King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa - King of Bahrain

His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa - King of Bahrain, source Wikimedia Commons
His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa - King of Bahrain, source Wikimedia Commons

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa started his reign not as king, but as Emir of Bahrain. An emir is the ruler of an emirate, which is a political territory or a state. Emir means "commander", "general", or "prince." Being an emir and addressed to as "His Highness" (HH) is not too shabby; however, being a king and addressed to as "His Majesty" (HM) is even better. So, in 2002, HH Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa declared himself King of the Kingdom of Bahrain - HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

The Al Khalifa family, which has ruled Bahrain since 1783, originally came from Kuwait. What? They are not even true Bahrainis? That's right. However, the Al Khalifa clan had to fight and elbow a number of other Arab family clans and tribes, Iran and the British Empire, to hold on to Bahrain. The Al Khalifa clan had to be really shrewd to beat the British Empire, don't you think? And how did they accomplish this seemingly impossible feat? The Al Khalifa clan asked the help of a much bigger entity, The United Nations. On May 11, 1970, the United Nations recognized Bahrain as a "fully independent and sovereign state free to decide its own relations with other states."


How did King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa become a king?

During the mid-1990s, Bahrain was suffering from political unrest. So, when King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa succeeded his father as head of state in March 1999, he immediately instituted elections for parliament, released all political prisoners, and, listen to this - gave women the right to vote. After these historic moves, he set out proposals to his people to turn the country into a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament and an independent judiciary. Elections were held in 2002, and the Bahranis gave him a standing ovation; it was a landslide in support of their ruler. So, what else is there to do? He declared himself king.

What a guy!

So, let's learn more about HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, shall we?



HH King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa - King of Bahrain
HH King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa - King of Bahrain


King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa - King of Bahrain


King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa was born on December 28, 1950 in Riffa, Bahrain. He is the eldest son of Shaikh Isa ibn Salman Al Khalifah, the previous emir, and Sheikha Hessa bint Salman Al Khalifa, a member of the Bahraini royal family.


Education

  • Attended Manama Secondary School in Bahrain.
  • Attended Applegarth College in Godalming, Surrey.
  • Attended The Leys School in Cambridge.


Military Training

  • Graduate of the British Army at Mons Officer Cadet School at Aldershot in Hampshire.
  • Graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth,Kansas - Degree in Leadershiphool in Aldershot, England.



Family

H.M. King Hamad has four wives. His first wife, Queen Sabika bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, whom he married in 1968, is the mother of the Crown Prince, Salman ibn Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa, the heir apparent of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

He had twelve children in total, seven sons and five daughters. His eldest son with third wife, HH Sheikh Faisal bin Hamad Al Khalifa, died in a fatal car accident in 2006.



Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa - Father of H.M. King Hamad - Reigned as Emir of Bahrain November 1961 – 6 March 1999
Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa - Father of H.M. King Hamad - Reigned as Emir of Bahrain November 1961 – 6 March 1999
Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Crown Prince of Bahrain - Eldest son of H.M. King Hamad and heir apparent
Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Crown Prince of Bahrain - Eldest son of H.M. King Hamad and heir apparent


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Interesting Facts about Bahrain

  • Bahrain means "two seas."
  • Bahrain was once viewed by the ancient Sumerians as an island paradise to which the wise and the brave were taken to enjoy eternal life.
  • Bahrain is actually an archipelago of 33 islands in the Arabian Gulf that has been inhabited by humans since prehistoric times.
  • In 1932, oil was found in Bahrain, the first discovery of oil on the Arab side of the Gulf.
  • Bahrain's main exports are petroleum and petroleum products, aluminium.
  • Islam is the official religion of the Kingdom of Bahrain.
  • Arabic is the official language. English is widely used in business and is compulsory in schools.
  • In 2001, women voted for the first time.
  • In 2002, women were allowed to run for office in national elections. No woman was elected.
  • In 2006, Latifa al-Gaood was the first female candidate in any of the GCC countries to win a seat in parliament.


Riffa Palace - the official residence of the King of Bahrain, source http://travel.webshots.com
Riffa Palace - the official residence of the King of Bahrain, source http://travel.webshots.com
Desert landscape in Bahrain, source Wikimedia Commons
Desert landscape in Bahrain, source Wikimedia Commons


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Comments 6 comments

Rosie2010 profile image

Rosie2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Hiya Prasetio, thanks for dropping by. I'm glad you enjoyed reading my hub on the King of Bahrain. Thanks for the vote up. Cheers!

Have a nice day,

Rosie


Rosie2010 profile image

Rosie2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Hiya James, thanks for dropping by. I'm glad you enjoyed reading about the King of Bahrain. Cheers!

Have a nice day,

Rosie


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Nice information, Rosie. Good tribute to the King of Bahrain. I hope we can learn something from this man. That's what we called him "the real king". I really enjoy all the pictures above. Well done and vote up!

Prasetio


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

Thank you for this excellent Hub. I sure enjoyed reading it and viewing the photographs. Well done! :)


Rosie2010 profile image

Rosie2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Hiya Will, always happy to see you in my hubs. I'm glad you found my King Hamad hub interesting. I had lost my motivation in writing a couple of months ago, but I think I got it back... hmmm we'll see. lol Cheers!

Have a nice day,

Rosie


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Really interesting Hub, Rosie!

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