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the second-largest city in the kingdom of bahrain and the second-largest island of the archipelago in the persian/arabian gulf.

During the early nineteenth century, Muharraq (also Moharek, al-Muharraq) was ruled by leaders of the Abdullah branch of the al-Khalifa (who rule Bahrain). They used it as a base for their longstanding rivalry with the Sulman branch, centered in Manama (the capital, on the main island of Bahrain, now across a short channel-bridge). More homogeneous in population than Manama, Muharraq has mainly Sunni Arabs and only two predominantly Shiʿite residential districts. During the 1950s and 1960s, both radical and Arab nationalist movements appealed to the city's people in an effort to remove the British. Muharraq was the site of the British air force and army bases during the later years of the British protectorate (18801971). It is also the site of the country's international airport. In 2001, the city's population was estimated at 74,000.

see also al khalifa family.


Clarke, Angela. The Islands of Bahrain. Manama, Bahrain: Bahrain Historical and Archaeological Society, 1981.

fred h. lawson

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