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How Did Bahrain End Up In A Bloody Revolution

1888 words - 8 pages

Bahrain is a very small place in the Persian Gulf and is made up of small clusters of islands, or geologically is called an archipelago. It has a population of roughly over 1 million people; 1, 248, 348 to be exact. Its capital is known to be Al-Manamah and is ruled through a constitutional monarchy. In the ancient times, Bahrain was an important center of trade, and it was ruled by various groups ranging from the Persians to the Arabs. However, since 1783, it has been ruled by the al-Khalifahs, which hasn’t changed since. It gained full independence from Britain in 1971. Bahrain, just like the other areas in the Persian Gulf, is known to have oil wells; however it has the least in the area. Conflicts between the Sunnis and Shias began as soon as the ruling family started controlling people. The ruling al-Khalifahs were Sunnis, however the majority of the Bahrain were actually Shia, which was one of the reasons of the recurring conflicts in the region since 1994 (infoplease, 2005). The proper question in this case would how Bahrain ended up in a bloody revolution, why it happened, and what state it is in at the moment.
As stated in the opening paragraph, the ruling family exercises their endless powers on the people of Bahrain, who are about 70% Shias. Naruzzaman, 2013, reports that the ruling family has constantly discriminated against their own people in many aspects such as employment especially on government level and religious beliefs. He continues with the following report:
“The percentage of Shiite employment in high-ranking public posts is usually below 20%, the government rarely issues permits to build mosques for the Shiite faith, and Bahrain's 30,000-strong military is made up exclusively of Sunnis. Members of the royal family hold many key positions of the state – a total of 17–20%, and the privileged Sunni minority occupies approximately 60% of ranking public posts. Since July 2002, the government has also been following a policy of naturalization of Sunnis from neighboring GCC countries to dilute Shiite demographic majority” (370).
It is also important to point out that the above report can be backed up in the documentary we have watched in class Shouting in the Dark. From there on, pro-democracy civilians decided to take over the streets and show their urge to transform into a democratic nation. The thought that the country has been ruled by the same family since the late 1700s, the very vivid discriminations that people were faced with everyday which eventually affected the lives of people both economically and mentally were enough reasons to lead to one of the biggest uprisings in the Middle-East since the beginning of the Arab Spring. Zunes, 2013, expands more on this in his text: “Of the popular pro-democracy civil insurrections which swept the Middle East in 2011, none were as large—relative to the size of the country—as the one which took place in the island kingdom of Bahrain. And, while scattered resistance continues,...

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