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The Bahrain Portal

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Bahrain (/bɑːˈrn/ (listen) bar-AYN; Arabic: البحرين, romanizedal-Bahrayn, locally [æl baħˈreːn] (listen)), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain, is an island country in Western Asia. It is situated on the Persian Gulf, and comprises a small archipelago made up of 50 natural islands and an additional 33 artificial islands, centered on Bahrain Island which makes up around 83 percent of the country's landmass. Bahrain is situated between Qatar and the northeastern coast of Saudi Arabia, to which it is connected by the King Fahd Causeway. According to the 2020 census, the country's population numbers 1,501,635, of which 712,362 are Bahraini nationals. Bahrain spans some 760 square kilometres (290 sq mi), and is the third-smallest nation in Asia after the Maldives and Singapore. The capital and largest city is Manama.

Bahrain is the site of the ancient Dilmun civilization. It has been famed since antiquity for its pearl fisheries, which were considered the best in the world into the 19th century. Bahrain was one of the earliest areas to be influenced by Islam, during the lifetime of Muhammad in 628 CE. Following a period of Arab rule, Bahrain was ruled by the Portuguese Empire from 1521 until 1602, when they were expelled by Shah Abbas I of the Safavid dynasty. In 1783, the Bani Utbah clan captured Bahrain from Nasr Al-Madhkur and it has since been ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family, with Ahmed al Fateh as Bahrain's first hakim.

In the late 1800s, following successive treaties with the British, Bahrain became a protectorate of the United Kingdom. In 1971, it declared independence. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared an Islamic constitutional monarchy in 2002. In 2011, the country experienced protests inspired by the regional Arab Spring. Bahrain's ruling Sunni Muslim Al Khalifa royal family has been criticised for violating the human rights of groups including dissidents, political opposition figures, and its majority Shia Muslim population.

Bahrain developed the first post-oil economy in the Persian Gulf, the result of decades of investing in the banking and tourism sectors; many of the world's largest financial institutions have a presence in the country's capital. It consequently ranks 42nd in the Human Development Index and is recognised by the World Bank as a high-income economy. Bahrain is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Gulf Cooperation Council. (Full article...)

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Consultative Council (Bahrain) diagram.svg

The National Assembly (Arabic: المجلس الوطني البحريني) is the name of both chambers of the Bahraini parliament when sitting in joint session, as laid out in the Constitution of 2002.

It has 80 seats formed from the 40 elected members of the Council of Representatives (the lower house) and the 40 royally-appointed members of the Consultative Council (the upper house). (Full article...)

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A photograph of a wind tower in Bahrain. Originally Persian, they are a traditional element in Bahraini architecture.

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Riot police firing tear gas from above a flyover while others are moving from below it towards Pearl Roundabout

Bloody Thursday (Arabic: خميس البحرين الدامي) is the name given by Bahraini protesters to 17 February 2011, the fourth day of the Bahraini uprising as part of the Arab Spring. Bahraini security forces launched a pre-dawn raid to clear Pearl Roundabout in Manama of the protesters camped there, most of whom were at the time asleep in tents; four were killed and about 300 injured. The event led some to demand even more political reform than they had been before, calling for an end to the reign of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

The clearance was described by witnesses as being brutal and sudden. Clouds of tear gas covered the area, and volleys of birdshot were fired on those who refused to withdraw. Medics, ambulances and a journalist were reportedly attacked as well. Sporadic clashes broke out around Bahrain hours after the raid. During the afternoon the National Guard and army deployed armoured vehicles, tanks, more than 50 armoured personnel carriers and set up checkpoints in the streets around the country. Protesters then took refuge at Salmaniya Medical Complex and continued their agitations; thousands of them chanted "Down with the king, down with the government." (Full article...)

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The following are images from various Bahrain-related articles on Wikipedia.

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  • ... that infectious diseases specialist Jameela Al Salman has supported the development of medical robots and called their use in Bahrain a "pioneering experiment"?
  • ... that Bahraini businesswoman Yara Salman founded a beauty salon, a medical center, an entertainment complex, and a restaurant in the past decade?




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