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BAHRAIN. THE UNHEARD REBELLION. IMPORTANT DATES 1913 – Bahrain is granted “independence” in a treaty between the British and the Ottoman Empire, but remains under British control. 1931 – Oil is discovered in Bahrain by BAPCO (relative of SOCAL) and production begins the following year.

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  1. BAHRAIN THE UNHEARD REBELLION IMPORTANT DATES 1913 – Bahrain is granted “independence” in a treaty between the British and the Ottoman Empire, but remains under British control. 1931 – Oil is discovered in Bahrain by BAPCO (relative of SOCAL) and production begins the following year. 1961 – Sheikh Isa Bin-Salman al-Khalifa becomes leader of Bahrain and establishes Bahrain as a monarchy. The Khalifa’s are Sunni Muslim while the majority of Bahrainis are Shiite. 1970 – Iran drops its claims of sovereignty over Bahrain after a UN referendum shows Bahrainis wish to remain independent. 1971 – Khalifa becomes Emir of Bahrain when they obtain independence from Britain.

  2. BAHRAIN IMPORTANT DATES 1981 – Bahrain joins GCC; 73 people said to be agents of Iran arrested in plot to overthrow the government. 1986 – King Fahd Causeway connects Bahrain and Saudi Arabia 1991 – United States and Bahrain sign defense agreement 1996 – Another alleged coup plot uncovered by Bahrain assigned to Iran 1997 – Bahrain becomes sole owner of BAPCO 1999 – Sheikh Hamad succeeds his father to the throne 2001 – Bahrain becomes a constitutional monarchy under a referendum with local elections following in 2002 2004 – Bahrain signs free trade agreement with the U.S. 2006 – Bahrain has elections in which Shia’s win 40% of parliamentary seats 2010 – Shia are poised to make big gains in parliament elections; many are arrested in a parliamentary coup before elections; Shias make small gains but this election proves to be a spark in 2011

  3. BAHRAIN Basic Facts and Demographics • Oil was a primary export, however, now Bahrain has returned to refining and international banking as reserves decline. One of the most diversified economies in the Middle East. • 70% Shia ruled by Sunni monarchy. Similar protests were placated in 1990s through economic and political reforms, including parliamentary elections. • 38% of the country is non-Bahraini foreign workers living in the country. Many of these are Sunnis who work for the security apparatus of the regime. • 1.2 million people, solid age structure; however, fast growing population (2.8%) and 20% unemployment • 4.5% of GDP goes toward military expenditure (20th highest in the world). • Long term greivances between Shia population and Sunni government have become especially exasperated after 2010 elections and have spilled over into protests in 2011.

  4. BAHRAIN February 14 • Protests begin in Bahrain at the Pearl Roundabout. Protesters gathered at the Pearl Roundabout to call for Constitutional reforms. Protesters were met with force from the beginning, resulting in 14 deaths. • Protests continue through February, with the government and protesters trading positions around the Pearl Roundabout. March 14 • Saudi and Emirati troops are sent to assist Bahrain in ending the protests to the chagrin of the international community. State of Emergency is declared. March 18 • Government destroys the Pearl Roundabout in the hopes to quell protests. Six opposition leaders are arrested and jailed for “speaking with foreign agents.”

  5. BAHRAIN May 31/June 1 • King Hamad calls for dialogue and state of emergency is lifted. November 23 • Report is issued admitting that regime used excessive force to quell protests where 23 died; no connection found with Iran.

  6. BAHRAIN Allegations Against the Bahraini Regime • Doctors were targeted en masse because they have proof of atrocities by the regime • Doctors were put on trial for treating protesters • Protesters were sentenced to death; several have been tortured to death • 300 workers fired from oil plants; teachers laid off; workers fired (US Labor groups sent to Bahrain to view evidence)

  7. BAHRAIN June 29 • King Hamad called for an investigation into human rights abuses during the protests in February and March November 23 • Bahraini Independent Commission Report (BICI) finds excessive force was used and there was no Iranian influence. • 35 people were killed, 500 people detained since February. • Government regretted the actions of a few, but still blamed Iran for propaganda and incitement • Report actually emboldened protesters who now believe they have increasingly legitimate claims against the government.

  8. BAHRAIN Effects of Protests and Role of Actors • Protests still continue in cities throughout the country with arrests, detentions, and loss of jobs. • Economy has slowed to a drip. Shrank from projected 4% growth to 1.5% growth. • United States: Arms deal was cancelled until BICI report was cleared; labor relations strained; US Nationals are working to reform police forces and helping with regime PR • Iran: Allegedly has had a hand in inciting Shia protestors; explosion at British Embassy last week – terrorism; Bahrain and Iran have important oil ties • Cold War in the Gulf? // What is next for the regime and protestors?

  9. Yemen A Country on the Brink

  10. Yemen- Profile Economy • Dependent on depleting oil reserves • Attempts at economic diversification • Recently began exporting liquefied natural gas • 35% unemployment (2003) • Youth Bulge • Declining water resources

  11. Yemen History • Yemen: A Brief History 1962- Yemen Arab Republic founded 1970- People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen founded 1984- Oil is discovered in Yemen by Hunt Company 1990- Unification of the YAR and PDRY into the Republic of Yemen 1993- Parliamentary Elections held, paving the way to Civil War 1994- Civil War breaks out between the North and South 2000- Saudi- Yemen Border demarcated

  12. Yemen History • Yemen: A Brief History cont’d 2000- USS Cole suicide attack 2004- Al-Houthi Movement emerges in North 2006- President Saleh wins election 2007- Southern Movement Reemerges 2009- Saudi Arabia engages Al-Houthi Movement militarily 2011- Yemen Uprising begins with protests and solidarity marches

  13. Yemen Uprising Photos Courtesy of jadaliyya.com and Reuters

  14. Yemen Uprising • Causes - Uprisings in Tunisia & Egypt - High Unemployment - Perpetually High Food and Gas Prices - Corruption and Poor Governance • Major Players • The Opposition Movement -Youth Movement - Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) - Hashid Tribal Confederation -First Armored Division- General Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar

  15. Yemen Uprising • General People’s Congress (GPC) - President Saleh maintains - Patronage Mechanism - Various GPC figures defected during the course of the uprisings

  16. Major Threats • Al- Houthi Movement • Hiraak al-Janoubi (Southern Movement) • Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)

  17. International Response • UN Resolution 2014 - Demands 30- day reporting mechanism on the progress being made towards initiating the GCC agreement • GCC brokered power transition - Immunity for Saleh and other GPC members - Saleh hands over power to VP AbdrabbuhMonsour al- Hadi within 30 days of signature (Dec. 23rd) - Elections set for February 23, 2012 - 35 Member Interim National Unity Government Announced • US counter-terror operations top priority

  18. Saudi Arabia • Counter- Revolutionary Force or Protector of the Status Quo?

  19. Background Information • Birthplace of Islam • Governed by Shar’ia Law and Wahhabism • Wealthy and “Developed” nation • High Rate of Unemployment • History of extensive Human Rights Abuses • Long and complicated history with United States

  20. Saudi Response to Arab Awakening • 37 Billion Dollars ($US) in social reform and welfare programs • Overwhelming police presence within the Kingdom • Complete military crackdown on ANY demonstrations or protests • New “Anti-Terrorism” Law • Strict press laws and punishments for political activism

  21. Crown Prince Nayef and the Line of Succession • Former Defense Minister • Close to the Wahhabi Clerical Establishment • Ultra Conservative, hardliner • 78 years old, much of royal family is old and/or ailing. Thought to be out of touch with much of Saudi population

  22. Principle Threat: Women Current Situation Saudi Response: Women granted right to vote recently Stricter laws being passed regarding limiting women's’ freedoms within Saudi Arabia • Very Repressed and extremely limited both socially and culturally, as is standard in pure Wahhabist rule • Desire more social and political freedom and inclusion within Saudi Society

  23. Principle Threat: The Youth Unemployment Current Situation Saudi Response 37Billion dollars in welfare reforms including unemployment benefits and subsidies “Strategic Partnership” with the United States in a 385Billion Dollar Investment in the future of Saudi Arabia • Average age is 25 years • Estimates for unemployment are as high as 25% • Huge gaps in income throughout the kingdom • About 80% of Saudi workforce are non-nationals

  24. Principle Threat: Shia Minority Current Situation Saudi Response Early December marks the first time Saudi forces used gunfire against protestors Using any and all means to quiet and quell dissent Blamed violence on an “unnamed foreign influence” • 2Million Shia’s living in Qatif • Unfair treatment and subject to systematic discrimination • March: “Day of Rage” • Early December: 4 Dead and as many as 11 Injured in protests

  25. Demonstrations in Qatif

  26. Principle Threat: Iran • Struggle and Competition to be the regional Hegemon • Sectarian differences cause an escalation in the situation • Proxy Wars: Bahrain, Syria, Yemen, is Iraq next? • Extremist activity: Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda • United States wants containment of Iranian Influence

  27. Qatar

  28. A Basic History • 1971: Independence from British • 1939: Discovery of oil reserves • 1990: Qatar allows foreign troops on territory; participates in Gulf War • 1996: Al-Jazeera is launched • 1999: Municipal elections take place for the first time • 2001: Border disputes with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain settled

  29. 2005: New Constitution comes into effect 2007: Doha Center for Media Freedom established 2008: First official Church inaugurated 2011: Join military operations in Libya 2013: First-ever elections for advisory committee to be held Historical rule by Al-Thani family Population: 1.8 million; 250,000 citizens Majority religion: Sunni Islam GDP per capita (2010): $179,000 (#1) GDP Growth Rate (2010): 16.3% HDI: 0.831

  30. Foreign Relations • Israel • Iran • Saudi Arabia • Bahrain • USA • Russia

  31. Military Power • Gulf War: Qatar allows foreign troops into territory • Iraq War: US base in Qatar becomes ‘nerve center’ of operations in Iraq (now largest military base outside of USA) • Libya: join in NATO-led military operations; reportedly arm rebels • 10%GDP spent on military (2005 estimate)

  32. Soft Power GCC • Founding member 1981 • Mediation • Lebanon • Sudan/Darfur • Western Sahara • Somalia • Palestine • Al Jazeera • Promoting freer media in Arab world • Coverage of Arab Spring

  33. The Arab Spring • Al Jazeera coverage of uprisings • Bahrain protests coverage • English vs Arabic channels • Democratization: Advisory Council Election s planned for 2013 • Sent troops to Bahrain during protests • Emir urges Western leaders to embrace moderate Islam • “If you have everything you need, who needs democracy?”

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