While there is a modern, international metropolitan culture in the capital Manama, other parts of Bahrain have a more traditional Arabic character.
English-language entertainment is increasingly being spread via radio and television. Traditional Arabic crafts are still practiced in some places: hand-built fishing boats, home-woven fabrics or ceramics. Goldsmithing, which was a Bahraini specialty, has now largely moved to other countries. In wealthy circles, traditional upper-class pleasures such as falconry still occur.
The capital Manama was chosen as the “Arab Capital of Culture” in 2012 under the UNESCO Capital of Culture program. The UNESCO World Heritage Site includes three attractions in Bahrain: a citadel, a traditional pearl fishing site and burial mounds from an approximately 4,000-year-old culture when Bahrain became a center of trade.
Sharp criticism of corona apps
Amnesty International criticizes some countries that use infection tracking apps and emphasizes that their apps are based on technology that compromises personal privacy. Bahrain, Kuwait and Norway make use of apps that Amnesty describes as particularly dangerous. In Bahrain, whose app has been downloaded by more than 400,000 people, authorities respond that it is voluntary to use it.
- Countryaah: Overview of the capital city of Bahrain, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
Punishment against activist is mitigated
Human rights activist Nabil Rajab, who has been imprisoned since 2016 and is convicted of several different charges, is released. He is not released, but does not have to serve the rest of his sentence in prison. Both the UN and several individual organizations have worked for him to be released (see 29 August 2018 and 31 December 2018). Rajab is the first regime critic to have his sentence mitigated with the support of a law passed in 2018.
“Swivel strap” to cope with the corona crisis
Ministries, government and government agencies must save in order to cope with the corona crisis. The requirement is a 30 percent cut. In order to keep the state’s expenditure down, the timetable for, among other things, construction projects, will also be changed, the message is after a government meeting. Labor market laws should be amended to allow for changed benefits, it is also stated, without details of what swing belt measures may be involved.
Support package against corona crisis
According to Abbreviationfinder, the Bahrain government announces a $ 11 billion crisis package to counter the effects of the covid-19 pandemic affecting citizens and private companies. Among other things, the money will cover three months of layoffs of employees as well as electricity and water bills for the same amount of time.
Pandemic leads to amnesty
Bahrain reports its first death due to the spread of a new coronavirus, sars-cov-2. A few days earlier, King Hamad has pardoned about 900 prisoners in order to reduce the risk of infection spread in prison, while nearly 600 prisoners are allowed to serve the rest of their punishment on educational programs. The authorities have restricted air traffic and are ordering all travelers arriving from South Korea, Italy, Egypt and Lebanon to home quarantine for two weeks. A Formula 1 race that would have been completed in March 2020 is postponed in the future. Since March 11, the disease has been classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), it is spread throughout the world.
Criticism of death sentences
A court determines the death sentences against two Shiites convicted of murdering a policeman in a bomb attack in 2014. According to Amnesty International, based the convictions on confessions made under torture. A Bahraini exile organization based in London claims that there were many deficiencies in the original trial against the men in 2014.