Public Calligraphy & Eid Mubarak

Public Calligraphy

Public Calligraphy, originally uploaded by malyousif.

I visited the village of Bilad Al-Qadeem this morning to pay my respects to a friend whose father just passed away. Although my own father’s house is very close to that village, I’ve never taken it upon myself to go in and investigate. Today, I am happy that I did, and I personally think that if you don’t go and visit one of these villages then you can’t really say that you have seen Bahrain.

This kind of calligraphy was everywhere on several buildings and done very well indeed. It is obvious the people of this village are both artistic and religious as these works of art represent some Ayahs of the Quran or other religious texts.

The village itself is much like a rabbit warren. I got lost trying to find he condolence location and had to call a guy in there to rescue me and show me where the ma’atem actually was!

I fully recommend you go and spend some time in these villages. There is no danger at all, and the people are friendly and helpful.

Have a wonderful Friday my friends and let me also wish you Eid Mubarak.


  1. A learner of Arabic

    I fully recommend you go and spend some time in these villages. There is no danger at all, and the people are friendly and helpful.

    Umm…does this apply to us infidels, too? What is the prevailing attitude towards Westerners in rural Bahrain, provided there is nothing topical going on? (“Something topical going on” would refer to something newsworthy and prone to rouse passions, such as the recent Danish cartoon controversy.)

    How is the “Just Bahraini” campaign coming along, by the way?

  2. Hasan

    I know EXACTLY where this wall is! Everytime I’m in Bahrain, I make it a point to drive slowly through the villages and take the views all in; to me, as you put it yourself, Bahrain cannot be what it is without its villages.

    I started reading Orhan Pamuk’s “Istanbul” recently(I highly recommend it!!) , and the way in which he describes his home town, one could say, would be similar to how any of us Bahrainis would/should see Bahrain in order to fully understand it. As Bahraini villages/towns are changing, this wall of calligraphy is something “new” that speaks of the old/new identity of village life. Pamuk also includes a chapter called “Huzun”, that speaks on length about the “melancholy” naturally fused into the identity of the Istanbullus (people of Istanbul), and I think that Bahrainis – and particularly those living in the villages – have their own unique form of “Huzun” and for different historic/philosophic reasons, and how this “Huzun”, no matter how the buildings of the locale changes, remains within its inhabitants. Sorry for going off at a tanget. (hehehe, and no, I’m not being paid to say this).

    While I am away from home this Eid, this post of yours just cut away the thousands of miles in between me and home- even if just for a moment.

    Have a wonderful Eid, and thanks for your great work.

  3. KHAL

    Umm…does this apply to us infidels, too? What is the prevailing attitude towards Westerners in rural Bahrain, provided there is nothing topical going on?

    A learner of Arabic, we are talking about Bahrain and not about the radical Saudies!! :agree:

    I arised from one of these poor villages, and believe me people there are so friendly, nice and helpful in such a way that you have never seen.

    I think their poor English language is the only problem you will face. As Mahmood said just go and give it a try.

  4. Rayyash

    Just to let you know that the man mad the drawing wan in prison during the intefadah and he learn that art inside the prison and he decided to print all the religion in his village with a deferent paint.

  5. Post

    Wow Rayyash, thanks for that titbit of information. Maybe one of us should interview him and blog about it? I am most certainly ready to do a vlog of him too!

    Hassan, my friend you are more than welcome and I am glad that I brought you a piece of home to enjoy this Eid, have a great one and come back soon.

    Khal, thanks.

    Learner of Arabic, my wife is Scottish and whiter than white. She has been caught by chance many times in the middle of demonstrations in various places in Manama and villages over the 20 years she has been here, in all of those situations she did feel scared, but not once, not a single time, was she harassed, attacked, had her car kicked or vandalised and the kids, who take after their mother’s colouring too have not been molested either.

    She would be the first to attest to the friendliness of Bahrainis, especially those from the villages.

    So to answer you, don’t worry, even in the middle of demonstrations you will not be harassed in villages. Come over and try it yourself, you will be pleasantly surprised.

  6. Maverick

    As a non-Bahraini, I can attest to the love, friendliness and warmth of the people of Bahrain, no matter what his village, education, English knwledge or his inclination in religion. Bahrainis do not hate foreigners. Yes there are some disillusioned youth, yes there are some misguided by their peers or clerics. This is not unique to Bahrain. You will face this crap whereever you go in the world.

    Some people you meet may seem fanatical or spirited but they are harmless. Some children may not be able to afford the entertainment that we have so they wander the streets looking for pockets or moments of pleasure and a passing whitey or browney certainly is a cause for entertainment, there is no need to crap in your pants about it and I can vouch for it having cruised many a time when i took and wrong turn and i enjoyed looking at old buildings and especially the old doors. Hey M that is a good idea for a photo feature blog: Bawaabeh Al Bahrain -Doors of the Two Seas. =P :yes:

  7. Maverick

    Eid kum Mubarak wa Kullu Sanah Inthkum Taiyyebha

    May you all and your families enjoy continued good health, peace, prosperity and happiness.

    Warm regards :clown: =P

  8. CerebralWaste

    A Learning of Arabic

    As one of those “infidels” who LOVES to visit Bahrain, I can assure you there is NO DANGER. I have been all over the country, in and out of the “Villages” from the top to the bottom of the country. Walking, on a motorcycle and in a car. The people are warm and friendly. The same can be said for Manama proper as well.

    Bahrain is a special place and you should consider paying it a visit. You won’t be disappointed! 8)

  9. A learner of Arabic

    Maybe I’ll come there some day. But I want to learn better Arabic before that. I am still on the elementary stage, shameful enough. If I ever come to an Arab country, I want to be able to talk to the people in their own language. Fortunately, here in Finland we have a great teacher, Farouk Abu Chacra, who recently published a very good textbook called “Arabic Around the World”. If somebody reads this and is looking for a good textbook, there is one that can be recommended.

  10. jasra jedi

    A learner of Arabic ..

    Classical Arabic and Bahraini/Lebanese/Egyptian Arabic are very very different when spoken. You will be able to place a person in Bahrain to the village that s(he) is from by their dialect. And it will sound NOTHING like classical arabic. So, dont wait to speak the language .. as long as your heart is in the right place you’ll be fine ..

  11. A learner of Arabic

    Well, at least I won’t confuse my dog (chalb) with my heart (galb) in Bahrain…

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