Vlog 41: The Nasfah

The 15th of Sha’abaan, the 8th month on the Muslim Hijri calendar holds special significance to Shi’a Muslims. On that night – called the Nasfah – they celebrate the birth of their last Imam, Imam Al-Mahdi, the 12th and last Shi’a Imam who went into occultation in 939AD. It is said that on his reappearance he will establish justice in the world and save humanity.

That’s the historical perspective. The practical one is that it’s yet another reason to celebrate as a community, give the children another reason to go from door to door singing ditties and getting coins and sweets! Another one is that it marks the real count-down to Ramadhan, only 15 days hence.

This year the celebrations coincided with the 28th of August and I was determined to shoot the scenes from a couple of the nearby villages of Duraz and Barbar despite the horrendous heat and humidity on that night, and the possibility of a yet again wet camera. I knew how to crack that one!

The result is the following vlog which I hope you will enjoy.

Have a wonderful Friday my friends, and happy celebrations wherever you are.


  1. Shaima

    nice coverage, I wished you covered some scenes from Manama too.

    All the best and really well done!

  2. Post

    Butterfly, I know about the sound. To fix that I just bought 3 mics for BD2,000. That should fix it for a future version.

    And there is no way in hell that I would ignore beauty when I am fortunate enough to be in its presence!

    Shaima thank you. That’s on the plan. 15th of Ramadhan (Girga’oun) is coming up 😉

  3. mdc

    That was very interesting, Mahmood, almost felt like being there walking the streets with you. Have a wonderful Friday everyone.

  4. ammaro.com

    For your first vlog, that was amazing; editing was great, the lamborghini looked good (butterfly I have to disagree with you, keep them in!) and yes, although the sound needs a little bit, its pretty much perfect for your first one.

    Manama on the 15th of ramadhan for gerga’on, sounds amazing 😉 2000bd mics? You know what, I don’t want to borrow your cam anymore, can I just borrow the mics?

  5. butterfly

    You are crazy baout cars, you can’t take your eyes off any beautiful car even if the vlog is about Nasfa and not Car Exhibition! :mrgreen:

  6. Post

    Ammar, I know, but as sound is half the story (if not more) it’s worth investing in good equipment in order to attempt to approach fulfilling that half. I’m (my company) not stopping here, this is only the start as far as quality is concerned.


    Butterfly, I’m a sucker for anything beautiful, not just cars! That’s how life should be enjoyed me thinks.

    I actually intended to put that car in, that to me was the first shot when I parked my car and that set the whole story for the whole video. Why? Because people normally associate these kind of celebrations to the poor people and the rich don’t even bother attending. This car proves otherwise.

    Further, it could very well be that the owner of that gorgeous car was down in his shirtsleaves in one of the “mudheefs”/canteens serving those less fortunate than him/her; hence, giving something back to the community.

    It was the very same story with the Shilla story I posted a while ago, the house I was in was of multimillionaires, but on that particular night they were all pitching in cooking for the poor with their own hands, no maids or cooks involved.

    Bahrain is absolutely fantastic in this regard and I love it to bits because of these little simple things.

    Now you know why the car was in the story? I hope that you can now watch it again to see what I mean.

    Have a wonderful weekend and see you all tomorrow morning!

  7. ammaro.com

    Trust me, I know. I’ve been filming a movie, and the sound quality is pretty, well, crap, so the whole movie experience comes out pretty crappy too. I’m looking for small good mic’s but I really don’t have too much experience in the video industry. Maybe we can have a little chat about the sort of thing that could work.

  8. Post
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  10. eyad the great

    that was nice actually, maybe a bit frustrating thanks to Jaffar Durazi, but all in all was a nice vlog.

    Just to set the recoreds striahgt, who ever want to write anything about Girgaoon have to see it happening in Muharag.

  11. Bernie

    That was really fascinating, thanks Mahmood.

    It was worth it for the looks on the childrens faces. 🙂

  12. moodZ

    Putting your toys to some good use here Mahmooed.. Really a job well done, excellent coverage and a good comeback for your vlogs!

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  14. underthepalmtree

    Oh Mahmood thankyou so much. I felt like I was with you. Girga’oun in Manama would be really great but if you have time, could you please travel to Muharraq….the area behind Last Chance with all the community mosques is enchanting. That night is majical; the children in their Bahraini dress, the food handed out from every mosque, the excitement of all ages. Funny it is kinda like a religious halloween to me.

    This production was professional. Your equipment was well worth the investment.

    I think that it is important to share with the rest of the world all the goodness that comes out of Islam and its people.

    In the west, if we are to turn on CNN, BBC or even English Al Jazerra we most often hear about the fanatical .1% of Islam, not the vast majority that are like us, peaceful and loving.

    This is refreshing.

  15. Lynn

    That was a great video. That was really awesome to see another culture and their celebrations as if I was right there. Too cool, thanks.

    You know what would be really cool? I’m sure it’s asking a bit much, but I wonder if you could put subtitles in English so we could understand what that ‘celebrity’ and others were saying.

    Another thing. I didn’t notice any women. Where were the women? What else goes on with this celebration? Do they just go home after the street festival? Is there any special meal at home? Gifts from the parents to the children? You say that this kind of celebrating has just come about in the last 14 years or so? Do you think it is headed to turn into something akin to the way Christians celebrate Christmas?

  16. Ali

    It was the very same story with the Shilla story I posted a while ago, the house I was in was of multimillionaires, but on that particular night they were all pitching in cooking for the poor with their own hands, no maids or cooks involved.

    And that was exactly what the guy did that night 🙂

  17. Esra'a

    Great job Mahmood! And man the food looks amazing.

    The sound wasn’t as bad as I thought by reading the comments, it just sounds sometimes like filbert is flapping his wings in the background. But I was too interested in what you had to say so the quality didn’t even matter.

  18. Salman

    Thank you for the video Mahmood. It was a shame i missed it. I had done so much work for preparing the food stalls outside the house that i ended up being so exhausted, i passed out on my bed and missed the whole night! Not to mention going being up at dawn shopping for the food, and the AC in the car thought it would be perfect to go bust that very day! By the time i woke up, it was all over and not a soul in the streets.

    I am just wondering, you say “I didn’t know this was going on actually”. I it because you do not follow up with the Islamic calender?

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