In Bahrain, COVID-19 fails to dampen passion for celebrations



By Habib Toumi

MANAMA: Despite its fierce and relentless assault across the globe, COVID-19 has not succeeded to dampen the Valentine spirit in Bahrain and other countries, Ahmed, 26, said.

The young teacher had been standing for a long time in front of the tempting chocolate boxes, in various colors and shapes, not sure which one to buy for his wife.

“We got married in December 2019 and we went out on a romantic dinner on valentine last year,” he said. “We have heard reports about a new virus circulating in some countries, but it was so far away from us that we did not think much about it. We had a great celebration.”

That was days before Bahrain called for precautionary measures to ensure the virus would not cause damage in the island country.

“This year, we will celebrate at home since there is no dine-in option. We are a young couple and we tend to seize on every occasion to celebrate together and keep our passion burning. I know that celebrating Valentine has often divided people over its merit, but to us, it is just another opportunity to strengthen our love,” Ahmed said.


Shopping malls and smaller shops across the country have prepared well for the occasion, offering roses, chocolates and cakes for those keen on celebrating. Locals and expatriates were ready to spend heavily to shrug off the COVID-19 fatigue and to express their sentiments through roses and chocolates. Those who did not care simply walked past the red stands and items, ignoring their existence and refusing their significance.

Bahrain has always been known for its high levels of tolerance and mutual acceptance among all components of the society made up of Bahrainis and expatriates from across the world.

In a country where mosques, churches, temples and synagogues co-exist in peace and harmony, the celebration of religious, social and romantic occasions does not make people frown. Just like the sight of women walking together in different attires, from full cover to miniskirts and shorts.


Valentine Day is another occasion to celebrate love and diversity, while enterprising shops see it as a chance to make profits that long suffered from the onslaught of COVID-19.

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