Bahrain Appoints Women to CouncilSeptember 30, 2000
Bahrain’s Consultative Council appoints non-Muslims and women to its panel for the first time, including a Christian woman and a Jewish businessman.
GCC Defense EffortsDecember 30, 2000
Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE sign a regional defense pact
Bahrain ReferendumMarch 2, 2001
A referendum is held concerning political reform, and citizens strongly call for a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament and an independent judiciary.
Bahrain-Qatar Border Dispute ResolvedMarch 30, 2001
Qatar settles border disputes with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
Al-Wefaq FoundedNovember 30, 2001
The Al-Wefaq opposition movement is founded.
Bahrain Becomes Constitutional MonarchyMay 1, 2002
The country is now a constitutional monarchy with an elected lower parliament and allows women to stand for office. Elections are held and over 50% of the country votes, despite local Islamists’ call for a boycott.
Backlash Against TortureMay 1, 2003
Thousands of citizens who claim to have been tortured petition the king for the right to sue previous torturers.
Bahrain Appoints Female MinisterApril 8, 2004
First female cabinet member, Nada Haffadh, is appointed to the position of health minister.
U.S.-Bahrain Trade PactSeptember 8, 2004
The government signs a free trade pact with U.S., while Saudi Arabia expresses discontent that this move could hinder regional integration.
Protests in BahrainMarch 11, 2005
Protesters begin marching for an elected parliament, instead of absolute control by the king.
Bahrain Offers AmnestySeptember 26, 2007
Bahrain extends amnesty to thousands of illegal foreign workers.
Bahrain Appoints Jewish, Female AmbassadorMay 28, 2008
The government appoints a Jewish woman, Houda Nonoo, as its ambassador to the United States. She is the first Jewish, female ambassador from the Arab world.
Pardoned PrisonersApril 30, 2009
Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa pardons more than 170 prisoners, most of whom were accused of endangering national security, including 35 Shiites.
Bahraini ElectionsOctober 31, 2010
Bahraini Elections favor Shia opposition group, the Islamic National Accord Association, allowing it to retain previous gains.
Arab Spring in BahrainFebruary 28, 2011
Bahraini security forces are aided by Saudi Arabian soldiers to successfully suppress Arab Spring protesters. Shia Muslims blamed for the protests and many are detained; reports of torture surface.
Arab Spring AnniversaryFebruary 29, 2012
Bahraini police break up an attempt by protesters to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Arab Spring demonstrations. Renewed protests spark again and activists are jailed.
Shia Withdraw from NegotiationsSeptember 30, 2013
Shia activists withdraw from negotiations with the government after party leader is arrested.
Bahrain Government Talks ResumeJanuary 31, 2014
The government and Shia groups resume talks. The main Shia opposition group, Wefaq, is banned from upcoming parliamentary elections. Shia citizens boycott the election, claiming the governmental procedure is a sham. The government arrests leader of the Wefaq movement, inciting protesters to clash with security forces.
Bahrain Joins the Fight in YemenMarch 31, 2015
Bahrain joins the GCC states in launching airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen.
League of Arab States Oppose Iraq WarMarch 1, 2016
Leaders of the League of Arab States, led by Bahrain, convene in Sharm el-Sheikh to strongly oppose a potential Iraq war and call for Saddam Hussein to comply with UN WMD inspectors
Top Shia cleric found guilty of money launderingMay 21, 2017
A court in Bahrain on Sunday convicted the spiritual leader of the country’s Shi’ite Muslims of collecting funds illegally and money laundering and sentenced him to one year in jail suspended for three years.
Bomb attack kills policemanOctober 27, 2017
Militants attacked a Bahraini police bus killing one policeman and wounding eight others.
Discovery of countries largest oilfieldApril 8, 2018
A new discovery off the coast of Bahrain is estimated to contain at least 80 billion barrels of tight oil, the kingdom’s biggest ever find.