Minority woman selected parliament foreign committee deputy chair

April 30, 2012

Nancy Khedouri, the third Jewish Bahraini to be appointed to the Shura Council, upper chamber of the bicameral camera, has been selected by her peers as the deputy chairwoman of the foreign affairs, defence and national security committee.

Shaikh Khalid Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa was named chairman. The change in the committee leadership was made on Sunday after Salah Ali, the former chairman, was appointed as state minister of justice.

Khedouri’s new status reinforces the concept that women are welcome in Bahrain’s politics and that minority citizens are integral to the social fabric. Bahrain’s ambassador to the US, Houda Nonoo, a former member of the Shura Council, is a Jewish woman while the head of the diplomatic mission in the UK is Alice Samaan, a Christian woman.

Last week, Samira Rajab became the third woman to be given a portfolio in the government after she was named state minister for information. Ebrahim Nonoo was the first Jewish Bahraini to be appointed to the Shura Council where he sat between 2002 and 2006.

He was replaced by Houda Nonoo, a cousin. Khedouri, appointed to the Shura in October 2010, is known for her writings on the history of the Jews in Bahrain. The Jewish community began to settle in Bahrain in the early 1900s and most of its members were traders from Iraq, Iran and India looking for a peaceful place.

Despite the waves of anti-Israel protests upon the creation of Israel in the Arab world, no Jewish business has ever been vandalised or destroyed in Bahrain and no shop sign was ever taken down or marred. The Jewish cemetery in Manama, well kept for over 100 years, is next to the Christian cemetery and across the street from the Shiite graveyard.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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