Whores in Bahrain – circa 1936

22 Feb, '04

Organising whores in Bahrain in the 1930sIn the nothing to do department, I thought I’d share this scanned image with you people. This was a notice by the “British Representative” aka the Governor of Bahrain by Her Majesty the Queen of Britain, that time Bahrain being a British protectorate. Click on the thumbnail to see the whole page:

So let me translate what it says to you:

============ QUOTE =============
The Government of Bahrain

Number 1355-50

We publish this notice to bring to your attention The Government of Bahrain’s Notice number 1350-21 dated 17 Jumada Al-Thani of the year 1355 (Hijri) (corresponding to 4th September 1936)

1. All practicing whores are ordered to live only in designated areas and they are not allowed to live in the respectable neighbourhoods of Manama or Muharraq.

2. The neighbourhoods assigned to practicing whores are Qibla in Manama and Garandole in Muharraq.

3. Home owners in the respectable areas are fully responsible in front of the Courts should they allow practicing whores to live in their houses or use their houses for gambling activities.

4. If after one month from the date of this Notice any practicing whore is found staying in the respectable areas and has not moved to the designated red-light districts shall be punished in Court.

5. Any foreign whore who disregards this Notice will be extradited from Bahrain.

Issued on 27 Thu-Al-Qi’dah, 1355
Corresponding to 8th February, 1937
============= END QUOTE =============

This “situation” existed until the early or mid-1970’s and then both areas were shut down. I was too young to remember it, but as my dad owned a stationary/bookshop at that time, I do remember an “investigative” report by one of the weekly magazines – I think Sada Al-Isbou, it might have been another magazine, bit fuzzy there where they talked about the red-light district in Bahrain. I remember asking dad about what “Garandole” means and got a slap for my trouble!

At the same time, we used to sell Playboy and Penthouse and the Gulf Daily News actually had a page 3 topless girl in there!

Needless to say, we don’t have any of this sort of thing happening in Bahrain now. None at all. Just underground activities with lots and lots of AIDS cases which everyone ignores.

I’ve even read a few weeks ago of an AIDS infected man who was refused treatment at the emergency in Salmania Medical Centre and that his own family refused to pick him up! He was reported to have made a nuisance of himself though.. soiling himself and attacking doctors and nurses. No idea if that is true.

Anyway, thought I’d share with you this picture that I came across a few days ago when re-organising my computer!

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  1. Google Maps guide to hookers in Bahrain | Mahmood's Den | 31 May, '10
  1. anonymous says:

    Whores in Bahrain – circa 1936

    πŸ™‚ thank you for posting it. fascinating.

    Any more old gems?!

  2. anonymous says:

    Whores in Bahrain – circa 1936

    apologies for the anonymous πŸ™‚ its hijabman πŸ™‚

  3. anonymous says:

    Whores in Bahrain – circa 1936

    thats one cool PC u got there, Mahmood!
    i wish i had stuff like this to lose on my HDD!Real fascinating, hope to see more..

  4. anonymous says:

    Whores in Bahrain – circa 1936

    Which nationality were the page 3 girls?

  5. mahmood says:

    Re: Whores in Bahrain – circa 1936

    Huh? No idea. I wonder if they have an archive at the GDN, if they do, they should put them up on their website! From what I remember, they were mostly (if not all) European and probably syndicated from other papers like the Sun. But you have to ask the GDN for confirmation.

  6. Fish says:

    I remember being told about the red light districts in Bahrain that existed in the 70’s. I also remember Ashrafs when they had a shop in the Bab Al Bahrain (on the left-hand side about midway down) selling Playboy magazines Great source of amusment when parental types were looking at other stuff. Pity they banned them.
    Now I notice that the great powers-that-be have now taken to censoring magazines a-la-Dubai style with great black marker pens. Regression or what?

  7. Lorena says:

    Well i must say that that Law is not working any more … when we move to Bahrain , hubby rent a very nice a luxurius Apto in jufair … till all my household come from overseas …. 3 months i gues and belive me i had never been so mad , pisssed off, up set .. etc about living in there .. every weekend and in the weekd days also many man came to ring the bell and ask if my house was the massage room! … after the 3 intent I start screaming very bad words in spanish and english , and taking my celphone and saying If you dont go now I will call the police and you will go to jail ! wahahahhaha and some other times women come to nock the door and ask hubby if he ever need a massage to please call them! … and this was in Jufair , after one month I was able to know who was the man who bring them and wait for them coz they park his car in our parking lot and i always ask him to move it… one day will ehubby was away in a busines trip same Indian man stop me and say hello πŸ™‚
    I answer him very rud , yes I

    I just told him that he has nothing to talk to me even the good morning , and if he dont stop all this coming and go women and man noking on my door Iwill call the police and he and all his gangs will go to jail … when hubby arrive take all out bags and move us to the Ritz Carlton till our home came to bahrain! … it was really bad!

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