First-Ever U.S. Display of Bahraini Culture Debuts at Meridian

Guests view some of the traditional Bahraini thobs on display.
Guests view some of the traditional Bahraini thobs on display.

On Friday, October 23, Meridian International Center and the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA), along with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain, launched A Tale of Two Seas: From Dilmun to Bahrain with an elegant evening reception.

The event, which featured traditional Bahraini cuisine and music by the famed Mohammed Bin Fares Ensemble, brought high-level U.S. and foreign diplomats to Meridian’s Cafritz Galleries, including H.E. Ambassador Madjid Bouguerra of Algeria, H.E. Ambassador Yasser Reda of Egypt, and representatives from the embassies of Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan. Also present were several members of D.C.’s cultural, policymaking, and think tank organizations, including the U.S. State Department, the Smithsonian Institution, the Wilson Center, Booz Allen Hamilton, the Aspen Institute, and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Meridian Executive Vice President Lee Satterfield welcomed guests and introduced the evening’s distinguished speakers, H.E. Shaikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Khalifa, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United States, and H.E. Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, President of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities. Shaikha Mai underlined the role of culture and the arts in upholding human and civilizational advancements and conveyed her delight at the exhibition of Bahraini historical artifacts and artistic offerings. Meridian Vice President of Cultural Programs Terry K. Harvey introduced the five-member Mohammed Bin Fares Ensemble, one of the most celebrated musical groups in Bahrain, who performed for guests throughout the evening.

A Tale of Two Seas: From Dilmun to Bahrain brings Bahrain’s longstanding heritage and vibrant culture to American audiences. With over 6,000 years of history, the Kingdom of Bahrain has a distinctive culture within the Gulf region. An archipelago composed of more than 33 islands, Bahrain has been a leading harbor and marketplace since the third millennium BCE. Throughout its history, the country has benefitted from its strategic location that linked the Near East to the Indus Valley, and from its natural wealth in the form of abundant water, lush gardens, and rich pearling grounds. These features and natural resources allowed people to settle and thrive on the island and gave the country its modern name, Bahrain, which means “two seas” in Arabic.

A Tale of Two Seas: From Dilmun to Bahrain was on display at Meridian's Cafritz Galleries from 10/24-11/8.

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