Abdurrahman Al-Shayyal meets Bahraini journalists in order to better understand the island's politics

Bahrain, a tiny gulf island, normally keeps a low profile in the international news. Meanwhile, internal sectarian tensions are building.

Shias make up 70 per cent of the population, but they are ruled and discriminated against by the Sunni minority. There are fears that the sectarian violence engulfing Iraq, could spread to its neighbour.

This all makes for an explosive situation which could tear Bahrain apart. Its vocal and restless Shia community are rousing up feelings of anger and indignation within minority Shia communities in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Emirates.

They feel that they are not proportionally represented. But other Bahrainis feel that the Shias are cause for concern because of their loyalties to Iran, and their wish to "Islamize" the country.

People & Power provides an insight into the political turmoil that has preoccupied the country's people over the past few years. Journalist Abdurrahman Al-Shayyal asks whether Bahrain can overcome these pressures in order to heal its sectarian divisions.

This episode of People & Power aired from Wednesday 27 June 2007 at the following times:

Wednesday: 14:30GMT
Thursday:      01:30 and 13:30GMT
Friday:           06:30, 20:30GMT
Saturday:      03:00GMT

Watch this episode here:





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