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Sunday, 29 January 2012

Bahrain

Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 islands, the largest being Bahrain Island in the Persian Gulf, between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Bahrain has a total area of 665 km2 (257 sq mi), which is slightly larger than the Isle of Man, though it is smaller than the nearby King Fahd International Airport near Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

In Arabic, bahrayn is the dual form of bahr ("sea"), so al-Bahrayn means "the Two Seas". However, which two seas were originally intended remains in dispute. It is unclear when the term began to refer exclusively to the Awal islands, but it was probably after the 15th century.

In 1820, Bahrain signed a general maritime treaty with the British Empire. Following successive treaties with the British, Bahrain became a protectorate of the United Kingdom in the late 1880s.

 In 1971, Bahrain declared independence. The United Kingdom recognized Bahrain's independence on December 16, 1971. This is commemorated annually as Bahrain's National Day.

The earliest known flags of Bahrain were plain red.  After signing general maritime treaty with the British Empire, a white stripe was added to the flag to signify the treaty and to distinguish it from the flags commonly used by pirates. In 1932, a serrated edge was added to the flag in order to differentiate it from those of its neighbors.


The flag originally had twenty-eight white points, but this was reduced to five on February 14, 2002, so that each of the points could stand for one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

The planned Qatar Bahrain Causeway will link Bahrain and Qatar and become the world's longest marine causeway.

92% of Bahrain is desert with periodic droughts and dust storms the main natural hazards for Bahrainis.

Bahrain's is the most prolific book publisher in the Arab world, with 132 books published in 2005 for a population of 700,000. In comparison, the 2005 average for the entire Arab world was seven books published per one million people.

Bahrain has a Formula One race-track, which hosted the inaugural Gulf Air Grand Prix on April 4, 2004, the first in an Arab country.

The first lap of the 2008 Bahrain Grand Prix. Emily Faulk from Saudi Arabia. Wikipedia Commons

On September 1, 2006, Bahrain changed its weekend from being Thursdays and Fridays to Fridays and Saturdays, in order to have a day of the weekend shared with the rest of the world.

The Bahrain World Trade Center, a 240-metre-high (787 ft) 50-floor, twin tower complex located in Manama, Bahrain, was completed on April 8, 2008. It was the world's first building to integrate wind turbines.
The three wind turbines at the centre of the two skyscrapers. By Conor McCabe - Wikipedia Commons

Bahrain won its first ever Olympic medal in London in 2012. Four years later, it followed it up with their first gold medal in Rio when Ruth Jebet won the 3,000-metres steeplechase.

The population in 2010 stood at 1,234,596, including 666,172 non-nationals.

Source Wikipedia

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