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Thursday 27th April
Bahrain Information - Page 1
Geography
The Kingdom of Bahrain is in the Middle East. It consists of thirty-three small islands in the Persian Gulf. Bahrain is linked to Saudi Arabia by a causeway.

Manama, on Bahrain Island, is the capital city. Al Muharraq is the location of the international airport.

The terrain consists of low desert plain. The highest point on the island of Bahrain is Jabal ad Dukhan (122 m).

Bahrain is hot in summer but mild in winter.

Environment
The Al Areen Wildlife Park, south of Manama, is managed by the National Commission for Wildlife Protection. Established in 1976 the Park is home to animals such as the Arabian Oryx and the Persian Gazelle.

The Hawar Islands Archipelago is listed on the Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance. Hawar Islands consist of sixteen small desert islands. Birds found on the islands include the Greater Flamingo, Black-headed Gull and Socotra Cormorant.

Tubli Bay, a Natural Reserve, is also on the Ramsar list. The Bay is an important staging point for over forty species of migratory birds.

Architecture
Qal'at al-Bahrain, the Ancient Harbour of Bahrain and Capital of Dilmun, is on the World Heritage List. The site was first inhabited over four thousand years ago. Excavations have revealed buildings dating back over the centuries - one of the later buildings is the Portuguese fort which gives the whole site its name: Qal'at al-Bahrain.

Architecture of note includes the Al Fateh Mosque, the Museum of Pearl Diving and the World Trade Centre.

The Bahrain World Trade Centre is a strikingly modern building consisting of two towers over 240 m high. The sail shaped design of the towers reflects the nautical history of the islands and wind turbine blades between the skyscrapers provide a percentage of the building's energy requirements.

Population
The population of Bahrain was estimated at in 1,214,705 in 2011.

Languages
Arabic is the official language. English is widely spoken. Other languages are Farsi, and Urdu.

Religion
Over eighty percent of the people follow Islam.

Food
Lamb, poultry, and fish feature prominently in the traditional cuisine of Bahrain. Meat and fish dishes are served with rice and salads.

Popular foods are pitta bread, houmous, falafels, and shawarma (marinated lamb or chicken cooked on a skewer). Sambousas, crispy pastries with a variety of fillings, are sold in the souks.

Desserts are made with ingredients such as rice and dates. Halva and baklava are eaten.

Fruits available include bananas, citrus fruits, dates, mangoes, melons and pomegranates.

Soft drinks are produced. Popular drinks are tea and coffee; Arabian coffee is flavoured with cardamom.

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