Timeline Bahrain

A chronology of key events:

1913 – Britain and the Ottoman government sign a treaty recognizing the independence of Bahrain but the country remains under British administration.

1931 – The Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco), a subsidiary of the Standard Oil Company of California (Socal), discovers oil at Jabal al-Dukhan and production begins the following year.

1939 – Britain decides that the Hawar Islands which lie in the Gulf of Bahrain between Bahrain and Qatar belong to Bahrain not Qatar.

1961 – Sheikh Isa Bin-Salman Al Khalifah becomes ruler of Bahrain.

Britain moves bases

1967 – Britain moves its main regional naval base from Aden to Bahrain.

1968 16 January – Britain announces it will close its bases east of Suez by 1971.

1970 19 January – The Administrative Council becomes a twelve-member Council of State, headed by a President, the ruler’s brother, Sheikh Khalifah Bin-Salman Al Khalifah.

1970 May – Iran renounces its claim to sovereignty over Bahrain after a United Nations report shows that Bahrainis want to remain independent.


1971 15 August – Bahrain declares independence and signs a new treaty of friendship with Britain. Sheikh Isa becomes the first Emir and the Council of State becomes a cabinet.

1971 16 December – Bahrain gains formal independence from Britain.

1971 23 December – Bahrain and the United States sign an agreement which permits the United States to rent naval and military facilities.

1972 December – Elections are held for a Constituent Assembly. Only Bahraini males over 20 can vote.

1973 December – After the constitution comes into force on 6 December, elections are held on 7 December for a National Assembly, an advisory legislative body, with 44 members (14 cabinet members and 30 elected by male voters) .

Assembly dissolved

1975 26 August – Following claims by prime minister Sheikh Khalifah Bin-Salman Al Khalifah that the National Assembly is impeding the work of the government, the Emir dissolves the assembly and rules by decree.

1981 25 May – Bahrain joins the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, more usually known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which also includes Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

1981 13 December – Seventy-three people, said to be members of the Tehran-based Islamic Front for the Liberation of Bahrain, headed by Iranian cleric, Hojjat ol-Eslam Hadi al-Mudarrisi, are arrested and accused of conspiring to overthrow the government on 16 December, Bahrain’s National Day.

1986 In April, Qatari troops occupy Fasht al-Dibal Island but withdraw in June after mediation by Saudi Arabia.

1986 26 November – Opening of the King Fahd causeway which links Bahrain to the mainland of Saudi Arabia.

Operation Desert Storm

1991 January/February – As part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Peninsula Shield Force, Bahrain participates in the coalition “Operation Desert Storm” against Iraq (the Gulf War)

1991 July – Qatar takes its territorial claim to the Hawar Islands, Fasht al-Dibal and Qitat Jaradah before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague but Bahrain rejects the claims.

Defence agreement with USA

1991 27 October – Bahrain signs a defence cooperation agreement with the United States providing for port facilities and joint military exercises.

1992 20 December – The establishment of a 30-member Consultative Council, appointed by the Emir for a four-year term.

1994 December – Demonstrations follow the arrest on 5 December of Shi’i cleric, Sheikh Ali Salman, who calls for the restoration of the National Assembly and criticizes the ruling family.

1995 15 January – Sheikh Ali Salman is deported and seeks asylum in Britain.

1995 15 February – Bahrain rejects International Court of Justice (ICJ) mediation in its dispute with Qatar.

1995 26 June – After a reshuffle, the cabinet includes five Shi’i ministers.

1995 25 September – A Shi’i cleric, Sheikh Abd-al-Amir al-Jamri, arrested in April, is released from prison.

1996 January/February – After bomb explosions in Manama’s business quarter, Al-Jamri is arrested again on 18 January. A Sunni lawyer and poet, Ahmad al-Shamlan, is also detained on 8 February, but released in April.

‘Coup plot’ uncovered

1996 3 June – The government says it has uncovered a coup plot by an Iranian-backed group, Hezbollah-Bahrain. Bahrain recalls its ambassador to Iran and downgrades its representation to charge d’affaires level.

1996 28 September – The Consultative Council members are increased from 30 to 40.

1997 1 April – Bahrain acquires sole ownership of Bapco.

1998 February – Sheikh Khalid Bin-Muhammad Bin-Salman Al Khalifah replaces British citizen, Ian Henderson, as Director of the Security and Intelligence Service (SIS) .

1998 16 -19 December – Bahrain provides military facilities for “Operation Desert Fox”, the US and UK bombing campaign against Iraq.

1999 6 March – The Emir, Sheikh Isa, dies and is succeeded by his eldest son, Sheikh Hamad. On March 9, Sheikh Hamad’s son, Sheikh Salman, becomes Crown Prince.

1999 July – Sheikh Abd-al-Amir al-Jamri is sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment but is pardoned by the new Emir.

1999 29 December – The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin-Khalifah Al Thani, visits. Both countries establish committee to settle territorial disputes.

2000 September – Emir appoints for the first time non-Muslims and women to the Consultative Council, including four women – one of whom is a Christian – and a Jewish businessman.

Political reform

2001 February – Referendum on political reform; Bahrainis overwhelmingly back proposals under which Bahrain would become constitutional monarchy with elected lower chamber of parliament and independent judiciary.

2002 14 February – Bahrain turns itself into a constitutional monarchy and allows women to stand for office in a package of reforms.

2002 May – Local elections are held, Bahrain’s first poll for almost 30 years. For the first time women vote and stand as candidates, but fail to win a seat.

2002 October – Parliamentary elections held, the first for nearly 30 years. Authorities say the turnout was more than 50% despite a call by Islamist parties for a boycott.


  • A ship packed with British pensioners docked in Bahrain for a day to give them a chance to see the sights.
    The tourists visited a wide range of attractions, including the gold
    suq, Bahrain National Museum and historical landmarks. The cruise ship was on a world tour.
  • Six Bahrainis detained by the US at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and in Afghanistan, were named.
    They were Adel Kamel Abdulla Haji, Juma Mohammed Abdul Latif Al Wada’ani Al Dousary, Salman bin Ibrahim bin Mohammed bin Ali Al Khalifa, Abdulla Mohammed Sayah Hassan Al Nuaimi, Isa Ali Abdulla Al Merbati and Salah Abdul Rasool Ali Abdul Rahman Al Baloushi.
  • A fire started after blazing kerosene spilled during a fight
    between Indian workers living in a labour camp and their Bahraini
    neighbours. Five people, including a60 -year-old Bahraini woman, had to be treated for burns.
    Sources said the Bahrainis had gone to complain about the smoke and smell from the cooking stoves.
    It was thought that a Bahraini man threw the lit stove at the workers.
  • Indian worker Karunakaran Unnithan Ajayan,38 , was seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident.
    He was in a coma for three days after being mown down by a driver who swerved on to a pedestrian path to avoid speed bumps on the road near Sitra.
    He sustained multiple fractures to the skull and legs.
  • Thousands of people rallied outside the UN offices in Hoora to protest against Israeli brutality in Palestine.
    A letter addressed to secretary general Kofi Annan and to members of the Security Council was signed by more than 1,300 people.
    The rally was organised by the Bahrain Association for Resisting
    Normalisation of Relations with the Zionist Enemy.
  • A massive rescue operation to save Gulf Air from crisis was
    It included sweeping management changes, jobs cuts and restructuring throughout the company.
    A BD 60 million cash injection agreed by the owning states the previous summer would only be paid if the restructuring plan went ahead, said chairman Shaikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan in a memo.
  • US Vice-President Dick Cheney visited Bahrain and was received by the King, Prime Minister and Crown Prince.
  • Six kiosks were opened in different parts of Bahrain to assist
    people with information on the municipal elections. They were equipped with computers to help people visit the election website and check their names on the voters list.
    They were manned by Bahrainis specially recruited for election work.
  • A speeding driver who killed a Bahraini family of three in
    February was jailed for five years. Ammar Abbas Al Fardan was also fined BD250 and an additional five months in jail if he failed to pay the amount.
  • Bahrain’s oldest church, the National Evangelical Church, was rededicated following a BD184,000 renovation and expansion. The first church was set up in 1892 but the renovated building was initially opened in 1971 .
  • Bahrain took its war on child abuse into cyberspace with the
    launch of an Internet site designed to help children protect
    themselves. It was officially launched by Her Highness Shaikha Hala bint Daij Al Khalifa, wife of the Crown Prince.
  • A Pakistani was jailed for life after being convicted of murder. The Criminal High Court heard that the accused went to the home of his victim in Manama and stabbed him several times in 2000 . The accused said that his victim had threatened him several times.
  • The Bahrain Garden Club’s Annual Horticultural and Flower Show attracted hundreds of entrants from people of all ages. The event was held under the patronage of the King at the Sheraton Hotel.
  • An opinion poll conducted on an http://www.bahraintoday.net website found that the Bahraini people firmly supported the Palestinian Intifada and believed that the martyrdom operations inside Israel must continue. The website was launched following a call by the King to gauge the opinion of Bahrainis ahead of the Arab Summit.
  • British political weekly the Economist said that Bahrain was the Gulf’s “star reformer”, with the King accorded “near-hero status”, in an article on political trends in the Gulf.
  • A record 619 people took part in a blood camp marking Ashoora. More than1 , 100people registered for future donations as part of the Third Imam Hussain Campaign for Blood Donation, organised by Naim Charity Fund.
    The blood collected was transported to hospitals and health centres in Palestine.
  • Bahrain’s commercial banks were given the go-ahead to open five days a week instead of six by the Bahrain Monetary Agency. Banks were required to stay open for longer each day to make up the hours.
  • Thirty-six trucks were impounded for carrying over-weight loads in a police crackdown on Al Esteqlal Highway.
  • The King headed Bahrain’s delegation to an Arab Summit in Beirut, Lebanon. He later visited Jordan for talks with King Abdullah on the event.
  • Scores of children from Bahrain and the Gulf took part in a
    diabetes camp at Al Jazair Beach.
    The event was held to help the youngsters learn more about their
    competition, make new friends and have fun.
  • Blind and sighted students joined forces to play alongside each other in the country’s First Goal-Ball Champion-ship.
    Sighted children donned blindfolds to compete on the same level at the Sports Hall in Umm Al Hassam.
  • The body of Bahraini Khalid Abdulaziz was found on a beach in Thailand.
    The 35 -year-old had been on holiday.
  • A street in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt, was named after the King.
    King of Bahrain Kingdom Street lay at the heart of a major commercial and tourism centre.
  • More than 120 dogs put their best paws forward for the Bahrain Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA) annual sponsored dog walk.
    Their walkers raised about BD3, 200for the society.
  • An estimated 7,000 people took to the streets in protest against Israeli brutality in Palestine. They burned an effigy of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, along with US and Israeli flags.
  • It was revealed that a backlog of 400 illegal Indian workers were still in Bahrain, more than two months after declaring themselves in an amnesty. They were caught up in red tape after leaving it late to take advantage of the six month amnesty.

source partly from: http://news.bbs.co.uk, http://www.gulf-daily-news.com and other sources

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