Posted on May 13, 2023
Bahrain is only a stone’s throw from Qatar. In days past, it was a twenty-five-minute flight away, but due to certain political shenanigans in 2017, it’s now a circuitous two-flight journey, which consumes a goodly part of the travel days to and from. So an initial flight from Doha to Dubai, and an onward flight to Manama, the capital city, was how MB ended up in Bahrain in mid-February.Read More
Category: Irish man in the Middle East Tagged: Adventure, Andre Rieu, Bahrain, Fort, Manama, mosque, Museum, Travel
Posted on February 17, 2023
Patti has set this weeks challenge and her post can be viewed HERE
MB found himself in recent days in The Kingdom of Bahrain, an island state in the Arabian Gulf, a mere stones throw from Qatar. It’s linked to Saudi Arabia by a long bridge/causway.
In days past, there were direct flights between MB’s home base of Qatar and Bahrain, being only a short 25-minute flight away. However, there are currently no direct flights, which necessitates a flight from Doha to nearby Dubai and then an onwards flight to Manama, the capital city of Bahrain.
There are a number of tourist attractions in Bahrain, one of which is a visit to the Grand Mosque where visitors can take a guided tour during which the guide will explain the basics of Islam, very similar to the Open Doors – Open Minds programme at Jumairah Mosque in Dubai which MB also did a number of years back.
As the guide was explaining the direction of Mecca etc to the group, MB’s attention was caught by an interesting shadow on the mosque carpet floor, resulting from the sun-shade trellis structure fixed on the external face of the window. MB momentarily departed the group to capture the shot.
Voila – MB’s entry to this week’s LCPH:
Category: Irish man in the Middle East Tagged: Adventure, Bahrain, Monochrome, mosque, Shadow, Travel
Posted on August 4, 2017
Way back mid-June, MB published one of the most succinct, informative and entertaining reports on the Qatar/Gulf crisis seen in world media. Peers gasped for breath. Read More
Category: Irish man in the Middle East Tagged: Bahrain, Blockade, Crisis, Eggs, Egypt, GAA, Galway, Gulf, Hurling, Ireland, Irish, Joe Canning, kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sport, uae
Posted on June 8, 2017
Followers will, no doubt, already be aware of the ‘Qatar Blockade’, to give the subject matter its Twitter hashtag handle. On Monday morning last, Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar, along with some other Islamic power-houses such as Maldives and Libya Eastern Region. All flights between Qatar and ‘The Others’ were cancelled indefinitely on the following day with travel bans imposed on citizens. The land border with Saudi Arabia (the only land border that peninsular Qatar actually has) was closed with some red & white ‘danger’ tape and plastic bollards, like you see on construction sites back in Ireland. ‘Danger – Do Not Enter’ signs suddenly appeared all along the frontline. “WTF?” shouted all the normal (powerless) citizens of the Arabian Gulf who, to a man and woman, hadn’t a clue what was going on.
And there you have it, dear followers. You are all as wise as all the locals on this matter. Tweets from ‘The Donald’ soon revealed that he was in the thick of it, and in all probability had rubber-stamped the whole escapade, which is still unfolding. ‘The Donald’ was in Saudi Arabia a few weeks back and departed with USD 100B in weapons contracts, while Ivanka gladly accepted a USD 100M donation to her ‘Female Entrepreneurs Fund’ from the Saudi King; her without the headscarf. Tramp. Trump.
While all the expats were scratching their heads and scratching their butts trying to figure it all out, Mr Mohammad & Mrs Fathima Al Qatari made an immediate bee-line for the supermarkets and cleared all the shelves of perishable goods. Generations of dealing with Arab volatility has thought the Qatari lads and lassies a thing or two about dealing with a crisis. Monday and Tuesday saw some of the longest queues in Qatari supermarket history. Fresh milk was gone by Monday evening, leaving only UHT Goats Milk for dim-witted expats like MB, when they finally cottoned on to the fact that shopping is what one does when a crisis strikes. Food shopping. Comfort shopping. Any kind of shopping. Even MB got a little caught up in it all, buying a dozen organic eggs on Tuesday evening, rather than his normal half. How comforted was MB?! Struth!
MB heard only today that there is no chicken available in the shops, him not being the greatest of chicken fans and unaware of that particular chicken fact. The desert sand does not provide much sustenance for your average chuck, so the chicken farms of the Gulf are primarily located in Saudi Arabia where an odd bit of muck and dirt resides; Islamic chickens one and all no doubt. The chicken trucks are therefore presently stacked ten-a-chicken-breast at the blockaded Saudi border, as MB writes this chicken missal.
For the information and ongoing education of HX followers, the Arabic word for chicken is ‘dajaj’ (some word), and MB swears that almost 75% of the items on every restaurant menu in Qatar have the ‘dajaj’ word included somewhere. Dajaj this and dajaj that and dajaj the other. It’s akin to spuds back in Ireland. A must-have dish with every meal, in whatever format suits the moment. More dajaj please. And can I please order some desert dajaj? And a dajaj to go. Shukran.
So is there a threat of invasion MB? Well if there is lads, let’s hope it’s an invasion of chickens, or eggs. But which will come first MB? That’s the proverbial question lads!
Anyway, MB is not fearful of invasion. The HX Blog has numerous followers in Saudi Arabia and UAE, from MB’s sojourns in those regions. So the fact that MB is known to be presently residing in Qatar, means in all probability, that none of the hostile governments (of some 120M population) will risk sending troops across the border of Qatar (of some 2M population). Or if they do, it will only be to meet with MB to negotiate the terms of their surrender.
And that’s the story to date lads. MB will keep you all a(chicken)breast of developments, even before they happen.
Watch this space. Yesterday!
Lulu Supermarket today. Doha, Qatar. UHT Goats Milk. Yuk!
Category: Irish man in the Middle East Tagged: Al Jazeera, Arabian, Bahrain, Border, Closure, Crisis, Egypt, Gulf, Maldives, news, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, uae
It's a mad HX world!