Murad House and Murad Majlis are two buildings facing each other on either side of a small public square, separated by a mosque. They belong to the Murad family, for many generations pearl traders (tawawish), and are still in use today. Constructed of coral stone, they provide the best preserved and most authentic remaining example of the residence and guesthouse of a tawwash.
The Murad House, located in the corner property of two small alleyways and inaccessible to vehicular traffic, was at one time just 50 metres from the shore. The land was a gift to the family from the ruler, Sh. Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa, at the end of the 19th century. It is a classic courtyard house with spacious ground floor rooms arranged around a large, open, central courtyard and a second storey featuring roof terraces which would have once allowed a clear sea view. Of interest in the family head’s room, located near the ground floor entrance, is a safe (tjurr), in which the household’s valuables, including pearls, were stored.
As was typical for tawwash complexes, the Murad Majlis was constructed as aseparate building set apart from the primary family home. This is where male guests were received, pearl sales and purchases negotiated, and overnight visitors accommodated. The architectural and decorative detail of the majlis is relatively simple compared to the prestigious guest reception rooms built by the grand merchants – and thus credibly documents the status of a tawwash.
70, Lane 1308, Block 213
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