Bahrain

Capital: Manama
Currency: Bahraini dinar
Continent: Asia
National Anthem : Our Bahrain
Colleges and Universities: University of Bahrain

Country Name :

  • Conventional long form: Kingdom of Bahrain
  • Conventional short form: Bahrain
  • Local long form: Mamlakat al Bahrayn
  • Local short form: Al Bahrayn
  • Former: Dilmun

History :

  • Bahrain was known as Dilmun in the past.
  • It was an important trade center in the 3rd century BC.
  • The Bahrain islands came under the Persian rule until the 4th century AD.
  • The Arabs ruled the region till the Portuguese invasion in 1541.
  • The Persians once again took over Bahrain in 1602.
  • Ahmad ibn al-Khalifah became the ruler in 1783 and his descendants enjoy royal status even today.
  • Bahrain became a British protectorate in 1820.
  • It became a completely independent nation only on Aug. 14, 1971.
  • Oil was discovered in Bahrain in the 1930s.
  • Sheik Isa ibn Sulman al-Khalifah, who became emir in 1961, worked towards establishing Bahrain as a major financial center.
  • Conflicts and riots between the Shia and Sunni Muslim communities are common.
  • Bahrain served as a Western air base during the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and the Iraq war in 2003.
  • It continues to serve as the base of the United States' Fifth Fleet.
  • Sheik Hamad ibn Isa al-Khalifah, the present emir, is working towards democratization of the country.
  • Bahrain had its first parliamentary election in Oct. 2002.
  • The U.S. and Bahrain signed a free-trade agreement in 2006.

Demographics:

  • Majority of the population in Bahrain is Islamic.
  • Shias and Sunnis exist in almost equal proportions.
  • Bahrain is also home to a large number of migrants form India, Sri Lanka and Phillipines.
  • The society is mostly cosmopolitan with a blend of diverse cultures.
  • 2/3 of Bahrain's population consists of Arabs.
  • The native communities include the Sunni Arab bedouin tribes, Baharna , Howala, Ajam , Najdis , Banyan , Afro-Arabs and Bahraini Jews .

Bahrain Flag

Government and Politics:

  • Bahrain is run by a constitutional monarchy.
  • Administrative divisions consist of 5 governorates namely: Asamah, Janubiyah, Muharraq, Shamaliyah and Wasat.
  • Each governorate is administered by an appointed governor.
  • National Day is observed as a national holiday on 16 December (1971).
  • The Constitution formally adopted on 14 February 2002.
  • The legal system is based on Islamic law and English common law.
  • Bahrain has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.
  • King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa is the chief of state since 6 March 1999.
  • The Prime Minister is the head of government.
  • The Prime Minister and the cabinet ministers are appointed by the monarch.
  • The legislative branch is represented by a bicameral legislature consisting of the Consultative Council and the Council of Representatives or Chamber of Deputies.
  • The Consultative Council comprises of 40 seats and members are appointed by the king.
  • The Council of Representatives comprises of 40 seats and members are directly elected to serve four year terms.
  • The judicial branch is represented by the High Civil Appeals Court.

Culture :

  • Bahrain is often referred to as the "Middle East lite"
  • Bahrain has succeeded in maintaining its Gulf heritage alongside modern development.
  • The society is extremely liberal and tolerant to all religions.
  • Social taboos are now being addressed and openly discussed to raise awareness among the people.
  • Bahrain is also one of the most prolific book publishers in the world.
  • Arabic is the official language of Bahrain but English is also widely spoken.
  • Other languages in use are Persian, Hindi, Bengali , Urdu and Tagalog .

Economy :

  • Bahrain owes its strong economy to the modernized infrastructure and multi-national firms.
  • Oil and aluminum exports also contribute largely to the economical development.
  • Bahrain is also making progress in the international banking and privatization sector.
  • Unemployment and the depletion of oil and underground water resources are long-term economic problems.
  • The GDP (purchasing power parity) as calculated in 2007 is $24.5 billion.
  • 15% of the population is unemployed.
  • Agricultural products include fruit, vegetables; poultry, dairy products; shrimp and fish.
  • The main industries are petroleum processing and refining, aluminum smelting, iron pellets, fertilizers, Islamic and offshore banking, insurance, ship repairing and tourism.
  • Export commodities include petroleum and petroleum products, aluminum and textiles.
  • Import commodities include crude oil, machinery and chemicals.

Infrastructure :

  • The telecommunication system in Bahrain is highly modernized and well established.
  • Mobile cellular services are rapidly growing in popularity.
  • Bahrain has five radio broadcast stations and four television broadcast stations.
  • Internet facilities are widespread and readily available.
  • Bahrain has airports – all with paved runways.
  • Roadways span over a distance of 3,498 km.
  • The merchant marines are equipped with 7 ships.
  • Major ports and terminals are located at Mina' Salman and Sitrah.

Education:

  • In the past, Quranic schools were the only form of education in the country.
  • A modern system of education was introduced only after World War I.
  • Al-Hidaya Al-Khalifia School for boys was the first modern public school in Bahrain which opened in 1919.
  • The first public school for girls was opened in 1928.
  • In 2004, information communication technology (ICT) was introduced to support K–12 education in Bahrain.
  • This project is named “King Hamad Schools of Future” and aims to connect and link all schools within the kingdom with the internet.
  • The Bahrain School (BS) is a United States Department of Defense school that provides a K-12 curriculum.
  • St Christopher's School Bahrain became the first school in Bahrain to offer a choice of IB or A-Levels for students.
  • DePaul University, Bentley College, and NYIT are amongst the best internationally known institutions.
  • School education is funded by the government but is not compulsory.
  • The quality of higher education in Bahrain is at par with international standards.

Neighbouring Countries:

Bahrain is connected by:

  • Saudi Arabia (west)
  •  Qatar  (south)

Geographical Settings :

  • Bahrain is located in the Middle East and is part of an archipelago in the Persian Gulf.
  • Its geographical co-ordinates are 26 00 N, 50 33 E.
  • The country covers a total area of 665 sq km.
  • The coastline is 161 km long.
  • The climate is mostly arid with mild, pleasant winters and hot, humid summers.
  • The terrain comprises of a low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment.
  • The highest point is Jabal ad Dukhan standing at 122 m.
  • Natural resources include oil, associated and non associated natural gas, fish and pearls.
  • 2.82% of the land is arable.
  • Periodic droughts and dust storms are common natural hazards.
  • Soil and coastal degradation are the main environmental concerns.

Freedom :

  • Bahrain gained full independence from the British on Aug. 14, 1971.

Notable People in the Country :

  • King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa — King of Bahrain
  • Hassan Al-Arrayed -Founder of Ibn Al-Nafees Hospital
  • Atma Jashanmal — Founder, The Jashanmal Group
  • Hussain Al Najadi — Founder and Chairman, Arab Malaysian Bank
  • Ebrahim Eshaq- Business Tycoon
  • Abdulhakeem Al Khayyat —Chairman of Durrat al Bahrain and Mena Telecom.
  • Mohamed Ghuloom  (Dj Outlaw) — Founder of the first Hip-hop organization in Bahrain
  • Dhafer kamal- surgeon
  • Ali Bahar - singer
  • Ali Al Shargawi - poet
  • Ebrahim Al-Arrayedh- poet
  • Ali Al Jallawi- poet
  • Tarafa- poet

Famous For:

  • Bahrain is a popular tourist destination due to the kingdom’s heritage and the Bahrain Formula One Race Track.
  • Bahrain combines Arab and gulf culture along with the archaeological legacy of five thousand years of civilization.
  • Qalat Al Bahrain  has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site
  • The Bahrain National Museum has artifacts that are over 9000 years old.
  • Manama’s nightlife and culture make it a favorite destination among international celebrities like Michael Jackson and Shakira.

Total Population:

  • According to a 2008 census, the total population was estimated to be 718,306.
  • The annual population growth rate is 1.337% (2008 est.)
  • Birth rate: 17.26 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
  • Death rate: 4.29 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Bahrain Related Topics:

» Colleges and Universities in Bahrain » Sports in Bahrain » Bahrain National Anthem

Bahrain Tourist Attractions:

  • Arad Fort
  • Qal'at al-Bahrain
  • Barbar Temple
  • Bab Al Bahrain
  • King Fahd Causeway
  • Amwaj Islands
  • Al Fateh Grand Mosque
  • Khamis Mosque
  • Museum of Pearl Diving
  • Bahrain National Museum
  • Riffa Fort
  • Beit Al Quran
  • Adhari Park