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Country of Bahrain Flag

Capital: Manama

Population: 1,641,172

Brief History of Bahrain:

Bahrain is home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world. As far back as 3000 BC the Dilmun civilization was a trade center between the Indus Valley (India) and Ancient Mesopotamia for almost 1000 years. The former capital of the Dilmun, Qal'at al-Bahrain, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.

Later Bahrain was taken over by the Assyrians and then the Persian Empire. Next came Alexander the Great and the Greeks who renamed the island Tylos. The island was ruled over the next several hundreds of years by various Arab and Mediterranean countries and rulers.

In 1783 the Al Khalifa family, from the Bani Utbah tribe, captured Bahrain from Persia. They have ruled the island ever since. In the 1830s Bahrain became a British Protectorate. This meant they had British protection, but where also considered a British ally. This was mainly done to protect Bahrain from Ottoman Turkey.

In 1968, the British government decided to end its treaties in the Persian Gulf. In 1971 Bahrain became a fully independent country.

Country of Bahrain Map

The Geography of Bahrain

Total Size: 665 square km

Size Comparison: 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Geographical Coordinates: 26 00 N, 50 33 E

World Region or Continent: Middle East

General Terrain: mostly low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment

Geographical Low Point: Persian Gulf 0 m

Geographical High Point: Jabal ad Dukhan 122 m

Climate: arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers

Major cities: MANAMA (capital) 163,000 (2009)

The People of Bahrain

Type of Government: constitutional hereditary monarchy

Languages Spoken: Arabic, English, Farsi, Urdu

Independence: 15 August 1971 (from UK)

National Holiday: National Day, 16 December (1971); note - 15 August 1971 is the date of independence from the UK, 16 December 1971 is the date of independence from British protection

Nationality: Bahraini(s)

Religions: Muslim (Shi'a and Sunni) 81.2%, Christian 9%, other 9.8% (2001 census)

National Symbol:

National Anthem or Song: Bahrainona (Our Bahrain)

Economy of Bahrain

Major Industries: petroleum processing and refining, aluminum smelting, iron pelletization, fertilizers, offshore banking, ship repairing, tourism

Agricultural Products: fruit, vegetables; poultry, dairy products; shrimp, fish

Natural Resources: oil, associated and nonassociated natural gas, fish, pearls

Major Exports: petroleum and petroleum products, aluminum, textiles

Major Imports: crude oil, machinery, chemicals

Currency: Bahraini dinar (BHD)

National GDP: $31,300,000,000

** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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