Bahrain, meaning “two seas” in Arabic, is an archipelago nation located in the Persian Gulf. The central location of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf places the small nation in close proximity to several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. This strategic importance explains the presence of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain. Geographically, Bahrain’s area is only 760 square kilometers, spanning over 30 different islands. There are only a few islands within the archipelago that actually have sizable communities. The current population of Bahrain is approximately 1.3 million people. The majority of the country is Muslim, with most Bahrainis belonging to the Shi’a branch of Islam. There is significant tension between the country’s Shi’a majority and the ...

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