Ruminations over the ‘golden olden’ days are going to be the opening offering of my Bahrainia blog. Having watched Bahrain’s natural and social landscape for 18 years I thought it was time to put my pen to paper [figuratively speaking, since the effort nowadays actually involves punching keys of QWERTYUIOP].
While 18 years is as good as the millionth of a blink in terms of the time span our continents have existed, it is amazing how much can change in a place like Bahrain in such a short time.
Recalling parts of Bahrain back then in 1997 they seem like visions out of the 19th century when many a road had no divider, many a crossroads was a roundabout redolent with greenery, vast empty spaces stared one in the face in areas close to or even inside the city, high-rises were few and far between, the now-forlorn Yateem Centre was THE place for upmarket shopping pleasure, the Bab Al Bahrain souq was jammed by shoppers on a cool evening, there were far fewer cars on the road, the buildings generally bore the stamp of the 1920s architecture, material and style and the majority of houses in the inner city built at the time bore the unmistakable stamp of Art Deco.
But Bahrain has kept pace with the times and is second to none of its neighbouring cities as it has progressed, one aspect of which is keeping pace with the contemporary in architecture, housing, highway infrastructure, shopping comfort and so on… And while some of the abandoned and dilapidated shops and mansions have given way to high-rises, others have been lovingly restored.