A few days in Bahrain. How are women really treated?

Travel is one of those things, dear friend, that the more you spend on it, the richer you become. For those of you just starting out, weather you are young students, professionals, or retired - the route we have described in this section is an EXCELLENT start. It is a very safe and easy route to take. It covers several continents, as well as gives a very good balance between city destinations, nature, and island resorts. We hope you enjoy it!

Off to Bahrain

Right after returning from Paris, it was time for another destination. This time the travel was combined with business because your young guides at the time were still stuck in the rat race, and had to follow the guidelines set by the companies they worked for.

Bahrain is an island country consisting of a small archipelago centered around Bahrain Island, which is situated between the Qatar peninsula and the north eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, to which it is connected by the 25 km King Fahd Causeway.
In Arabic, Bahrayn is the dual form of bahr = sea. Hence, the name roughly translates to "the two seas", although which two seas were originally intended remains in dispute. Today, Bahrain's "two seas" are instead generally taken to be the waters east and west of the island.
Bahrain’s economy used to thrive on Pearl Diving and Fishing. Today, it is mostly oil. However, everywhere Dilek walked in Bahrain, she noticed small sea shells and even sea stars on the sandy ground. Her hosts explained that much of the land had been under water and was being artificially re-built (or created) to accommodate for the expansions being made.

How did they treat a Western Business Woman?

This is the most common question Dilek receives when she talks about her business ventures in Bahrain. Nothing about the Mega Building Projects, the Grand Prix (first in an Arabic country), The Monarchy, Culture…
At the time, the G8 Meetings were being held in Bahrain, but no one asked about them. Moreover, Michael Jackson had just relocated to Bahrain, but even that was not a topic… No, the #1 question is always: “How were you treated as a Woman?”

The answer is: “Like Everywhere Else”

We really do not understand where all prejudice towards Muslims come from? There are differences in the cultures for sure. Sexuality can be a sensitive topic, and some countries have a more male dominated culture… but is that not the case in most continents?
As for Dilek’s clothing: She wore the exact same business suits she would wear in Sweden. There were women wearing niqab in the city but in the office, most women dressed in business suits. It should be noted that while walking alone in the streets, Dilek did receive whistles from several men and passing cars, which is UNACCEPTABLE of course. Unfortunately this is not specific to Bahrain or the Middle East. Dilek received the same treatment while she was working in the US a few years later, in Latin America, in several countries in Europe and whenever there was a male dominated environment. Even in Sweden (which is considered a very progressive country), several of her colleagues have made inappropriate comments/advances.
Dear Friends! This is not about religion or culture. It is about respect for Women regardless of background!

The Tree of Life

The tree of life

One day, one of our hosts offered to take Dilek and her colleagues sightseeing. Since Bahrain is a very small Island, we managed to cover great distances.
Most of this time was spent in the desert, because we also used this time to visit some of the company sites located a bit off road. It was very educational to see an actual operational site. We had not expected there to be so much military however.
We also visited some of the more famous tourist spots like; The Great Mosque, the Main Souk; the great Mall… and of course The Tree of Life. The last one is an absolute MUST in Bahrain.

How Does it Survive?

The Tree of Life is approximately 400 years old, located 2 km outside the city. The tree stands on a hill in the desert surrounded by miles of sand. There is no other tree as far as the eye can see; there is actually no life at all in the area. The average temperature is 40C and sandstorms are common. Therefore, many people have wondered “How does the tree survive?”

No one is certain. Scientists have speculated that the nearest possible source of water is an underground stream about 3-4 KM away and that the tree is somehow drawing water from that stream. Others say the tree has learned to extract moisture from breezes or squeeze moisture from grains of sand. Others claim that the tree is standing in what was once the Garden of Eden, and therefore has a more mystical source of water.😊

Gold Rush & Beds Made for Gods

In the evening we visited the night Souk which has a very large gold district. There is Gold everywhere you look, and prices are really cheap. Although, we were a bit disappointed with the food around the souk. We had wanted to try something more traditional, but most of the restaurants in the area had western themes and styles: Like Pizza Hut.
Thereafter we enjoyed the pool and hot tub in the Hotel. Here we could note that there are specific hours reserved at the pool only for women. If you are a man, you should take note to follow the rules.
To this day, dear friend, the ABSOLUTE BEST sleep Dilek has ever had was in the Hotel Suite in Bahrain. There was something inexplicable about the bed. The second you touched it, you fell asleep… and it was a sleep equivalent of 1000 and one nights.
Dilek was not the only one who felt this way. Everyone in the company kept commenting about the beds. It was all we could talk about for days. Where they magic, flying beds or something? To this day, Dilek regrets not getting the name of the mattress… It would probably cost an arm and a leg, but would be sooooooooo worth it.

See you on the NEXT Adventure!

Thank you for taking this trip with us Dear Friend! We hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have. Although we are concluding our “Around the World in 50 Days” article-series, we are nowhere close to ending the adventure. The next Voyage is right around the corner, and it will hold several surprises beyond your wildest imagination. You are always welcome to continue subscribing to get the adventures right in your feed. See You at the Next Adventure!
Enjoy Your Adventures / Dilek & Vedran

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