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Area Codes in Bahrain

+973

The Kingdom of Bahrain, located on a number of islands in the Persian Gulf, like its neighbors, bases its economy on oil and gas extraction. The power rests with the Khalifa Sunni Muslim family, despite the fact that a majority of the residents are Shiites. Many of them feel discriminated against, and the regime has periodically resorted to harsh methods to keep the Shiite-dominated opposition in check. In the spring of 2011, the royal family managed to quell regime-critical protests only after troops from neighboring countries within the cooperative organization GCC came to the rescue.
  • Abbreviationfinder: Brief profiles of Bahrain, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.

Geography and climate

Bahrain ("two seas" in Arabic) consists of about thirty islands in the Persian Gulf, between the coast of Saudi Arabia and the peninsula of Qatar. Only six of the islands are inhabited.

The main island of Bahrain, which occupies more than four fifths of the country's surface, is 5 km long and at its widest 2.5 km. It consists mostly of barren desert with salt marsh at the far south. Along the northern coast there is cultivable land. There is a great lack of surface water and the fresh water that is below the ground is often mixed with salt water.

Bahrain is flat - the highest point reaches just 135 meters above sea level. A bridge connects Bahrain with Saudi Arabia.

Bahrain's climate is hot and humidity is high. In summer, it is often 40 degrees or more in the shade.

Geography and climate of Bahrain

The most common wind, shamal (nordan), is humid and blows from the northwest during the summer. A hot, dry southwest wind known as qaws occurs especially in the spring and draws in sand over mainly the southern part of Bahrain.

In winter, when the extremely low rainfall falls, the daytime temperature stays between 20 and 25 degrees.

Surface

693 km2 (2018)

Time

Swedish +2 hours

Adjacent country (s)

Saudi Arabia

Capital with number of inhabitants

Manama 398,000 (2014 estimate)

Other major cities

Al-Muharraq

Highest mountain

Jabal al-Dukhan (135 m asl)

2012

November

Tweet leads to jail

A person is sentenced to six months in prison for insulting the king via Twitter. The convicted was arrested along with three others in October.

October

Protests and crowds are banned

The government bans all protests and public gatherings. Earlier this month, a police officer was killed and one seriously injured by an explosion charge in connection with demonstrations against the government in the city of al-Akr a few miles south of Manama.

August

Human rights activist is sentenced to prison

A well-known human rights activist, Nabil Rajab, is sentenced to three years in prison for participating in "illegal meetings". Rajab was one of the organizers of the protests in 2011. The sentence is reduced a few months later to two years.

May

Regime critics end hunger strike

The regime critic Abdulhadi al-Khawaja (see June 2011) ends a hunger strike that lasts for a couple of months, partly because he is forcibly fed in prison and partly because he thinks he has achieved his goal: to draw the world's attention to the protest movement in Bahrain.

April

Protest against Formula One competition

Protests are being held in Manama ahead of the country hosting the Formula 1 Grand Prix competitions. The protesters, including many foreign activists, demand that the competitions be canceled because of Bahrain's human rights violations. The competition is held as planned, under heavy police surveillance and without any major disturbances.

February

The demonstrations continue

In mid-February, protesters gathered in the city for the anniversary of the riot at Pärltorget. They are met by tear gas from security forces.

 

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