It’s tough to believe how calm the atmosphere (aside from the traffic) was when I strolled by the Pearl Monument above some 3 weeks ago. Currently the site of tense and violent anti-government protests, under normal conditions there isn’t a much to do at in the square but take photos of the Pearl Monument. Before oil became the primary source of the Bahrain’s economy, pearls were the kingdom’s main export and there are plenty of references to that fact throughout the tiny country in the Persian Gulf.
The current protests revolve around a history of discord between Bahrain’s Shiite Muslim community and the ruling Sunni Muslim Al Khalifa royal family. The Shiite communities are rather segregated in neighborhoods marked with black flags that can be found throughout the capitol Manama and rest of Bahrain. The road to political and social equilibrium for Bahrain is an uncertain a volatile one for now.
You can see more of my recent pictures and sights from Bahrain in this gallery here.