In the 90s my father used to take my sister and I down to Ashraf’s after every school year to buy a new Swatch, it was the most memorable summer treat! Now going back on a nostalgic journey into old Bahrain, I felt like such a tourist in my own country! Foreign shopkeepers, who seem to be more Bahraini than your average Bahraini, were staring at us “new generation” taking photos and squealing with excitement at old signs and doors in overdressed attire!
Over the weekend I had the pleasure of strolling the streets of old Bahrain, and delving into some history at Bab Al Bahrain. Bab Al Bahrain, a commercial district, completed in 1945 was home to all the important traders on the island.
What makes Bab Al Bahrain even more appealing now is that the Ministry of Culture started a new “Bab Market” initiative where young Bahraini traders set up a pop shop every weekend. This creates an incredible diverse environment where old meets new.
Bab Al Bahrain is a treasure trove of everything Bahraini, from spices, fabrics, gold and electronics whatever you need they have! I was mesmerized by the sights, and shall let the photos do the talking.