/ (listen) bar-AYN
, IPA: [al baħˈrajn]
, locally [æl baħˈreːn] (listen)
), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain
(Arabic: مملكة البحرين
), is a country in the Persian Gulf
. The island nation
comprises a small archipelago
made up of 70 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 2020 census, Bahrain's population numbers 1,501,635 people, of which 712,362 are Bahraini nationals.
At 780 square kilometres (300 sq mi) in size, it is the third-smallest nation
in Asia after the Maldives
The capital and largest city is Manama
A 1745 Bellin
map of the historical region of Bahrain
is the dual form
of Arabic bahr
("sea"), so al-Bahrayn
originally means "the two seas". However, the name has been lexicalised as a feminine proper noun
and does not follow the grammatical rules for duals; thus its form is always Bahrayn
and never Bahrān
, the expected nominative
form. Endings are added to the word with no changes, as in the name of the national anthem Bahraynunā
("our Bahrain") or the demonym Bahraynī
. The medieval grammarian al-Jawahari
commented on this saying that the more formally correct term Bahrī
(lit. "belonging to the sea") would have been misunderstood and so was unused.[page needed]
It remains disputed which "two seas" the name Bahrayn
originally refers to.
The term appears five times in the Quran
, but does not refer to the modern island—originally known to the Arabs as Awal
—but, rather, to all of Eastern Arabia (most notably al-Katif
Today, Bahrain's "two seas" are generally taken to be the bay east and west of the island,[page needed]
the seas north and south of the island,
or the salt and fresh water present above and below the ground.[page needed]
In addition to wells, there are areas of the sea north of Bahrain where fresh water bubbles up in the middle of the saltwater as noted by visitors since antiquity.[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.
Until the late Middle Ages
, "Bahrain" referred to the region of Eastern Arabia
that included Southern Iraq
, and Bahrain. The region stretched from Basra
in Iraq to the Strait of Hormuz
. This was Iqlīm al-Bahrayn's "Bahrayn Province." The exact date at which the term "Bahrain" began to refer solely to the Awal archipelago is unknown.
The entire coastal strip
of Eastern Arabia was known as "Bahrain" for a millennium.
The island and kingdom were also commonly spelled Bahrein
into the 1950s.
From the sixth to third century BC, Bahrain was part of the Achaemenid Empire
. By about 250 BC, Parthia
brought the Persian Gulf under its control and extended its influence as far as Oman. The Parthians established garrisons along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf to control trade routes.[page needed]
During the classical era
, Bahrain was referred to by the ancient Greeks
, the centre of pearl trading, when the Greek admiral Nearchus
serving under Alexander the Great
landed on Bahrain.
Nearchus is believed to have been the first of Alexander's commanders to visit the island, and he found a verdant land that was part of a wide trading network; he recorded: "That on the island of Tylos, situated in the Persian Gulf, are large plantations of cotton trees, from which are manufactured clothes called sindones
, of strongly differing degrees of value, some being costly, others less expensive. The use of these is not confined to India, but extends to Arabia."
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.
Alexander had planned to settle Greek colonists in Bahrain, and although it is not clear that this happened on the scale he envisaged, Bahrain became very much part of the Hellenised world: the language of the upper classes was Greek (although Aramaic
was in everyday use), while Zeus
was worshipped in the form of the Arabian sun-god Shams
Bahrain even became the site of Greek athletic contests.
The Greek historian Strabo
believed the Phoenicians
originated from Bahrain.Herodotus
also believed that the homeland of the Phoenicians was Bahrain.
This theory was accepted by the 19th-century German classicist Arnold Heeren
who said that: "In the Greek geographers, for instance, we read of two islands, named Tyrus or Tylos
, and Aradus
, which boasted that they were the mother country of the Phoenicians, and exhibited relics of Phoenician temples."[title missing]
The people of Tyre
, in particular, have long maintained Persian Gulf
origins, and the similarity in the words "Tylos" and "Tyre" has been commented upon.
However, there is little evidence of any human settlement at all on Bahrain during the time when such migration had supposedly taken place.
The name Tylos is thought to be a Hellenisation of the Semitic Tilmun
The term Tylos was commonly used for the islands until Ptolemy
when the inhabitants are referred to as Thilouanoi.[title missing]
Some place names in Bahrain go back to the Tylos era; for instance the name of Arad, a residential suburb of Muharraq
, is believed to originate from "Arados", the ancient Greek name for Muharraq.
Bahrain was also the site of worship of an ox deity called Awal
) Worshipers built a large statue to Awal in Muharraq
, although it has now been lost. For many centuries after Tylos
, Bahrain was known as Awal
. By the 5th century, Bahrain became a centre for Nestorian Christianity
, with the village Samahij
as the seat of bishops. In 410, according to the Oriental Syriac Church
synodal records, a bishop named Batai was excommunicated from the church in Bahrain.
As a sect, the Nestorians were often persecuted as heretics by the Byzantine Empire
, but Bahrain was outside the Empire's control, offering some safety. The names of several Muharraq
villages today reflect Bahrain's Christian legacy, with Al Dair
meaning "the monastery".
's first interaction with the people of Bahrain was the Al Kudr Invasion
. Muhammad ordered a surprise attack on the Banu Salim
tribe for plotting to attack Medina. He had received news that some tribes were assembling an army in Bahrain and preparing to attack the mainland. But the tribesmen retreated when they learned Muhammad was leading an army to do battle with them.
In 899, the Qarmatians
, a millenarian Ismaili
Muslim sect, seized Bahrain, seeking to create a utopian
society based on reason and redistribution of property among initiates. Thereafter, the Qarmatians demanded tribute
from the caliph in Baghdad
, and in 930 sacked Mecca
, bringing the sacred Black Stone
back to their base in Ahsa
, in medieval Bahrain, for ransom. According to historian Al-Juwayni
, the stone was returned 22 years later in 951 under mysterious circumstances. Wrapped in a sack, it was thrown into the Great Mosque of Kufa
in Iraq, accompanied by a note saying "By command we took it, and by command we have brought it back." The theft and removal of the Black Stone caused it to break into seven pieces.
Following their 976 defeat by the Abbasids
the Qarmatians were overthrown by the Arab Uyunid dynasty
, who took over the entire Bahrain region in 1076.
The Uyunids controlled Bahrain until 1235, when the archipelago was briefly occupied by the Persian ruler of Fars
. In 1253, the Bedouin Usfurids
brought down the Uyunid dynasty, thereby gaining control over eastern Arabia
, including the islands of Bahrain. In 1330, the archipelago became a tributary state of the rulers of Hormuz
though locally the islands were controlled by the Shi'ite Jarwanid
dynasty of Qatif
In the mid-15th century, the archipelago came under the rule of the Jabrids
, a Bedouin dynasty also based in Al-Ahsa
that ruled most of eastern Arabia.
Early modern era
; constructed before the Portuguese assumed control.
In 1521, the Portuguese Empire
allied with Hormuz and seized Bahrain from the Jabrid
ruler Muqrin ibn Zamil
, who was killed during the takeover. Portuguese rule lasted for around 80 years, during which time they depended mainly on Sunni
The Portuguese were expelled from the islands in 1602 by Abbas I
of the Safavid Empire
which gave impetus to Shia Islam
For the next two centuries, Persian rulers retained control of the archipelago, interrupted by the 1717 and 1738 invasions of the Ibadis
During most of this period, they resorted to governing Bahrain indirectly, either through the city of Bushehr
or through immigrant
Sunni Arab clans. The latter were tribes returning to the Arabian side of the Persian Gulf from Persian territories in the north who were known as Huwala
In 1753, the Huwala clan of Nasr Al-Madhkur
invaded Bahrain on behalf of the Iranian Zand
leader Karim Khan Zand
and restored direct Iranian rule.
In 1783, Al-Madhkur lost the islands of Bahrain following his defeat by the Bani Utbah
tribe at the 1782 Battle of Zubarah
. Bahrain was not new territory to the Bani Utbah; they had been a presence there since the 17th century.
During that time, they started purchasing date palm gardens in Bahrain; a document shows that 81 years before arrival of the Al Khalifa, one of the sheikhs of the Al Bin Ali
tribe (an offshoot of the Bani Utbah) had bought a palm garden from Mariam bint Ahmed Al Sanadi in Sitra
Purple - Portuguese
in Persian Gulf in the 16th and 17th century. Main cities, ports and routes.
The Al Bin Ali were the dominant group controlling the town of Zubarah on the Qatar peninsula,
originally the centre of power of the Bani Utbah. After the Bani Utbah gained control of Bahrain, the Al Bin Ali had a practically independent status there as a self-governing tribe. They used a flag with four red and three white stripes, called the Al-Sulami flag
in Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait
, and the Eastern province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Later, different Arab family clans and tribes from Qatar moved to Bahrain to settle after the fall of Nasr Al-Madhkur of Bushehr
. 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.
The House of Khalifa moved from Qatar to Bahrain in 1799. Originally, their ancestors were expelled from Umm Qasr
in central Arabia by the Ottomans
due to their predatory habits of preying on caravans in Basra
and trading ships in Shatt al-Arab
waterway until Turks expelled them to Kuwait in 1716, where they remained until 1766.
Around the 1760s, the Al Jalahma
and House of Khalifa, both belonging to the Utub Federation, migrated to Zubarah
in modern-day Qatar
, leaving Al Sabah as the sole proprietors of Kuwait.
19th century and later
In the early 19th century, Bahrain was invaded by both the Omanis and the Al Sauds
. 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
In 1816, the British political resident in the Persian Gulf, William Bruce, received a letter from the Sheikh of Bahrain who was concerned about a rumour that Britain would support an attack on the island by the Imam of Muscat. 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.
This photograph shows the coronation of Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa as the Hakim of Bahrain in February 1933.
In 1820, the Al Khalifa tribe were recognised by the United Kingdom as the rulers ("Al-Hakim" in Arabic) of Bahrain after signing a treaty relationship
However, ten years later they were forced to pay yearly tributes to Egypt despite seeking Persian and British protection.
Map of Bahrain in 1825.
In 1860, the Al Khalifas used the same tactic when the British tried to overpower Bahrain. Writing letters to the Persians and Ottomans
, Al Khalifas agreed to place Bahrain under the latter's protection in March due to offering better conditions. Eventually the Government of British India
overpowered Bahrain when the Persians refused to protect it. Colonel Pelly
signed a new treaty with Al Khalifas placing Bahrain under British rule and protection.
Manama harbor, c. 1870
Following the Qatari–Bahraini War
in 1868, British representatives signed another agreement with the Al Khalifas. It specified that the ruler could not dispose of any of his territory except to the United Kingdom and could not enter into relationships with any foreign government without British consent.
In return the British promised to protect Bahrain from all aggression by sea and to lend support in case of land attack.
More importantly the British promised to support the rule of the Al Khalifa in Bahrain, securing its unstable position as rulers of the country. Other agreements in 1880 and 1892 sealed the protectorate status of Bahrain to the British.
Unrest amongst the people of Bahrain began when Britain officially established complete dominance over the territory in 1892. The first revolt and widespread uprising took place in March 1895 against Sheikh Issa bin Ali, then ruler of Bahrain.
Sheikh Issa was the first of the Al Khalifa to rule without Persian relations. Sir Arnold Wilson
, Britain's representative in the Persian Gulf and author of The Persian Gulf
, arrived in Bahrain from Muscat at this time.
The uprising developed further with some protesters killed by British forces.
Before the development of petroleum, the island was largely devoted to pearl fisheries
and, as late as the 19th century, was considered to be the finest in the world.
In 1903, German explorer, Hermann Burchardt
, visited Bahrain and took many photographs of historical sites, including the old Qaṣr es-Sheikh
, photos now stored at the Ethnological Museum of Berlin
Prior to the First World War
, there were about 400 vessels hunting pearls and an annual export of more than £30,000.
In 1911, a group of Bahraini merchants demanded restrictions on the British influence in the country. The group's leaders were subsequently arrested and exiled to India. In 1923, the British introduced administrative reforms
and replaced Sheikh Issa bin Ali with his son. Some clerical opponents and families such as al Dossari
left or were exiled to Saudi Arabia and Iran.
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.
Belgrave brought a number of reforms such as establishment of the country's first modern school in 1919, the Persian Gulf's first girls' school in 1928
and the abolition of slavery
At the same time, the pearl diving industry developed at a rapid pace.
In 1927, Rezā Shāh
, then Shah of Iran
, demanded sovereignty over Bahrain in a letter to the League of Nations
, a move that prompted Belgrave to undertake harsh measures including encouraging conflicts between Shia
and Sunni Muslims in order to bring down the uprisings and limit the Iranian influence.
Belgrave even went further by suggesting to rename the Persian Gulf
to the "Arabian Gulf"; however, the proposal was refused by the British government.
Britain's interest in Bahrain's development was motivated by concerns over Saudi and Iranian ambitions in the region.
A photograph of the First Oil Well in Bahrain, with oil first being extracted in 1931
In the early 1930s, Bahrain Airport was developed. Imperial Airways
flew there, including the Handley Page HP42
aircraft. Later in the same decade the Bahrain Maritime Airport was established, for flying-boats and seaplanes.
in the Second World War
on the Allied
side, joining on 10 September 1939. On 19 October 1940, four Italian SM.82s
bombers bombed Bahrain
oilfields in Saudi Arabia,
targeting Allied-operated oil refineries.
Although minimal damage was caused in both locations, the attack forced the Allies to upgrade Bahrain's defences, an action which further stretched Allied military resources.
Overview of Manama, 1953.
After World War II, increasing anti-British sentiment spread throughout the Arab World and led to riots in Bahrain. The riots focused on the Jewish community.
In 1948, following rising hostilities and looting
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. As of 2008, 37 Jews remained in the country.
In the 1950s, the National Union Committee
, formed by reformists following sectarian clashes, demanded an elected popular assembly, removal of Belgrave and carried out a number of protests and general strikes. In 1965 a month-long uprising
broke out after hundreds of workers at the Bahrain Petroleum Company were laid off.
On 15 August 1971,
though the Shah of Iran
was claiming historical sovereignty over Bahrain, he accepted a referendum
held by the United Nations and eventually Bahrain declared independence and signed a new treaty of friendship with the United Kingdom. Bahrain joined the United Nations and the Arab League
later in the year.
The oil boom of the 1970s benefited Bahrain greatly, although the subsequent downturn hurt the economy. The country had already begun diversification of its economy and benefited further from the Lebanese Civil War
in the 1970s and 1980s, when Bahrain replaced Beirut
as the Middle East's financial hub after Lebanon's large banking sector was driven out of the country by the war.
A popular uprising
occurred between 1994 and 2000 in which leftists, liberals and Islamists joined forces.
The event resulted in approximately forty deaths and ended after Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
became the Emir of Bahrain in 1999.
He instituted elections for parliament, gave women the right to vote, and released all political prisoners.
A referendum on 14–15 February 2001 massively supported the National Action Charter
As part of the adoption of the National Action Charter on 14 February 2002, Bahrain changed its formal name from the State (dawla
) of Bahrain to the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Bahraini protests 2011–13
Satellite view of Bahrain and eastern Saudi Arabia in 2016.
Bahrain map 2014
Bahrain is a generally flat and arid archipelago
in the Persian Gulf. 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)
Bahrain had a total area of 665 km2
(257 sq mi) but due to land reclamation
, the area increased to 780 km2
(300 sq mi), which is slightly larger than Anglesey
Often described as an archipelago of 33 islands,
extensive land reclamation projects have changed this; by August 2008 the number of islands and island groups had increased to 84.
Bahrain does not share a land boundary with another country but does have a 161 km (100 mi) coastline. The country also claims a further 22 km (12 nmi) of territorial sea
and a 44 km (24 nmi) contiguous zone
. Bahrain's largest islands are Bahrain Island
, the Hawar Islands
, Muharraq Island
, Umm an Nasan
, and Sitra
. Bahrain has mild winters and very hot, humid summers. The country's natural resources include large quantities of oil and natural gas as well as fish in the offshore waters. Arable land constitutes only 2.82%
of the total area.
About 92% of Bahrain is desert with periodic droughts and dust storms, the main natural hazards for Bahrainis.
Environmental issues facing Bahrain include desertification resulting from the degradation of limited arable land, coastal degradation (damage to coastlines, coral reefs
, and sea vegetation) resulting from oil spills and other discharges from large tankers, oil refineries, distribution stations, and illegal land reclamation at places such as Tubli Bay
. The agricultural and domestic sectors' over-utilisation of the Dammam Aquifer, the principal aquifer in Bahrain, has led to its salinisation
by adjacent brackish and saline water bodies. A hydrochemical study identified the locations of the sources of aquifer salinisation and delineated their areas of influence. 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. Four types of salinisation of the aquifer are identified: brackish-water up-flow from the underlying brackish-water zones in north-central, western, and eastern regions; seawater intrusion in the eastern region; intrusion of sabkha
water in the southwestern region; and irrigation return flow in a local area in the western region. Four alternatives for the management of groundwater quality that are available to the water authorities in Bahrain are discussed and their priority areas are proposed, based on the type and extent of each salinisation source, in addition to groundwater use in that area.
The Zagros Mountains
across the Persian Gulf in Iran cause low-level winds to be directed toward Bahrain. Dust storms from Iraq and Saudi Arabia transported by northwesterly winds, locally called shamal
wind, causing reduced visibility in the months of June and July.
Summers are very hot. The seas around Bahrain are very shallow, heating up quickly in the summer to produce very high humidity
, especially at night. Summer temperatures may reach up to 50 °C (122 °F) under the right conditions.
Rainfall in Bahrain is minimal and irregular. Precipitation mostly occurs in winter, with an average of 70.8mm of rainfall recorded annually.
More than 330 species of birds were recorded in the Bahrain archipelago, 26 species of which breed in the country. Millions of migratory birds pass through the Persian Gulf region in the winter and autumn months.
One globally endangered species, Chlamydotis undulata
, is a regular migrant in the autumn.
The many islands and shallow seas of Bahrain are globally important for the breeding of the Socotra cormorant
; up to 100,000 pairs of these birds were recorded over the Hawar islands.
Bahrain's national bird is the bulbul
while its national animal is the Arabian oryx
. And the national flower of Bahrain is the beloved Deena.
The Hawar Islands Protected Area provides valuable feeding and breeding grounds for a variety of migratory seabirds, it is an internationally recognised site for bird migration
. The breeding colony of Socotra cormorant
on Hawar Islands is the largest in the world, and the dugongs foraging around the archipelago form the second-largest dugong aggregation after Australia.
Government and politics
Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of Bahrain
Bahrain has a bicameral
National Assembly (al-Jam'iyyah al-Watani
) consisting of the Shura Council (Majlis Al-Shura
) with 40 seats and the Council of Representatives (Majlis Al-Nuwab
) with 40 seats. The forty members of the Shura are appointed by the king. In the Council of Representatives, 40 members are elected by absolute majority vote in single-member constituencies to serve four-year terms.
The appointed council "exercises a de facto
veto" over the elected, because draft acts must be approved so they may pass into law. After approval, the king may ratify and issue the act or return it within six months to the National Assembly where it may only pass into law if approved by two thirds of both councils.
The opening up of politics saw big gains for both Shīa
and Sunnī Islamists
in elections, which gave them a parliamentary platform to pursue their policies.
It gave a new prominence to clerics within the political system, with the most senior Shia religious leader, Sheikh Isa Qassim
, playing a vital role.
This was especially evident when in 2005 the government called off the Shia branch of the "Family law" after over 100,000 Shia took to the streets. Islamists opposed the law because "neither elected MPs nor the government has the authority to change the law because these institutions could misinterpret the word of God". The law was supported by women activists who said they were "suffering in silence". They managed to organise a rally attended by 500 participants. Ghada Jamsheer
, a leading woman activist
said the government was using the law as a "bargaining tool with opposition Islamic groups".
Analysts of democratisation in the Middle East cite the Islamists' references to respect human rights in their justification for these programmes as evidence that these groups can serve as a progressive force in the region.
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. At a parliamentary session in June 2006 to discuss ratification of the convention, Sheikh Adel Mouwda
, the former leader of salafist
, explained the party's objections: "The convention has been tailored by our enemies, God kill them all, to serve their needs and protect their interests rather than ours. This why we have eyes from the American Embassy watching us during our sessions, to ensure things are swinging their way".
The Government of Bahrain has close relations
with the United States, having signed a cooperative agreement with the United States Military
and has provided the United States a base in Juffair
since the early 1990s, although a US naval presence existed since 1948.
This is the home of the headquarters for Commander, United States Naval Forces Central Command
) / United States Fifth Fleet
and around 6,000 United States military personnel.
Bahrain first welcomed Israeli cabinet member Yossi Sarid
to Manama in 1994.
In September 2020, after the United Arab Emirates
announced normalizing relations with Israel, Bahrain announced that it would allow all commercial flights coming from Israel to fly over its airspace
On 11 September 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump
announced that Bahrain and Israel were to normalize relations under the Bahrain–Israel peace agreement
Bahrain's official recognition of the State of Israel followed its GCC neighbour Oman's hosting of the Israeli prime minister in 2018
as well as the UAE's official recognition of the State of Israel in August 2020. Bahrain's decision was very likely approved in advance by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
It has been suggested that this article be split
into multiple articles. (Discuss
) (January 2021)
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.
After the Emir Hamad Al Khalifa (now king) succeeded his father Isa Al Khalifa in 1999, he introduced wide reforms and human rights improved significantly.
These moves were described by Amnesty International
as representing a "historic period of human rights".
In 2011, Bahrain was criticised for its crackdown on the Arab spring uprising. In September, a government-appointed commission
of grave human rights violations, including systematic torture
. The government promised to introduce reforms and avoid repeating the "painful events".
However, reports by human rights organisations Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch issued in April 2012 said the same violations were still happening.
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. This TV film showed all the violations that have been taken against the rights of Bahraini citizens during the uprising. It also caused some problems between the Bahraini and the Qatari governments.
Relations between Bahrain and Qatar improved following a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council in November 2014 in which it was announced Bahrain diplomats would return to Qatar.
's 2015 report on the country points to continued suppression of dissent, restricted freedom of expression, unjust imprisonment, and frequent torture and other ill-treatment of its citizens. Human Rights Watch
in its 2015 report described the situation of a Shia majority as more than tragic. Freedom House
labels Bahrain as "not free" in its 2016 report.
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.
A number of people held a sit-in in solidarity with human rights activist Nabeel Rajab
In August 2017, United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
spoke against the discrimination of Shias in Bahrain, saying, "Members of the Shia community there continue to report ongoing discrimination in government employment, education, and the justice system," and that "Bahrain must stop discriminating against the Shia communities." He also stated that "In Bahrain, the government continue to question, detain and arrest Shia clerics, community members and opposition politicians."
However, in September 2017, the U.S. State Department has approved arms sales packages worth more than $3.8 billion to Bahrain including F-16 jets, upgrades, missiles and patrol boats.
In its latest report the Amnesty International
accused both, US and the UK governments, of turning a blind eye to horrific abuses of human rights by the ruling Bahraini regime.
On 31 January 2018, Amnesty International reported that the Bahraini government expelled four of its citizens after having revoked their nationality in 2012; turning them into stateless people.
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.
On behalf of the ruling family, Bahraini police have received training on how to deal with public protests from the British government.[unreliable source?]
On 11 July 2020, a government watchdog in Bahrain claimed that the confessions of two pro-democracy campaigners were extracted by torture. Mohammed Ramadhan and Husain Moosa from Bahrain were leading figures in the pro-democracy protests of 2011. They were arrested in 2014 and accused of killing a police officer.
On July 13, 2020, the highest Court in Bahrain overruled the previous judgment and upheld the death sentences for both men. 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.”
The 761-page World Report 2021
published by the Human Rights Watch
in January 2021 revealed that the situation of human rights did not improve in Bahrain in 2020. It highlighted that the repression against social media activities escalated, death sentences were upheld by the courts against opposition activists after unfair trials, and the critics were continued to be prosecuted for peaceful expression. The country also increased the use of the death penalty, while it denied medical treatment to some of the prominent opposition figures being kept in detention. The Human Rights Watch
said that Bahrain uses several repressive tools to silence and punish every person who dares to criticize the government.
Women in Bahrain acquired voting rights and the right to stand in national elections in the 2002 election.
However, no women were elected to office in that year's polls.
In response to the failure of women candidates, six were appointed to the Shura Council, which also includes representatives of the Kingdom's indigenous Jewish and Christian communities.
Dr. Nada Haffadh
became the country's first female cabinet minister on her appointment as Minister of Health in 2004. 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
President of the United Nations General Assembly, only the third woman in history to head the world body.
Female activist Ghada Jamsheer said "The government used women's rights as a decorative tool on the international level." She referred to the reforms as "artificial and marginal" and accused the government of "hinder[ing] non-governmental women societies".
In 2006, Lateefa Al Gaood
became the first female MP after winning by default.
The number rose to four after the 2011 by-elections.
In 2008, Houda Nonoo
was appointed ambassador to the United States making her the first Jewish ambassador of any Arab country.
In 2011, Alice Samaan
, a Christian woman, was appointed ambassador to the United Kingdom.
The predominant forms of media in Bahrain consists of weekly and daily newspapers, television, and radio.
Newspapers are widely available in multiple languages such as Arabic, English, Malayalam, etc. to support the varied population. Akhbar Al Khaleej (أخبار الخليج) and
(الأيام) are examples of major Arabic newspapers published daily. Gulf Daily News
and Daily Tribune
publish daily newspapers in English. Gulf Madhyamam
is a newspaper published in Malayalam.
The country's television network operates over 5 networks, all of which are by the Information Affairs Authority
. Radio, much like the television network, is mostly state-run and usually in Arabic. Radio Bahrain
is a long-running English language radio station and Your FM
is a radio station serving the large expatriate population from the Indian Subcontinent living in the country.
By June 2012, Bahrain had 961,000 internet users.
The platform "provides a welcome free space for journalists, although one that is increasingly monitored", according to Reporters Without Borders
. Rigorous filtering targets political, human rights, religious material and content deemed obscene. Bloggers and other netizens
were among those detained during protests in 2011.
Bahraini journalists risk prosecution for offenses which include "undermining" the government and religion. Self-censorship
is widespread. Journalists were targeted by officials during anti-government protests in 2011. Three editors from opposition daily Al-Wasat
were sacked and later fined for publishing "false" news. Several foreign correspondents were expelled.
An independent commission, set up to look into the unrest, found that state media coverage was at times inflammatory. It said opposition groups suffered from lack of access to mainstream media, and recommended that the government "consider relaxing censorship". Bahrain will host the Saudi-financed Alarab News Channel
, expected to launch in December 2012. It will be based at a planned "Media City". An opposition satellite station, LuaLua TV
, operates from London but has found its signals blocked.
The first municipality
in Bahrain was the 8-member Manama
municipality which was established in July 1919.
Members of the municipality were elected annually; the municipality was said to have been the first municipality to be established in the Arab world
The municipality was in charge of cleaning roads and renting buildings to tenants and shops. By 1929, it undertook road expansions as well as opening markets and slaughterhouses
In 1958, the municipality started water purification
In 1960, Bahrain comprised four municipalities: Manama
, Al Muharraq
, and Riffa
Over the next 30 years, the 4 municipalities were divided into 12 municipalities as settlements such as Hamad Town
and Isa Town
These municipalities were administered from Manama
under a central municipal council whose members are appointed by the king.
The first municipal elections to be held in Bahrain after independence in 1971, was in 2002.
The most recent was in 2010. The municipalities are listed below:
After 3 July 2002, Bahrain was split into five administrative governorates
, each of which has its own governor
These governorates are:
The skyline of Manama
This article needs to be updated. Please update this section to reflect recent events or newly available information. (November 2020)
In 2008, Bahrain was named the world's fastest-growing financial centre by the City of London's Global Financial Centres Index
Bahrain's banking and financial services sector, particularly Islamic banking
, have benefited from the regional boom driven by demand for oil.
Petroleum production and processing is Bahrain's most exported product, accounting for 60% of export receipts, 70% of government revenues, and 11% of GDP
. Aluminium production
is the second-most exported product, followed by finance and construction materials.
Manama skyline as viewed from Juffair
Economic conditions have fluctuated with the changing price of oil since 1985, for example during and following the Persian Gulf crisis of 1990–91
. With its highly developed communication and transport facilities, Bahrain is home to a number of multinational firms and construction proceeds on several major industrial projects. 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.
Bahrain depends heavily on food imports to feed its growing population; it relies heavily on meat imports from Australia and also imports 75% of its total fruit consumption needs.
Since only 2.9% of the country's land is arable
contributes to 0.5% of Bahrain's GDP.
In 2004, Bahrain signed the Bahrain–US Free Trade Agreement
, which will reduce certain trade barriers between the two nations.
In 2011, due to the combination of the global financial crisis
and the recent unrest
, the gdp growth rate decreased to 1.3%, which was the lowest growth rate since 1994.
Access to biocapacity
in Bahrain is much lower than world average. In 2016, Bahrain had 0.52 global hectares
of biocapacity per person within its territory, much less than the world average of 1.6 global hectares per person.
In 2016 Bahrain used 8.6 global hectares of biocapacity per person - their ecological footprint
of consumption. This means they use 16.5 times as much biocapacity as Bahrain contains. As a result, Bahrain is running a biocapacity deficit.
Unemployment, especially among the young, and the depletion of both oil and underground water resources are major long-term economic problems. In 2008, the jobless figure was at 4%,
with women over represented at 85% of the total.
In 2007 Bahrain became the first Arab country to institute unemployment benefits
as part of a series of labour reforms instigated under Minister of Labour, Dr. Majeed Al Alawi
As a tourist destination, Bahrain received over eight million visitors in 2008.
Most of these are from the surrounding Arab states although an increasing number hail from outside the region due to growing awareness of the kingdom's heritage and its higher profile as a result of the Bahrain International F1 Circuit
The kingdom combines modern Arab culture and the archaeological legacy of five thousand years of civilisation. The island is home to forts including Qalat Al Bahrain
which has been listed by UNESCO
as a World Heritage Site
. The Bahrain National Museum
has artefacts from the country's history dating back to the island's first human inhabitants some 9000 years ago and the Beit Al Quran
(Arabic: بيت القرآن, meaning: the House of Qur'an) is a museum that holds Islamic artefacts of the Qur'an
. Some of the popular historical tourist attractions in the kingdom are the Al Khamis Mosque
, which is one of the oldest mosques in the region, the Arad fort
in Muharraq, Barbar temple
, which is an ancient temple from the Dilmunite period of Bahrain, as well as the A'ali Burial Mounds
and the Saar
The Tree of Life
, a 400-year-old tree that grows in the Sakhir
desert with no nearby water, is also a popular tourist attraction.
In January 2019 the state-run Bahrain News Agency announced the summer 2019 opening of an underwater theme park covering about 100,000 square meters with a sunken Boeing 747
as the site's centerpiece. The project is a partnership between the Supreme Council for Environment, Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA), and private investors. Bahrain hopes scuba divers from around the world will visit the underwater park, which will also include artificial coral reefs
, a copy of a Bahraini pearl merchant's house, and sculptures.
The park is intended to become the world's largest eco-friendly underwater theme park.
Since 2005, Bahrain hosts an annual festival in March, titled Spring of Culture
, which features internationally renowned musicians and artists performing in concerts.
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. The 2012 festival featured concerts starring Andrea Bocelli
, Julio Iglesias
and other musicians.
As per the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Bahrain’s economy contracted by 5.4% in 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic severely hit tourism and energy sector.
The King Fahd Causeway as seen from space
Bahrain has a well-developed road network
, particularly in Manama. The discovery of oil in the early 1930s accelerated the creation of multiple roads and highways
in Bahrain, connecting several isolated villages, such as Budaiya
, to Manama.
To the east, a bridge connected Manama
since 1929, a new causeway was built in 1941 which replaced the old wooden bridge.
Currently there are three modern bridges connecting the two locations.
Transits between the two islands peaked after the construction of the Bahrain International Airport in 1932. 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.
The four main islands and all the towns and villages are linked by well-constructed roads. There were 3,164 km (1,966 mi) of roadways in 2002, of which 2,433 km (1,512 mi) were paved. A causeway
stretching over 2.8 km (2 mi), connect Manama with Muharraq Island
, and another bridge joins Sitra
to the main island. The King Fahd Causeway
, measuring 24 km (15 mi), links Bahrain with the Saudi Arabian mainland via the island of Umm an-Nasan
. It was completed in December 1986, and financed by Saudi Arabia
. In 2008, there were 17,743,495 passengers transiting through the causeway.
Bahrain's port of Mina Salman
is the main seaport
of the country and consists of 15 berths
In 2001, Bahrain had a merchant fleet of eight ships of 1,000 GT
or over, totaling 270,784 GT.
Private vehicles and taxis are the primary means of transportation in the city.
A nationwide metro system
is currently under construction and is due to be operational by 2023.
sector in Bahrain officially started in 1981 with the establishment of Bahrain's first telecommunications company, Batelco
and until 2004, it monopolised
the sector. In 1981, there were more than 45,000 telephones in use in the country. By 1999, Batelco had more than 100,000 mobile contracts.
In 2002, under pressure from international bodies, Bahrain implemented its telecommunications law which included the establishment of an independent Telecommunications Regulatory Authority
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.
Bahrain has been connected to the internet since 1995 with the country's domain suffix
'. The country's connectivity score (a statistic which measures both Internet access and fixed and mobile telephone lines) is 210.4 percent per person, while the regional average in Arab States of the Persian Gulf
is 135.37 percent.
The number of Bahraini internet users
has risen from 40,000 in 2000
to 250,000 in 2008,
or from 5.95 to 33 percent of the population. As of August 2013, the TRA has licensed 22 Internet Service Providers
Science and technology
The Bahraini Economic Vision 2030
published in 2008 does not indicate how the stated goal of shifting from an economy built on oil wealth to a productive, globally competitive economy will be attained. Bahrain has already diversified its exports to some extent, out of necessity. It has the smallest hydrocarbon reserves of any Persian Gulf state, producing 48,000 barrels per day from its one onshore field.
The bulk of the country's revenue comes from its share in the offshore field administered by Saudi Arabia. The gas reserve in Bahrain is expected to last for less than 27 years, leaving the country with few sources of capital to pursue the development of new industries. Investment in research and development remained very low in 2013.
Apart from the Ministry of Education and the Higher Education Council, the two main hives of activity in science, technology, and innovation are the University of Bahrain (established in 1986) and the Bahrain Centre for Strategic, International, and Energy Studies. The latter was founded in 2009 to undertake research with a focus on strategic security and energy issues to encourage new thinking and influence policy-making.
New infrastructure for science and education
Bahrain hopes to build a science culture within the kingdom and to encourage technological innovation, among other goals. In 2013, the Bahrain Science Centre was launched as an interactive educational facility targeting 6- to 18-year-olds. The topics covered by current exhibitions include junior engineering, human health, the five senses, Earth sciences and biodiversity.
In April 2014, Bahrain launched its National Space Science Agency. The agency has been working to ratify international space-related agreements such as the Outer Space Treaty, the Rescue Agreement, the Space Liability Convention, the Registration Convention and the Moon Agreement. The agency plans to establish infrastructure for the observation of both outer space and the Earth.
In November 2008, an agreement was signed to establish a Regional Centre for Information and Communication Technology in Manama under the auspices of UNESCO. The aim is to establish a knowledge hub for the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council. In March 2012, the centre hosted two high-level workshops on ICTs and education. In 2013, Bahrain topped the Arab world for internet penetration (90% of the population), trailed by the United Arab Emirates (86%) and Qatar (85%). Just half of Bahrainis and Qataris (53%) and two-thirds of those in the United Arab Emirates (64%) had access in 2009.
Investment in education and research
In 2012, the government devoted 2.6% of GDP to education, one of the lowest ratios in the Arab world. This ratio was on a par with investment in education in Lebanon and higher only than that in Qatar (2.4% in 2008) and Sudan (2.2% in 2009).
Bahrain invests little in research and development. In 2009 and 2013, this investment reportedly amounted to 0.04% of GDP, although the data were incomplete, covering only the higher education sector. The lack of comprehensive data on research and development poses a challenge for policy-makers, as data inform evidence-based policy-making.
The available data for researchers in 2013 only cover the higher education sector. Here, the number of researchers is equivalent to 50 per million inhabitants, compared to a global average for all employment sectors of 1,083 per million.
The University of Bahrain
had over 20,000 students in 2014, 65% of whom are women, and around 900 faculty members, 40% of whom are women. From 1986 to 2014, university staff published 5 500 papers and books. The university spent about US$11 million per year on research in 2014, which was conducted by a contingent of 172 men and 128 women. Women thus made up 43% of researchers at the University of Bahrain
Bahrain was one of 11 Arab states which counted a majority of female university graduates in science and engineering in 2014. Women accounted for 66% of graduates in natural sciences, 28% of those in engineering and 77% of those in health and welfare. It is harder to judge the contribution of women to research, as the data for 2013 only cover the higher education sector.
Trends in research output
In 2014, Bahraini scientists published 155 articles in internationally cataloged journals, according to Thomson Reuters' Web of Science (Science Citation Index Expanded). This corresponds to 15 articles per million inhabitants, compared to a global average of 176 per million inhabitants in 2013. Scientific output has risen slowly from 93 articles in 2005 and remains modest. By 2014, only Mauritania and Palestine had a smaller output in this database among Arab states.
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).
Bahrainis observing public prayers in Manama
In 2010, Bahrain's population grew to 1.2 million, of which 568,399 were Bahraini and 666,172 were non-nationals.
It had risen from 1.05 million (517,368 non-nationals) in 2007, the year when Bahrain's population crossed the one million mark.
Though a majority of the population is Middle Eastern, a sizeable number of people from South Asia live in the country. In 2008, approximately 290,000 Indian nationals
lived in Bahrain, making them the single largest expatriate community in the country, the majority of which hail from the south Indian state of Kerala
Bahrain is the fourth most densely populated sovereign state in the world
with a population density of 1,646 people per km2
The only sovereign states with larger population densities are city states
. Much of this population is concentrated in the north of the country with the Southern Governorate
being the least densely populated part.
The north of the country is so urbanised that it is considered by some to be one large metropolitan area
Bahraini people are ethnically diverse. Shia Bahrainis are divided into two main ethnic groups: Baharna
. The Shia Bahrainis are Baharna
(Arab), and the Ajam
Shias. Shia Persians form large communities in Manama and Muharraq. A small minority of Shia Bahrainis are ethnic Hasawis from Al-Hasa
Sunni Bahrainis are mainly divided into two main ethnic groups: Arabs (al Arab) and Huwala
. Sunni Arabs, while a minority, are the most influential ethnic group in Bahrain. They hold most government positions and the Bahraini monarchy
are Sunni Arabs. Sunni Arabs have traditionally lived in areas such as Zallaq, Muharraq, Riffa and Hawar islands. The Huwala are descendants of Sunni Iranians; some of them are Sunni Persians,
while others Sunni Arabs.
There are also Sunnis of Baloch
origin. Most African Bahrainis come from East Africa
and have traditionally lived in Muharraq Island and Riffa.
The state religion of Bahrain is Islam and most Bahraini citizens are Muslim. The majority of Bahraini Muslims are Shiites
It is one of three countries in the Middle East
in which Shiites are the majority, the other two being Iraq
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.
Although the majority of the country's citizens are Shia, the royal family and most Bahrani elites are Sunni.
The country's two Muslim communities are united on some issues, but disagree sharply on others.
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
The Muslim population is numbered 866,888 according to the 2010 census.
Christians in Bahrain
make up about 14.5% of the population.
There is a native Christian community in Bahrain
. Non-Muslim Bahraini residents numbered 367,683 per the 2010 census, most of whom are Christians.
Expatriate Christians make up the majority of Christians in Bahrain, while native Christian Bahrainis (who hold Bahraini citizenship) make up a smaller community. Alees Samaan
, a former Bahraini ambassador to the United Kingdom is a native Christian. Bahrain also has a native Jewish community
numbering thirty-seven Bahraini citizens.
Various sources cite Bahrain's native Jewish community as being from 36 to 50 people.
According to Bahraini writer Nancy Khedouri, the Jewish community of Bahrain is one of the youngest in the world, having its origins in the migration of a few families to the island from then-Iraq and then-Iran in the late 1880s.
Due to an influx of immigrants and guest workers
from Asian countries, such as India, the Philippines
and Sri Lanka
, the overall percentage of Muslims in the country has declined in recent years.
According to the 2001 census, 81.2% of Bahrain's population was Muslim, 10% were Christian, and 9.8% practised Hinduism or other religions.
The 2010 census records that the Muslim proportion had fallen to 70.2% (the 2010 census did not differentiate between the non-Muslim religions).
is the official language of Bahrain, though English is widely used. Bahrani Arabic
is the most widely spoken dialect of the Arabic language, though it differs widely from standard Arabic, like all Arabic dialects. Arabic plays an important role in political life, as, according to article 57 (c)
of Bahrain's constitution, an MP must be fluent in Arabic to stand for parliament.
In addition, Balochi
is the second largest and widely spoken language in Bahrain.The Baloch are fluent in Arabic and Balochi. Among the Bahraini and non-Bahraini population, many people speak Persian
, the official language of Iran, or Urdu
, an official language in Pakistan and a regional language in India. Nepali
is also widely spoken in the Nepalese workers and Gurkha Soldiers
are spoken among significant Indian communities.
All commercial institutions and road signs are bilingual
, displaying both English and Arabic.
Education is compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 14.
Education is free for Bahraini citizens in public schools
, with the Bahraini Ministry of Education
providing free textbooks. Coeducation
is not used in public schools, with boys and girls segregated into separate schools.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Qur'anic schools (Kuttab
) were the only form of education in Bahrain.
They were traditional schools aimed at teaching children and youth the reading of the Qur'an
. After World War I
, Bahrain became open to western influences, and a demand for modern educational institutions appeared. 1919 marked the beginning of modern public school system in Bahrain when the Al-Hidaya Al-Khalifia School
for boys opened in Muharraq
In 1926, the Education Committee opened the second public school for boys in Manama
, and in 1928 the first public school for girls was opened in Muharraq.
As of 2011, there are a total of 126,981 students studying in public schools.
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 University of Bahrain
was established for standard undergraduate and graduate study, and the King Abdulaziz University College of Health Sciences
, operating under the direction of the Ministry of Health, trains physicians
. 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
. The Royal University for Women (RUW), established in 2005, was the first private, purpose-built, international university in Bahrain dedicated solely to educating women. The University of London
External has appointed MCG (Management Consultancy Group) as the regional representative office in Bahrain for distance learning programmes.
MCG is one of the oldest private institutes in the country. Institutes have also opened which educate South Asian students, such as the Pakistan Urdu School, Bahrain
and the Indian School, Bahrain
. A few prominent institutions are the American University of Bahrain
established in 2019,
the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance
, the Ernst & Young Training Institute, and the Birla Institute of Technology International Centre
. In 2004, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
(RCSI) set up a constituent medical university
in the country. In addition to the Arabian Gulf University
, AMA International University
and the College of Health Sciences
, these are the only medical schools in Bahrain.
The life expectancy
in Bahrain is 73 for males and 76 for females. Compared to many countries in the region, the prevalence of AIDS
is relatively low. Malaria
(TB) do not constitute major problems in Bahrain as neither disease is indigenous to the country. As a result, cases of malaria and TB have declined in recent decades with cases of contractions amongst Bahraini nationals becoming rare.
The Ministry of Health sponsors regular vaccination campaigns against TB and other diseases such as hepatitis B
Bahrain is currently suffering from an obesity
epidemic as 28.9% of all males and 38.2% of all females are classified as obese.
Bahrain also has one of the highest prevalence of diabetes
in the world (5th place), with more than 15% of the Bahraini population suffering from the disease, and accounting for 5% of deaths in the country. Cardiovascular diseases
account for 32% of all deaths in Bahrain, being the number one cause of death in the country (the second being cancer
). Sickle-cell anaemia
are prevalent in the country, with a study concluding that 18% of Bahrainis are carriers of sickle-cell anaemia while 24% are carriers of thalassaemia.
Islam is the main religion, and Bahrainis are known for their tolerance towards the practice of other faiths.
Intermarriages between Bahrainis and expatriates are not uncommon—there are many Filipino-Bahrainis like Filipino child actress Mona Marbella Al-Alawi
Rules regarding female attire are generally relaxed compared to regional neighbours; the traditional attire of women usually include the hijab
or the abaya
Although the traditional male attire is the thobe
which also includes traditional headdresses such as the keffiyeh
, Western clothing is common in the country.
Literature retains a strong tradition in the country; most traditional writers and poets write in the classical Arabic
style. In recent years, the number of younger poets influenced by western literature
are rising, most writing in free verse
and often including political or personal content. Ali Al Shargawi
, a decorated longtime poet, was described in 2011 by Al Shorfa
as the literary icon of Bahrain.
The music style in Bahrain is similar to that of its neighbours. The Khaliji
style of music, which is folk music
, is popular in the country. The sawt
style of music, which involves a complex form of urban music, performed by an Oud
(plucked lute), a violin
(a drum), is also popular in Bahrain. Ali Bahar
was one of the most famous singers in Bahrain. He performed his music with his Band Al-Ekhwa
). Bahrain was also the site of the first recording studio
amongst the Persian Gulf states.
With regards to cultural and tourism activities, the Ministry of Culture
organizes a number of annual festivals. such as the Spring of Culture in March and April, the Bahrain Summer Festival and Ta’a Al-Shabab from August to September, and the Bahrain International Music Festival in October which features musical and theatrical performances, lectures, and much more.
As for cultural sites, residents, visitors, and tourists can re-live history through Bahrain's many historical sites.
In 2018, Cricket was introduced in Bahrain under initiative of KHK Sports and Exelon.
Bahrain Premier League 2018 comprised six franchise squads of 13 resident cricketers competing in the T20 format. The teams were SRam MRam Falcons, Kalaam Knight-Riders, Intex Lions, Bahrain Super Giants, Four Square Challengers and Awan Warriors.
In 2006, Bahrain also hosted its inaugural Australian V8 Supercar
event dubbed the "Desert 400
". The V8s returned every November to the Sakhir
circuit until 2010, in which it was the second event of the series. The series has not returned since. The Bahrain International Circuit
also features a full-length dragstrip
where the Bahrain Drag Racing Club
has organised invitational events featuring some of Europe's top drag racing teams to try to raise the profile of the sport in the Middle East.
On August 3, 2020, the Kingdom of Bahrain bought a minority stake in the Paris F.C.
, a team that plays in France's second tier. Bahrain's entry into the soccer club came with people criticizing that the country is trying to whitewash its human rights
record and this is another way of buying influence in Europe.
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. Notable holidays in the country are listed below:
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- This article incorporates text from a free content work. Licensed under CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0. Text taken from UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030, ??, UNESCO, UNESCO Publishing.
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