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Amid the vast assurance of the Arab uprisings, the Gulf country of Bahrain has been virtually forgotten. Fusing ancient and modern research, Bahrain’s Uprising seeks to fill this hole, reading the continuing protests and country repression that keeps today.

Drawing on robust tales, interviews, and conversations from these concerned, this extensive number of writings through students and activists presents a hardly ever heard voice of the lived adventure of Bahrainis, describing the way a cosmopolitan society, outlined by way of a historic fight, keeps to bog down the efforts of the ruling elite to rebrand itself as a liberal monarchy.

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As with real life, their stories may not have a happy ending or a fairytale resolution. Spoiler alert: Sharif was only released in June 2015, and serious reports are emerging of a dreadful crisis in the prison where Sharif was being held. ) While Mitchell was deported, Jallawi was eventually forced into exile. Just like these stories, this book has no real denouement, reflecting the episodic and ongoing nature of a people’s quest for self-determination and sovereignty. Through these voices, the innate human desire for dignity and equality is understood in the transformative experiences that lead to radical efforts by Bahrainis to move from being oppressed subjects to free citizens.

Cementing sectarian rule To a large extent, international patronage allows the Al Khalifa to pursue repressive policies with limited moderation or, as the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) advises, in an ‘acceptable manner’. In the repertoire of control, the instrumentalisation of sectarianism has been an adopted divide-and-rule strategy for decades. Given that unity of opposition against it could be Al Khalifa’s swan song, the regime has worked to prevent different groups forming a united front to challenge them.

Repression and contentious politics have marred almost every decade of Bahrain’s history throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. It is safe to assume that the mass protests of 2011 were part of this historical trajectory, if not almost historically determined, as well as the wider Arab uprisings. The uprising has been called several things. It is self-referentially called the thawrat al-Luʾluʾ, ‘the Pearl Revolution’, or, more commonly, thawrat arbʿataˉ shar febraˉ yir, the ‘14 February Revolu­tion’.

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