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Bahrain
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Bahrain

Bahrain is a borderless country in the Persian Gulf (Southwest Asia/Middle East, Asia), capital Manama. Saudi Arabia is to the west and is connected to Bahrain by a causeway, Qatar is to the south across the Gulf of Bahrain.

مملكة البحرين
Kingdom of Bahrain
(In Detail) (Full size)
National motto: None
Official languagesArabic
CapitalManama
King of BahrainHamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
Prime MinisterKhalifa bin Salman Ali Khalifa
Crown Prince of BahrainShaikh Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa
Area
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 175th
665 km²
0%
Population
 - Total (2003)
 - Density
Ranked 157th
667.238
987/km²
Independence
 - Date
From Persia
1783
Currency Bahraini Dinar (BHD)
Time zone UTC+3
National anthem Bahrainona (Our Bahrain)
Internet TLD.bh
Calling Code973

Table of contents
1 History
2 Politics
3 Municipalities
4 Geography
5 Economy
6 Demographics
7 Culture
8 Education
9 Miscellaneous topics
10 External links

History

Main article: History of Bahrain

Bahrain has been populated by humans since prehistoric times. Its strategic location in the Persian Gulf has brought rule from the Assyrians, Babylonians, Greekss, and finally the Arabs, under whom the island became Muslim.

The modern history of Bahrain begins with the Al-Khalifa family, who established a power base in the island nation and built alliances with the British to keep Ottoman influence checked. The British would gain free access to the Persian Gulf through this agreement. Later the British would directly become involved in the politics of Bahrain by handpicking an emir of the island.

Oil was discovered in the early 20th century and brought rapid modernization and improvements to Bahrain. It also made relations with Britain tighter, and this was evidenced by the British moving more bases to the island nation. British influence would continue to grow, culminating with the appointment of Charles Belgrave as an advisor; Belgrave established modern education systems in Bahrain.

After World War II, increasing anti-British feeling spread throughout the Arab world and led to some riots in Bahrain. The British withdrew from Bahrain in 1971, making it an independent emirate. The oil boom of the 1980s greatly benefitted Bahrain, but its downturn was not as badly felt, as the economy of Bahrain began to diversify.

In the 1990s, increased calls for a representative government pushed the then-emir to move and form the first cabinet in 1994. This group was increased in number as the decade went on, but was not wholly satisfactory and led to some rioting. The Gulf War also brought a heavy American military presence to Bahrain that remains to this day and is a cause of tension.

Politics

\Main article: Politics of Bahrain

Bahrain is a hereditary kingdom under the rule of the Al-Khalifa family. The King is the chief executive and head of state. The prime minister is head of government. Both these posts are filled by members of the Al-Khalifa family, the king being Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister, his uncle Khalifa bin Salman Ali Khalifa. Both rule through consultation with ministers. The judiciary system is relatively independent of the government and is based on diverse legal sources, including Shia and Sunni Islamic law.

The new king has worked to improve civil rights and increase democratic reforms. Municipal elections were held in 2002, and legislative elections will be held in 2004. King Hamad has also stated his intention to have a house of the legislative portion of the government that is composed of delegates elected by both males and females.

Municipalities

Main article: Municipalities of Bahrain

Bahrain is split into twelve municipalities that are all administered from the capital city of Manama:

Geography

Main article:
Geography of Bahrain

Bahrain is an archipelago that is generally flat, and arid.

Economy

Main article: Economy of Bahrain

In Bahrain, petroleum production and processing account for about 60% of export receipts, 60% of government revenues, and 30% of GDP. Economic conditions have fluctuated with the changing fortunes of oil since 1985, for example, during and following the Gulf crisis of 1990-91. With its highly developed communication and transport facilities, Bahrain is home to numerous multinational firms with business in the Gulf. A large share of exports consists of petroleum products made from imported crude. Construction proceeds on several major industrial projects. Unemployment, especially among the young, and the depletion of both oil and underground water resources are major long-term economic problems.

Demographics

Main article: Demographics of Bahrain

The official religion of Bahrain is Islam. Shiite Muslims are the majority, composing about 66% of the population, but the Sunni Muslims dominate the government, military and security forces. There are small indigenous Jewish minorities, and some Christian ones, largely composed of foreign workers. Two thirds of Bahrain's population consists of Arabs while the rest of guest workers that are largely from Iran, South Asia and Southeast Asia.

Culture

Main article: Culture of Bahrain

Bahrain holds the Bahrain Grand Prix. In 2004, it was held on April 4.

Holidays
DateEnglish NameLocal NameRemarks
January 1New Year's Day- 
December 16National Day--
December 17Accesion Day--
date variesFeast of the Sacrifice or the Big FeastEid ul-AdhaCommemorates Abrahams willingness to sacrifice his son, occurs at the end of the month of hajj
date variesthe Little FeastEid ul-FitrCommemorates end of Ramadan
date variesHijri New YearMuharramIslamic New Year
date variesAl-Isra' ul-Miraj-Commemorates Muhammad's trip to heaven
date variesProphet Muhammads birthdayMawlid al-Nabi-
date variesAshoura death of imam Husain Al Shaheed (AS)-

See also Big Brother television program.

Education

Main article: Education in Bahrain

Miscellaneous topics

External links


[ Edit {}] Countries in Southwest Asia
Afghanistan | Armenia | Azerbaijan | Bahrain | Cyprus | Egypt¹ | Gaza Strip | Georgia | Iran | Iraq | Israel | Jordan | Kuwait | Lebanon | Oman | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Syria | Turkey² | United Arab Emirates | West Bank | Yemen