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Some have wind towers, an old-fashioned form of air-conditioning.These towers are open on four sides at the top to direct passing breezes into the house.Snacks known as sambousas are also popular; these are pastries filled with meat and cheese or sugar and nuts. Muslim holidays are often the occasion for large family meals.The breaking of the fast month of Ramadan is celebrated with feasts of traditional food, and a variety of special sweets and pastries. Only 1 percent of the land is arable, and so the country is unable to produce enough food for its population and relies almost entirely on imports.Most rural villages have electricity and running water and are connected to the towns by paved roads.Traditional houses, called barastis, were made from palm branches, but today most villagers build homes from modern materials. The best-known dish, machbous, consists of fish or meat served with rice.
It is located in the Persian Gulf near the Arabian Peninsula, 120 miles southwest of Iran, 14 miles to the east of Saudi Arabia, and 17 miles to the west of the Qatar Peninsula.Bahrain officially declared its independence on 14 August of that year.Although oil was discovered in 1902, drilling did not begin in earnest until the 1930s.The city has been modernized, but in the old sections one can still see traditional architecture.The houses have tall gates and shuttered windows and are designed around a central enclosed garden or courtyard.