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World > Middle East > Bahrain

   flag of Bahrain
   Bahrain

Introduction:
In 1782, the Al Khalifa family captured Bahrain from the Persians. In order to secure these holdings, it entered into a series of treaties with the UK during the 19th century that made Bahrain a British protectorate. The archipelago attained its independence in 1971. Bahrain's small size and central location among Persian Gulf countries require it to play a delicate balancing act in foreign affairs among its larger neighbors. Facing declining oil reserves, Bahrain has turned to petroleum processing and refining and has transformed itself into an international banking center. King HAMAD bin Isa Al Khalifa, after coming to power in 1999, pushed economic and political reforms to improve relations with the Shi'a community and Shi'a political societies participated in 2006 parliamentary and municipal elections. Al Wifaq, the largest Shi'a political society, won the largest number of seats in the elected chamber of the legislature. However, Shi'a discontent has resurfaced in recent years with street demonstrations and occasional low-level violence.


Official name: Kingdom of Bahrain
Capital: name: Manama
geographic coordinates: 26 14 N, 50 34 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Government type: constitutional monarchy
Population: 708,573
note: includes 235,108 non-nationals (July 2007 est.)
Languages: Arabic, English, Farsi, Urdu
Official Currency: Bahraini Dinar (BHD)
Currency code: BHD
Area: total: 665 sq km
land: 665 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Climate: arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers


Map of Bahrain
map of Bahrain


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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