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Posted by pompos 03/05/2009 @ 20:12

Tags : bahrain, arabian peninsula, world

News headlines
Islamic banks shining in Bahrain - The National
Bahrain's Islamic banks increased assets by 50 per cent to US$24.6 billion (Dh90.35bn) last year despite adverse market conditions, according to figures issued by the country's central bank. “Bahrain is well positioned to remain at the forefront of...
Insurance facilities for XC60 purchasers in Bahrain - Al-Bawaba
Volvo Cars Middle East and Bahrain National Insurance signed a written agreement granting all purchasers of the new Volvo XC60 a lower premium on insurance going up to 3%. Earlier in March, Volvo Cars Middle East concluded a similar agreement in Kuwait...
Bahrain: Investigate Abduction, Beating of Rights Activist - Human Rights Watch (press release)
"It looks like the men who abducted and beat Ja'far Ibrahim intended to teach him a lesson - that pursuing torture allegations in Bahrain today carries a high price...The government needs to appoint an independent prosecutor or commission to...
Pearl-Rich Oysters Lure Buccaneer Divers to Persian Gulf Waters - Bloomberg
Some 20 feet beneath the Persian Gulf, off the coast of the island kingdom of Bahrain, former Nynex Corp. sales manager Robert Montfort-Jones, 46, reckons that'sa harsh assessment. The Englishman and skipper of the 30-foot diving vessel Crow surfaces...
Report: Exploited workers lose $20B a year - CNN International
By John Defterios MANAMA, Bahrain (CNN) -- Suryavathi Rao entered her 40th year in what can be called no man's land. A protestor locked in a suitcase reading "Stop Human Trafficking" in Germany last year. A domestic worker from India, she arrived at a...
Chief of Naval Personnel Visits Bahrain Sailors - Systems
MANAMA, Bahrain - Chief of Naval Personnel, Vice Admiral Mark E. Ferguson visited Sailors in Bahrain May 10 - 11, to discuss current Navy personnel issues and thank them for their service. Ferguson held an all hands call at Naval Support Activity...
Bank Of Bahrain And Kuwait Choose Nucleus Cash Management Solution -
Nucleus Software Exports Limited, a provider of integrated software products for banks and financial institutions, has acquired a new client, the Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait (BBK), one of the largest commercial banks in Bahrain....
Legal wrangles to test Islamic banking - Reuters
The global economic downturn that punctured Islamic banking's growth bubble is also expected to bring many sharia financing structures under the legal microscope for the first time in centres such as Dubai, Bahrain and Malaysia....
Bahrain: LGBT Blogs Blocked - Global Voices Online
by Amira Al Hussaini From Bahrain, LGBT blogger Shams Alma7aba [Ar] lists a number of LGBT blogs which have been blocked in that country following a recent crackdown on the Internet. As far as I know, access to LGBT blogs in Bahrain has been filtered...
Bahraini banks to post 'adequate' profits - Emirates Business 24/7
Profitability at Bahraini banks will decline this year due to slower loan growth, and asset quality and capital are expected to remain under pressure, but these are likely to be maintained at adequate levels, according to the latest report on the...

Bahrain Grand Prix

Circuit Bahrain.svg

The Bahrain Grand Prix (Arabic: جائزة البحرين الكبرى‎) is a Formula One Championship race which first took place at the Bahrain International Circuit on 4 April 2004.

The Bahrain Grand Prix, sponsored by Gulf Air, made history as the first Formula One Grand Prix to be held in the Middle East. Bahrain fought off fierce competition from elsewhere in the region to stage the race, with Egypt, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates all hoping for the prestige of hosting a Formula One Grand Prix.

The inaugural race was given the award for the "Best Organised Grand Prix" by the FIA.

The Bahrain Grand Prix has usually been the third race of the Formula One calendar, taking the spot of the Brazilian Grand Prix, which was moved in 2004 to October. However, in the 2006 season, bahrain swapped places with the traditional opener, the Australian Grand Prix, which was pushed back to avoid a clash with the Commonwealth Games.

The building of the Sakhir track was started in 2002 with high domestic interest about the project as it gave a future to the next generation of Bahraini racers. By the completion of the project, the Circuit soon outshadowed the Kuwait Circuit and became the center of motor sport in the Persian Gulf, as it held many other races such as drag races, GT races, Formula 3 races and the Australian V8 Supercar series.

The first race was in 2004 and it was won by German driver Michael Schumacher. Fernando Alonso won the second Bahrain Grand Prix in 2005, and then became the first repeat winner of the Middle Eastern race in 2006, after a thrilling race-long battle with Michael Schumacher. In 2007 and 2008, Brazilian Felipe Massa won the race for Ferrari.

A characteristic of the course is the giant run-off areas, which has been criticised for not punishing drivers who stray off the track, although this has made Bahrain one of the safest tracks in the world, and tends to prevent sand getting onto the track.

The drivers do not spray the traditional champagne on the podium, although alcoholic beverages are legal in Bahrain, in contrast to neighbouring Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Instead, they spray a non-alcoholic rosewater drink known as Waard.

Gulf Air have sponsored the Bahrain Grand Prix from its inaugural race in 2004 right up until the 2008 race.

Formula BMW Asia supported the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2004, with Hong Kong driver Marchy Lee winning both rounds. But the series had logistical problems after the race, when the cars were delayed on their way to Malaysia, missing the next event and had to reschedule the rest of the season. Formula BMW Asia has not supported the Bahrain Grand Prix since, but the first ever Formula BMW World Final was held in Bahrain. The Porsche Supercup has supported the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 races. The GP2 Series supported the race in 2007 and a celebrity race was held in 2006 with the likes of Simon Webbe competing.

Further support for the 2008 event was provided by the GP2 Asia, Speedcar Series and a series using ex-V8 Supercar Holdens badged as Chevrolet Luminas.

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2005 Bahrain Grand Prix

Circuit Bahrain.svg

The 2005 Bahrain Grand Prix was a Formula One race held from April 1 to April 3, 2005 at Bahrain International Circuit.

The 2005 Bahrain Grand Prix was only the second Formula One grand prix held in the Middle East, bringing the challenges of high temperatures and dusty conditions. The race was held the day after Pope John Paul II died, with several teams and drivers offering their respects.

The circuit had been modified slightly from 2004, with turn 4 in particular being widened on the exit.

First qualifying on Saturday resulted in few surprises – for the first few drivers, the circuit was still somewhat sandy, providing poor grip, while the later runners performed well, with Fernando Alonso taking provisional pole with a lap time of 1:29.848.

Final qualifying on Sunday morning again passed without major incident, with Alonso taking pole position, and Michael Schumacher taking second. Rubens Barrichello, having had gearbox problems on Friday and Saturday, qualified 15th, and elected to change his engine, resulting in him starting from the back of the grid.

Race afternoon brought some of the highest ever temperatures experienced at a grand prix, with air temperature of 40°C, (104°F) and track temperatures of 56°C (about 132°F). This ties the record temperatures of the 1955 Argentine Grand Prix and the 1984 Dallas Grand Prix. Christian Klien failed to get away from his seventh position on the grid for the formation lap. His car was pushed into the pits but could not be restarted, and he became the first of eight retirements.

The leaders made a clean start, with Alonso first to turn one. Schumacher moved from his second grid slot across to the clean side of the track, ahead of Jarno Trulli, who made a strong challenge to pass Schumacher in the first two corners, without success. Barrichello makes an aggressive start, moving up to tenth by the end of lap one.

Giancarlo Fisichella's engine began to smoke during lap two, and he pulled into the pits to retire. However, as he applied the pit lane speed limiter, he felt power return, and was waved through by his team. But the resurgence was short-lived, and he was back in the pits on lap four to retire.

Schumacher continued to closely pursue Alonso until lap 12, when the world champion overshot turn nine, and performed a 270° turn in the run-off area. Following this, Schumacher coasted back to the pits, making this his first technical retirement since the 2001 German Grand Prix – a remarkable run of 59 consecutive grands prix. It later arose that his hydraulics had failed, meaning he could not downshift to use engine braking for corners. Trulli now took second place, 2.7 seconds behind Alonso, with Mark Webber in third.

On lap 18, Ralf Schumacher in fourth place made the first scheduled pit stop of the front-runners, and rejoined in 12th place. Alonso, Trulli and then Webber all pitted over the next few laps, in what appeared to be the now fairly standard three-stop pattern. After the pit stops shook out, Alonso retained the lead, followed by Trulli, Webber, Kimi Räikkönen, Ralf, and Barrichello.

Nick Heidfeld was the next retirement, with a seriously smoking engine on lap 25, although it took him around half a lap to pull off the track to stop. He was shortly followed by Takuma Sato, whose front brakes had been smoking for a while, and who spun and then retired in the pits on lap 27. His teammate Jenson Button's brakes also appeared to be giving off more dust than usual, as Button fought to keep Pedro de la Rosa from taking his seventh place. De la Rosa finally managed to pass Button on lap 33, outbraking him at turn one.

The following lap, Webber lost control out of turn eight, spun on the entrance to turn nine, and allowed Räikkönen and Ralf Schumacher to pass – on a circuit with very forgiving run-off areas, Webber's race was not compromised.

In the next few laps, before the second pit stops, the closest fight was between Barrichello in sixth, and de la Rosa in seventh. De la Rosa continually pressured the remaining Ferrari, but initially he only succeeded in pushing himself too far, running wide at turn one, and allowing Button to close up behind him. Eventually, though, he was able to take sixth place in the final corner.

Alonso put in several fast laps to extend his lead, and pitted on lap 41. The other drivers also pitted without incident, until Button, who stalled his BAR-Honda; after several attempts at restarting the engine, he almost took his rear jack with him back into the race – only to retire at the end of the pit-lane, making this the second race in a row where both BAR drivers had retired. After the second round of pit stops, Alonso still led the race, followed by Trulli, Räikkönen, Ralf Schumacher, Webber, de la Rosa, Barrichello, and Felipe Massa.

In the closing stages, the main fight was between Webber and de la Rosa for fifth place. Webber was forced to perform some strong defending, but de la Rosa eventually overcame him two laps from the end of the race. Jacques Villeneuve retired from ninth place into the pits on the penultimate lap, while Barrichello slipped further and further back, allowing Massa to take seventh place, and David Coulthard eighth place on the last lap, leaving Ferrari point-less – for the first time in nearly two years.

Alonso won the race by a comfortable 13.4 seconds from Trulli, bringing Renault engines their 100th World Championship Grand Prix win.

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Bahrain (historical region)

Bahrain (Arabic: البحرين‎ al-Baḥrayn) is a historical region in eastern Arabia that was known as the Province of Bahrain (Arabic: إقليم البحرين,‎ Iqlīm al-Baḥrayn) until the 16th century. It stretched from Basra south along the Persian Gulf coast and included the regions of Kuwait, Al-Hasa, Qatif, Qatar, and the Awal islands (present-day Bahrain). The name means "two seas" in Arabic.

Until Bahrain embraced Islam in AD 629, it was a center for Nestorian Christianity. Among its inhabitants, the major tribe was the Abdul Qais.

In the early 7th century, Bahrain was one of the first places in Arabia to become Islamic, despite its great distance from Muhammad's base in Medina.

In 899 the Qarmatians, a millenarian Ismaili sect, seized hold of the country and sought to create a utopian society based on reason and the distribution of all property evenly among the initiates. The Qarmatians caused widespread disruption throughout the Islamic world and sacked Mecca and Medina in 930, carrying off the sacred Black Stone to Qatif where it was held for ransom. They were defeated in 976 by the Abbasids.

The name "Bahrain" referred to the eastern mainland Arabia until the 16th century at least. The Arab inhabitants of the province, were called Bahrani's after it.

The people of eastern Arabia are still sometimes called Bahranis and their language is Bahrani Arabic. The Bahranis were traditionally settled (nonnomadic). They inhabited oases and coastal areas.

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History of the Jews in Bahrain

Geographic location of Bahrain

History of the Jews in Bahrain. Bahraini Jews constitute one of the world's smallest Jewish communities. Bahrain was, at one time, home to as many as 1,500 Jews. Today the community has a synagogue and small Jewish cemetery and numbers around fifty persons.

There are Talmudic references made of a Jewish community dating back in the geographic areas of present-day Bahrain, as well as references in Arabic texts to a Jewish presence in Hajar during Mohammed's time.

Benjamin of Tudela recorded in the 12th century that nearly 500 Jews lived in Qays and that a population of 5,000 resided in al-Qatifa. Benjamin also recounted that these Jews controlled the local pearl industry.

According to a Jewish Virtual Library entry by Jewish researcher, Ariel Scheib, Jews have lived in what became the modern kingdom of Bahrain since the times of the Talmud. He further stated that it is mentioned in Arabian sources that Jews lived in Hajar, the capital of Bahrain, in 630 AD and refused to convert to Islam when Muhammad sent an army to occupy the territory.

Various sources cite Bahrain's Jewish community as being from 36 to 50 people. and is the only Arab Persian Gulf state with a synagogue. Jews are one of several communities that form the core of the liberal middle classes and several are even active in politics: a Jewish businessman, Ebrahim Daoud Nonoo, sits in the appointed upper house of parliament and a Jewish woman, Houda Ezra Nonoo heads a human rights group which has campaigned against the reintroduction of the death penalty in the tiny Kingdom. Neither are considered controversial figures, even among Salafist politicians.

As of 2007, the Jewish population of Bahrain numbers approximately 36.

At this time, the tolerance extended to the island's Jewish community is the result of the policy of its leader, King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa. Bahraini Jews are prohibited from traveling to Israel, and the island's boycott of Israeli products was in effect until 2004, when a free-trade agreement with the United States put an end to the official boycott.

At present, there have been no acts of physical violence or harassment of Jews or vandalism of Jewish community institutions, such as schools, cemeteries, or the synagogue. The Government has not enacted any laws protecting the right of Jews to religious freedom; however, it has not interfered with their freedom to practice. The Government has made no effort specifically to promote antibias and tolerance education. Some anti-Semitic political commentary and editorial cartoons continue to appear, usually linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Jews practice their faith privately without interference from the Government.

Press reports in April 2008 have said that Bahrain is nominating Houda Nonoo, a Jewish woman as its ambassador to the United States.

NEW YORK - The Jewish members of America's armed forces will again receive kosher K-rations this Pesach throughout the holiday, provided by the U.S. Defense Department.

Thousands of packages containing kosher for Pesach MREs (meals ready to eat) have already reached U.S. army and navy supply bases, with special shipments aimed at Jewish troops in Iraq and Afghanistan...

The Jewish Chaplains Council estimates that the number of Jews stationed in Iraq is between 500 and 600. Of the 30 Jewish chaplains on active duty around the world, eight chaplains are stationed in Iraq, including two female rabbis.

Each chaplain stationed in Iraq will hold two seders at base camps, with central seders taking place in Baghdad, Falluja and Tikrit. There will also be two seders at the army headquarters in Bahrain, and air force headquarters in Qatar. Jewish soldiers stationed in remote locations will be able to attend seders led by soldiers who received special training for that purpose.

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Source : Wikipedia