The Bahrain McMANSION in 1957

The caption says this is a "Sheik's Palace Bahrain 57." I don't know why, but as soon as I saw it I thought of San Quentin Prison. If you take the ferry from Larkspur, California to San Francisco you pass right by San Quentin. For some reason that's what I thought of when I saw this. Perhaps it's the blockish windows in a row and the lack of greenery. I imagine inside it was pretty interesting.

Another shot from Donald G. Schnabel's visit to Bahrain.

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SHOPPING in Manama in 1957

The caption reads "Manama Bazaar Bahrain 57" so that about sums it up. Not a franchise to be seen.



Who knew Matthew McConaughey also worked as a driver in Bahrain? The guy is everywhere!

But seriously folks…this was the driver for Donald G. Schnabel in Bahrain in 1957. Handsome fellow.

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Just another time traveling celebrity.


AL KOHBAR in Saudi Arabia, 1957

In January of 1957 Donald G. Schnabel visited Saudi Arabia. I have been featuring his shots from Bahrain in February of '57. This is what happens when you go through slide boxes out of order. So we'll be jumping around the kingdoms for awhile.

These two shots are labeled "Al Kohbar, Arabia, Jan 57." Kohbar might be familiar to you, but not for a pleasant reason.

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For those who have been pleading with me to post the Al Justain photos…your wait is over. Al with friends.

In this first photo the keen viewer will recognize Donald G. Schnabel on the right. No idea who the other people are, though I'm guessing the woman with the sunglasses is Al's significant other.

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These two photos were taken in Manama, Bahrain in February 1957.

In the coming weeks there will be another Al Justain photo featuring Al with a donkey and a gas station. But don't go begging me to post it. Be patient. All Al in time.


LEAD A CAMEL to water...

and it could lead to a group of camels standing around shootin' the breeze.

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Because there was nothing else to do? Searching for water? Because it was told to.

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One of the things I find so fascinating about so many of these photos from Bahrain are the horizon lines in most of the shots. If you live somewhere with ongoing expanses of flat land with no hills in site this will not seem foreign to you. But for me, seeing an obvious horizon line where the sky meets the ground is very unusual. I'd have to drive to the deserts of the Southwest or perhaps head to someplace like Kansas to see a horizon like this.

This is not the first post I've done featuring camels. Click here to read about camels in California in 1863.


DRIVE BY in Bahrain in 1957

I'd mentioned that some of Donald G. Schnabel's photos appear to be taken while in a car. These two look as if they were drive by shots. There's always something about taking photos of "native" people that almost feels like watching an animal in their habitat. I don't care where you are, it could be midtown Manhattan, if you're taking photos of other people's lives you're an observer of something outside your norm, especially if you don't interact with them. If it's in a foreign country where the customs don't mirror what you are used to I think you're even more removed from your subjects. Thus the reason on several of Donald's photos the captions read "native" when identifying the subject. I don't think it's inherently bad to use the word, but it does feel awkward, even though accurate.

Each of the following shots were captioned "native house." Were they taken while the car was moving or did he stop and shoot these out the car window then drive off? I think if you've done much traveling you've probably done it yourself.

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