Bahrain Polytechnic hosted Expo Milano Bahrain ambassadors on 31st March 2015 at their Isa Town campus in a seminar discussion with students about the 2000sqm self-built Bahrain Pavilion and its objectives within the Expo.
The ambassadors, Ms. Reem Al Mealla and Mr. Ahmed Taleb, appointed by the Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities (BACA) in order to help raise awareness of the importance of the agricultural sector, nutrition and sustainable development in Bahrain, discussed local agriculture and environmental practice in addition to the Pavilion’s design and structure.
Entitled Archaeologies of Green, the Bahrain Pavilion examines the rich agrarian heritage of the country and is conceived as a continuous landscape of fruit gardens that each contain a dominant fruit tree that is native to Bahrain and are intersected by a series of closed spaces that contain in turn a reception area, exhibition spaces and a café serving local Bahraini food.
A Marine & Conservation Biologist, Reem Al Mealla focused on biodiversity and the changes undergone by the environment in different parts of the world. She also reflected on the imbalance in the ecosystem, directly affecting living organisms and which threatens agricultural stability and the conservation of natural resources.
Although she focused on agricultural issues and the importance of protecting and preserving the environment, she also discussed some of the Kingdom’s distinguishing features. She highlighted that Bahrain has the second largest shoal of dugongs in the world after Australia, as well as having the largest colony in the world for mating Socotra Cormorant. In addition, she described the different environment preservation efforts underway in places such as Mashtan Island, Al Areen, Dohat Arad and Tubli Bay.
On the other hand, Ahmed Taleb, the Property & Urban Development Professional & Branding Specialist, focused on the distinctive Pavilion design developed by Dutch architect, Anne Holtrop. Built out of white prefabricated concrete panels, the Bahrain Pavilion, or Archaeologies of Green, was designed in such a way that it could be constructed, dismantled and moved to Bahrain at the end of the Expo.
Once rebuilt, it will serve as a botanical garden that will reconnect local and international audiences in Bahrain with the often overlooked agricultural heritage of the Islands. The prefabricated components of the buildings, visible through the seams that connect them to one another, refer to the inherent shapes found in the archaeology of Bahrain.
Commenting on the seminar and student involvement effort, the Deputy Commissioner General of the Bahrain Pavilion said, “The talk and discussion at the Bahrain Polytechnic by two of the Pavilion Ambassadors, Reem Al Mealla and Ahmed Taleb, was most useful as it reflected on Bahrain’s environment and agricultural practices, a core theme of our national participation at the Expo Milano this year. Student engagement is an important aspect of our mandate to raise awareness of the country’s agrarian heritage and to contribute to the dialogue about sustainability and the future.”
Dr. Mohamed Al Aseeri, Acting CEO of Bahrain Polytechnic, thanked the BACA and the Pavilion Ambassadors for their collaboration with the Polytechnic’s commercial and community initiatives department. He added, “We are keen to support the Authority to achieve its objectives, ultimately promoting the Kingdom of Bahrain at a global level. Five of our graduates [out of the 24 volunteers selected] will be participating in Pavilion in Milan as well, and we wish them all the best.”