History of the center
At the beginning of the last century, Muharraq was the capital of Bahrain and the center of major public and governmental projects for better administration, planning and education. The official and general public shared the vision for progress and development. The history of this island as detailed in preserved documents tells us about the leaders and unique individuals who were behind these projects. One of these outstanding personalities was Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, a leader in the fields of education, culture and the social sciences. From his majlis in Muharraq, he corresponded with leading figures all over the world in search of knowledge and enlightenment and weekly debates were held at his majlis on matters of culture, philosophy and the arts.
For the sake of the memory of this great man, the Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Center for Culture and Research was established as a forum for dialogue between people in philosophy, literature, poetry, culture and the arts.
Starting with the opening in 2002, the Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Center for Culture and Research has hosted over 400 speakers, philosophers, poets and thinkers, who have presented their thoughts in the center’s weekly lecture program. As the demand for cultural activities and a need for the preservation of our Bahraini heritage grew, the center expanded. To date, the Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Center for Culture and Research has restored around ten traditional Bahraini houses in Muharraq and Manama, many belonging to leading Bahraini personalities or families. The Ibrahim Al Arrayed House for Poetry is dedicated to the preeminent Bahraini poet, while the Abdullah Al Zayed House for Press Heritage honors the memory of the pioneering Bahraini journalist and publisher of the same name. Bahrain’s musical heritage is preserved in the Mohammed bin Faris House for Sut Music, and the restoration of the Memory of the Place – Bin Matar House retains not only one of the most outstanding examples of traditional Bahraini architecture for future generations, but also the memory of the Bin Matars, a leading Bahraini pearl trading family. Local arts, crafts and artisans are supported through the Kurar House and the Heraf al Deiar School of Handicrafts.