Muharraqi Girga’oun!

I had tremendous fun going all over Muharraq island looking for the mid-Ramadhan celebrations we call “Girga’oun” (the G as in golf, in both cases). I arrived early, actually before Iftar time by a few minutes and set up at the souq, to take the initial shots as it was far too early for anything to happen there. I soon left and went to the nooks and crannies of the island: from the old parts of Busaiteen through to Arad and Hidd and back again between all areas.

I finally saw some children going door-to-door in Busaiteen, which proved the best area for this occasion as it had plenty of kids really into it and you can see it in their faces, enthusiastic and happy.

I was thrilled to be invited (actually, I invited myself!) into people’s homes to shoot a couple of short scenes from within.

click for higher resolution video

I hope you enjoy this piece of true Bahraini culture.

I am really starting to enjoy doing these things and I think I will do more in the future to cover various aspects of our culture and traditions which I hope will gain your approval. I must apologise for the technical errors you might notice in this clip (in the enthusiasm of shooting, I forgot to check if the mic shows in the frame! Silly me.) Now I know better and this is a very nice learning experience. It’s a new camera and all.


  1. Redbelt

    Wow Mahmood! This is truely amazing! I am really glad you captured that.
    Kinda sad that about the only place in Bahrain that is sticking to Bahraini culture is Muharraq.
    They are stubborn as a mule regarding this.

  2. butterfly

    فطوم رعصتوها بنيتي :mrgreen:

    This was really funny!

    Thanks Mahmood for this amazing video, I really enjoyed it.

  3. underthepalmtree

    Thankyou so much Mahmood. I really enjoyed it.

    I thought it was a great representation of the holiday and the culture.

    I sent this video to my close friends that have never stepped foot in the Middle East.

    We are all one world and one people and it is fun to see the joy in children from all walks of life.

    I think to bring peace to this world we have to see and feel eachothers walks of life.

    Kudos to you! 🙂

  4. nzm

    This is fantastic.

    It kind of reminds me of Halloween in that the kids go door to door with goodie bags collecting loot!

    The kids are beautiful – wide eyed innocence. I love the opening scene where they just keep adding themselves to the singing group in order to be filmed!

    Great job, Mahmood – thanks for making the effort to record culture and tradition, and to share it with us.

  5. barry

    Great film, Mahmood. It’s nice to see the clothing, that it’s not all dour black cloth head to toe, and that color is used, although even the black clothing is really nicely embroidered.

    The going door to door thing really is reminiscent of Halloween, although of course different purposes and roots.

  6. Ali M.

    Good work Mahmood! As usual you dont disappoint.

    For those who didnt know, Girga’oun comes from Garat A’aynak. It is the celebration of the birth of Imam Hassan the grandson of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH).

  7. Diva

    I love Bahrain for that rich beautiful culture .. Job well done Mahmood , thanks for sharing

  8. Yagoob's Dome

    Great stuff Mahmood!

    الله يعطيك العافية

  9. Lujayn

    Lovely video, Mahmood! Quite a festive community event, and everyone seems to be having fun. The kids’ voices are beautiful, especially in the opening shot, singing in perfect unison. And your commentary explains it all. Great work!

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  11. Esra'a

    فطوم رعصتوها بنيتي


  12. Princess

    Thank you so much for this, I absolutely loved it! Perhaps you could so a similar thing on Eid? I remember when we were kids and we’d go to our relatives houses demanding out eidiya!

  13. basma

    I have to say that this video is so valuable that i will be using it to share with my university faculty here in the United States, as a measure to explain about Bahrain, Islam, Ramadhan and our culture! I appreciate this work.
    I never understood why we were celebrating gargaoun, but i loved every moment of it as a child!

  14. Nawaf

    Amazing Video!!! Brings back great memories!!
    It’s nice to see people still celeberating our rich culture!

  15. Richy

    I first thought that was kind of Bahraini Halloween with all kids around our house wearing costumes,..

  16. um naief

    when i first came to bahrain, muharraq was upmost favorite city. i loved everything about it, and it’s still one of favorites to photograph. i really like the ppl and the old bldgs – especially the old doors.

    this video and your commentary is wonderful. you taught me things that i didn’t know. i think it’s wonderful that you’re going to do videos like this to allow ppl to see the culture here.

    interesting, but i am just now beginning to see things that i never saw before, and appreciate htings that i never appreciated before.

    i hope that naief gets to enjoy things like this when he gets older. makes me want a piece of muharraq over here in zinj! the kids don’t really get into it here… only at the daycare, but it’s minimal.

    can’t wait for your next one… really looking forward to it.

  17. unjane

    Thank you for sharing. There is nothing like the joy of children being themselves.

  18. Bernie

    That was a wonderful video mahmood. Thank you for the chance to experience a culture I would never normally get a chance see.

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