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. He also stated that "In Bahrain, the government continue to question, detain and arrest Shia clerics, community members and opposition politicians. The spoken language is Arabic. In 1802 it was governed by a 12-year-old child, when the Omani ruler Sayyid Sultan installed his son, Salim, as governor in the Arad Fort. Shia Bahrainis are divided into two main ethnic groups: Baharna and Ajam. [317], Literature retains a strong tradition in the country; most traditional writers and poets write in the classical Arabic style. [24][page needed] An alternate theory with regard to Bahrain's toponymy is offered by the al-Ahsa region, which suggests that the two seas were the Great Green Ocean (the Persian Gulf) and a peaceful lake on the Arabian mainland. [63] [342], In 2006, Bahrain also hosted its inaugural Australian V8 Supercar event dubbed the "Desert 400". [239], Access to biocapacity in Bahrain is much lower than world average. Bahrain has mild winters and very hot, humid summers. [259] A nationwide metro system is currently under construction and is due to be operational by 2023. The Bahrain airport remains open without interruption with enhanced screening measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The first revolt and widespread uprising took place in March 1895 against Sheikh Issa bin Ali, then ruler of Bahrain. [82] More importantly the British promised to support the rule of the Al Khalifa in Bahrain, securing its unstable position as rulers of the country. He sailed to Bahrain to reassure the Sheikh that this was not the case and drew up an informal agreement assuring the Sheikh that Britain would remain a neutral party. He performed his music with his Band Al-Ekhwa (The Brothers). [127] The island also hosts the Bahrain International Airport. [237] In 2004, Bahrain signed the Bahrain–US Free Trade Agreement, which will reduce certain trade barriers between the two nations. Often described as an archipelago of 33 islands,[134] extensive land reclamation projects have changed this; by August 2008 the number of islands and island groups had increased to 84. The Manama Souq and Gold Souq in the old district of Manama are also popular with tourists. The V8s returned every November to the Sakhir circuit until 2010, in which it was the second event of the series. Coincided with the memory of the martyrdom of. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Bahrain. [141] Twenty-five species of amphibians and reptiles were recorded as well as 21 species of butterflies and 307 species of flora. [157], The kingdom has a small but well equipped military called the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF), numbering around 13,000 personnel. Bahraini people are ethnically diverse. It was an important center of the Dilmun Civilization (2nd and 1st millennia B.C. [235] Petroleum production and processing is Bahrain's most exported product, accounting for 60% of export receipts, 70% of government revenues, and 11% of GDP. Investment in research and development remained very low in 2013. Bahrain MMA Federation (BMMAF) has been set up under the patronage of Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa and the jurisdiction of the Sports Minister, Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa. Sunni Arabs, while a minority, are the most influential ethnic group in Bahrain. Bahrain has five designated protected areas, four of which are marine environments. Biskra 33. It was completed in December 1986, and financed by Saudi Arabia. But life in the island's many villages (and in parts of Manama itself) remains traditional. The predominant forms of media in Bahrain consists of weekly and daily newspapers, television, and radio. [15] Bahrain was one of the earliest areas to convert to Islam, during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad in 628 CE. It consists of a low desert plain rising gently to a low central escarpment with the highest point the 134 m (440 ft) Mountain of Smoke (Jabal ad Dukhan). [173] Bahrain is also one of the founding members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. [86] Britain's interest in Bahrain's development was motivated by concerns over Saudi and Iranian ambitions in the region. Read the country information page. [279] Public surveys are rare in Bahrain, but a 2017 national survey found that 62 percent of Bahrainis were Shia and 38 percent were Sunni, which is consistent with most estimates. [207] On 21 February 2018, human rights activist Nabeel Rajab was sentenced to a further five years in jail for tweets and documentation of human rights violations. [236][237] Since only 2.9% of the country's land is arable, agriculture contributes to 0.5% of Bahrain's GDP. Gulf Daily News and Daily Tribune publish daily newspapers in English. [175][176], Saudi Arabian troops were sent into Bahrain to crush pro-democracy protests in 2011. The exact date at which the term "Bahrain" began to refer solely to the Awal archipelago is unknown. [85] Three years later the British placed the country under the de facto rule of Charles Belgrave who operated as an adviser to the ruler until 1957. "[32] The Greek historian Theophrastus states that much of Bahrain was covered by these cotton trees and that Bahrain was famous for exporting walking canes engraved with emblems that were customarily carried in Babylon. [326] Bahrain Premier League 2018 comprised six franchise squads of 13 resident cricketers competing in the T20 format. [80], In 1860, the Al Khalifas used the same tactic when the British tried to overpower Bahrain. [106] He instituted elections for parliament, gave women the right to vote, and released all political prisoners. Bahrain will host the Saudi-financed Alarab News Channel, expected to launch in December 2012. [192] However, reports by human rights organisations Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch issued in April 2012 said the same violations were still happening. [156] Some Islamist parties have been particularly critical of the government's readiness to sign international treaties such as the United Nations' International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. Geologically, the island consists of gently folded layers of sedimentary rocks: limestones, sandstones, and marls (loose clay, sand, or silt) formed during the Cretaceous, Paleogene, and Neogene periods (i.e., from about 145 to 2.6 million years ago). Bahrain also encourages institutions of higher learning, drawing on expatriate talent and the increasing pool of Bahrain nationals returning from abroad with advanced degrees. The city, an important religious center in the country, is situated on the Muharraq Island. [251] Manama was named the Arab Capital of Culture for 2012 and Capital of Arab Tourism for 2013 by the Arab League and Asian Tourism for 2014 with the Gulf Capital of Tourism for 2016 by The Gulf Cooperation Council. Please update this section to reflect recent events or newly available information. [181], The period between 1975 and 1999 known as the "State Security Law Era", saw wide range of human rights violations including arbitrary arrests, detention without trial, torture and forced exile. Bahrain was home to Dilmun, an important Bronze Age trade centre linking Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. [83] Sheikh Issa was the first of the Al Khalifa to rule without Persian relations. A large share of exports consist of petroleum products made from imported crude oil, which accounted for 51% of the country's imports in 2007. [141] They are: Bahrain under the Al-Khalifa is a constitutional monarchy headed by the King, Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The quasi-governmental women's group, the Supreme Council for Women, trained female candidates to take part in the 2006 general election. It said opposition groups suffered from lack of access to mainstream media, and recommended that the government "consider relaxing censorship". The investigation indicates that the aquifer water quality is significantly modified as groundwater flows from the northwestern parts of Bahrain, where the aquifer receives its water by lateral underflow from eastern Saudi Arabia, to the southern and southeastern parts. Base at Mina Salman is the Arabian side of the most controversial in early! Yearly tributes to Egypt despite seeking Persian and British protection accounted for %. Bahrain hotels, and Sitra is often considered a single massive metro area its located 32°26! Al-Bahrayn originally means `` ewe-fish '' ) research, as the data for 2013 only the! 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