Bahrain is the first nation other than United States of America to host International Mixed Martial Arts Federation World Championships of Amateur MMA. A strikingly modern city, Manama is relaxed and cosmopolitan and is a favourite destination for visitors from neighbouring Saudi Arabia; on weekends, crowds of Saudis converge on the city to enjoy its restaurants and bars. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Bahrain's decision was very likely approved in advance by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [280] The country's two Muslim communities are united on some issues, but disagree sharply on others. The teams were SRam MRam Falcons, Kalaam Knight-Riders, Intex Lions, Bahrain Super Giants, Four Square Challengers and Awan Warriors. Newspapers are widely available in multiple languages such as Arabic, English, Malayalam, etc. [267], In 2010, Bahrain's population grew to 1.2 million, of which 568,399 were Bahraini and 666,172 were non-nationals. [151][152][153] Ghada Jamsheer, a leading woman activist[154] said the government was using the law as a "bargaining tool with opposition Islamic groups". Gulf Daily News and Daily Tribune publish daily newspapers in English. In 2008, the jobless figure was at 4%,[242] with women over represented at 85% of the total. 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. [215] Dr. Nada Haffadh became the country's first female cabinet minister on her appointment as Minister of Health in 2004. They hold most government positions and the Bahraini monarchy are Sunni Arabs. [165] This is the home of the headquarters for Commander, United States Naval Forces Central Command (COMUSNAVCENT) / United States Fifth Fleet (COMFIFTHFLT),[166] and around 6,000 United States military personnel. Biskra 33. [89] Belgrave even went further by suggesting to rename the Persian Gulf to the "Arabian Gulf"; however, the proposal was refused by the British government. [267], Between 2008 and 2014, Bahraini scientists collaborated most with their peers from Saudi Arabia (137 articles), followed by Egypt (101), the United Kingdom (93), the United States (89) and Tunisia (75). [228], The United States designated Bahrain a major non-NATO ally in 2001. The kingdom combines modern Arab culture and the archaeological legacy of five thousand years of civilisation. [253] Bahrain's national carrier, Gulf Air operates and bases itself in the BIA. [170], Bahrain has established bilateral relations with 190 countries worldwide. The coup would have installed a Shia cleric exiled in Iran, Hujjatu l-Islām Hādī al-Mudarrisī, as supreme leader heading a theocratic government. [247], Bird watching (primarily in the Hawar Islands), scuba diving, and horse riding are popular tourist activities in Bahrain. Small and rocky, they are inhabited by only a few fishermen and quarry workers, but they are believed to hold petroleum and natural gas reserves. [200] On 7 July 2016, the European Parliament adopted, with a large majority, a resolution condemning human rights abuses performed by Bahraini authorities, and strongly called for an end to the ongoing repression against the country's human rights defenders, political opposition and civil society. [260] In 2004, Zain (a rebranded version of MTC Vodafone) started operations in Bahrain and in 2010 VIVA (owned by STC Group) became the third company to provide mobile services. The country's natural resources include large quantities of oil and natural gas as well as fish in the offshore waters. Sheik Isa ibn Sulman al-Khalifah, who became emir in 1961, was determined to diversify his country's economy, and he set about establishing Bahrain as a major financial center. [280] Shia have often complained of being politically repressed and economically marginalized in Bahrain; as a result, most of the protestors in the Bahraini uprising of 2011 were Shia.[281][282][283]. [127] The city, an important religious center in the country, is situated on the Muharraq Island. [328] The government of Bahrain also sponsors a UCI WorldTeam cycling team, Bahrain–Merida, which participated in the 2017 Tour de France. [193][194], The documentary TV film Bahrain: Shouting in the Dark, which was produced by the Qatari channel Al Jazeera, talks about the Bahraini protests during 2011. Abstract expressionism has gained popularity in recent decades. The exact date at which the term "Bahrain" began to refer solely to the Awal archipelago is unknown. The judgment was criticized by Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, the director of advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, who stated: “Today’s verdict is yet another dark stain in the struggle for human rights in Bahrain.”[212], Women in Bahrain acquired voting rights and the right to stand in national elections in the 2002 election. The 2001 National Action Charter paved the way for the formation of private universities such as the Ahlia University in Manama and University College of Bahrain in Saar. Get directions, maps, and traffic for Manama, . Claim this business Favorite Share More Directions Sponsored Topics. [322] Ali Bahar was one of the most famous singers in Bahrain. Bechar 49. Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Bahrain. The capital city is Manama. [254] Ring roads and highways were later built to connect Manama to the villages of the Northern Governorate and towards towns in central and southern Bahrain. Associate Professor of Political Science, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama. Millions of migratory birds pass through the Persian Gulf region in the winter and autumn months. [4] Aluminium production is the second-most exported product, followed by finance and construction materials. Relations with the United Kingdom became closer, as evidenced by the British Royal Navy moving its entire Middle Eastern command from Bushehr in Iran to Bahrain in 1935. Kingdom of Bahrain Country in the Middle East Bahrain, a nation comprising more than 30 islands in the Arabian Gulf, has been at the center of major trade routes since antiquity. Akhbar Al Khaleej (أخبار الخليج) and Al Ayam (الأيام) are examples of major Arabic newspapers published daily. Later, different Arab family clans and tribes from Qatar moved to Bahrain to settle after the fall of Nasr Al-Madhkur of Bushehr. The riots focused on the Jewish community. The Bahrain Postal code format consists of 5 digits. [citation needed] Though a majority of the population is Middle Eastern, a sizeable number of people from South Asia live in the country. Coeducation is not used in public schools, with boys and girls segregated into separate schools. [302] The Ministry of Health sponsors regular vaccination campaigns against TB and other diseases such as hepatitis B. A number of other languages are spoken among expatriates in Bahrain, including Urdu, Hindi, and Tagalog. [255] Transits between the two islands peaked after the construction of the Bahrain International Airport in 1932. [292] They were traditional schools aimed at teaching children and youth the reading of the Qur'an. [35], The Greek historian Strabo believed the Phoenicians originated from Bahrain. The source of this water is precipitation on the western mountains of Saudi Arabia. Birdlife is sparse except in spring and autumn, when many varieties of migratory birds rest temporarily in Bahrain while traveling to and from higher temperate latitudes. [279] It is one of three countries in the Middle East in which Shiites are the majority, the other two being Iraq and Iran. [12], Arabic is the official language of Bahrain, though English is widely used. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). These families included the House of Khalifa, Al-Ma'awdah, Al-Fadhil, Al-Mannai, Al-Noaimi, Al-Sulaiti, Al-Sadah, Al-Thawadi and other families and tribes. Muharraq is the third largest city in Bahrain and was the capital city of the country until 1932 when Manama replaced Muharraq. [82], Unrest amongst the people of Bahrain began when Britain officially established complete dominance over the territory in 1892. 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 September, a government-appointed commission confirmed reports of grave human rights violations, including systematic torture. [80], In 1860, the Al Khalifas used the same tactic when the British tried to overpower Bahrain. [171] As of 2012[update], Bahrain maintains a network of 25 embassies, 3 consulates and 4 permanent missions to the Arab League, United Nations and European Union respectively. The forty members of the Shura are appointed by the king. You will also find static directories available at all major entrances of the mall on the first and second floors. It will be based at a planned "Media City". The names of several Muharraq villages today reflect Bahrain's Christian legacy, with Al Dair meaning "the monastery". The University of London External has appointed MCG (Management Consultancy Group) as the regional representative office in Bahrain for distance learning programmes. In 2004, King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa introduced the "King Hamad Schools of Future" project that uses Information Communication Technology to support K–12 education in Bahrain. [2] All commercial institutions and road signs are bilingual, displaying both English and Arabic. [192] However, reports by human rights organisations Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch issued in April 2012 said the same violations were still happening. Bahrain was also the site of the first recording studio amongst the Persian Gulf states.[322]. Portuguese rule lasted for around 80 years, during which time they depended mainly on Sunni Persian governors. [267], The available data for researchers in 2013 only cover the higher education sector. Thereafter, the Qarmatians demanded tribute from the caliph in Baghdad, and in 930 sacked Mecca and Medina, bringing the sacred Black Stone back to their base in Ahsa, in medieval Bahrain, for ransom. [187][188][189][190][191], In 2011, Bahrain was criticised for its crackdown on the Arab spring uprising. Bahrain has a well-developed road network, particularly in Manama. El Tarf 38. 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 President of the United Nations General Assembly, only the third woman in history to head the world body. [314] The annual Spring of Culture [315] festival run by the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities[316] has become a popular event promoting performance arts in the Kingdom. [169], The permanent British Royal Navy base at Mina Salman, HMS Jufair, was officially opened in April 2018. [288] In addition, Balochi is the second largest and widely spoken language in Bahrain.The Baloch are fluent in Arabic and Balochi. [254] Currently there are three modern bridges connecting the two locations. Heinrichs. Manama has a population of about 157,000 people and a metro population of 330,000. [95] In 1948, following rising hostilities and looting,[96] most members of Bahrain's Jewish community abandoned their properties and evacuated to Bombay, later settling in Israel (Pardes Hanna-Karkur) and the United Kingdom. (, A letter purported to be from Muhammad to al-Tamimi is preserved at the, Rentz, G. "al- Kawāsim." The capital and largest city is Manama. On 1 September 2006, Bahrain changed its weekend from being Thursdays and Fridays to Fridays and Saturdays, in order to have a day of the weekend shared with the rest of the world. By 1999, Batelco had more than 100,000 mobile contracts. [175][176], Saudi Arabian troops were sent into Bahrain to crush pro-democracy protests in 2011. The group's leaders were subsequently arrested and exiled to India. Bahrain - which name means "two seas" - was one of the first states in the Gulf to discover oil and to build a refinery. 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 architecture of Bahrain is similar to that of its neighbours in the Persian Gulf. [25] The Portuguese were expelled from the islands in 1602 by Abbas I of the Safavid Empire,[64] which gave impetus to Shia Islam. Adrar 49. [216] Female activist Ghada Jamsheer said "The government used women's rights as a decorative tool on the international level." Please update this section to reflect recent events or newly available information. [213] However, no women were elected to office in that year's polls. As a result, cases of malaria and TB have declined in recent decades with cases of contractions amongst Bahraini nationals becoming rare. [259] A nationwide metro system is currently under construction and is due to be operational by 2023. [308] Intermarriages between Bahrainis and expatriates are not uncommon—there are many Filipino-Bahrainis like Filipino child actress Mona Marbella Al-Alawi. Many tourists from nearby Saudi Arabia and across the region visit Manama primarily for the shopping malls in the capital Manama, such as the Bahrain City Centre and Seef Mall in the Seef district of Manama. [224] Over the next 30 years, the 4 municipalities were divided into 12 municipalities as settlements such as Hamad Town and Isa Town grew. As a tourist destination, Bahrain received over eight million visitors in 2008. Bahraini people are ethnically diverse. [172] Bahrain also hosts 36 embassies. Arable land constitutes only 2.82%[4] of the total area. 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