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Other villages became famous for some of the crafts

practiced in the agricultural environment, such as the textile industry

in Bani Jamrah village, basket weaving in Karbabad village, pottery

in Ali village and AlSaffah in Jassrah village, while Manama and

Muharraq cities are famous for vessel industry and related tools.

The legacy left by these industries is testimony to the skill

and precision of the Bahraini artisan in the production of substances

which meet the basic needs of the community and which bestows on

the artisan a prominent social status. This has prompted the artisans

to pass on their craft to their sons and to teach them the craft

fundamentals and secrets. Thus, these crafts passed on through the

successive generations of the families and became a source of pride

to us to the extent that the family names became linked to the craft

that the family is engaged in such as the Haddad, Al-Hayky, Al-Gallaf,

Al-Jassas and other family names.

However, in the light of the momentous changes which

affected the society’s lifestyles and the fast spread of the foreign

consumption pattern and its social penetration of the various social

groups, the traditional industries have seen visible retreat because

the sons now shy away from engaging in them. The remaining

artisans are now on the verge of departing our world which threatens

these industries with extinction.

Hence the attention that the Government of the Kingdom

of Bahrain, represented by the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions

Authority, is paying to the promotion of these industries by means of

suitable policies that seek to provide the necessary mechanisms in

the light of existing circumstances and also seeks on the other hand

to pool the resources and efforts and channel them in a manner

consistent with the objectives.

Within this framework, an artisan centre has been

established that is concerned with reviving the traditional crafts which

are looked at as part of the country’s legacy and heritage. The Centre

was inaugurated by His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al

Khalifa, the Prime Minister in the year 1991 in Al-Jasrah village.

Under the roof of this Centre, the Bahraini artisan

practices his profession, using the tools and implements he

inherited. The carpenter is still using his chisel and saw for producing

beautiful pieces of furniture, engraved boxes and wooden vessels.

The weaver is working with his manual implement to produce

intricately designed fabrics. The potter is still using his hands and

legs to run his wheel to turn incense burners, jars and glazed utensils.

All of this is combined with a contemporary spirit which is reflected

in the modern designs produced with state of the art computer

software which the artisan uses to advance his craft for consistency

with the spirit and demands of this age.

Al Jasra Centre for Handicrafts is considered to be one

of the most important official agencies which tasked themselves

with the development of the handicrafts industries and the

artisans involved in them in the Kingdom in general. The center

management has paid great attention to the components of training

and marketing. The Centre organizes summer courses for school

students as well as for any person who wishes to enroll as a fist step

to engaging in the various handicrafts and industries, as part of the

project “Preservation of the manual craft and industries”. The more

important phase is the establishment of a specialized craft training

academic center, which is the first of its kind in the region. It will serve

the sons of Bahrain and the area. The center has actually been built

on the land adjacent to Al Jasra Centre.

As for the marketing element, the Centre has adopted

state of the art marketing techniques, the most salient of which

is e-marketing and opening of sales points at the most important

tourist attraction areas in the Kingdom in addition to participation in

specialized exhibitions and meetings of handicrafts, locally, regionally

and globally.

Bahrain Tourism& ExhibitionS Authority

Handicraft Festival 2016 - Brochure artwork 17 items.indd 3

7/14/16 10:29 AM