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Bahrain/Your thoughts ??

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by Mariadelasol, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. Mariadelasol

    Mariadelasol New commenter

    Looking at a position in Manama but I have never been to Bahrain.
    How does it compare to Oman or the UAE or Qatar ?

    Are locals friendly ?
    Are there camel souks ?
    Can you find deserted beaches ?
    Is the cost of living high ?

  2. Bahrain is nice, locals are friendly. No to the deserted beaches. Never been to UAE or Oman but I would say they are probably nicer. There has been some unrest recently.
  3. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    ... as the British ambassador to Russia wrote to his colleagues in early 1917...

  4. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

    I found all of the people that I met in Bahrain to be extremely rude and vile - from the airport transit desk (who couldn't give a ....) to the hotel people who were too busy trying to set me up with a "lady" to book in my 70 students
    Add to that, the scum who would stop their Mercs and offer the boys in our group a couple of hundred $
    Yeah, great place
    On the other side, all of the Bahraini students that I have taught, have been lovely!
  5. rta


    Been here a while. If I was starting in the Middle East again I would poss go for Oman - mainly for the beaches / diving / outside stuff to do.

    Bahrain (like anywhere) is what you make of it...I am not going anywhere at the moment and keep myself busy. No deserted beaches, fairly high cost of living, but most times salaries balance that out. No camel souk I am aware of! Political unrest unlikely to reach the same outcome as Russia in 1917...
  6. Are you sure about that BFG! Please check your facts! The Ministry of Culture shows Bahrain to be full of happy, smiling faces.
  7. Mariadelasol

    Mariadelasol New commenter

    First of all I find it insulting to be called in Omar's term an "arrogrant ***".
    You don't know me as a person and should not make such personal attacks.
    Thanks vehar for the photo- I will Google the lastest update on
    news in Bahrain.
  8. Mariadelasol

    Mariadelasol New commenter

    **typed too fast
    I meant "arrogant"
  9. Mariadelasol

    Mariadelasol New commenter

    Hmmmm...Omar you sound like someone who will just jump to conclusions for no reason.
    And you sound angry. Maybe you are unhappy and you take it out on others.
    I feel sorry for you.
    And no- the unrest does not bother me- change can be good.[​IMG]
  10. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    Maria, I don't know you and I don't know anything about Bahrain, Riyadh, Jedda or any of the places you were asking about but I do agree with Omar that your posts come across as very demanding.
  11. And no- the unrest does not bother me- change can be good
    Depends how it comes about. If you're serious about learning more about Bahrain, this is a good link: <font size="3">

    </font><font size="3"> </font><font size="3">http://tinyurl.com/PCOBahrain</font>
    Also, if you use Twitter, try following 'angryarabiya'; she's a human rights activist whose father is currently on hunger strike. She publicizes many things that the formal media won't.

  12. I don't think Maria is being any different to anyone else that comes on here to ask for opinions on living in a place. Most people want to know whether they'll have a reasonable social life with things to do at the weekends. I am assuming that by saying that she's not bothered by a revolution, she means she is not ruling it out and will still consider working there.

    I'm not sure exactly what Omar expects of expats working in countries experiencing political turmoil. Would he like them to leave/ join in/ stop doing anything? I know in Cairo many of the local staff that I worked with did not support the revolution, for whatever reason, and they did not appreciate outsiders involving themselves in it or expressing their views on it for that matter.
  13. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    Happy in Cairo
    Of course that is why people visit this forum, I totally agree. It is the minutiae that is important when trying to make a decision on where to go. I asked millions of questions as well. For me, it was the 'tone' of Maria's posts that had me thinking 'Whoah' when I was reading them. Just the way they come acrosss as, "Your information isn't what I need. NEXT!"
    But as I have discovered over the years, things are easily misinterpreted in this place.
  14. to return your your thoughts, Mariadelsole
    and only to play devil's advocate on the point of revolutions...
    there's revolutions and there's revolutions.
    I might really have liked to see the Orange Alternative that was a part of the fall of Communism in Poland because its approach was one of using absurdity and humor- people dressed as dwarves with improvised orange hats and reassured the police that they had nothing to fear. When the police came to arrest the dwarves, they looked like the utterly ridiculous bullies they were. (How ingenious is that?) That's not to say it was a safe time, it wasn't, but that sounds like a completely different kind of approach to change than what's going on in Syria now, for example. I'm not there, but it does sound like an opportunity for people who are so inclinded to do any perverse thing they wish, raping sons in front of fathers. How is that possibly related to any political movement other than terrorizing the population in order to intimidate them?
    Having said that, 2 points cross my mind when I'm considering places in the ME.
    Given that, when you are new anywhere, you have to stick out and there's nothing you can do about it. It simply takes time to learn the culture you have come to and how to wear it (if indeed, you have the physical characteristics to blend in where you are). You have the choice later whether you want to blend more or less (again, if you can), but that choice is not there for a while. Given this, will your difference attract attention and make you (and potentially others) a target? I would like to think there are not many places like this for me on the planet, but the fact remains that my citizenship won't make me a welcome addition to every neighborhood. If I'm honest, there are places it could make me a great target. I would like to believe those places are very few, but they are things to think about.
    The second point is that if, just if, your school evacuates and shuts down, the reality is, it can hurt your CV. Is that fair? No. Will every school bother to ask? No. There are a lot of candidates for jobs and any excuse will be good to cut that pile down to a manageable size. An unusual break in employment or an odd ending to an entry could do it. Would that mean you would never get a job again? Probably not, but it could make your life harder for a little while.
    All of this was just to offer points to consider, please don't take any of it as commentary on Bahrain and I hope it was welcome just the same. In terms of evaluating the whole package of a school, I think a strong one will weather the crises far better than one whose first reason for existence is the enrichment of the owner.
    best of luck
  15. Mariadelasol

    Mariadelasol New commenter

    Thanks wrldtrvlr123, happyincairo, and penelopefish- I appreciated your thoughts.
    My original post was just to get information about Bahrain's lifestyle etc...
    I did not by any means wish to get into any political debate or insult another
    culture in any way.
    As for yasimum- yes- on forums like these- ones "tone" can really be misinterpreted !
  16. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Tone-deaf myself, I'm certain that mariadelasol (why la sol?) didn't set out to insult another culture - just to ignore it, which is less offensive.
    I would only inquire whether 'lifestyle' doesn't include the nature and quality of your interaction with local people, your knowledge of and interest in the host culture and language, your awareness of how different sectors of the indigenous population live their lives.
    Naturally, forging links and acquiring knowledge is easier in some places than others, and nobody becomes a Ruritanian just by spending a long time living there.
    But even if leisure activity and social life are all you're interested in, it's as well to have some notion as to the likelihood of your destination country 'melting down'.
    At the Travellers' Saint place in Bahrain there are many teachers who have been there a long time, so I would advise you to make contact and draw on their expertise, detailed knowledge and commitment to the country and its people.
  17. Mariadelasol

    Mariadelasol New commenter

    Sorry SMT dude (why the dude ?) but I am not into ignoring other cultures.
    I am an overseas teacher because I enjoy experiencing a country's cultures and traditions
    or I would not go there in the first place.
    Thanks for the Travellers' Saint place advice- although I am not sure what that is....
  18. Realized that for me, the operative part of what I'd said about learning how to blend into a culture was how slow a process it seems to be. [​IMG]
    I suppose you can pick your poison: impatience or laziness. [​IMG]
    Mariadelasole, please don't read that as directed at you. Maybe everyone has colleagues at their workplace with utterly no interest in what life is like for those who always live there. It does make for some embarrasing moments that the disinterested expat involved never gets. If we are talking about unstable places, it could be worse than embarrasing.
  19. Mariadelasol

    Mariadelasol New commenter

    Thanks again penelopefish [​IMG] .
    I must say that the more I read about what has been happening
    in Bahrain, the more concerned I get about working in an unstable

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