Sunday, February 20, 2011


Bahrain (Listeni /bɑːˈreɪn/), officially Kingdom of Bahrain (Arabic: مملكة البحرين‎ Mamlakat al-Baḥrayn, English: Kingdom of the Two Seas), is a small island country with approximately 1,234,596 inhabitants (2010), located near the western shores of the Persian Gulf and ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. While Bahrain is an archipelago of thirty-three islands, the largest (Bahrain Island) is 55 km (34 mi) long by 18 km (11 mi) wide.

Saudi Arabia lies to the west and is connected to Bahrain via the King Fahd Causeway, which was officially opened on 25 November 1986. Qatar is to the southeast across the Gulf of Bahrain. The planned Qatar Bahrain Causeway will link Bahrain and Qatar as the longest fixed link in the world.

Bahrain is known for its oil and pearls. The country is the home of many large structures such as the Bahrain World Trade Center and the Bahrain Financial Harbour and other skyscrapers, and proposes to build the 1,022 m (3,353 ft) high supertall Murjan Tower. The Qal’at al-Bahrain (The Ancient Harbour and Capital of Dilmun) has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[8] The Bahrain International Circuit is the race course where the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix takes place.

Bahrain is the Arabic term for "two seas", referring to the freshwater springs that are found within the salty seas surrounding it. Bahrain is a borderless island country in the Persian Gulf. Although Bahrain became an independent country in 1971, the history of these islands starts from ancient times. Bahrain's strategic location in the Persian Gulf has brought rule and influence from the Sumerians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Portuguese, the Arabs, and the British.

Oil was discovered in 1932 and brought rapid modernization to Bahrain.

Bahrain People

Just over half of the population are Arabs, and most are native-born Bahrainis, but only minority of them are Omanis, or Saudis. Foreign-born inhabitants, comprising nearly half of the population, are mostly from Iran, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Britain, and the United States. About three-fifths of the largely Asian labour force is foreign.[1]

The population is mostly Muslim and includes both the majority Shia and minority Sunni sects. Bahrain is also the only Persian Gulf Arab state with an active Jewish population, and has the largest Christian minority within the Persian Gulf Arab states. Roughly 1,000 Christians hold Bahraini citizenship, with the closest country, Kuwait, only having approximately 200. Arabic is the official language of Bahrain,and the G.C.C but English is widely used. Southern Persian (Bushehr) dialect is widely spoken by Bahrainis of Persian descent ajam and others. Many Bahrainis have a working knowledge not only of English but Hindi and Urdu as well.

In spite of its rapid economic development, Bahrain remains, in many respects, essentially Arab in its culture.

Bahrain is an absolute monarchy headed by the King, Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa; the head of government is the Prime Minister, Shaikh Khalīfa bin Salman al Khalifa, who presides over a cabinet of twenty-five members, where 80% of its members are from the royal family. Bahrain has a bicameral legislature with a lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, elected by universal suffrage and an upper house, the Shura Council, appointed by the king. Both houses have forty members.

Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa assumed the throne in March 1999 upon the death of his father, Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the ruler of Bahrain since 1961. He continued to implement democratic reforms, including the transformation of Bahrain from a hereditary emirate to a constitutional monarchy, and in so doing changed his status from emir to king. He also pardoned all political prisoners and detainees, including those who had been arrested for their unsubstantiated participation in the 1996 bombings as well as abolishing the State Security Law and the State Security Court, which had permitted the government to detain individuals without trial for up to 3 years. Because of the changes that the King Khalifa has implemented during his reign, Bahrain has not experienced a resurgence of political violence.

The first round of voting in the 2006 parliamentary election took place on 25 November 2006, and in the second round Islamists hailed a huge election victory.[48]

The opening up of politics has seen big gains for both Shīa and Sunnī Islamists in elections, which have given them a parliamentary platform to pursue their policies.

The government of Bahrain has actively cooperated with the international community in general and the United States in particular to combat global terrorism. Basing and extensive over flight clearances that it has granted U.S. military aircraft contributed to the success of Operation Enduring Freedom. The government of Bahrain has cooperated closely on criminal investigations linked to terrorism. Likewise, it has taken steps to prevent terrorist organizations from using the nation’s well-developed financial system. Not all of Bahrain’s citizens have applauded their government’s efforts, however, particular vis-à-vis its support for U.S. initiatives. Several anti-American demonstrations took place in 2002, during one of which the U.S. embassy was attacked with firebombs, and again at the onset of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

The country's first female cabinet minister was appointed in 2004 when Dr. Nada Haffadh became Minister of Health, while the quasi-governmental women's group, the Supreme Council for Women, trained female candidates to take part in the 2006 general election. When Bahrain was elected to head the United Nations General Assembly in 2006 it appointed lawyer and women's rights activist Haya bint Rashid Al Khalifa as the President of the United Nations General Assembly,[55] only the third woman in history to head the world body.[56] The king recently created the Supreme Judicial Council[57] to regulate the country's courts and institutionalize the separation of the administrative and judicial branches of government;[58] the leader of this court is Mohammed Humaidan.

In November 2005, al Muntada, a grouping of liberal academics, launched "We Have A Right", a campaign to explain to the public why personal freedoms matter and why they need to be defended.

In 2007, Al Wefaq-backed parliamentary investigations are credited with forcing the government to remove ministers who had frequently clashed with MPs: the Minister of Health, Dr Nada Haffadh (who was also Bahrain's first ever female cabinet minister) and the Minister of Information, Dr Mohammed Abdul Gaffar.

The major Bahraini citizen protests are occurring currently, following some and coincident with other Arab world protests in succession of 2010–2011 democracy demonstrations. The protesters selected 14 February as a day of protest to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the National Action Charter.[62]

On February 18 2011 the Guardian reported: 'Five people are believed to have been killed and scores injured after Bahraini security forces raided thousands in a peaceful protest in Pearl Square in the early hours of Thursday morning.' [63] The situation is currently active and changing.

(extract from wikipedia)

Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet — the centerpiece of Washington's efforts to confront Iranian military influence in the region. This revealed the close military relationship with USA, and Bahrain is having strong strategic position in USA's foreign policy. Will the current event in Bahrain worry USA?.

The demonstrators are emulating the protesters in Tunisia and Egypt, attempting to bring political reform in the country. Will Bahrain follow Tunisia and Egypt?....It seems that the contagion effect is really on in the middle east, there will be changes in political position of many countries in the region. Looking at the faces of the demonstrators, they are ordinary people, mainly young people...the people is telling the world, the country, that they have enough and it is time for change. The voices of people, the power of people, the wave of people power..... no one can stop it now....

The internet technology has allowed the people all over the world to see the differences, the facebook as social network to help the communication, the youtube to see the actual action, the blog and e-mail, the wonder the first thing the dictator government do is to stop the internet service. May be their actual enemy is the internet and they still cannot see the actual picture and hear the voices of the people....may be they should open a facebook account instead of banning it....

Now, will the people power spread to other part of the world?....and change the position of global power?....let us wait and see....

People power is the trends, and it is contagion; beware all is really hot now....

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