“Blessed of the Lord is his land,Deuteronomy 33:13-16
With the precious things of heaven, with the dew,
And the deep lying beneath,
With the precious fruits of the sun,
With the precious produce of the months,
With the best things of the ancient mountains,
With the precious things of the everlasting hills,
With the precious things of the earth and its fullness,
And the favor of Him who dwelt in the bush…”
It has been a few days since I focused the spotlight on Bahrain, so this posting necessarily features a treasure-trove of wonderful images. Most taken by Rebekah, but some from Andrew and Alicia. They are all interesting, but I want to talk briefly about just a few before you scroll through the gallery, below.
First, the feature image. Rebekah is standing outside an ancient mosque. Built around 692 AD – during the era of the Umayyad caliph Umar II – the Al-Khamis Mosque is believed to be the first in Bahrain and one of the oldest in the Middle East. The current construction dates to the 11th Century.
Sometimes the minarets are accessible, but had recently been deemed unstable.
Rebekah – who is respectfully wearing a head covering – has been amazed at how casual the protocols are regarding access, preservation, and caring for such rich cultural treasures. There is very little interpretive material available, and all the significant sites beg for more thorough documentation, archeological investigation, and – most importantly – the gathering of materials that can tell the story of the culture at various times in history, stretching back at some sites, 5,000 years.
Then, this wonderful photograph of Andrew, Alicia, and Mr. T. exploring The Barbar Temple. According to archaeologists this site is part of the ancient Dilmun culture – with the oldest temple dating back to 3000 BC.
There is, evidently, a lot more on this dry, barren, curious island than first glance allows. Rebekah is discovering this not just via the ancient ruins, but through engaging merchants, artisans, and local people in conversation at the shops and eateries.
“Their English is not so good; and my knowledge of the local language is nonexistent; but when people are this friendly, and gracious, and they want to communicate… then – somehow – they do.”Rebekah
So enjoy the images:
- Rebekah at the Al-Khamis Mosque.
- Andrew, Alicia, and Mr. T. exploring the Barbar site.
- Alicia, wearing elegant costume at a center for weaving.
- Rebekah sampling exquisite local coffee at a café.
- The harsh landscape.
- More significant ruins.
- Renovated buildings honoring ancient architecture.
- The view from Andrew and Alicia’s apartment.
There is a lot to see here, so let’s take a virtual tour – DEREK