At the Arad Fort carnival this weekend, hundreds of birds and animals will be on display. The two-month-long Paradise on Earth Festival will feature love birds, canaries, pigeons, and chickens along with rabbits and other animals from around 100 Bahraini breeders.
In the 1900s, the Wednesday Market was held in the vicinity of Manama Central Market and was popular. Those were the days before the sellers moved to the Isa Town Traditional Market Complex. In March last year, the Isa Town flea market closed after the outbreak of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Ahmed Al Meghawi, Arad’s councilor, is the one who came up with the idea for the new event. This project was unanimously approved by Muharraq Municipal Council.” I have already taken the necessary permissions from the ministries and government bodies concerned, and local bird and animal breeders have been invited to take part in the event,” said Mr. Al Meghawi. “The event will not just be a platform for the breeders to showcase and offer for sale animals and birds, but it also aims to attract locals, expatriate residents, and tourists to witness beauty first-hand and even touch, cuddle and play with pets.”
Several of the exhibited animals will be homebred, said Mohammed Al Hamer, head of the bird breeders group.
“For decades we have taken good care of our birds whether it is cleaning, feather care, medical attention, and even food and the evidence is that our home collections are unmatched regionally as we garner top awards on a regular basis,” said the 62-year-old.
“Forty-five years ago, my dad took me to the Wednesday Market and bought me a pigeon; it then became two and three until I lost count.
“It was never about my dad anymore and I would take the public bus from Muharraq to Manama to just spend some time with the birds.”
Mr. Al Hamer said birds and animals are like family.
“In every home in Bahrain, there is a pet, whether it is a love bird, canary, rabbit, or a dog.
“It is the culture of loving and caring that sees bird cages or coops on rooftops, in the veranda, backyard, or at the front door.”
Violations will be strictly monitored at the newly opened market, he said. “No banned birds or animals will be featured at the event. Government representatives will be present round the clock to check on us but, with or without their presence, it is a community committed to showcasing only licensed birds and animals.”
A large selection of fresh dairy products and bird and animal food will be available at the festival. Market hours are 7 a.m. to noon on Fridays and Saturdays, and it will take place for two months.
Paradise on Earth Indeed!
Source: Gulf Daily News