Understanding Arabs: A westerner's guide
By Kate Mitchell » Most people, especially in the West, have a pre-conceived idea of what constitutes an Arab. These ideas usually fall into the 1970s western image of the urban Arab as excessively wealthy, or the more romantic desert Arab portrayed by Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia. These images may be mixed with those of religious fanaticism, often rendering the visitor nervous or anxious about what he is to behold.
Bahrain pearl traditions featured on CNN

Bahrain pearls on CNN

Harvesting pearls was a major source of income for Bahrain and the region until the early 20th century. CNN has a video report on Bahrain's pearl industry.

Diving into Bahrain's pearling past

The group sets sail for the oyster beds
The group sets sail for the oyster beds

By Rebecca Torr  »  Like most women I'm always captivated by a romantic love story, especially a true one. So I was fascinated when I first heard the tales of Bahrain and its once thriving pearl diving economy.

I pictured men going out in droves for months on end to search for oysters, hoping to unearth the most magnificent pearls in the world. Then bringing them back home to show their loved ones, before selling them on to be turned into a beautiful necklace or a ring or an earring, which might end up being worn by a rich aristocrat or a princess or a deserving mother the other side of the world.

These men were heroes of their day, not just in Bahrain, or Arabia but the whole world, they left an unforgettable legacy.

With this warm hearted story in mind I was thrilled to be invited to go on a pearl diving excursion and retrace the footsteps of these legends of the sea.

From suqs to super shopping malls
By Fiona Clark » Bahrain is booming! It almost seems like each time you blink, a new mall has popped up, or an existing one has been extended. Even the suq – the traditional open-air market – is having a facelift. All this means more choice for the shopper and a constant buzz of excitement and anticipation.
F1 powers Bahrain into overdrive
By Roy Kietzman » It has been only four years since the island became a regular stop on the Formula-1 racing calendar, but it's fair to say the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) has transformed life in the kingdom.
Rooms with a wow!
Bahrain’s hotels are as good as any in the world, with all the facilities you could hope for. Roy Kietzman profiles some of the best places to stay…
An expat's complete guide to Bahrain

Planning to take up employment in Bahrain? Looking to join a family member in the kingdom? Sarah Clarke uses her own experiences to provide new and prospective expatriates a taste of what to expect, what they need to do, and how to go about enjoying life as a resident of this wonderfully welcoming island.


The story behind Arab names
By Amira Al Hussaini » “Does your name mean anything?” I am often asked. Well, yes, actually it does. In fact, most Arab names have a little story behind them; to know mine, you’ll just have to read on…
The evolution of master artist Shaikh Rashid

By Roy Kietzman » "It's not the style of art that evolves. It's the interpretation," maintains Shaikh Rashid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, pondering his own two score years as an artist. "The thought or concept is the same: to have an interesting painting for the onlooker, a pleasant painting."

The way it used to be

By Lynn Collins » When I arrived in Bahrain from Scotland with my parents and my younger brother in August 1951 I immediately felt very much at home – a feeling that is still with me some 50 years later.

Images of Bahrain