Sitra

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For the The South India Textile Research Association, see SITRA.
Sitra
السترة As Sitra
Women taking part in a pro-democracy sit-in in Sitra
Women taking part in a pro-democracy sit-in in Sitra
Sitra (Sitrah), east of Manama, in Bahrain
Sitra (Sitrah), east of Manama, in Bahrain
Coordinates: 26°09′14″N 50°37′09″E / 26.15389°N 50.61917°E / 26.15389; 50.61917Coordinates: 26°09′14″N 50°37′09″E / 26.15389°N 50.61917°E / 26.15389; 50.61917
Country Bahrain
Governorate Central
Population
 • Total 40,000

Sitra (Arabic: سترة‎ or Arabic: سِتْرَة‎,[1] also: As Sitra,[2] Jazīrat Sitrah[3] and Jazīrat as Sitra[4]) is an island in the Central Governorate of Bahrain, just east of Bahrain Island in Persian Gulf. It lies south of Manama and Nabih Saleh. The island's western coast forms the boundary of Tubli Bay.

Most of the inhabitants of the island live in seven historic villages: Wadyan, Al Kharijiya, Marquban, Al Garrya, Mahazza, Sufala, and Abul Aish. Many ghost towns exist in Sitra, the most prominent one being Halat Um al-Baidh. Sitra's population is largely Bahraini Shia Muslim, with a significant South Asian minority.

Sitra's Sunni Arab population (including the Al Buainain tribe which inhabited the now deserted village of Salba, west of Sitra[5]) eradicated during the early 1920s when most of them died as a result of smallpox or migrated back to their homelands.[6]

Masjid al-Mughira ibn Shu'ba, the island's last remaining Sunni mosque, shut down in 2011 amid reports of vandalism of the mosque by Shia protesters.[7][8]

Geography and economy[edit]

The island used to be covered in date palm groves and farms, watered by several freshwater springs, and the island's economy used to be based on agriculture and fishing. Mangroves used to line the western coast, however they have almost disappeared due to development.

The northern section of the island has been turned into an industrial area. Bapco oil storage reservoirs are located in the south. Sitra is also the terminus of the 42-km Dhahran-Sitra natural gas pipeline, which connects it to Dahran in Saudi Arabia.[9]

Several car and furniture showrooms also make up the new development on the island.

The Sitra Causeway connects the north of the island to Nabih Saleh and to Umm al Hussam (Manama) on Bahrain Island. A small bridge on the south west of the Sitra also joins Bahrain Island, near the villages of Ma'ameer and Eker.

The Sitra Club is a cultural and sports club for the island. Also, Sitra is the site of many school campuses such as Al Noor International School and Indian School, Bahrain.

History[edit]

Bapco Bahrain oil reservoirs in Sitra
Berth number 4 in Sitra Wharf in 1940.

Conflict with Al Khalifa in 1782[edit]

In 1782, a conflict occurred between locals and a number of Al Khalifa who came from Zubara to buy supplies. The clashes resulted in deaths from both sides.[10]

Sitra Municipality[edit]

Map of Bahrain showing Sitrah municipality

Sitra was also the name of a municipality in Bahrain before they were re-organized as governorates. The Sitra Municipality consisted of the island of Sitra and three villages close to it on the main island of Bahrain: Ma'ameer, Eker and Nuwaidrat.[11]

The area covered by Sitra Municipality handles Bahrain's entire petroleum production. It is also the export centre for the oil fields in northeastern Saudi Arabia. [12]

Notes[edit]