Bahrain Grand Prix Fact Sheet 2017

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2017 will be Bahrain’s thirteenth Formula One Grand Prix and the fourth night race. This year’s Bahrain Grand Prix starting on 14 April is the third race of the Formula One season, following the 24-26 March race in Australia won by Mercedes’ Sebastian Vettel; and the China race 7-9 April won by Lewis Hamilton.

Bahrain champions

Nico Rosberg from Mercedes won in Bahrain in 2016 although his retirement at the end of that season means that he won’t be a contender in 2017. In both 2014 and 2015 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonzo has a strong record for Bahrain, with wins in 2005, 2006 and 2010. Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel have both won twice here, with Vettel coming first in 2013. Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher are Bahrain’s other one-time winners.

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Analysis: Bahraini views on US terrorist listing

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The US State Department’s decision to list two affiliates of the Al Ashtar Brigades on a terrorist list was strongly welcomed by many Bahrainis. The organisation which is backed by Iran was responsible for the deadliest attack on Bahraini soil that left three policemen dead in March 2014.

There was a notable tendency for Bahrainis to welcome this new readiness by the US to get tough on terrorism in the GCC and to take a stronger approach on Iran. However, many people raised other concerns about American policies towards the region and Muslims more generally. Below is a range of opinions on how Bahrainis viewed the recent decision by the United States:

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The rise and fall of Bahrain’s left-wing

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A shared political consciousness

As the first state in the Arabian Gulf region to discover oil in 1931, Bahrain has a long history of political and civil society activism. Many of the first generation of modern political figures were educated in new schools set up during the 1920s, giving Bahrain a strong progressive edge over many of its neighbours. The first girls’ school in the entire region appeared in Manama in 1928.

Due to Bahrain’s small size, most of the prominent figures who would dominate Bahrain’s political scene over the coming decades went to school with each other; including members of the ruling family, political activists and professionals.

The first manifestations of political activism appeared among workers of the national oil company, Bapco, with workers demanding better pay and conditions; as well as preferment for Bahraini workers. During this generation which appeared between the first and second world wars, one of the noticeable features was the eradication of sectarian barriers. People from both Sunni and Shia villages attended these modern schools together and worked alongside each other.

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Dialogue with the sponsors of terror

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Dialogue is the first step towards peace and stability in any situation of conflict throughout history. Our region has been plagued by high levels of instability and insecurity with the rise of extremist groups that are waging a war against modernisation, progress and all forms of freedom. The two biggest powers in the Arabian Gulf region Saudi Arabia and Iran have had had a tense relationship throughout the past few decades following the Islamic revolution in Iran that openly aims at exporting the Welayat Al Faqih ideology to other countries. 

 

For much of Muslim history, Sunnis and Shia have peacefully coexisted without there always being sharp awareness of the minor theological differences between them. Sunni-Shia tensions have throughout history been the result of competing Islamic empires such as the Ottomans and Safavids who exploited sectarian affiliations for political gain. The conflict is today represented between Sunni Saudi Arabia and GCC states and Shia Iran which wants to take the lead in the Muslim world, particularly through trying to dominate a number of Arab states which have been weakened by conflict.

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