In retrospect: Birthplace of Christianity in Bethlehem

The silver star marks the spot   In 339 AD, a church was built in Palestine, in the city of Bethlehem. It was built above a cave, where tradition has it, there once was a manger - specifically the manger where the inspiration [...]

Scenes from a Bahraini mall – empty elegance

Manama, Bahrain, 29 September 2009 It's 6:30 pm and I'm in Moda Mall at the World Trade Centre, wondering where all the people are. Moda is a huge shopping centre with high-end boutiques. Just from where I now sit, I see Louis Vuitton, Dior, Emporio [...]

Two highlights of Bahrain: Qal’at al-Bahrain and Bahrain National Museum

It's early evening in the village surrounding Qal’at al-Bahrain. The creatively decorated houses remind me of pictures in fairy-tales, especially through the filter of the setting sun. Five horsemen appear out of the dusk in front of the silhouette of a large 16th century Portuguese [...]

The Bedoun – Kuwait’s stateless people

On my old blog, I touch upon the issue of the Bedoun (although mostly my ignorance of the matter). This is what I wrote then - from the observation deck of Kuwait Towers: I'm soon joined by the only other westerner here. A journo from [...]

Kuwait Gulf War Memorial

The most evocative house in Kuwait City must surely be the Kuwait Gulf War memorial - or Kuwait House of National Memorial Museum, as it's officially called - Bait Al Watani in Arabic. Outside the house is an Iraqi tank. The taxi driver, Assis, ensures [...]

The Musandam Peninsula – Oman at last

Up close, the massive Hajar Mountains appears arid and inhospitable, yet oddly attractive. In places, the mountain sides looks about to crumble and fall. Once or twice during the 45 km stretch of road, they have. A few large rocks block part of the road.

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