Schneider, Howard. "Bahrainis Seemed Prepared to Back Sweeping
economic reforms, which liberalized the treatment of foreign and domestic investors and resulted in increased Western economic assistance. However, Metz said that the infitah "generally had an adverse impact on the lower class" (18). "With no real improvement in the economy, Sadat became increasingly unpopular," leading to his assassination by religious extremists (Metz 85).
riods) Bahrain's independence from would-be outside conquerors, such as the Portuguese in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Persians and the expanding al-Saud tribe in the Arabian Peninsula in the 18th century. The al-Khalifa amirs also were a unifying force, avoiding the internecine warfare among petty Bahraini sheikhdoms which had so characterized many earlier periods (such as from the 9th to 11th centuries A.D.) (Robison & Greenway 12). The al-Khalifa family proved adept at playing off more powerful foreign powers against each other.
Predecessors Nasser and Sadat, Egypt's Leader Has Served
Despite declining revenues from crude oil production which still account for 50 percent of government revenues, Bahrain's recently diversified economy has performed fairly well in recent years. Its per capita income as a percentage of GDP in 1995 was $7840 (as compared with about $1300 in Egypt) (Bahrain Europa International Yearbook 2000 567). Real economic growth per annum increased from an average rate of .6 percent in 1985-1995 to 4.7 percent in 1991-1996 (Bahrain Europa International Yearbook 2000 567). Yet, unemployment remains high, 15 percent in 1998 (Whitewash 42). Disaffection among the economically disadvantaged Shiite majority remains a problem, and their numbers are increasing as the population grows by 3.4 percent per annum (Bahrain Europa International Yearbook 2000 567).
Egypt had a much less satisfactory experience with the European powers. The first efforts to modernize the Egyptian economy were undertaken by Muha