Bahrain became independent from Britain on August 14th this year. But because it was too?
Bahrain became independent from Britain on August 14th this year. But because it was too hat for organised celebrations, December 16th has become the new state's national day.
On Wednesday, there was a double reason for celebrating. It was also the anniversary of the accession of Bahrain's ruler, Emir Isa. He has just completed the first decade of his rule.
Visnews cameraman Ralph Izzard filed the Emir taking the salute at the colourful military and civilian independence parade through the capital. He also filed scenes at a subsequent reception at the Emir's palace.
SYNOPSIS: The ruler of Bahrain, Emir, arrived for an important event in the island's brief four-month history of statehood. Bahrain became independent from Britain on August 14th this year. But because it's too hot at that time of year for organised celebrations, December 16th has been declared the National Day of the new state.
For the Emir, Wednesday's celebrations were the occasion of a double anniversary. On the same day, he completed his first decade as ruler of the Arabian Gulf State.
The Bahrain armed farces have the responsibility of safeguarding some of the richest oil resources in the Middle East. When the decree of independence was signed last summer, Bahrain ended nearly a century of political and military dependence on Britain. But the actual act of independence was accompanied by a new treaty of friendship between Britain and Bahrain. Emir Isa has said he highly values the continuing ties with Britain and that he hopes the two countries would engage in extensive future co-operation. He also hopes the countries can jointly contribute towards peace and stability in the Gulf area.
After the parades, crowds flocked to the Ne Palace in Manama, the capital, to congratulate the Emir. The ruler's title changed to Emir at the time of independence. Previously, Bahrain was a sheikhdom. Wednesday's ceremonies wound up a momentous year in the island's four-thousand year history. At the time of independence, Emir Isa had announced that Bahrain would apply for membership of the United Nations and of the Arab League. And with a major source of income assured from oil resources, the future looks bright for Bahrain's two-hundred thousand population.