I will confess that I did not know what a Bahrain was as of last week. So, do not take my notes below as those of an expert. Rather, I figured I would share my personal, newbie, research with you. Some links to the current situation below. And, then my quick notes on where Bahrain is.
A Feb 19th report on Libya and Bahrain, which helps put things in perspective a bit:
A Monday, Feb 21st report from al-Jazeera:
Al-Jazeera report (and be sure to plug into Al-Jazeera live-streaming for a progressive take on Middle East news. Al-Jazeera was right on top of the Egyptian revolution.)
From Al-Jazeera 2/21: …Bahrain’s opposition wants the nation’s rulers to guarantee they will back up recent conciliatory words with solid actions, as the regime offered talks after nearly a week of protests and deadly clashes that have divided the Gulf nation.
Opposition leaders have laid down a list of demands that include releasing prisoners and giving residents a greater role in politics.
Hassan Mashaima, an exiled opposition figure, told AFP he would return to Manama on Tuesday, as protesters gear up for a rally they hope will bring tens of thousands to Pearl roundabout…
Background and Information on Bahrain:
Here is a map of Bahrain that helped me understand where it was. It is from an atlas site. This map truly gets across that Bahrain is an island nation, perched directly in the Persian Gulf. It also shows it neighbors, and its proximity to Egypt.
From Wikipedia, I see how small the population of Bahrain is. The total population of Bahrain is about 1,234,596 people. So, it is about the same population as the state of New Hampshire, and a little more than Rhode Island. I live in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York. Just my county has a population of 1,419,369 people. So, Bahrain has fewer people than my county.
Wikipedia describes the government of Bahrain:
Bahrain is an absolute monarchy headed by the King, Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa; the head of government is the Prime Minister, Shaikh Khalīfa bin Salman al Khalifa, who presides over a cabinet of twenty-five members, where 80% of its members are from the royal family. Bahrain has a bicameral legislature with a lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, elected by universal suffrage and an upper house, the Shura Council, appointed by the king…
Women’s political rights in Bahrain saw an important step forward when women were granted the right to vote and stand in national elections for the first time in the 2002 election. However, no women were elected to office in that year’s polls…
Bahrain is known as one of the more liberal, Muslim countries, and has some religious diversity. Wikipedia notes that in Bahrain, Bahrani Arabic is the most widely spoken language, though English is widely used.