bahrain pavilion expo 2020
The 126 rods of the Bahraini pavilion become weaving needles, representing Bahrain’s history of traditional crafts and multiculturalism through food. Image Credit: Facebook/@BahPavilion

Dubai: Under the banner of ‘Density weaves opportunities’, the Bahraini pavilion will participate as a forest of steel, mimicking the country island’s high population density. In its make up, 126 rods become weaving needles that represent Bahrain’s history of traditional crafts, simultaneously stitching multiculturalism into the social fabric through food.

Three Bahraini talents take on the challenge to work these meaningful nuances into their fabric and local dishes for visitors at the pavilion, painting a culturally diverse and innovative Bahrain.

Fashion designer Hala Kaiksow

Designers, artisans and their apprentices will band together for a series of design-focused experimental labs that deal with traditional loom weaving, embroidery and innovative weaving technologies at heart. Products born of this collaboration will be showcased in the form of exhibitions and performances, though the focus is largely trained on the process of making.

Hala Kaiksow
Hala Kaiksow, a young Bahraini fashion designer, sculptor and a trained artist, will have her handwoven garments on display at the pavilion, reflecting the innovative weaving scene of Bahrain. Image Credit: Instagram/@bahpavilion

One such designer to have a synthesis of traditional and contemporary garments on display is Hala Kaiksow, a young Bahraini fashion designer, sculptor and a trained artist. Inspired by the crisscrossing metallic columns of the pavilion, Kaiksow will weave traditional patterns with golden and silver threads to reimagine the Bahraini craft scene.

Hala Kaiksow
Kaiksow's textiles are sewn with silver and golden threads that are inspired by the metallic architecture of the pavilion. Image Credit: Instagram/@bahpavilion

The designer will work closely with the Bani Jamra, weaving textiles factory situated in the north-west of Bahrain. Every piece will be woven sustainably by hand, reflecting Kaiksow’s brand of eco-conscious fashion that earned the designer a shortlist entry for the fifth edition of the Jameel Prize at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2018.

Chefs Lulwa Sowaileh and Bassam Al Alawi

The Bahraini pavilion cafe features a creative menu of local fusions drawn up by young chefs hailing from Bahrain: Lulwa Sowaileh and Bassam Al Alawi.

Lulwa Sowaileh
Chef Lulwa Sowaileh will be one of the two culinary masters to whip up a special fusion menu for the visitors of the pavilion. Image Credit: Instagram/@bahpavilion

Chef Sowaileh has trained under the Austrian chef Wolfgang Puck at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, where she works to reinvent Asian cuisine in novel ways. Time spent training in Jordan, Spain and Hong Kong gives her food an international touch, which will be up for taste at the pavilion.

Bassam Al Alawi
Chef Bassam Al Alawi's fondness for breaking cultural boundaries with food will also reflect in the pavilion's cafe menu.

Chef Al Alawi, meanwhile, founded the Darseen Cafe in the Bahrain National Museum, Manama. Another experimental culinary master, the chef aims to help people overcome cultural boundaries through a filling plate of food.

At the pavilion cafe, visitors will learn of the diverse tastes that make up the Bahraini archipelago, from agricultural lands to fishing grounds and southern deserts.

- The writer is an intern with Gulf News.