World Country Bahrain

About the world country Bahrain, its location, size, population, and who is in power.

NATIONS OF THE WORLD

BAHRAIN

Location: One major and a number of smaller islands in the Persian Gulf, west of Qatar, about 13 mi. from Saudi Arabia's coast. Size: 240 sq. mi. (622 sq. km.). Population: 407,000 (80% Arab, 12% Iranian).

Who Really Rules: The ruling emir and his al-Khalifa family allow no political parties, although Bahrain does have a tradition of labor organization. Sunni Muslims, the al-Khalifas have arrested leaders of protest demonstrations staged by pro-Iran members of the majority Shia sect. Bahrain is one of the oldest oil producers in the region, but its production is declining. The government has diversified the economy, however, by building an aluminum smelter and inviting in foreign banks. Bahrain is the Persian Gulf's most important financial center. The U.S. operates its only Persian Gulf base at Bahrain.

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