Ammar Al-Aradi

18 Feb, '10

After graduating from the States in Business & Finance and spending 6 years working for one of the top banks in Bahrain going through to managerial level, Ammar felt that he had more to offer and was concerned that his creativity was not being utilised. This drove Ammar to take a courageous decision to leave a secure job and follow his passions: writing, photography and music.

Ammar established a website through which he filled with information about Bahrain, entertainment spots, and other elements he thought would be interesting to both Bahrainis and visitors. He ultimately decided to distill all of this information in a monthly electronic publication he called HalaBahrain and decided to turn it into a self-sustaining project by selling advertising to be published within it. That required a lot of effort on his part to convince prospective advertisers of the efficacy of online advertising in Bahrain. He was successful in doing so and now the magazine (registered with the Ministry of Information & Culture) constitutes one of his sources of income.

The magazine enjoys a monthly readership of 15,000 spread across the world. 60% are from Bahrain, 20% from the Gulf and the rest are from the rest of the world.

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Comments (5)

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  1. Sara says:

    By choosing to publish Hala Bahrain in English only, Ammar has deliberately excluded a significant percentage of Bahraini youth who are more comfortable in communicating in Arabic. It amuses me that a certain group of Bahraini youth have no respect for their own language and are starting to communicate in English only. And oh how I wish that the English used in Hala Bahrain was good English but unfortunately it is not. Whoever writes the articles just doesn’t know how to write or speak good english. The entire magazine is filled with cliches. I wonder if the writers of Hala Bahrain actually took English writing and literature classes in US or UK universities or are simply graduates of Bahrain or the UAE. I would have no problem with Hala Bahrain if it were published in both languages. But it is not.

    Also, why is it that Bahrainis continue to change their accent when speaking in public? Why do Baharna deliberately change the way they speak to supposedly fit in with the upper class and upper middle class of Bahrain? Its not like there are no rich Ba7ranis – so why change your accent? I am married to a sunni and I see no difference between sunna and shia. But I don’t change my accent just so that I sound cooler.

    • mahmood says:

      Now there’s a ready business idea!

      Would you like to join forces with me to start the Arabic version up?

  2. Anonny says:

    Dear Sectarian Sara,

    I’m sorry if it offends you, but I left England many years ago and even when I was there I was moving around a lot as a child so I have no clear recollection of my hometown accent. I hope you can still accept that despite this I still have a strong inner identity.

    I’m sorry that you don’t see Ammar’s ommission of Arabic in his English magazine as an opportunity for yourself to do something in Arabic and, yes, maybe also in English (with your fine writing that doesn’t sound like it was written by “simply graduates of Bahrain or the UAE”)

    – oh, and maybe do it better?

    I burn with envy and frustration every day because I’m surrounded by people who are fluent in more than one language (while I am forever disadvantaged by only having one) – and they can’t be positive in any of them!

    Instead of attacking Ammar, why don’t you either compete with him in the same arena in a language of your choice, or even offer your services as a writer or editor or something? Or even write a letter that has some constructive criticism in it? You constructed 3 well-written paragraphs of censure. They could have been 3 fine paragraphs of something better.

    I wish I had time to set up an online magazine or a full-on blog. I’d love to do it. My admiration and respect goes to all of you who have done so.

  3. Anonny says:

    well, it _felt_ like 3 paragraphs. i would have broken the 2nd one in two, myself 😉

  4. Lorena says:

    good for you ammar!! im happy for you hi Mahmood@

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