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The Bahrain Portal

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Bahrain (/bɑːˈrn/ (About this soundlisten) bar-AYN; Arabic: البحرين‎, romanizedal-Baḥrayn, IPA: [al baħˈrajn], locally [æl baħˈreːn] (About this soundlisten)), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain (Arabic: مملكة البحرينMamlakat al-Baḥrayn), is a country in the Persian Gulf. The island nation comprises a small archipelago made up of 51 natural islands and an additional 33 artificial islands, centered around Bahrain Island which make 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 2010 census, Bahrain's 2020 population is estimated at 1,701,575 people mid-year according to UN data. Half of people counted are non-nationals willing to report their status. At 780 square kilometres (300 sq mi) in size, it 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 convert to Islam, during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad in 628 CE. 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 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 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 subsequently has a high 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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A'ala Hubail (Arabic: علاء حبيل‎; born 25 June 1982) is a retired Bahraini footballer who played as a striker for Bahrain and Al-Ahli. In 2004, he was the top scoring player (five goals, tied with Ali Karimi) in the 2004 AFC Asian Cup. He was the 8th best player in that tournament. (Full article...)

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The Tree of Life in Bahrain is a 9.75 meters (32 feet) high Prosopis cineraria tree that is over 400 years old. It is on a hill in a barren area of the Arabian Desert, 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from Jebel Dukhan, the highest point in Bahrain, and 40 kilometers from Manama, the nearest city.[1]

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Al Khawalid (Arabic: الخوالدthe Khawālid; literally "the Khālids"), also spelled Al Khawaled, is a branch of the House of Khalifa, the ruling family of Bahrain. Al Khawalid is most often used to refer collectively to descendants of Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, which they are named after. The term also refers to brothers Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, the Royal Court Minister and Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa the Commander in Chief of the Bahrain Defence Force. For the purpose of this article, immediate descendants of Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa will be referred to as "the Khalids", the aforementioned two brothers will be referred to as "the Khawalid brothers" and the family branch collectively as "Al Khawalid".

The history of Al Khawalid dates to the 1920s, when the Khalids opposed the British-led administrative reforms and launched a military crackdown on the Shia who supported the reforms. The perpetrators were later put before a court that sentenced them to exile. They gradually returned to Bahrain, where they were kept outside government despite developing personal relations with those in power. They regained some influence since the late 1960s, but remained outside the inner decision-making circle. During this period, senior members of the Khalids were critical of the ruling family, opposed political reforms and held a grudge against the British. (Full article...)

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  1. ^ "Tree of Life". Lonely Planet.


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