The name Isa refers to Isa ibn Salman Al Khalifah, the ruler of Bahrain from 1961 to 1999.
Isa Town largely comprises affluent newly constructed villas, and is home to many members of Bahrain's educated middle classes. In 2002's election it was one of the few areas of Bahrain not to be entirely represented by an Islamist or right wing MP, with Abdnabi Salman of the formerly communist Democratic Bloc winning the seat. In 2006's election, ex-Harvard academic, Dr Munira Fakhro of Waad lost in controversial circumstances to Sunni Islamist Dr Salah Ali of Al-Menbar Islamic Society.
Isa Town is famous for the traditional marketplace. Isa Town also houses most of the private schools in Bahrain, with the Indian School, The New Indian School, Pakistan Urdu School, Sacred Heart School, Ibn Khuldoon National School, Pakistan School, The Bahrain Bayan School, the Naseem International School and the St. Christopher's School, all concentrated into a small zone which also includes the Isa Town campus of the University of Bahrain. The National Driving School and the Directorate of Road Traffic have their headquarters in Isa Town. Other offices include the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Information, which includes the Bahrain Radio & TV broadcasting station, in Isa Town. Besides the market, the main landmark is the Bahrain National Stadium. The new Bahrain Polytechnic has also opened on the site of the old Bahrain University.
Isa Town Market inferno
On the 15th of July 2012, the Isa Town marketplace caught fire, damaging more than 450 shops and causing damages amounting to hundreds of thousands of dinars. It took dozens of firefighters and around 30 fire engines more than five hours to control the blaze. There were no reported casualties although two firemen were hospitalized due to smoke inhalation. It was estimated that two-thirds of the market was destroyed.
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