His name is Shaikh Isa Bin Salman Bin Hamad Bin Isa Bin Ali Bin Khalifa Bin Salman Bin Ahmed (Al Fateh) Bin Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, the late Ruler and Amir of Bahrain.
He was born in Al Jasra village, Bahrain, in 1352 A.H., corresponding to third of June, 1933. He started his education in Bahrain’s schools, then travelled to Europe to enrich his education. He became the Crown Prince in 7th Dhul-Hijjah, 1376 A.H., corresponding to 5th July 1957. He assumed power after his father’s death on 22nd Jumada I 1381 A.H., corresponding to 2nd November 1961.
The life of His Highness Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa and his great deeds in the fields of charity, reform and construction ranks him among few outstanding figures. In his era, security was wide spread in the state, the administration was improved, trade was boomed, the state was constructed, and all life facilities were reformed.
If we want to talk about reform during his time, we will be unable to cover it in these lines. He believed strongly that sincere and diligent work lasts forever. He also believed that at one day every person will become a memory of their deeds. As the history book will commemorate them, especially their work and their loyal role in building the country, and in ensuring the happiness and welfare of the citizens who were loyal to him and were loving him as he was loyal to them. For bahrainies, Shaikh Isa was truly a history maker, and a the founder of modern state of Bahrain.
His Highness spent more than thirty years in diligent work. He developed Bahrain, the effects of such civilized tradition was evident in all life facilities within the state. All people in Bahrain admit that HH has achieved what every citizen aspired to. The wise Amir was adopting the principle that says “Wisdom is the base of ruling”. He is an experienced man and politician who is characterized by generosity, tolerance, modesty, and the traits of a righteous ruler. He inherited from his fathers and grandfathers these generous traits. He was cultured as he travelled a lot and was familiar with civilization aspects of other countries. His Highness had visited and travelled to many Arab and foreign countries. His father appointed him in the Regency Council during his absence, as he was in a visit to Britain to attend crowning celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II. His Highness was brought up according to Arabic and Islamic norms, he was characterized by his modesty and simplicity. He inherited calmness, sobriety and sound judgment from his father. Tenderness, tolerance, kindness, and bright-face were his traits. Thus, he was popular in all public media.
Bahrain has witnessed noticeable development in his era at the economic, social, cultural and political levels. He strived for Bahrain independency. He diversified economic activities, thus Bahrain became a center for global banking. No wonder that Bahrain has developed economically due to His Highness’s great concern and the concern of his government with the economic development and its reflections on the social, cultural and political levels. His Highness’s policy and situations were sound in all issues. He was concerned with generous spending on developmental projects within the state, as well as on poor people in his state. He did not accept to enter in economic speculation to gain money. He was concerned with security, stability and discipline due to their related effect on economic and social advancement. In his era, Bahrain distinguished by tolerance with foreigners and minorities, thus all of them were attracted for tourism or work, with strong interest, as they found that Bahraini people, in general, are hospitable, as they treat others with generosity, warmness and help, in addition their king also has the same characteristics. His Highness’s hobbies and interests, during his youth, were related to horsemanship (javelin, shooting, and horse riding), in prophetic tradition, the prophet said you should learn your sons swimming, javelin and horse riding.
His Highness’s government was concerned with education. In his era, Bahrain University was opened in 1986. At Health level, many hospitals were opened, such as the Military Hospital. His Highness was keen to follow-up civilized achievements. He opened Bahrain International Airport and Salman Port. He laid down the cornerstone of Isa Town. He issued a decree to form (Bahrain Defense Force) that was converted later to the Ministry of Defense. He opened Bahrain Museum. Moreover, he issued a decree to establish (the State Council) and to appoint His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa as a chairman to this council. He opened the new building of Bahrain International Airport. In his era, Bahraini newspapers were issued, such as Gulf News. He opened a dry dock. The Historical Documents Center that relates Bahrain’s documented history was established in his ear. He opened the military hospital. He participated with his brothers, leaders of Gulf Council Countries, in the summit conferences held yearly. His Highness opened the complex of the Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs and the complex of the Ministry of Information. He laid down the cornerstone of King Fahd Causeway Project which linked Bahrain to the westren coast of Saudi Arabia. He launched Hamad town project of housing, and patronized the istableshment of the Islamic Center of Ahmed Al-Fateh, as well as University of Bahrain. In the era of Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa, Bahrain ended the British Protectorate Treaty and became memeber in both the Arab States League and the UN in 1971.
His Highness, died on 8th Dhul Qida 1419 A.H., corresponding to 6th March 1999. He was succeeded by his eldest son, His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of the Bahrain.