Bahrainona (Our Bahrain) – National anthem of the Kingdom of Bahrain


800px-Flag_of_Bahrain.svg
A few words about the country:
First off, my apologies for my absence. In my defense, among the causes of my leave are Disneyland, alcohol and school (in order of importance). But let’s get this ball rolling again. Next country in the alphabetical list is Bahrain, a small group of islands in the Persian gulf. Fun fact number one: about half of its population is not a Bahraini national. Think about that the next time you’re complaining about the large amount of foreigners in your country. Fun fact number 2: Bahrain became a kingdom in 2002, in your face, French revolution! Strangely 2002 saw the rise of many freedoms for the country’s inhabitants. Guess the ruler traded some of his powers for the title of king. Good trade.

History of the anthem:
Since their independence in 1971, the people of Bahrain have sung the current anthem, just with different lyrics. You see, when emir Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa became king Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, he deemed the national anthem as ‘not awesome enough, needs more mentions of me’. The lyrics were written by a guy named Mohamed Sudqi Ayyash. Apart from him being born in 1925, the internet does not reveal much about him, which leads me to think he probably is a secret agent or an international man of mystery. The music was composed by an unknown man, but singer Ahmed Al-Jumairi decided it was a pretty decent melody, modified it a bit, and wrote his own name on the sheet. Nice thinking, Ahmed.

Lyrics:
Arabic lyrics (Latin transliteration):
Baḥraynunā
Malīkunā
Ramzu l-wi’ām
Dustūruhā ‘ālī ‘l-makānati wa-l-maqām
Mītāquhā nahgu s-sarī‘ati wa-l-‘urūbati wa-l-qiyam
‘Āshat mamlakatu al-Baḥrayn
Baladu ‘l-kirām
Mahdu ’s-Salām
Dustūruhā ‘ālī ‘l-makānati wa-l-maqām
Mītāquhā nahgu s-sarī‘ati wa-l-‘urūbati wa-l-qiyam
‘Āshat mamlakatu al-Baḥrayn

English lyrics:
Our Bahrain
Our King
A symbol of harmony
Its constitution is high in the place and the position
Its charter is the way of Shari’a, Arabism, and values
Long live the Kingdom of Bahrain!
Country of nobles,
Cradle of peace,
Its constitution is high in the place and the position
Its charter is the way of Shari’a, Arabism, and values
Long live the Kingdom of Bahrain!

My humble opinion of the anthem:
After reading the first three lines of the anthem, I got a weird ‘My Little Pony’-vibe. Perhaps the king is a fan of the show? Perhaps not, he can do what he wants, he’s a king. Line four is a mystery to me. And I highly suspect it to be another (badly hidden) reference to the country’s international men of mystery. Maybe they even have international women of mystery; anything can happen underneath a burka. Also, I don’t really understand that line about the charter (probably their constitution): what is ‘and values’ supposed to mean? It seems to me it doesn’t mean anything in specific, but it just is there because saying ‘and stuff’ would not be very national anthem-y.

Enough of my incoherent babbling, lets listen to the music. I mean no disrespect with this comment I’m about to make: but this anthem really made me laugh out loud. Not that it’s bad, the melody is pretty decent actually (Ahmed was right to write his name on top of the sheet); it’s just that to me there doesn’t seem to be any coherent rhythm in the lyrics. To me, it sounds like someone (was it you, Ahmed?) simply stuck together a few jingles from his favorite commercials and threw in some words too. Especially in the Mītāquhā nahgu s-sarī‘ati wa-l-‘urūbati wa-l-qiyam/ Its charter is the way of Shari’a, Arabism, and values part. Thanks for giving me an honest laugh, Bahrain.

I shall place you in between the Bahamas and Angola.

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