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Bahrain

Omani ruler Sayyid Sultan's son).

The Al Khalifa tribe succeeded in rising to power in 1820, and began a treaty relationship with British interference. Political and social uprisings ensued, as strikes and riots continued through the 1960s.

Bahrain declared their independence on August 15, 1971, and joined the United Nations that same year.

However, it wasn't exactly smooth sailing for the country, as a failed coup attempt materialized in 1981 (following the Islamic revolution in King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa became head of state in 1999, releasing all political prisoners and granting women the right to vote.

Demonstrators took to the streets of Manama, Bahrain on February 14, 2011, calling for more political freedom and an end to discrimination.

Almost daily clashes between protesters and security forces are ongoing. As of March 2014 more than 80 civilians and 13 policemen have been killed.

Most of the modern population is concentrated around Manama, the capital city, and much of that population (about 30%) are non-Bahraini immigrants.

This land (especially Bahrain Island) is primarily barren desert, with a limestone surface. Petroleum processing and refining, as well as international banking are the major industries.

Repressive heat and humidity are commonplace here, especially in summer, and most tourists arrive in the somewhat cooler months, November - February.

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This page was last updated on July 12, 2016.