Monday 9 January 2012: Ma'tam Abu Saiba
I have been meaning to blip this for a long time - since before my friend Alison left Bahrain! I think it is a beautiful building (better viewed in LARGE). It is known as Ma'tam Abu Saiba, in Abu Saiba village near to where we live. The domes can just been seen from the Budaiya Highway, behind Country Mall. The main difference between a Mosque and a Ma'tam is that the former is used for worship and wedding ceremonies, whereas the latter's purpose is for holding funerals and Ashura ceremonies - this is a Shi'a Mat'am and the red flag flying from it is a 'Hussein' flag, there since Ashura in November. The beautiful blue tiling on the dome is (I am told) typical of similar domes in Iran. There's a close-up of it here (sorry it's a bit over-exposed on the westward side; there was a lot of dust in the atmosphere today, not to mention on the dome itself).
I think this is the best place from which to photograph it, as I have tried before. The building is situated at the end of a narrow street and to capture it front-on is almost impossible as it looms up in front of you rather suddenly - rather like many of the beautiful Matams in the villages around Bahrain . I shot this from a place where they are growing palm trees and turf for sale to landscapers, hence the nice, green foreground.
I was hoping as I drove there that I had picked a good day to come because, if you get it wrong, the turf has been dug up and all that's there is either mud, or a sort of paddy-field where they have just planted new grass - though that can be nice because there are often attractive white wading birds there that look like Egrets - though I'm no birder! - which would make for a nice blip.