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Bahrain by Carol Ann Gillespie, Manufactured by Chelsea House

By Carol Ann Gillespie, Manufactured by Chelsea House

Discusses the geography, historical past, humans, tradition, economic climate, and way forward for Bahrain.

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Additional info for Bahrain

Example text

Some of them have moved to towns and become prominent merchants. The Al Urayidh family is one such family. Some of its members are prominent in the government today. When the Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) started operations in the 1930s, many Baharinah became oil-field workers and migrated to the main towns. The introduction of widespread educational facilities also provided the Baharinah with the means to acquire new skills and move away from their traditional occupations. Despite their rural to urban migration over the years, one of their most important cultural and political activities has remained their congregation in the ma’tam, a funeral house where the Ashura (the commemoration of the Imam Husain’s martyrdom) is observed.

Many of the region’s leaders were voicing a desire for the loosening of European control throughout the Arab world. In Bahrain the social clubs and the press continued to be the places where citizens could express their discontent and demands for greater participation. In 1956, the year of the Suez war, open defiance of the government broke out in Bahrain. British forces suppressed all opposition and imposed a state of emergency that lasted for the next 10 years, forbidding all political activity.

Departments were set up, and councils of ministers were appointed. Secretaries were employed, and salary scales were drawn up. These additional layers of government helped to further separate rulers from their people. Direct access to the ruler became much more difficult. Previously, citizens could approach the ruler about any problem, no matter how personal. Now requests and petitions had to be channeled through an ever-larger bureaucracy. The close tie between a ruler and his people was broken.

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