BAHRAIN will witness an invasion of French culture later this month. A series of activities will be hosted in shopping malls, supermarkets, art galleries, restaurants and hotels as part of French Week, running from February 23 to March 1.
Entitled Bahrain Je t'aime (I love Bahrain), it has been organised by the French Embassy and Bahraini French Business Club (CAFB). It will be held under the patronage of Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
The week-long festivities will kick off with an opening ceremony on February 23 with at a reception at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel and Spa.
Entrance for this event is by invitation only.
A painting exhibition showcasing local French and Bahraini art will also be held on the same day at Sahar Art Gallery on the 34th floor of Orchid Dream Tower 1 in Sanabis.
Children can take part in painting workshops at the gallery during the exhibition.
The Capital Club in Bahrain Financial Harbour will host a breakfast conference on February 24 for Bahraini businesses.
Organised by Invest In France agency and DTZ Asset Management, it is entitled Asset, Fund and Property Management in France and will start at 8.45am.
Two French dinners are being hosted on the evening of February 24, including a French dinner at l'Avenue restaurant at L'hotel, Seef; and a Japanese-French fusion dinner at Bushido, also in Seef.
Traditional French songs and poetry featuring the works of famous authors such as Boris Vian and Boby Lapointe will be hosted at Alliance Franaise de Bahre•n in Isa Town, where French duo Boris and Bobby will take to the stage at 8.30pm on February 24.
For fitness enthusiasts, a 10km run on February 25 will be hosted by Bahrain Road Runners and will take runners around the Al Areen Wildlife Park.
Various shopping malls will also host live performances by French band called Les Grooms and dance group La Bouree Averne on the same day.
A French cooking class will be held on February 25 at the Capital Club in Bahrain Financial Harbour where participants can learn how to cook French cuisine with Michelin star chef Christophe Leroy.
That evening the club will also host a Tour de France dinner featuring live cooking stations and food from different regions in France.
The dinner will be accompanied by a musical performance by French band Swing Deluxe, magic tricks by magician Rosemont and music and poetry from the Boris and Bobby show.
February 26 will see cycling fans take part in a 30km mini Tour de France race from the Sailing Club. Sakhir, and finishing in Amwaj Islands.
French actress Aurore Auteuil will host a film premiere and conference on the same day at Seef Mall.
The Capital Club will host a high-end wedding planning and cuisine event on February 26 where participants will learn the tricks of the French wedding trade from an expert.
A five-course gala dinner will take place that evening at the Gulf Hotel's Gulf Convention Centre, Adliya.
It will be accompanied by a mime show by Mime Boutros, folkloric dancing by La Bouree Averne and magic entertainment by magician Rosemont.
Meanwhile, the Golden Tulip Hotel, Mezzaluna restaurant in Adliya and K Hotel in Juffair will offer French dinners to the public on February 27.
Alliance Franaise de Bahre•n will also host magician Rosemont the same day.
Beverages, cheese, bread and sweets will be offered in an-invitation only event at French Ambassador Yves Oudin's private residence on February 28.
A Business To Business workshop will be held on February 28 at 11am at Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Sanabis.
Organised by the French Embassy, the CAFB and the BCCI, more than 20 small and medium French enterprises will participate with their Bahraini counterparts.
French Week 2011 will conclude with a closing ceremony at the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea and Spa in Zallaq.
It will feature a six-course gala dinner of French cuisine, with entertainment provided by French Bel Canto opera and a dance performance called 3au Cube by contemporary dance, hip-hop and ballet inspired group Xpress.
French Week 2011 is also hosting several arts and cultural activities.
These include a French movie festival held at Shaikh Ebrahim Centre for Culture and Research, Muharraq, or Seef Mall cinema, where four French films will be screened for children and adults.
This will be held on February 23 at 10am at Shaikh Ebrahim Centre for Culture and Research and at Seef Mall cinema on February 24, 26, and 27 at 8pm.
A week-long football tournament will allow teams to battle it out at the Malaed football grounds, Karranah.
This event is open to all members of the public and free to join. To register, email [email protected]
Promotions on French food and products will be conducted by Carrefour hypermarket and other supermarkets such as Al Jazira throughout the week.
Art and photography exhibitions will also be held at various locations, yet to be confirmed, from February 24 to 28.
These include a photography exhibition by Corinne Faure, Francine Burlet and Didier Audbert at Jamsheer House, Muharraq, French hand-made tapestries with Arabic influences by design company Ateliers Pinton at Beit Al Quran and artwork displayed by Parisian art gallery Corianne Gallery at the Art Centre, next to Bahrain National Museum.
A book fair will showcase books about Jordan, Bahrain and horses published by ƒditions Menges and L'Ange Bleu.
Golden Tulip will host a petanque competition (French boules game) from February 24 to 27 for which entrance is free and all are welcome. On February 26 a golf tournament will be held from 3pm to 6.30pm on the Wee Monty Course, Riffa Golf Course. To register, email [email protected]
For dinner bookings contact the relevant venues hosting the events.
For more information visit www.frenchweek2011.com.