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Archaeological evidences such suggest that Bahrain has had human settlements dating back to 8000 BC. Evidences show that civilizations started flourishing 5000 years ago.
In the 3rd Century BC, Bahrain was home to the Dilmun Civilization, which linked Mesopotamia and the Indus valley civilization during the Bronze Age. The Greeks called it Tylos, and was of prime interest to Alexander The Great for its lucrative pearl trade. One of Alexander’s admirals, Nearchus, noted Bahrain for its strategic location as a prime trading center. The country was also known for its exquisite clothing, which were usually made of cotton that was grown abundantly in the region. Bahrain also hosted many Greek Athletic meets, and Alexander himself showed interest in settling down in the quaint country. Centuries after The Greeks, Bahrain came to be called as Awal, after the shark deity that was worshipped in the region.
Bahrain was one of the first countries to accept Islam as a state religion in 628 AD, after a brief period of Arab rule. The country saw a number of rulers- Arabs, Portugese, Persians and Iranians taking charge of administration of the country for centuries, and each of these rulers played an important role in shaping the contemporary cultural pool the country has turned into today.
The country had its first brush with the western rulers in 1521, when the Portuguese took charge of the country. The Portuguese rule ended after eighty years in 1602, when Abbas I of the Safavid dynasty of Persia took over as the ruler. The country was under the Persian rule for the next two centuries, barring the minor unrest due to the invasions of Ibadhis of Oman.
Bahrain signed a number of treaties with the British crown in the 1800’s and was a close ally. They fought alongside the Allies in the Second World War, playing a significant role in the Arab region. However, the relations between British and Bahrain soured after the Second World War, which led to a growing unrest in the country.
Bahrain declared it independent on August 15, 1971, and redrafted its ties with the United Kingdom to accommodate favourable conditions. The Oil Boom in the Middle East greatly benefited Bahrain, and the country saw an unprecedented growth in business, which enriched the country financially. The Lebanese civil war of the 1980’s was a boon in disguise to Bahrain, which enabled the country to become the leading financial hub of the Middle East. Bahrain’s capital, Manama houses a number of prime financial institutions, and the World Bank has recognized Bahrain to be a high economy country.
On 14 February 2002, The State of Bahrain formally changed its name to The Kingdom of Bahrain.