The Ibrahim Al Arrayed House is dedicated to the art of poetry, which plays a central cultural role in this region. It is named after the famous Bahraini poet Ibrahim Al Arrayed, who was Bahrain’s foremost figure in poetry and literature for over half a century. Opened on 3 April, 2006, the House of Poetry has become a cultural center for events relating to poetry. It also houses a large collection of books and works by the foremost figures in the field of poetry of the region, forming a base for researchers and lovers of poetry.
Ibrahim Al Arrayed
Ibrahim Al Arrayed was born in Bombay, India on 2 March, 1908 to a Bahraini father and Iraqi mother. His father was a pearl trader. His mother passed away when Ibrahim Al Arrayed was just two months old and as a result he was raised by an Indian lady for the first four years of his life and later by a neighbor, who remained in his father’s employment until Ibrahim
Al Arrayed turned ten. His first visit to Bahrain was in 1922, at the age of fourteen. Ibrahim Al Arrayed pursued his studies in India until the completion of secondary school and then returned to Bahrain in 1927, when he was nineteen. On his return to Bahrain, he began to study Arabic and immersed himself in the works of prominent Arab poets. On 7 March, 1928, he
married his cousin.
Ibrahim Al Arrayed started his career as an English language teacher at the Al Hedaya Al Khalifa School (Manama) from 1927-29. In 1930 he was appointed as assistant principal at Jaffaria School, which later became the Al Khatifiah Boys School in Manama, and in 1931 established his own school, called the Al Ahlia School. From 1937-67 he worked as head of
translation for PCL Oil Company.
Ibrahim Al Arrayed was elected as Chairman of the Constituent Assembly in 1972 to draft Bahrain’s first constitution after independence. He was appointed as Ambassador at large in 1974 and later as ambassador extraordinary plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs until the time of this death in 2002.
During his lifetime, Ibrahim Al Arrayed was awarded many honors of distinction in recognition of his achievements in the fields of language, poetry and diplomacy. In 2001, His Majesty the King named a road in Bahrain after Ibrahim Al Arrayed in recognition of his unique services and loyalty to the country.
Ibrahim Al Arrayed published his first collection of poems, The Dolls, in 1946. This was followed by another three compilations, two poetic dramas, four critical studies of Arabic poetry, one poetry collection in Urdu and another in English. He translated Al Khayami’s Rubayat from Persian into Arabic in 1966. Throughout his life, Al Arrayed lectured widely and
travelled extensively to participate in conferences and debates in the field of poetry.
HISTORY OF THE HOUSE
The Ibrahim Al Arrayed House of Poetry was built in the mid-20th century in the Bahraini colonial style. It was located on the famous Palace Road, leading directly to the Shaikh Hamad palace. Ibrahim Al Arrayed acquired the building and lived there until the late 1970s.