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  • 7/9/2003

Al Manama

The capital of Bahrain

Manama is the capital of Bahrain.  In the last 30 years the city has more than doubled in size and now covers about 25 square kilometres.  The population has also risen dramatically from 67,000 in 1971, to 137,000 recorded 1991, and is currently estimated at about 160,000.

The city occupies the far north-eastern corner of corner of the main island of the Bahrain archipelago.  Manama is encircled by a ring of excellent highways which link it to the interior, the two causeways to Muharraq Island, a causeway to the Sitra region, and a causeway to Saudi Arabia.

Manama retains an intimate atmosphere with excellent public services and hotels, impeccable hygiene and reputation for security and public order.  As well as modern banking, shopping, diplomatic, residential and services areas there still exists the traditional Suq.

Manama Soukh

Part of the fascination of Manama is its historical centre.  This is a blaze of colour, exotic tastes, scents and touches, sounds and languages. The soukh is a place to spend the day wandering from goldsmith, to spice merchant, to tailor to money changer. We saw everything we could imagine for sale -- from parrots, brassware and carpets to drums, spices and herbs. Specialty areas include the gold souk (gold and diamonds), the spice souk (wonderful aromas) and cloth souk (bolts of silk and cotton stacked to the sky). The area around the souk, seemingly unchanged for centuries, is full of small, winding streets. There's also a craft market, where local people sell their work, across from the Adhari Hotel on Wednesday.

Bab Al Bahrain

Bab Al Bahrain means literally the "Gateway to Bahrain", and this prominent building guards the entry to the Soukh. It was built in 1945 as a suitable home for government use, beside what was then Customs Square (now a car park) and a pier (now reclaimed land). Renovated in 1986 it currently houses the Directorate of Tourism and Archaeology offices and shop.When it was originally designed by Sir Charles Belgrave  in 1945, it house the government offices of the time and overlooked the sea. The sea has long been reclaimed (Government Avenue, which runs alongside Bab Al Bahrain, was built on reclaimed land), and the monument itself was refurbished in 1986to incorporate Islamic architectural features. The ground floor now houses the tourist information office and a handicrafts shop.(Timings: 0800-1200 and 1630-1800, closed on Fridays).

Al Fateh Islamic Centre and Grand Mosque

Named for the scion of Ahmad Al Khalifa who captured Bahrain in August 1783, the sparkling Grand Mosque on King Faisal Highway symbolizes the significance of this historic event to Bahrain. At night it stands out as a magnificent floodlit beacon on reclaimed land, a symbol of the spirit, adventure and religious zeal against the relentless threat of the sea.

The centre also conducts courses for non-Muslim residents of the Kingdom to enlighten them on the precepts and regulations of Islam.
Since the establishment of Discover Islam in 1987 more that 1,800 people of different religions have taken part in a series of courses in Islam.

National Museum


he Bahrain National Museum is administered by the directorate of Museums, Ministry of Cabinet Affairs & Information of the Kingdom of Bahrain as a non-profit, educational, and scientific organization. The purpose of the National Museum is to preserve, increase, and disseminate knowledge of the artistic, natural and cultural history of Bahrain.

The purpose of the National Museum is to preserve, increase, and disseminate knowledge of the artistic, natural and cultural history of Bahrain.To accomplish this purpose, the National Museum collects, preserves, studies, interprets, and utilizes tangible objects in programs of exhibitions, and research.
Work on the new National Museum started in 1984 on the unique 123,000 square metre sea-front site situated between the cities of Manama and Muharraq. It compromises nine separate exhibition halls, each having a floor area of 625 square meters. A large foyer of 1450 square meters connects the halls which is used for temporary exhibitions. In addition, the Museum has administrative offices, conservation laboratories, storage facilities, workshops, photo labs, as well as a library, restaurant, lagoon, and car parks.

Bait Al Qur'an

Beit Al Qur'an is dedicated to the service of the Holy Qur'an and to the better and wider understanding of Islam as a religion and a civilization. It is open to all people whatever their nationalities or religious backgrounds. Visitors to Beit Al Qur'an and its various sections will be able to learn more about the Holy Qur'an, Islam and its code of ethics and moral values.
Beit Al Qur'an, located in the Diplomatic Area, a prominent area ofManama, is housed in a famously attractive building with robust architectural features that reflect the importance and reverence of the artifacts it contains. This great institution and its museum house an internationally celebrated collection of historic Quranic manuscripts from various parts of the Islamic world, from China to the East to Spain in the West, representing a progression of calligraphic traditions from the first century of the Islamic era to the present day.

Beit Al Qur'an components are:

. Mohammed Bin Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa Lecture Hall

. The Abdul Rahman Jassim Kanoo Mosque

. Al Forqan Library

.The Yousif Bin Ahmad Kanoo School for Quranic Studies

.Al Hayat Museum.

Abdul Rahman Jassim Kanoo Mosque

The Abdul Rahman Jassim Kanoo Mosque where prayers are conducted five times a day, cementing the relationship between all Muslims and the Holy Qur'an. A stained glass dome covers the circular space which is large enough to accommodate 150 worshippers.

Muhammad Bin Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa Conference Hall

Muhammad Bin Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa Conference Hall, is a fully equipped space, with Audiovisual aids and simultaneous translation facilities, capable of holding 150/200 persons for lectures, seminars and conferences.The space has been a venue for a number of lectures in the past presented by eminent leaders and scholars.

Al Furqan Library

Al Furqan Library ,with its modernly equipped reading rooms, seminar areas and individual research rooms serving serious researchers and the general public alike. The Library provides a reference base for scholarly works at Beit Al Qur'an. The initial compliment of 18,000 volumes in Arabic, English and French will be extended to include all living languages in the future.

Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo School

TheYusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo School for Qur'anic Sciences is comprised of six fully equipped classrooms and their support facilities, where students can recite and learn about the Holy Qur'an.
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