Where is Bahrain?
Bahrain, a name which means "two seas," is an archipelago in the Middle East, located in the Persian Gulf. The capital city is Manama. Bahrain is an Arabic State essentially comprised of around 30 islands, including the largest one, Bahrain Island. It is only about 770 square kilometers. It is connected to Saudi Arabia by way of the massive King Fahd Causeway, a 15 mile long highway crossing the gulf.
Although it is located in the heart of oil production in the Middle East, Bahrain has a surprisingly small amount of natural petroleum and relies heavily on its neighbors for oil production. Situated between maritime borders with Saudi Arabia to the west, Iran to the north and Qatar to the east, it has decent resources to rely on, but Bahrain has begun more economical growth by turning towards tourism and other financial ventures, along with agricultural ventures such as fish, vegetables and fruits. Oil still brings in around 80 percent of the country's revenues.
Bahrain is well known for its large growth of date palms, which thrive in the extremely humid and warm climate of this country. Temperatures are often in the 90s through the summer and the northwesterly wind is usually predominant, keeping the area humid. Rainfall is generally limited to the winter and although it can vary greatly, averages about three inches a year. During the summer, occasional "qaws" blow across the region. These consist of dry, sandy winds which blow across the barren southern parts of Bahrain and bring dust storms to the northern portions, including Manama.
Much of Bahrain is a rocky desert environment and quite barren of life aside from various desert plants, but some portions are irrigated and thus support some animals such as lizards, gazelles and migratory birds. Precipitation from the Saudi Arabian mountains provides support for some water springs and wells which produce rich water. Coastal salt marshes along some of the outer banks are not uncommon.
The highest point of the country is an escarpment named Jabal ad Dukham, which reaches 400 feet above sea level. This is also where most of the country's oil wells are found.
Despite its relatively small land mass, Bahrain has a population of almost 1.5 million people, mostly Bahrainis. There is a fairly large Asian population, mostly comprised of Indians.
The government consists of a constitutional hereditary monarchy, which gained independence in 1971 from the United Kingdom. More recently, democratic reforms have begun gradual introductions.
Bahrain has a rich history with its Dilmun civilization and many artifacts from this are on display in the famous Bahrain National Museum in Manama.