3rd Millenium BCE: Bahrain is known as the commercial state of Dilmun, which is part of Sumer.
4th century CE: Annexed by the Persian Sassanid empire. Bahrain is turned into a Christian Nestorian stronghold.
8th century: Conquered by the Abbasids, it becomes part of the Caliphate. Conversion to Islam begins.
1521: Portuguese rule. At this time Bahrain is the center of trading.
1602: Persians drive the Portuguese away.
1783: Persians lose their foothold as the local rulers. The al-Khalifa family takes control and drives the Persians out. For a period Bahrain is an independent emirate.
1820: Treaty between Britain and Bahrain is signed, after British pressure.
1861: A second treaty is signed, and Bahrain becomes a British protectorate. The British take control over the external affairs and get exclusive rights with respect to trade.
1931: Oil is discovered, and national consciousness increases. Bahrain later joins the neighboring Trucial States and Qatar in the Federation of Arab Emirates.
1971: As Bahrain gets its independence, the rulers decide not to join the United Arab Emirates.
1973: A constitution is adopted. The elected National Assembly meets for the first time.
1975: The National Assembly is dissolved when the al-Khalifa family accuses it of obstructing governmental activities.
1979: With the Iranian revolution, Shi’is in Bahrain begin to protest and act against the ruling Sunnis, and Iran expresses its claim on Bahrain. This tangible situation still dominates Bahraini politics.
1986 December: A causeway between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia opens.
1990: Bahrain takes a stand against Iraq after the invasion of Kuwait, and participates with the US-led coalition.
1993: The al-Khalifa family appoints a Consultative Council, which is to work in the place of the National Assembly that was dissolved 18 years earlier. The opposition is not satisfied, as all members are appointed by the ruling family.
1994: Shi’i actions in favor of the National Assembly. Their demonstrations start after the arrest of Shaykh Ali Salman in December. They are immediately met by extensive arrests from the government.
1995: The Shi’i leader Shaykh Amir al-Jamri is arrested in April, but released in September. His release was one of 40 releases, actions through which the government wants to show goodwill. Until then, the talks with the opposition figures had not lead to any solution to the ongoing conflict.
November: New riots, especially among students.
1996 January: Al-Jamri arrested again.
February 11: Bomb exploding in a luxury hotel in Manama, but nobody is killed. The Islamic Front for the Liberation of Bahrain claims responsibility.
February 14: A car bomb explodes in a market, nobody injured. The actions were seen as a worsening of conditions by most Bahrainis, many facing serious problems with unemployment, a majority of these being Shi’is. The Bahraini government accuses Iran of triggering the Shi’i opposition, but Iran denies these allegations.
1999 May 30: Prime Minister Shaykh Khalifa bni Salman al-Khalifa dissolves the government, but is asked to form a new one with new members.


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