Malachy Browne

Bahrain Diary: 'Too much Honky Ponky'

For a Muslim country, the number of women who work as prostitutes in Bahrain is remarkably high. The sale of alcohol and sex are divisive issues that could spell trouble during October's parliamentary elections. By Malachy Browne

Extreme weather events are not taken lightly by devout Muslims. They regard them as messages from God - either to reward good deeds done, or to reprimand moral transgressions.

Oman Diary: The Sultan Qaboos - a grand mosque

Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said is considered a benevolent leader by most Omanis. Since 1970, when he wrested control from his father, Qaboos has transformed Oman from a third world country into a modern society. He continues to undertake social reforms and ambitious infrastructural and cultural projects. Not least among these is the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque off Sultan Qaboos Street (his name is promiscuously attributed to Oman's finest achievements). By Malachy Browne.

Oman Diary: Catch of the day

Early morning at the small coastal town of Barka, 50 miles west of Oman's capital Mustcat. Since daybreak fishermen have been arriving in boats laden with the night's catch. They moor along the shore beside the fish market, known by locals as the souk. The traditional fishing boats - called huris - pitch and roll in the small waves; fisherman balance inside, dividing the catch into plastic crates and passing them to merchants. Crates are carried to the merchant's stall where the haggling with the punters begins.