The island of Sokotra off the coast of Africa is under British protection, and the Euria Muria islands off the coast of Arabia, are attached to Aden. Area of former, 1,382 square miles. Population about 12,000, mostly pastoral and migratory inland, fishing on the coast. Religion, at one time Christian, Moham- medan since the end of the 17th century. The island came under British pro- tection in 1876, by treaty with the Sultan. Chief products, dates and various gums ; sheep, cattle, and goats are plentiful ; butter is exported. The Kuria Muria Islands, five in number, were ceded by the Sultan of Muscat for the purpose of landing the Red Sea cable. The group is leased for the purpose of guano collection. References. — Foreign Office Reports. Annual Series. London. Bent (J. Th.), Sokotra. In ' XIX Century' Magazine for June, 1897. London. Ghika (Prince Nicolas de), Cinq Mois au Pays des Somalis. Geneva, 1898. Pearce (F. B.), Rambles in Lion Land : Three Months in Somaliland. London, 1898. Swayne (H. G. C), Seventeen Trips through Somaliland. London, 1895.
BAHREIN ISLANDS. Group of islands in the Persian Gulf, 20 miles off the coast of El Hasa, in Arabia. Bahrein, the largest, is 27 miles long by 10 wide. Moharek, on the north of Bahrein, 4 miles long, ^ mile wide. There are about half-a- dozen others, mere rocks, Manameh, the commercial capital, extends 10 miles along the shore ; 25,000 inhabitants. The population is Mohammedan of the Sunni and Shiite sects. The seat of government is Moharek on the island of that name ; population about 22,000. There are about 50 villages in the islands. The chief belongs to the ruling family of Al Kalifah ; the present chief of Bahrein is Sheikh Esau, who owes the possession of his throne entirely to British protection, which was instituted in 1867. Sheikh Easu was again formally placed under British protection in 1870, when his rivals were deported to India. The great industry is pearl fishery, in which 400 boats, of from 8 to 20 men each, are engaged. In 1897 the value and distribution of the trade, and the nationality of the shipping entered and cleared were as follows : —
Tonnage | Imports from Exports to
United Kingdom 23,313 — 58,337 60,478 India , . . . 289,529 248,981 — — Turkey 112,418 170,156 10,895 9,879 Persian Ports 49,967 26,814 4,008 3,542 Arab coast . 14,130 14,541 8,534 11,515 Muskat 11,702 6,301 561 484 Zanzibar 1,895 581 — — Other countries , Total, 1897 — — 427 427 502,954 467. 374 82,762 86,325 „ 1896 479,106 485,329 114,505 117,425
Of the imports in 1897, the chief were: pearls, 72,812Z. ; rice, 87,344; rifles, 25,116Z. ; coffee, 16,341Z.; cottons, 40,114^.; dates, 17,275/. ; cattle, 5,322/, ; specie, 128,407/, Of the exports the chief were :— Pearls, 244,436/. ;