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Alternatif Politika

Yıl 2010 , Cilt 2 , Sayı 4

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Shia and the state in bahrain: integration and tension

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Chief Al Wasat Newspaper1
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Up until recently, Bahrain was an archipelago of 33 islands, positioned in the middle south of the Gulf. However, figures published in 2008 by Bahrain's "Survey and Land Registration Bureau (SLRB)", said Bahrain is now an archipelago consisting 84 islands, which is a result of the on-going reclamations. The total area of Bahrain had jumped from 695 square kilometres in the 1980s to 756 square kilometres, and this figure will also change in the coming years. Bahrain is linked - since 1986 - to Saudi Arabia by a 25-kilometres causeway, and a planned 40-kilometers causeway had been put on hold. Reuters said in a report on 6 June 2010 "a long-planned $3 billion (BD1.13bn) bridge linking Bahrain and Qatar has been put on hold... The 40km causeway was set to play a key role in improving infrastructure connections between members of the GCC. The project, first announced in 2001, had already been delayed in 2008 to change the project scope to include trains, and late last year the countries said work would start in the first quarter and be completed by 2015." Bahrain either represents a special case in the Arab Gulf political arena, or it is nothing more than a microcosm of a bigger political scene that will be unfolding in other Gulf countries in the future. In either case, it is an interesting subject matter for political scientists and observers, not least the size of the country and the many issues and characteristics that have deep history and rich variety.

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