The Bahrain Portal
Bahrain (; Arabic: البحرين al-Baḥrayn Arabic pronunciation: [al baħrajn] (listen)), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain (Arabic: مملكة البحرين Mamlakat al-Baḥrayn), is a sovereign state in the Persian Gulf. The island nation comprises a small archipelago made up of 51 natural islands and an additional 33 artificial islands, centered around Bahrain Island which makes up around 83 percent of the country's landmass. The country is situated between the Qatari peninsula and the north eastern coast of Saudi Arabia to which it is connected by the 25-kilometre (16 mi) King Fahd Causeway. According to the 2010 census, Bahrain's population is over 1.2 million, of which around half are non-nationals. At 780 square kilometres (300 sq mi) in size, it is the third-smallest nation in Asia after the Maldives and Singapore. The capital and largest city is Manama.
Bahrain is the site of the ancient Dilmun civilization. It has been famed since antiquity for its pearl fisheries, which were considered the best in the world into the 19th century. Bahrain was one of the earliest areas to convert to Islam, during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad in 628 CE. Following a period of Arab rule, Bahrain was ruled by the Portuguese Empire from 1521 until 1602, following the conquest by Shah Abbas I of the Safavid dynasty under the Persian Empire. In 1783, the Bani Utbah clan captured Bahrain from Nasr Al-Madhkur and it has since been ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family, with Ahmed al Fateh as Bahrain's first hakim.
In the late 1800s, following successive treaties with the British, Bahrain became a protectorate of the United Kingdom. In 1971, it declared independence. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared an Islamic constitutional monarchy in 2002.
In 2011, the country experienced protests inspired by the regional Arab Spring. Bahrain's ruling al-Khalifa royal family has been criticized for violating the human rights of groups including dissidents, political opposition figures, and its majority Shia Muslim population.
Bahrain developed the first post-oil economy in the Persian Gulf, the result of decades of investing in the banking and tourism sectors; many of the world's largest financial institutions have a presence in the country's capital. It subsequently has a high Human Development Index and is recognised by the World Bank as a high-income economy. Bahrain is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Gulf Cooperation Council. (Full article...)
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Skyline with roads, towers and harbour of Manama
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Abu Sa'id Hasan ibn Bahram al-Jannabi (Arabic: أبو سعيد حسن بن بهرام الجنابي, romanized: Abū Saʿīd Ḥasan ibn Bahrām al-Jannābī; 845/855–913/914) was the founder of the Qarmatian state in Bahrayn (an area comprising the eastern parts of modern Saudi Arabia as well as the Gulf emirates). By 899, his followers controlled large parts of the region, and in 900 he scored a major victory over an Abbasid army sent to subdue him. He captured the local capital, Hajar, in 903, and extended his rule south and east into Oman. He was assassinated in 913, and succeeded by his eldest son Sa'id.
His religious teachings and political activities are somewhat unclear, as they are reported by later and usually hostile sources, but he seems to have shared the millennialist Isma'ili
belief about the imminent return of the mahdī
, hostility to conventional Islamic rites and rituals, and to have based the Qarmatian society on the principles of communal ownership
, with a system of production and distribution overseen by appointed agents. The Qarmatian "republic" he founded would last until the late 11th century. (Full article...
This photograph shows the coronation of Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa as the Hakim of Bahrain in February 1933.
Al-Hidaya Al-Khalifia Boys school.
The emir Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa heads the opening session of the first conference on the formation of a union of the Gulf emirates in February 1968.
Manama skyline as viewed from Juffair
Correspondence between Ilī-ippašra, the governor of Dilmun, and Enlil-kidinni, the governor of Nippur, ca. 1350 BC.
Purple - Portuguese in Persian Gulf in the 16th and 17th century. Main cities, ports and routes.
The King Fahd Causeway as seen from space
Overview of Manama, 1953.
Satellite view of Bahrain and eastern Saudi Arabia in 2016.
A number of people held a sit-in in solidarity with human rights activist Nabeel Rajab
A photograph of the First Oil Well in Bahrain, with oil first being extracted in 1931
Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of Bahrain
Bahrainis observing public prayers in Manama
Asia in 600 CE, showing the Sassanid Empire before the Arab conquest.
Over 100,000 of Bahrainis taking part in the "March of Loyalty to Martyrs", honoring political dissidents killed by security forces, on 22 February.
A 1745 Bellin map of the historical region of Bahrain
The Khamis Mosque in 1956.
Location of Bahrain (circled in red)
Arad Fort in Arad; constructed before the Portuguese assumed control.
Did you know -
- ... that Tom Collins resigned the presidency of RCSI-Bahrain over the alleged government cancellation of an ethics conference?
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