shia population due to military support sent by Sunni monarchy of Saudi Arabia.

Bahrain has modern high rise buildings and towers. It has blended European culture with Arabian culture. Bab Al Bahrain is unique landmark building. The twin tower has become symbol of the country and its growing importance as business centre and international trade. Though cigarette smoking has been banned in all public places but puffing of shisha still continues. Bahrain has its own unique handicraft items. Arabic Coffee Pot, wooden paintings, traditional Dhow, dolls, lights and lamps, decorative clay pots, embroidered bags, leather mirror, greeting cards, jewellery chest, wooden or ceramic pictures and trinket boxes, hand woven mats, cushions, wall art, traditional pictures, book marks, etc. Bahrain has been famous for its dazzling natural pearls which owe their special luster to oysters found only at this confluence of the two seas that is Bahrain.

I boarded Gulf Airways flight GF 130 departing Bahrain at 11.10 pm on 11th January, 2009. The scheduled arrival time at Delhi was 5.10 am I reached Delhi happy.

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