Enjoy Bahrain, During Covid.

 

The tree of life

For so many people, 2020 has been a year of waiting and uncertainty. Waiting to see family members, waiting to find another job after you lost yours, waiting for a loved one in the hospital to get better. As 2020 ends, and some of us are letting out a sigh of relief, it is by no mean the end of our waiting game. As we say goodbye to a difficult year, hardships may still be coming our way; however, surviving 2020 has made us invincible. It had taught us what no one could learn in many lifetimes. If anything I had learned, it’s to have fun and enjoy every second we have…cherish the moment, always.

With the beast (aka Covid) still hovering around waiting to pounce at any moment, going out and enjoying life as we once did before can seem scary and even dangerous to some. Some of us have been stuck at home for way more than anyone should ever have to, yet the idea of venturing to Malls, Cafes, and Gyms might still be daunting.

Today I will share some activities that you can enjoy with your family with some ease and a little comfort (because, to be honest, Covid is EVERYWHERE, you can never be too comfortable!).

The Tree of Life: People now are looking for deserted places where they can almost be sure not to interact with anyone. As is the case when it comes to any infectious disease, people want to avoid crowded places by all means. And what’s better than the desert itself.

Pack food, drinks, blankets, jackets (it can be freezing over there), games (puzzles, board games, cards..etc.), and enjoy the calm and the beauty of that one majestic tree in the middle of nowhere.

The tree of life

Karzakan Forest: Truly a little hidden paradise! It is a10 to 15 minutes hike in the middle of trees and nature. It ends with a beautiful little pond, where you can admire the most magical sunset. Lower your expectations, and avoid going in the afternoon as it can be a bit crowded then.

Karzakan Forest

Candy Making at Spun Candy:  If you have kids like I do (I have one), staying at home for almost a year is unimaginable. Finding activities that are safe yet fun is a challenge. We went a couple of weeks ago to Spun Candy in the Avenues (near Blaze Pizza and the food court). We booked a session that is around 40-50 minutes. They take groups of up to 5 people and have special prices for families. They would book the whole space for you, and you, with your kids, can make candies.

It is BD9.4 per kid. You must book in advance.

At Spun Candy

Ice Skating at Delmonia mall: Finally a decent Ice Skating place in Bahrain (no offense to fun land, but it had served its purpose for way too long if you ask me lol).

For now and for obvious reasons, they only take bookings for coaching. They have different slots: 15mins, 30 mins, 45mins, and 1hour. And you get an extra hour for ice skating alone without the coach. They also have different packages.

Ice skating

Al Jasra Farm: In Al Jasra-Al Mozareen road- a beautiful organic farm, with solar energy and free-range chickens…. What else to desire? You can enjoy the fresh air with your kids. You can also pick vegetables and get some honey and free-range eggs! A beautiful escape.

Nada Pottery: A private pottery class, for two hours, to learn basic skills and techniques in making and coloring beautiful pieces. The session is for all ages and is BD10. Call: 33300855 to book.

I hope you can enjoy some fresh air and some exciting adventures in this new year. Stay tuned as I discover more hidden gems and share them with you.

Wishing you a truly blessed and joyful 2021.

Ouiam El Hassani

A Raw and Powerful Kind Of Love.. 

 

The last week was a busy one, a lovely kind of busy though. We had family around and that always makes me so happy.

 

It is amazing that no matter how long we stay abroad we never really get used to living without family. I have been in Bahrain for 10 years and I always crave those moments right after breakfast, with my family, when everyone is holding a cup of tea, not really drinking it because it probably got cold already, but no one can be bothered to heat it up. Talking about the silliest things. Reminiscing about the past, bringing up memories that we once thought dead, almost smelling the aromas of the past and getting lost in the details that we wish were to be back! We make fun of ourselves and each others like no one ever did, we cry and laugh at the same time, we hug and hold hands, we pray and hope together, we venture into red dangerous zones together and we share desserts together!

 

I had exactly that last week, and I prayed it never ends, yet and while I was making that silent prayer, my heart sank and I felt the buried pain from the past 10 years rising in my chest, like a volcano, with the cruelest revelation ever, this will end soon, it always does, we meet, we shine, our hearts expend and our souls rejuvenate, then we say goodbye and parts of our souls get lost with every one of these encounters just to be found again in the next one. Yet weeks later we forget all about it and we get back to our busy schedules and our crazy lives and life goes on.

 

Every time I think about my family, I have the urge to cry, because I only get to visit them once a year, and knowing that I am missing birthdays, graduations, bad and good days, makes me so sad, but this is life and who can argue with it? However, life isn’t that cruel, it rewarded me with a new family the day I got married. My new family embraced me as if I was theirs, and showed me that love can be shown in so many ways, not necessarily the ways I knew of, but bigger and very different ones. It taught me that being away is good because it is a chance to explore the love you have been offered, you get to stretch it and make of it whatever you want. It opened my eyes to the endless possibilities one can show compassion and receive it at the same time.

 

Sometimes we are very stubborn, we only want to be loved the way we need to be loved or the way we want to be loved yet families are different, each one has a unique charm and with it comes a wonderful sense of safety and security even if their love is different, you just have to be wise enough to take whatever you have been offered and just be grateful for it.

 

Family is the one thing that takes you in no matter who you are, they hold your hand in though times and guide you towards a safety zone. They are the force that nurses you back to life in those ugly moments of loneliness and suffering. Yet we don’t always love them the way we are supposed to, we don’t always listen to them the way we need to, we don’t always tell them all the things we should tell them. It is not necessarily a bad thing, we all need room to grow and see clearer and become better versions of ourselves, but sometimes with the change and the growing up, comes a glacial kind of unresponsiveness, and a rigid indifference and stiffness that occupies that soft part of our hearts that cries at every goodbye, and winces at every unpleasant news we hear, and expands at every meeting with our loved ones. I feel we always need a reminder of love, a reminder of the goodness in being surrounded with love, of how lucky we are every time we fall and there is a hand of a mother, a grandmother or a sister that is rushing to help. Those reminders allow us to never forget that the love of a family is bigger, brighter, and stronger than life itself.

 

Ouiam