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Uprising in Bahrain Middle-East, comprising Western Asian and North African countries, has been one of the strategically important regions of the world, from the political, economic as well as religious perspective. From the political perspective, most of the countries are still continuing as Islamic monarchies, with Islam being the predominant religion in this region…
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Download file to see previous pages However, with the regime change successfully happening in Egypt, it is acting as a catalyst for even more pro-democracy and anti-monarchy movements throughout the Middle-East. Bahrain is one of those countries, which has been witnessing anti-monarchy movement or uprising. When the protests in Egypt gained momentum, support for them came wide across the Middle-East. In Bahrain also, a group of individuals gathered in front of the Egyptian embassy to support the Egyptian protestors. In addition, they also wanted more political freedom, equal representation to all people and actualization of democratic practices. Political freedom in the sense, with the Bahraini King nominating the Prime Minister and sizable numbers of parliament representatives, demonstrators wanted more ‘elected’ representatives. Importantly, they wanted equal rights and facilities for all the people, particularly for the majority Shias, as minority Sunni section of the population is playing a dominant role and garnering all the powers and benefits. So, this paper will discuss how the uprising in Bahrain started or happened due to certain social factors, as well as geographical, historical and political factors, and how it effected and is still impacting the Middle Eastern region. Geographical and Historical factors Bahrain is an archipelago in the Persian Gulf, with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iran surrounding it. It consists of 33 islands and the largest is the Bahrain Island, which constitutes the majority of the Bahrain’s population. The capital Manama is situated in the northern tip of the island and is the seat of political power, and thus the hotspot of the uprising. Bahrain got evolved geographically as well as historically due to certain events that happened in the 19th and 20th century and those events can also be viewed as an indirect contributing factor to the current uprising. Bahrain existed as a fragmented geographical territory in the 19th century, with various kingdoms. Britain at that time was at the height of its imperialistic tendencies, and it tried to wrest some of the territories. Being a Shia Muslims majority country, Bahrain sought the aid of Iran to counter British imperialism. Although, Iran shielded Bahrain initially, it could not protect it continuously and so British took over Bahrain. Britain brought Bahrain under its protectorate in the Persian Gulf, playing a dominant role in every aspect of Bahrain’s functioning, from appointing its rulers to changing its demographics. Changing of demographics in the sense, British brought in people from Iran, Huwala, as well as India into Bahrain for commercial purposes. “Mixed with the indigenous population ( in Manama) are numerous strangers and settlers, some of whom have been established here for many generations back, attracted from other lands by the profits of either commerce or the pearl fishery” (Gardner 2010, p. 36). Although, these people brought in with them various business skills, and developed Bahrain from a tribal society to a modern one, it started changing the demographics, as there was heightened concentration of people from outside of Bahrain. The same charge of bringing people from other countries and how is affecting the local population is being levelled by the protestors of the current upris ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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