Sheikh Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain
King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa of Bahrain was born January 28, 1950, in Riffa, Bahrain, the eldest son of Emir Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa of Bahrain\ and his wife, Hessa bint Salman Al Khalifa.
He began his primary education in Bahrain at the age of 6, along with studying the principles of Islam and the Arabic Language. Upon completing his primary education in 1964, he was proclaimed Crown Prince. He completed his secondary education at Applegarth College, and The Leys School, both in England. He then undertook military training with the British Army at the Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot, Hampshire and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He later attended the United States Army Command and General Staff College, graduating with a degree in leadership in 1973.
Hamad was a driving force in the establishment of the Bahrain Defense Force (BDF) and was appointed Commander-in-Chief. He later served as Minister of Defense, and as Deputy Head of the Al Khalifa Family Council. An avid helicopter pilot, Hamad was instrumental in establishing the Bahrain Air Force.
Upon his father’s death on March 6, 1999, he became the Emir of Bahrain. Three years later, in 2002, he elevated the Emirate to a Kingdom and proclaimed himself the first King of Bahrain.
King Hamad has four wives, and a total of twelve children.
- First wife (also his first cousin): Sabika bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, had three sons and one daughter:
- Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Crown Prince of Bahrain (born 1969)
- Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa (born 1975)
- Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Khalifa (born 1977)
- Sheikha Najla bint Hamad Al Khalifa (born 1981)
- Second wife: Sheia bint Hassan Al Khrayyesh Al Ajmi, had two sons:
- Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa (born 1987)
- Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa (born 1989)
- Third wife: Hessa bint Faisal Muhammad Shreim Al-Marri, had one son and two daughters
- Sheikh Faisal bin Hamad Al Khalifa (1991 – 2006), died in a car accident
- Sheikha Noura bint Hamad Al Khalifa (born 1993)
- Sheikha Munira bint Hamad Al Khalifa (born 1990)
- Fourth wife: Binh bint Jabr Al-Nuaimi, had one son and two daughters:
- Sheikh Sultan bin Hamad Al Khalifa
- Sheikha Hessa bint Hamad Al Khalifa
- Sheikha Rima bint Hamad Al Khalifa (born 2002