The Kingdom of Bahrain is an archipelago consisting of 33 islands, five of which are inhabited. The largest of these islands are Bahrain, Muharraq, Umm an Nasan and Sitra. Bahrain is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with a total landmass of 760 square kilometres.
Bahrain declared independence on 15 August 1971, following the withdrawal of the British troops stationed on the island. HH Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al-Khalifa acceded to the position of Emir of the State of Bahrain, a position he held until his death in 1999. Since the independence the Government of Bahrain (GoB) is building the new modern Bahrain focusing on infrastructure, Education and Economy for the welfare of the Bahraini citizens.
On 2002 HH Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa became the King after the enacted constitution of 2002; Bahrain witnessed new era of regional leading political reforms in parallel with economic reforms 10 years prior to the Arab Spring waves began in Tunisia then transferred to Egypt, Libya, Syria and Yemen.
“Historically, religiously driven or sect-based movements were not the sole forms of political activity in Bahrain.91 Indeed, for most of the 20th century, political opposition derived from secular and nationalist forces that crossed religious, sectarian and ethnic lines, and opposition leadership originated in both Sunni and Shia families”
“Further factor in the internal politics of Bahrain was the Iranian revolution of 1979. The revolution inspired politically-active Islamic movements which sought to emulate it in a number of countries. the Islamic revolution in Iran contributed to a perceptible shift on the Bahraini political scene. The leftist, secular and nationalist groups that had spearheaded the opposition to the British presence and then led the calls for constitutional and political reform were overtaken by Islamist movements as the leading opposition force in Bahrain. Increasingly, religious clerics, particularly Shia scholars, became politically active and started employing religious discourse and, in some cases, utilising places of worship to mobilise public support for demands of social justice and political reforms”
The first major manifestation of civil unrest in Bahrain following the Iranian revolution occurred on 16 December 1981 when the Islamic Front for the Liberation of Bahrain, which was established in 1979 by the Shia cleric Abdulhadi Almadrasy, attempted to overthrow the regime by force. The GoB continues to assert that Iran supported this failed coup d‟état financially and politically.
The political achievements began with the new constitution of 2002 and the National Action Charter that was put to a popular referendum on 14 and 15 February 2001 in which 192,262 of the 217,000 Bahraini citizens who were eligible to vote took part. The result was the overwhelming approval of the NAC with 98.4% voting in favour to be the new social contract between the ruling family Al-Khalifa and the citizens of Bahrain.
Some excerpts, which are provided in the National Action Charter:
“Government goals are to protect the country, to maintain national unity and to achieve comprehensive, sustainable are protected. Development in political, socioeconomic, cultural and other fields”
“The state ensures freedom of belief. Freedom of conscience shall be absolute. The state maintains inviolability of houses of worship and guarantees freedom to practice religious rites according to considered custom of the land”
“Every citizen shall have the right to express himself orally, in writing or in any other way of expression of personal opinion or creativity. Under this law, freedom of scientific research, publishing, press and printing are ensured within the scope specified by law”
These reforms followed by pardon for about 11 thousands were exiled after the unrest in the med of 1990s due to connections with the Iranian republic and Hezbollah in Lebanon believers of Wilayat Al-Faqih or the supreme leader.
“By all accounts, the ascension to power of the current monarch, HM King Hamad, ushered in an era of hope, with optimism that the political, economic and social sources of discontent among Bahrainis would be addressed. This optimism was founded on the numerous steps that the country‘s new ruler undertook to ameliorate many of the grievances that had caused civil unrest in Bahrain during the previous decade.118 The reforms introduced by the monarch put Bahrain, according to a leading international think tank, at the cutting edge of regional liberalization”
Free parliament elections were held on 2002, 2006 and 2010. The ex-exiled opposition in Bahrain “Alwefaq” which is Hezbollah in Bahrain “HiB” boycotted the elections of 2002 and then participated in 2006 elections and won 17 seats out of a total of 40 seats. While in 2010 HB won 18 seats!
During the failed coup attempt by the “ex-exiled”! On 14 February 2011 the members of HiB resigned to embrace the government and put more pressures on the GOB and the King along with severe media campaign and refused the Crown Prince dialogue for a month. Ignoring the fact that HB is not living alone in this country and can’t impose its foreign agenda on more than 70% of population in Bahrain!
“According to the 2010 census, the total number of persons residing in Bahrain is 1,234,571. Of these, 568,399 are Bahraini citizens (46%) and 666,172 are expatriates (54%). Of the total population of Bahrain, 70% are Muslim, while the remaining 30% are Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish or followers of other faiths”
Parts from HiB conditions for dialogue were as follows:
1. Dismissal of the government and the formation of a government elected by the people
2. Cancellation of the 2002 Constitution and all laws passed by decree
3. The formation of a national body of ten elected members by the people to formulate a new constitution that abolishes all the king’s powers and that he be a symbol of the country and that legislative and regulatory powers are fully in the hands of an elected council (parliament).
4. Cancellation of all boards and councils immediately and ensure that all executive agencies are subject to the elected government
5. Abolition of the powers of all naturalized citizens to prevent them from participation in the electoral process or to stand for election until a law regulating naturalization and the Bahraini nationality is promulgated
6. Dismissal of all heads of agencies, boards and institutions at the same time as dissolving the cabinet
After one month of bagging HiB to enter the dialogue, the unpeaceful protesters escalated the internal situation after occupying Salmaniya Medical Complex, blocking main roads, killing cops, attacking expats and Sunnis!
The GoB was forced to seek help from GCC shield to protect Bahrain from any foreign possible military interventions and declare the National Security Law to restore security.
“The Government believed that the domestic situation reached a point that was threatening the complete breakdown of law and order, the safety of citizens and the stability of the country, all of which impacted upon the economic and social condition of the country. Therefore, on 15 March 2011, HM King Hamad issued Royal Decree No. 18 of 2011 pursuant to which a State of National Safety was declared in Bahrain”
“The evidence presented to the Commission by the GoB on the involvement by the Islamic Republic of Iran in the internal affairs of Bahrain does not establish a discernable link between specific incidents that occurred in Bahrain during February and March 2011 and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Given that most of the claims made by the GoB related to allegations of intelligence operations undertaken by Iranian operatives, sources of which, by their nature, are not publicly available, the Commission has not been able to investigate or independently verify these allegations of Iranian involvement in the events of February and March 2011”
“The GoB has indicated to the Commission that it has further information in its possession that demonstrates involvement by the Islamic Republic of Iran in the internal affairs of Bahrain. Due to security and confidentiality considerations, however, the GoB has declined to share this information with the Commission”
“The Commission has not found any evidence of human rights violations committed by the GCC-JSF units deployed in Bahrain starting on 14 March 2011”
On the Economic side the GOB according to BICI report:
"Bahrain discovered oil in 1931, the first of the Arab States of the Gulf region to do so. It is however oil-poor relative to its neighbours. Bahrain‘s mainland oil reserves are expected to be depleted within the next 15 years"
"The production and export of aluminium is Bahrain‘s second largest industry. The financial sector, which currently accounts for 26% of growth in gross domestic product (GDP), is among the central pillars of the economy, and Bahrain is considered an important centre of Islamic banking globally. The real estate and construction sectors, which are closely linked to the financial sector, witnessed a boom over the past decade and currently comprise about 7% of GDP"
"Bahrain‘s economy has experienced consistent growth over the past decade; the GDP real growth rate was 3.1% in 2009 and 4% in 2010. GDP per capita has also been steadily increasing and reached USD 20.475 in the first decade of the century"
"The Government of Bahrain (GoB) over the past ten years has embarked on a series of structural reforms. These include the launch of ―Bahrain 2030‖, which the GoB describes as an economic vision for the country, which emphasizes expansion of the service, financial, tourism and high-tech sectors"
Bahrain’s Economy according to International organizations:
The Heritage foundation. Bahrain’s economic freedom score is 75.2, making its economy the 12th freest in the 2012 Index to be ranked 1st in MENA.
The Foundation adding:
“Bahrain has been undergoing a challenging transition to greater openness and transparency, more visibly since early 2011. Compared to many other countries, Bahrain performs quite well in many of the four pillars of economic freedom and represents the MENA region among the world’s 20 freest economies.”
“Despite the challenging environment, Bahrain continues to be a financial hub for dynamic economic activity. The kingdom’s openness to global commerce is sustained by its competitive and efficient regulatory environment. However, enhancing the foundations of economic freedom through improvements in property rights and corruption will be critical to ensuring success in the country’s ongoing evolution”
The Global Information Technology Report 2009-2010 recognized as the ‘gold standard’ for benchmarking the networked readiness and technological competitiveness of the world’s economies. Bahrain ranks 38th out of 133 studied countries. Bahrain performs comparatively well and showed tremendous improvement in particular areas - Labour Market (35th) compared to (64th) in 2008 and Higher Education (48th) compared to (54th) in 2008.
Doing Business Report 2011, The World Bank Doing Business project measures business regulations and their enforcement across 183 economies. Singapore tops the overall ranking, Hong Kong SAR, New Zealand, United States of America and Denmark round out the top five.
Bahrain ranks 4th in the MENA region and ranks 38th worldwide amongst 183 economies.
World Investment Report 2010, UNCTAD. The report focuses on trends in foreign direct investment (FDI) worldwide, at the regional and country levels and emerging measures to improve its contribution to development. The Inward FDI Performance Index ranks countries by the FDI they receive relative to their economic size.
Bahrain ranks 23rd out of 141 economies in the World Investment Report 2010 by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
The Report 2010 - Emerging Bahrain, Oxford Business Group. As the first Gulf state to come to prominence in the international oil market, the Kingdom of Bahrain was also the first to start the diversification process away from hydrocarbons that is now the norm in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
On June 30, 2010: Bahrain won three prestigious awards from the United Nations at its Public Service Day 2010 held in the city of Barcelona, Spain. The Award came as an appreciation of the Excellent performance of the Kingdom of Bahrain in e-Government, and the implementation of pioneer projects and programs in public service, highlighting Bahrain’s effective contribution to the development of public administration.
According to the UN Report for e-Government Readiness2010, Bahrain became No. 13 worldwide, 3rd in Asia and 1st at the Arab, Gulf and Middle East levels.
Furthermore, GoB built three major projects to support the Economy:
1. Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH)
The vision is to create a technologically astute and sophisticated financially focused business community of reputable local, regional and international companies in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The mission is to reinforce Bahrain's unsurpassed position as the leading international financial centre of the Middle East by evolving a highly focused, committed and advanced financial environment for its occupants to thrive and prosper.
Bahrain has a strong regulatory framework
- The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has been the banking regulator since 1973.
- The CBB was given the responsibility of mandating the entire financial sector.
- The CBB is globally recognized as one of the best central banks in the Middle East.
- In 2002 Bahrain became the first country in Arab world to move to a single regulator model.
Bahrain boasts of a strong financial sector performance
- Bahrain has over 400 Financial Institutions (CBB Fact Sheet, April 2011).
- The Financial Sector contributes 25% to Bahrain’s GDP.
- Bahrain has recorded a real GDP growth rate of 5.7% over the last five years. (Economic Intelligence Unit, Citi Private Bank: Quadrant Politics matters note, 14 February, 2011).
- Bahrain ranks 28 with regard to the ease of doing business (Doing Business in the Arab World, 2011).
- Bahrain was ranked the 37th most competitive country in the world (Global Competitiveness report produced by the World Economic 2010).
- Bahrain has a tax free business environment.
- 100% foreign ownership permitted.
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2. Bahrain World Trade Center (BWTC)
The BWTC is the Kingdom’s first truly intelligent building and features an array of sophisticated SMART features. Reaching its point at over 240 meters in height, BWTC’s two iconic 50-srorey towers offer spectacular views of the Arabian Gulf Manama’s cityscape.
The two towers are linked via three sky bridges each holding a 225kW wind turbine, totalling to 675kW of wind power production. Each of these turbines measure 29 m (95 ft) in diameter, and is aligned north, which is the direction from which air from the Arabian Gulf blows in.
The wind turbines are expected to provide 11% to 15% of the towers' total power consumption, or approximately 1.1 to 1.3 GWh a year. This is equivalent to providing the lighting for about 300 homes. The three turbines were turned on for the first time on the 8th of April, 2008. They are expected to operate 50% of the time on an average day.
BWTC is currently ranks as the second tallest building in Bahrain, after the twin towers of the Bahrain Financial Harbour. The project has received several awards:
On 26th November 2008: BWTC has been named “Best Tall Building” in the Middle East and Africa region for 2008 by the world’s leading body dedicated to the field of tall buildings, The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), at an awards ceremony held in Chicago, US.
The 2008 “Best Tall Building Awards” recognise projects that have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment, and that achieve sustainability at the highest and broadest level.
On November 18, 2009: (BWTC), the world’s first building to ever integrate large-scale commercial wind turbines into a mixed-use development, has announced its win of the prestigious 2009 NOVA Award in Innovation.
The prestigious NOVA awards identify projects that have been proven to display significant technological advances and have had positive, important effects on construction to improve quality and reduce cost. The BWTC’s win was announced at the NOVA Award Banquet on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at Buena Vista Palace resort in Orlando, Florida, USA.
On 27 April 2010: BWTC has been announced the 2010 winner of “Best Use of Lighting – Exterior” Award for its innovative architectural lighting design illuminating the exterior of the structure, at the inaugural PALME Middle East Awards. The awards - which recognise technical excellence in audio visual (AV), audio technology and lighting design - were held alongside the PALME exhibition, the region’s only trade event dedicated to professional lighting, audio, music, entertainment, audio visual and systems integration solutions.
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3. Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) - UNIF1ED 2012
The Bahrain Grand Prix is a Formula One Championship race which first took place at the Bahrain International Circuit on 4 April 2004.
The Bahrain Grand Prix, sponsored by Gulf Air, made history as the first Formula One Grand Prix to be held in the Middle East. Bahrain fought off fierce competition from elsewhere in the region to stage the race, with Egypt, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates all hoping for the prestige of hosting a Formula One Grand Prix.
The inaugural race was given the award for the "Best Organised Grand Prix" by the FIA In 2007 the circuit became the first Grand Prix circuit to be awarded the distinguished FIA Institute Centre of Excellence award, given for excellent safety, race marshal, and medical facilities, and for the high standards of technology required to maintain these.
The first piece of ground was broken in December 2002. The ‘keys’ to the circuit were handed over to His Majesty King Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa on 17 March 2004.
In just 16 months, and at a cost of US$150 million, a world-class motorsport facility had risen out of the desert 30km south of Bahrain’s capital city, Manama. And BIC’s reputation has grown ever since. Its annual Grand Prix is renowned as one of the most friendly, atmospheric and exciting of the season.
And its success based on the sound foundation of BIC’s friendly and professional staff has brought other international race series flooding in: international Formula 3, GP2, GP2 Asia, the FIA GT Championship and the BMW World Final have all raced at BIC and its annual Desert 400 is the only round of the V8 Supercar series held outside Australasia.
BIC has also encouraged local motorsport: its drag strip has given new focus to what has long been a popular sport in the Middle East; its Kart Zone will help unearth young local talent; and its on-site technicians provide vital racing expertise.
Unfortunately, due to the fail coup by the sinners “HB” and its followers the Bahraini Gangster Nabeel Rajab gangs, on February 21, 2011 the race was postponed.
The Bahraini people received the bad news after rescheduling the race to October with patience and sadness too after hard times passed for the first time in the tiny Island. The title on ESPN F1 was as follows:
Bahrain GP cannot go ahead - Ecclestone
“Bernie Ecclestone has admitted that he thinks the Bahrain Grand Prix will not take place in October, despite the FIA's decision for it to go ahead at Friday's World Motor Sport Council meeting”
In a BBC Sport interview Ecclestone said: "Hopefully there'll be peace and quiet and we can return in the future, but of course it's not on. The schedule cannot be rescheduled without the agreement of the participants - they're the facts."
However, the sinners in Bahrain are not satisfied by the losses to the Bahrain Economy since February 2011 but they are working against the interest of Bahrain in hosting international events. The sinners in Bahrain, HB and the gangs of Bahrain Gangster Nabeel Rajab during the International Air Show made their own “Tires Air Show” in attempt to took place in last January The calls from the sinners HB, the Bahraini Gangster Nabeel Rajab and criminal youths of Feb14 never stopped to cancel the race of F1 in April instead of supporting it and support the unity of Bahrain!
Tires Air show VS International Air Show:
Pictures to boycott F1!
But, Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead as planned, says Bernie Ecclestone. The Guardian, Thursday 23.
Yes, Bahrain will host the F1 on April 22 as planned. The Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone promised on Thursday "there will be no problem with the Bahrain Grand Prix".
"Nobody is saying we're not going or we don't want to go or anything. Everybody is quite positive. I've told all the teams there's no problem at all. I'm absolutely 100% sure we'll go there and there will be no problem."
But Ecclestone did say officials in Bahrain would take extra precautions to ensure the safety of everyone involved with the Formula One circus, which arrives in two months. "I am sure the people there will make sure, just in case there's a problem. I am sure there won't be a problem," he said.
Ecclestone figured the truth of the protesters in media! As a lot of kids having a go at the police which get their rage as shown above!
Furthermore, Prof. Bassiouni who headed an independent commission of inquiry wrote in a letter to Zayed Alzayani, the chairman of the Bahrain International Circuit, “the revival of the race is an important point of departure for the people of Bahrain to forge ahead in their national efforts towards reconciliation".
Bassiouni congratulated the Bahrain circuit organisers for the decision to hold the race under the slogan of 'UniF1ed - One Nation in Celebration".
"This is an important initiative which gives another opportunity for the People of Bahrain to come together again after all that has happened in the last year," he wrote in a letter copied to Ecclestone and FIA president Jean Todt.
Also, on January 18, 2012 Damon Hill believes Formula One can return to Bahrain in 2012 "with a clear conscience" after personally visiting the country.
Before being unveiled as a Sky Sports pundit, Hill visited Bahrain with FIA president Jean Todt to see the situation for himself. Hill said that while he felt the sport should have taken more of a stance against the situation in 2011 the time was right to return.
"I do not like seeing people shot and brutalised," Hill told The Times. "I was frustrated last year that Formula One did not raise its voice against what was happening. But a lot has changed there since then. It is clear that the situation in Bahrain is better understood and I don't think anyone would want to go back to Bahrain if there was suffering just because of a grand prix.
"I listened to a lot of people there, including eye-witnesses. I believe they are making change for the better. There is no question they have issues - but every country has issues; we had riots here in the UK not so long ago. I heard both sides of the story and, this time, Formula One can go to Bahrain with a clear conscience and not just as a tool for some sort of cover-up."
At the end I would like to thank Bernie Ecclestone, FIA president Jean Todt, Damon Hill and Race Teams for supporting UNIF1ED Bahrain.