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Arabic: 'al-muharraq

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Al-Muharraq, Bahrain
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Old quarters of Al-Muharraq, Bahrain. Photo: Al-Ansari.

Al-Muharraq, Bahrain.
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Mansion with wind tower.

City of northern Bahrain with 100,000 inhabitants (2009 estimate), capital of Al-Muharraq governorate with 115,000 inhabitants (2009 estimate) and an area of 36 km². Al-Muharraq is also the name of the island on which the city lies.
Al-Muharraq is very much a part of the larger capital area of Manama, and numerous of the functions and services used by the Al-Muharraq population are centred to Manama. Al-Muharraq is connected to Manama by two causewas, the one connecting the centres is 1.5 km long. Al-Muharraq is now established as a residential area of the capital. Still, there are suqs here, and shopping quarters.
Al-Muharraq has some of the oldest residential quarters of the whole of Bahrain, as well as traditional wind towers. Right across an inlet is the Arad Fort, with foundations dating back to the 16th century.
Al-Muharraq is bordered to its north by the Bahrain International Airport.

2nd millennium BCE: The earliest records on the location of modern Al-Muharraq was the place being a cult centre for the shark god, Awal.
5th century CE: Becomes a centre for Nestorian Christians, many refugees from the Byzantine Empire.
Late 17th century: Founded the Ibn Ali Utub tribe, it would emerge as governing centre of Bahrain.
1923: Muharraq is replaced by Manama as capital of Bahrain.

By Tore Kjeilen