Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa
|Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa|
|1st Emir of Bahrain|
13th Hakim of Bahrain
Isa bin Salman in 1998
|Hakim of Bahrain|
|Reign||2 November 1961 – 16 August 1971|
|Coronation||16 December 1961|
|Predecessor||Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa|
|Successor||Himself (As Emir)|
|Prime Minister||Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa|
|Emir of Bahrain|
|Reign||16 August 1971 - 6 March 1999|
|Predecessor||Himself (As Hakim)|
|Successor||Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa|
|Prime Minister||Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa|
|Born||3 June 1931|
|Died||6 March 1999 (aged 67)|
Al Rifa'a Cemetery
|Spouse||Hessa bint Salman Al Khalifa|
|Issue||King Hamad |
|Father||Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa|
|Mother||Mouza bint Hamad Al Khalifa|
Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa (Arabic: عيسى بن سلمان آل خليفة; 3 June 1931 – 6 March 1999) was the first emir of Bahrain from 1961 until his death in 1999. Born in Jasra, Bahrain, he became emir upon the death of his father, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
Early life and Reign
Isa was born in Jasra to Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Mouza bint Hamad Al Khalifa (1933-2009), the daughter of Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and succeeded his father as emir upon his death in November 1961. He was installed in 16 December.
During his reign, Bahrain gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1971. While the government initially considered joining the United Arab Emirates, Isa had his country withdraw (along with Qatar) over his dissatisfaction with the proposed constitution. He then attempted to introduce a moderate form of parliamentary democracy, and men (though not women) were given the vote in parliamentary elections in 1973. In August 1975, however, he dissolved Parliament because it refused to pass the government-sponsored State Security Law of 1974. The parliamentary system was never restored in his lifetime and forced the emir to contend with occasional protests from the leftist and Islamist camps, which reached their peak in 1994 (see: History of Bahrain).
During his reign there was an arrangement between him and his brother, Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman, whereby the Emir was assigned a diplomatic and ceremonial role, while Khalifa controlled the government and economy as Prime Minister.
Marriage and children
Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa had one wife, his cousin Sheikha Hessa bint Salman Al Khalifa (1933–2009), daughter of Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa. They married on 8 May 1949. They had five sons and four daughters:
- Hamad bin Isa (1950-) , current king
- Rashed bin Isa (-17 December 2011)
- Mohamed bin Isa, Commander of the National Guard (1997-2008)
- Abdullah bin Isa, Vice President of the Higher Committee for the Horseback riding club
- Ali bin Isa, current Minister of the Royal Court Affairs (1955-)
- Munira bint Isa
- Maryam bint Isa
- Shaikha bint Isa
- Noura bint Isa
Legacy and death
During his 38 years as Emir, the economic transformation of Bahrain into a modern nation and a key financial center in the Persian Gulf area took place. Nevertheless, critics note that he also dissolved Parliament, taking on absolute power.
Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa died of a heart attack on 6 March 1999 at the Government House in Manama, shortly after a meeting with the United States defense secretary William Cohen. He was 67. The last function he attended was the funeral of King Hussein, which took place was less than a month before his death.
US President Bill Clinton expressed "deep sadness" at the news of the emir's death calling him "a good friend of peace." UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan also expressed "great sadness," and described the emir as "a force for stability" in the region. He was buried at the Al-Rifa'a cemetery.
- Spain : Grand Collar of the Order of Isabella the Catholic (4 December 1981)
- Egypt : Grand Collar of the Order of the Nile
- France : Grand Cross of the National Order of the Legion of Honor
- Germany : Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- Iran : Grand Collar of the Order of Pahlavi
- Kingdom of Iraq :
- Order of the Two Rivers 1st Class (x/5/1968, 2nd Class 3 April 1952)
- King Faisal II Installation Medal (2/5/1953)
- Jordan :
- Kuwait : Collar of the Order of Mubarak the Great of Kuwait
- Lebanon : Grand Cordon of the Order of the Cedar (2nd Class, 1958)
- Morocco : Collar of the Order of Muhammad
- Oman : Civil Order of Oman, 1st Class
- Qatar : Collar of the Order of the Independence of the State
- South Africa : Grand Cross of the Order of Good Hope (1995)
- Syria Grand Cross of the Order of Umayyad
- Tunisia : Grand Cross of the Order of the Independence
- UAE : Order of Al-Nahayyan 1st Class
- Empire of Iran : Commemorative Medal of the 2500th Anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire (14 October 1971).
- United Kingdom :
- 1933–1942: Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa
- 1942–1961: His Excellency Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa
- 1961–1964: His Highness Sheikh Isa II bin Salman Al Khalifa, Hakim of Bahrain
- 1964–1971: His Highness Sheikh Sir Isa II bin Salman Al Khalifa, Hakim of Bahrain, KCMG
- 1971–1999: His Highness Sheikh Isa II bin Salman Al Khalifa, Emir of Bahrain
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