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Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa (1933–1999) was the 1st emir of Bahrain from 1961 until his death. Born in Jasra, he became emir upon the death of his father, Salman ibn Hamad. 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, giving absolute power to the royal family.