Early life and education
The Leys School, Cambridge
Hamad was designated as heir apparent
by his father on 27 June 1964. In 1968, he was appointed as the chairman of the irrigation council and Manama municipal council. He was commissioned into the Bahrain National Guard
on 16 February 1968 and appointed as its commander the same year, remaining in that post until 1969 when he was appointed as the commander-in-chief of the Bahrain Defence Force
. In 1970, Hamad became the head of the Bahraini department of defence and the vice-chairman of the administrative council, remaining in both offices until 1971. From 1971 to 1988 he was the minister of state for defence.
In October 1977, Sheikh Hamad started learning to fly helicopters, successfully completing the training in January 1978. He then worked to establish the Bahrain Amiri Air Force
which came into being in 1987 when the defence force air wing was reconstituted as an air force
After Hamad took power in 1999, he focused on attaining stability in a nation riddled with profound tensions after the 1990s uprising
. The King succeeded in improving the living standards and in making Bahrain a financial hub. During the period 2003–2010 the Shi'ite
community accused his government of corruption
in housing and jobs, recruiting foreigners to the military services and bringing Sunni tribes from Asia to change the demographic composition
of the nation.
Although King Hamad's reign has seen the admittance of Shi'ites into positions in the government, there have still been calls for a more equitable distribution of positions and jobs. The Al Khalifa family
lead a large number of ministerial and governmental posts including the Ministry of the Interior,
Ministry of Justice,
the Ministry of Finance,
the Ministry of Culture,
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
the Bahrain Economic Development Board
and the Supreme Council for Women.
The vast majority of significant positions in the Bahrain Defence Force
are held by Sunnis
Bahraini uprising of 2011
King Hamad meets with President Donald Trump
on 21 May 2017.
On 14 February 2011, the tenth anniversary of a referendum in favour of the National Action Charter
, and ninth anniversary of the writing of the Constitution of 2002
, Bahrain was rocked by protests inspired by the Arab Spring
and co-ordinated by a Facebook
page named "Day of Rage in Bahrain", a page that was liked
by tens of thousands just one week after its creation. The Bahrain government responded with what has been described as a "brutal" crackdown
on the protests, including violations of human rights
that caused anger. Later on, demonstrators demanded that Hamad step down.
As a result of this "massive" crackdown, Foreign Policy Magazine
classified him as ranking 3rd out of 8 of "America's Unsavory Allies" calling him "one of the bad guys the U.S. still supports".
On 11 February 2011, King Hamad ordered that 1,000 Bahraini Dinars
(approximately US$2,667) be given to "each family" to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the National Action Charter referendum. Agence France-Presse linked the BD1,000 payments to 14 February 2011 demonstration plans.
On 15 February 2011, Hamad apologized for the deaths of two demonstrators in a rare TV speech and urged an investigation into the incident.
Two days later, four protesters were killed and hundreds wounded when protesters were attacked in Pearl Roundabout
at 03:00 am local time. The Pearl Roundabout was evacuated and encircled by the Bahraini army. Two days later, Prince Salman, Hamad's son, ordered the withdrawal of army troops from there after the death of another protester caused by live ammunition next to Pearl roundabout.
During the peak of the Bahraini uprising
in mid March 2011, Hamad declared a State of National Safety for three months just after Salman summoned Peninsula Shield Force
troops to enter Bahrain. Saudi Arabia
deployed about 1,000 troops with armoured support, and the United Arab Emirates
deployed about 500 troops. Opposition parties reacted strongly, calling it an "occupation". Hamad, however, claimed that he deployed the troops to "protect infrastructure and to secure key installations". After this step, the country's economy suffered losses estimated at billions
. The security situation deteriorated in areas where people were demonstrating against him. While dozens of deaths were announced, including five who died in custody as a result of torture.
In June 2011, Hamad commissioned the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry
, headed by respected human rights lawyer M. Cherif Bassiouni
, to look into the events surrounding the unrest. The establishment of the BICI was praised by Barack Obama
and the international community
as a step towards establishing responsibility and accountability for the events of the 2011–2012 Bahraini uprising. The BICI reported its findings in November 2011 and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
"commend[ed] King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa's initiative in commissioning it".
In August 2012, Amnesty International
stated that "the government's response has only scratched the surface of these issues. Reforms have been piecemeal, perhaps aiming to appease Bahrain's international partners, and have failed to provide real accountability and justice for the victims".
In August 2020, King Hamad explained to visiting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
that Bahrain is committed to the creation of a Palestinian state
, implicitly rejecting the normalization of ties with Israel
However, on 11 September 2020, it was announced that Bahrain and Israel had agreed
to establish full diplomatic relations.
On 15 September 2020, Bahrain officially opened state to state relations with Israel, signing diplomatic agreements at a public ceremony at the White House
in Washington, D.C.
Good relations with the British court
King Hamad has good contacts with the British royal family
. The king was invited by the British court to the wedding of Prince William
, but declined amidst protests by human rights activists, who had pledged to disrupt his stay in Britain because of his violent response to demonstrators.
Hamad has four wives and has had in total twelve children: seven sons and five daughters:
He married his first wife (also his first cousin), Sabika bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa
, at Rifa'a on 9 October 1968. She is Bahraini and together they have three sons and one daughter:
His second wife, Sheia bint Hassan Al Khrayyesh Al Ajmi is from Kuwait. Together they have two sons:
His third wife, a daughter of Sheikh Faisal bin Muhammad bin Shuraim Al Marri, with whom he has one son and two daughters
- Sheikh Faisal bin Hamad Al Khalifa (12 February 1991 – 12 January 2006), died in a car accident.
- Sheikha Noura bint Hamad Al Khalifa (born 6 November 1993)
- Sheikha Munira bint Hamad Al Khalifa (born 15 July 1990)
His fourth wife, a daughter of Jabor Al Naimi, with whom he has one son and two daughters:
- Sheikh Sultan bin Hamad Al Khalifa
- Sheikha Hessa bint Hamad Al Khalifa
- Sheikha Rima bint Hamad Al Khalifa (born 2002)
Honours and awards
The King of Bahrain
King Hamad has received numerous honours, for example:
- Grand Cordon of the Order of the Star of Jordan (1 February 1967)
- Order of the Two Rivers, 1st class (Iraq, 22 February 1969)
- Order of Muhammad (Morocco, 16 October 1970)
- Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Renaissance (Jordan, 1 September 1972)
- Collar of the Order of the Republic of Egypt (24 January 1973)
- Collar of the Order of the Crown (Iran, 28 April 1973)
- Collar of the Order of Abdulaziz al Saud (Saudi Arabia, 4 April 1976)
- Star of the Republic of Indonesia, 1st class (8 October 1977)
- Order of Merit the Republic of Mauritania, 1st class (1 April 1978)
- Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (UK, 15 February 1979)
- Order of the Grand Conqueror of Libya, 1st class (1 September 1979)
- Honorary Recipient of the Order of the Crown of the Realm (2000)
- Grand Collar of the State of Palestine (10 April 2017)
- Order of Zayed of the UAE (2 February 2005)
- Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (2006)
- Order of the Republic of the Yemen, 1st class (25 March 2010)
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Dannebrog (4 February 2011)
- Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit of France
- Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic of Spain (4 December 1981)
- Recipient of the Royal Family Order of the Crown of Brunei (DKMB, 3 May 2017)
- Grand Cordon of the Order of the Republic of Tunisia (27 January 2016)
- First Class of the Royal Family Order of Johor (DK I, 26 November 2017)
- Collar of the Order of the Nile (Egypt, 26 April 2016)
Ancestors of Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
9. a daughter of Salman bin Duaij Al Khalifa
10. Hamad bin Abdullah Al Khalifa
5. Mouza bint Hamad Al Khalifa
1. Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
12. Ibrahim bin Khalid Al Khalifa
6. Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa
13. Haya bint Salman Al Khalifa
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- ^ "Bahrain mourns death of king's mother". Gulf News. 7 August 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
- ^ a b "HM the King". Kingdom of Bahrain Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Government of Bahrain. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- ^ "H.M. KING HAMAD BIN ISA AL KHALIFA". Melange Magazine. 1 November 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
- ^ "Bahrain: Promising human rights reform must continue". Amnesty International. 13 March 2001. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
- ^ a b "Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry" (PDF). Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
- ^ "Ministry of Interior". Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- ^ "MoJ Ministers and Undersecretaries' Names". Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- ^ "MoF Welcome Message". Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- ^ "MoC Organisation Chart". Archived from the original on 29 March 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- ^ "MoFA Organizational Structure". Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- ^ "BEDB Directors". Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- ^ "Supreme Council for Women". Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- ^ "International Religious Freedom Report for 2011" (PDF). U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- ^ Law, Bill (6 April 2011) "Police Brutality Turns Bahrain Into 'Island of Fear' Crossing Continents (via BBC News) Retrieved 15 April 2011
- ^ Press release (30 March 2011) "USA Emphatic Support to Saudi Arabia" Zayd Alisa (via Scoop) Retrieved 15 April 2011
- ^ Cockburn, Patrick (18 March 2011) "The Footage That Reveals the Brutal Truth About Bahrain's Crackdown – Seven Protest Leaders Arrested as Video Clip Highlights Regime's Ruthless Grip on Power" The Independent Retrieved 15 April 2011
- ^ "Bahrain Mourners Call for End to Monarchy – Mood of Defiance Against Entire Ruling System After Brutal Attack on Pearl Roundabout Protest Camp That Left at Least Five Dead". The Guardian. London. 18 February 2011. Archived from the original on 18 February 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
- ^ Uri Friedman (28 October 2011). "America's Unsavory Allies". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 28 November 2011.
- ^ "Bahrains king gifts 3000 every family". France 24. 11 February 2011. Archived from the original on 15 February 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2011.
- ^ Andrew Malcolm (2 July 2011). "Jay Carney says vacationing Obama welcomes new democratic dialogue in Bahrain". Los Angeles Times.
- ^ "Bahrain – Alistair Burt welcomes independent commission". Foreign & Commonwealth Office. 30 June 2001.
- ^ Hillary Rodham Clinton (23 November 2011). "Release of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) Report". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 24 November 2011.
- ^ "Urgent action: Bahraini activist sentenced to three years" Amnesty International 21 August 2012 Retrieved 22 August 2012
- ^ "Bahrain rejects U.S. push to normalise relations with Israel". Al Jazeera. 26 August 2020. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
- ^ "Bahrain establishing full diplomatic relations with Israel, Trump announces". Times of Israel. 11 September 2020.
- ^ "Israel, Bahrain And UAE Sign Deals Formalizing Ties At White House". npr.org. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
- ^ "Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Muslim leaders invited to royal wedding". The Times of India. 26 April 2011.
- ^ "Bahagian Istiadat dan Urusetia Persidangan Antarabangsa". istiadat.gov.my.
- ^ HM King receives Palestinian President
- ^ "Photo". Archived from the original on 2 December 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
- ^ "Otras disposiciones" (PDF). Boletín Oficial del Estado. 4 December 1981. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
- ^ "Borneo Bulletin Online: Sultan of Brunei confers highest state decoration to King of Bahrain".
- ^ علي رجب (27 January 2016). "بالصور.. العاهل البحريني يمنح الرئيس التونسي وسام الشيخ عيسى". بوابة فيتو (in Arabic). Retrieved 25 July 2019.
- ^ "Mutual Visits". sis.gov.eg. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
- The New Amir of Bahrain: Marching Sideways, Abdulhadi Khalaf, Civil Society, Volume 9, Issue 100, April 2000
- "The King's Dilemma: Obstacles to Political Reforms in Bahrain" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 September 2007. (227 KB), Abdulhadi Khalaf, Fourth Mediterranean Social and Political Research Meeting, European University Institute, March 2003
- Generational change and elite-driven reforms in the Kingdom of Bahrain. (Sir William Luce Fellowship Paper No. 7) Dr. Steven Wright (2006) Institute for Middle East and Islamic Studies, University of Durham
- Bahrain: The Royals rule, Le Monde Diplomatique, March 2005
- An Arab exception: Reform in Bahrain The Economist, 29 July 2004 (requires subscription)
Last edited on 29 March 2021, at 18:45
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