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A little look around the markets, shops and food of Bahrain. This tiny gulf country with a population of around 1.2 million is made up in half of non nationals, hence the food and many of the workers are from India, Kerala in most part, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Filipinos in the most part. Central market has a meat, vegetable and fish section. The streets in the centre manama are packed with shish, tikka, sharwarma, broasted, bread bakeries and so so much more. It is really vibrant and there are so many different types of spices on offer. This is just a little look at the country, on the other end of the scale and of no interest to us there are of course huge shopping malls selling designer brands and lots of fast food outlets, a little like Dubai really in that sense. We prefer the back streets and the real deal though, take your Gucci and KFC and stick it. As an island the fish is of course a big player here. Saudi Arabia is an hour away as is Abu Dhabi, Doha and Dubai. The Kingdom of Bahrain ‫مملكة البحرين‬‎ , is a small island country situated near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is an archipelago with Bahrain Island, the largest land mass, at 55 km (34 mi) long by 18 km (11 mi) wide. Saudi Arabia lies to the west and is connected to Bahrain by the King Fahd Causeway while Iran lies 200 km (124 mi) to the north across the Persian Gulf. The peninsula of Qatar is to the southeast across the Gulf of Bahrain. The population in 2010 stood at 1,234,571, including 666,172 non-nationals. Bahrain is the site of the ancient land of the Dilmun civilisation. Bahrain was one of the earliest areas to convert to Islam in 628 AD. Following a period of Arab rule, Bahrain was occupied by the Portuguese in 1521, who in turn were expelled in 1602 by Shah Abbas I of the Safavid dynasty under the Persian Empire. In 1783, the Bani Utbah clan captured Bahrain from Nasr Al-Madhkur and has since been ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family, with Ahmed al Fateh as Bahrain's first hakim. In the late 1800s, following successive treaties with the British, Bahrain became a protectorate of the United Kingdom. In 1971, Bahrain declared independence. Formerly a state, Bahrain was declared a Kingdom in 2002. Since early 2011, the country has experienced sustained protests and unrest inspired by the regional Arab Spring, particularly by the majority Shia population.

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