Jamaica had Bob Marley, England had John Lennon, America had Jimmi Hendrix, and in Bahrain, we have Ali Ba7ar.
No, the connection is not that they're all dead. The connection is that they're all underground legends. Each has defined a certain phase and mentality in the country. Each represented somehow a challenge to the norm, and in a way also formed their own norm.
I know a lot of people make fun when they hear the name Ali Bahar. I, however, do think the guy deserves credit. Other than his music, the main reason I respect the guy is that he is one of few (if not the only) Bahrainis who actually sing in a Bahraini accent and dialect. Others disregard the accent completely, and put on a more accepted "khaleeji" dialect, while some even dismiss even that they are Bahraini (Ahlam case in point). Ali Ba7ar, however, although he's sung in different accents, sticks to the bahraini dialect. When you hear him go "Sadegeeeeeenyyyyyyy, maaaaaaaalah lazmeehhh, kil fara7neeehhhh, kil 3eshegneeeehhhh" or "cham 3anaaaaait," you have no doubt where his from. You can even identify which region from Bahrain he's from.
Yes, the music sounds kind of outdated. It has that eighties basic and artificial electronic organ beat to it, and it does sound corny at times (he tries to combine rock, reggae, and romance ballads in one). He, however, does have an extremely distinct sound, and you can recognize it immediately. Plus, he has a good voice, and his guitar player is reputedly one of the best in the middle East.
So what background and experiences have shaped his music? Well, he's done drugs, gone to jail, and come out again. Maybe that's a bad thing, but it definitely gives the guy experience. Anyway, if you've never heard his music, please do hear some of his stuff and his band: Al Ekhwa