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Read Around the World May 2021 – Bahrain


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This month we are of to an island so in the good ole English tradition of Desert Island Disks we have chosen which books to take us there.

Fun facts about Bahrain from this site:

  • Bahrain is the smallest country in the Middle East and is Asia’s third smallest country, covering an area of only 295 square miles.
  • The country was originally made up of 33 islands, but intensive land reclamation has increased this figure to 84 islands. Land reclamation also increased the country’s land area by 38 square miles.
  • Bahrain has a coastline stretching 100 miles and does not border any country by land.
  • The country gets its name from the Arabic word “al-Bahrayn” which is loosely translates to “the two seas.”
  • Until the Middle Ages, “Bahrain” represented the Eastern Arabia region.
  • In the Bronze Age Bahrain was inhabited by the Dilmun civilization.
  • Bahrain was historically famed for its pearl fisheries, which were considered to be among the best in the world.
  • Several ancient kingdoms conquered ancient Bahrain including the Babylonians and the Assyrians.
  • The ancient Greeks knew Bahrain as Tylos, which at the time was renowned for its cotton trees and textile industry.
  • Bahrain is one of the few countries in the Middle East in which women have the right to vote and vie for elective positions.
  • The official currency of the country is the Bahraini dollar, and is the world’s second highest valued currency unit.

I chose to visit Bahrain via The Pearl Thief by Noor Al Noaimi. This was the only book I could find that matched my criteria of an author from Bahrain, book setting Bahrain and accessible for me to source. (Thank you Amazon Kindle)

This is a sweet short story about a young man struggling to support his family who decides to try his hand at being a pearl diver. Work is well paid because the risk to the divers is so high, many of the them don’t return from their first job. The title tells you what is going to happen when our young man goes pearl diving but to avoid spoilers I won’t tell you if this action is good or bad.

I enjoyed the descriptions of life in Bahrain, the land and the sea and especially the bustling market place.

3 Stars for this one

Other readers visited in the following ways:

Rockpools from Litsy – The Pearl Thief – and like me she rated this a pick.

Currey from Litsy –Who Shot Ahmed by Elizabeth Dickinson – an investigation into the Arab Spring uprising this was rated a pick.

Simona & Rockpools from Litsy – Two Old Fools on a Camel by Victoria Twead – two brits on the verge of retirement decide to spend a year teaching at an American school in Bahrain. This was rated as a So-So and a Pan.

Did you join us on our trip? Let us know what you read.

Next up Palau will you be joining us? What will you be reading?

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