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  JEWS OF BAHRAIN      יהודי בחריין    
 
 
  BAHRAIN  
  BAHRAIN'S BACKGROUND:
 
In 1783, the al-Khalifa family captured Bahrain from the Persians. In order to secure these holdings, it entered into a series of treaties with the UK during the 19th century that made Bahrain a British protectorate. The archipelago attained its independence in 1971. Bahrain's small size and central location among Persian Gulf countries require it to play a delicate balancing act in foreign affairs among its larger neighbors. Facing declining oil reserves, Bahrain has turned to petroleum processing and refining and has transformed itself into an international banking center. King HAMAD bin Isa al-Khalifa, after coming to power in 1999, pushed economic and political reforms to improve relations with the Shia community. Shia political societies participated in 2010 parliamentary and municipal elections. Al Wifaq, the largest Shia political society, won the largest number of seats in the elected chamber of the legislature. However, Shia discontent has resurfaced in recent years with street demonstrations and occasional low-level violence.

Location: Middle East, archipelago in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia

Geographic Coordinates: 26 00 N, 50 33 E

Map References: The Middle East

Area total: 741 sq km
country comparison to the world: 190
land: 741 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area comparative: 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 161 km

Maritimes claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: extending to boundaries to be determined

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

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

Elevation Extremes:

lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Jabal ad Dukhan 122 m

Natural resources:

oil, associated and nonassociated natural gas, fish, pearls

Land use:

arable land: 2.82%
permanent crops: 5.63%
other: 91.55% (2005)

Irrigated land: 40 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources: 0.1 cu km (1997)

Free water withdrawal:

total: 0.3 cu km/yr (40%/3%/57%)
per capita: 411 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural Hazards: periodic droughts; dust storms

Environment - current issues:  desertification resulting from the degradation of limited arable land, periods of drought, and dust storms; coastal degradation (damage to coastlines, coral reefs, and sea vegetation) resulting from oil spills and other discharges from large tankers, oil refineries, and distribution stations; lack of freshwater resources (groundwater and seawater are the only sources for all water needs)

Environment - International agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography note: close to primary Middle Eastern petroleum sources; strategic location in Persian Gulf, through which much of the Western world's petroleum must transit to reach open ocean

Source for the information above and More info on Bahrain: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ba.html

 

 
 

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