Saturday, January 10, 2009
Built Fort Tough
Bahrain is sprinkled with several forts that have remained intact over the years; one dates back to the 11th century but most are from the 16th. Though they once were used for military purpose, they are now merely tourist attractions and marriage locations for locals.
The Bahrain Fort is most commonly referred to as the Portuguese Fort. This stone structure (16th C.) is located in the very small village of Karbabad. This agricultural town of twenty-six homes gets its water from natural springs. Our tour guide noted that with oil drilling and even modern architecture, the springs can easily be disturbed and run dry. If this were to happen to this village, its source of economy would certainly be threatened.
With that in mind I should point out that Bahrain does not have homeless contingent. Even families that society would consider to be living in poverty have cars and satellite dishes. This is partly due to government subsidized housing developments, but mainly because this group oriented culture makes sure to leave no one behind.
If a family owns land and has lived in one village for generations, the younger and more prosperous sons will also build there, despite what condition the area might be in. This congregation of generations, rich, and poor, creates a very mixed and integrated society—parallel to the set up of prayer in Islam. (The non-discriminatory shoulder to shoulder lines.)