Bahrain protests: Five key facts

The uprising that swept through the Middle East reached Bahrain's central Pearl Square, as thousands turned out to protest for reforms. Here is a list of key facts about this small cluster of islands off Saudi Arabia's coast.

By , Correspondent

What kind of government does it have?

Bahrain is a constitutional monarchy that has been led by the Al Khalifah family since 1783. It gained independence from Britain in 1971, and in 1999 its leader decided to transform the country from an emirate to a kingdom. In 2001, King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah supported a transition from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional one.

Parliament, first elected in 2002, has two houses. The upper house is appointed by the king, while the lower house is elected by the people. The king remains the chief of state, and the prime minister, the other key leader, is appointed by the king. Both are members of the Al Khalifah family.

Think you know the Middle East? Take our geography quiz.

2 of 5

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...