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On Thursday, December 11th, I went to Bahrain by car with one of the university teachers here.  We left about 9 in the morning and after customs at the bridge, we got into Manama at about 10:30.  There are old two-storey mud brick houses in the center of old Manama and the area is very well kept up.  In fact, there seems to be a city plan so that the modern buildings do not encroach too much on the old buildings. Near Manama Gate, there is even a pedestrian walkway!  In general, it reminded me of the Balad district of downtown Jeddah, although, of course the houses are not like the ones in Jeddah.