Bahrain is one of the smallest countries of the Arab world, but its
size does not reflect its importance. This tiny nation, made up of 33
islands in the Arabian Gulf, is a key regional ally of the United
States. In addition, Bahrain is one of the few countries in the Middle
East that allows its people--both men and women?to participate in
government, through an elected national assembly.Bahrain is far from a democracy, and the country has struggled
with a religious division that has led to violence in recent years. But
if Bahrain can move successfully toward a more open government, it
may inspire other Middle Eastern nations to experiment with democratic
principles as well.
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