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Tylos to Thassos 2010
Taking a trip back in time
Written by Ali Mushaima   
Monday, 28 June 2010 00:00

 Roman theatre in Bosra

We started our day at 8am with breakfast, then met up with our guide Ahmad at 9am before driving to Shahba, which is 90 km from Damascus. This city goes back to the 3rd Century AD, built by a Roman Emperor called Philip The Arab.

Philip ruled from AD 244 till 249, and was the only Roman Emperor who was purely Arab.The city has a little theatre, now a museum, which has four original mosaics that have never been removed or restored; these mosaics are masterpieces which are well kept and good examples of so many other masterpieces of the Roman world in Syria.

Then we moved on to another site not far away called Kanawat; another Roman city that has temples which were rebuilt as churches. The city, which is built with basalt like all sites south of Syria, is an example of many other cities everywhere in the area of Jabal Alarab and Huran.

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Rediscovering the old town of Bosra
Written by Ali Mushaima   
Sunday, 27 June 2010 19:10

The team enjoying a tour of Bosra, Syria 

We set out from Saudi Arabia on Saturday morning and drove through Jordan into Syria.

The lineup at the border crossing was long; once we were done, we drove to the old town of Bosra. This town, about 30 km from the border, is where our friend Zakareya hosted us during the Friendship Arabia Expedition in 2008 on our way to Britain. We met up with him once again, then decided to tour the old town. We hired a guide, Hammam, who showed us around and explained the history of the town.

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Saudi hospitality to the fore again
Written by Ali Mushaima   
Sunday, 27 June 2010 00:15

Young men curious about the cars and the trip in the northern Saudi city of Turaif 

After we left the Fort Museum, we set off right away for Saudi Arabia, driving 500 km before spending the night in Hafer Al Baten town, which we reached around midnight.

In the morning, we had our breakfast and then drove to the north of the country where a punctured tyre set us back a bit. It was too badly damaged to seal, so we had to replace the tyre with a new one.

We stopped a few times – for lunch, fuel and refreshments and it was dark when we reached Turaif town which is only 175 km from Jordan. We drove around for quite a while looking for an internet cafe, almost giving up before came across one called Internet World. The owner Moammar Hussain was very interested to learn  about the Friendship Arabia Expedition, and not only offered us the service for free, but also made us coffee. Every time we come to Saudi Arabia, we experience the great hospitality of its people, which makes us feel home.

We are now heading for Jordan before driving to Syria, the first main destination on our trip.


 
Tylos to Thassos - The journey begins
Written by Gulf Daily News   
Friday, 25 June 2010 00:00

The Sendoff 

The team with Ambassador Sarra at the start of the tour. 

BAHRAINI adventurer Ali Mushaima and his team began their 12,000-km friendship tour from Bahrain to Greece from the Bahrain Fort yesterday.

The publisher of travel guides, postcards and travelogues is leading the team of photographers and writers from Bahrain through Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan to Syria, where they will spend one week and then on to Turkey before finishing in Greece.

During the six-week trip they will promote Bahrain, also called Tylos by the Greeks, and the pearling project, which Bahrain is aiming to register as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) site. The Bahrain International Circuit will also be spotlighted.

The group will be travelling in the same Land Rover four-wheel drive that Mr Mushaima used in 2008 for his 24,000-km Bahrain to Britain voyage.

The launch of the friendship tour, dubbed Tylos to Thassos, was attended by Culture and Information Ministry Under-Secretary Dr Isa Amin, Syrian Ambassador Suleiman Sarra, archaeologists, heritage experts and media.

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Greek coins from the Tylos era
Written by The Friendship Arabia Team   
Tuesday, 22 June 2010 00:07

Imiitayion Greek coins dating back to the 2nd century BC 

Visitors to The Fort Museum in Bahrain will notice in one of the corners a jar discovered in 1970 close to the north rampart, which contains approximately 310 silver tetradrachms, imitations of the official coinage of Alexander the Great used in the Seleucid Empire. 

These careful imitations were minted during the 2nd Century B.C. by a regional workshop, which has not been located with any certainly. Made up of two distinct types, all of these coins represent, on the front, Alexander portrayed as Hercules and on the reverse, a seated figure. Contrary to the Greek prototypes showing a bearded Zeus, the figure on the reverse side, beardless and rather juvenile in looks, represents Shame or Shamash, the principal divinity worshipped then in Eastern Arabia.

This exceptional monetary hoard makes up one of the most significant discoveries of Tylos phase Bahrain.


 
A new voyage of discovery
Written by The Friendship Arabia Team   
Saturday, 12 June 2010 12:26

 The Acropolis

The Acropolis in Athens, Greece

Two years after his remarkable 24,000-kilometre Bahrain to Britain voyage, Ali Mushaima will be driving off for a Tylos to Thassos trip on June 23.

This year’s two-month, 12,000-kilometre itinerary takes in six countries on a voyage of discovery of the links between Bahrain and Greece.

The trip will promote Bahrain, also called Tylos by the Greeks. and the Pearling project, which Bahrain is aiming to register as a UNESCO site. The Bahrain International Circuit – venue for Formula 1 races on the island – will also be spotlighted.

The Greeks were in Bahrain in the first three centuries of the current era though Alexander the Great (4th century BC) despatched three exploratory vessels down the Gulf, two of them possibly arriving at Tylos, the Hellenic name for Bahrain.

The 16th century Arad Fort adapted a Greek word “Arados,” as its name though the Hellenic people never occupied the fortress site.

Mushaima, publisher of travel guides, postcards and travelogues, will lead a team of photographers and writers from Tylos, or Bahrain , through Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Syria and Turkey before reaching Greece.

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