Bahrain has progressed into a cosmopolitan society of religions and communities. With the discovery of oil in 1932 rapid modernization occurred in Bahrain. Bahrain has the fastest growing and also the freest economy in all of the Middle East because of its oil and tourism. In March 1999, King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifah became head of state and introduced parliamentary elections, granted women the right to vote, and released all political prisoners. This was seen as a "historic period of human rights".The country officially became a kingdom in 2002.