7 Bahraini Forces Pushing the Island Beyond Borders

*follows immediately*

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Bahrain might be the smallest country in the GCC but thanks to its creative scene, its impact transcends its borders. The nation’s creative reputation speaks for itself. 

Beyond its biggest art fair Art Bahrain Across Borders and the three-decade-old annual Bahrain International Music Festival, its talents are making a name for themselves on a regional and international scale.

From artists exhibitioning their work across the globe to sought-after musicians playing around the world, these creative forces are spearheading Bahrain’s art and culture renaissance, and we’re here to celebrate them.

These are seven Bahraini creatives you need to keep on your radar.

Dar Disku

No conversation about Bahrain’s music scene can go without a mention of music duo Dar Disku (which literally means ‘home of the disco’ in English). Bahraini DJ Mazen Almaskati and Bahrain-raised Indian DJ Vish Mhatre have redefined genres in the region and beyond, with an incredible repertoire spanning sub-genres like dabke, rai, afro disco, sawt and more. The duo has played in iconic venues and festivals from Lisbon and Mumbai to Lovebox Festival and Le Mellotron.

Ali Al Shehabi

 

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The Dubai-based photographer’s nostalgic pastel-drenched shots are every retro-lover’s dream. Documenting the mundane and everyday life everywhere from Dubai to Tokyo, Al Shehabi puts youth at the forefront of his photographs, capturing intimate moments.

Reem Al Khalifa

Al Khalifa has revolutionised the natural beauty industry in the region with her venture Green Bar since 2006. The homegrown brand produces strictly natural and non-toxic products, handcrafted in the company’s local laboratory. Their full beauty range is made from botanical ingredients such as mint, mulberry, rose and palm, all of which are sourced by Al Khalifa herself. In 2017, the entrepreneur has also opened a cafe concept by Green Bar with two locations in Bahrain offering food made from scratch off of fresh seasonal ingredients.

Nasser Al Zayani

The Abu Dhabi-based Bahraini-American artist uses drawings and writings as well as found and cast objects to translate his obsession with documenting time and place. His most recent archeological works explore the preservation of lost landscapes through memory.

Majid Al Maskati

 

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One half of the Canadian-Bahraini duo Majid Jordan, the Toronto-based singer is one of the most recognisable R&B voices, in and out of the region. Al Maskati has been on world tours along with his partner and producer Jordan Ullman ever since they were catapulted to fame after co-producing and writing Drake’s 2013 6-times-platinum hit ‘Hold on We’re Going Home’.

Tala Bashmi

Top Chef Middle East finalist Bashmi is the chef revamping Middle Eastern cuisine through her savoir-faire acquired in Switzerland and her passion for Bahraini food. She is currently the head chef of fine-dining spot Fusions, housed inside the Gulf Hotel; the culinary experience you need whenever you’re in the island.

Omar Farooq

The filmmaker and content creator is one of the top Arab YouTubers with 4.32 million subscribers to his channel. His ‘Omar tries’ series is an absolute hit in the region. The videos see Farooq attempt different professions and activities from TV presenter and pizza maker to florist and opera singer.

 

 

Main photo: Dar Disku

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