[QODLink]
Middle East
Bahrain appoints Jewish ambassador
Reports say Houda Nonoo will be the kingdom's envoy to the United States.
Last Modified: 30 May 2008 20:25 GMT
Nonoo is a businesswoman and has served on Bahrain's Shura Council [File: EPA]
Bahrain has appointed a Jewish woman as an ambassador, believed to be the Arab world's first Jewish envoy.
 
The selection of Houda Nonoo was made by decree on Wednesday and reported by local media in the Gulf Arab kingdom on Friday.
The decree, published by the official Bahraini News Agency, did not state which nation Nonoo would be appointed to but media reports have said that the US is her likely destination.
Nonoo, 43, said she would undertake the role "first of all as a Bahraini" and that she was not chosen because of her religion.
 
Bahraini media had speculated over Nonoo's selection for the past few months.
 
Nonoo, a businesswoman and mother of two children, has served as a legislator in Bahrain's all-appointed 40-member Shura Council for three years.
 
Nonoo lives in both Bahrain and London and is the first Jewish woman to head a local rights organisation, the Bahrain Human Rights Watch.
 
She is Bahrain's third woman ambassador – the first being appointed to France in 2000 and the second to China.
 
Bahrain is a predominately Shia Muslim state but has Sunni rulers who are allied to the US.
 
About 40 Jews live in Bahrain, where there is one synagogue.
 
The authorities in Bahrain are currently planning to grant full citizenship rights to Jewish returnees, according to local reports.
Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Amid vote audit and horse-trading, politicians of all hues agree a compromise is needed to avoid political instability.
Part of the joint accord aimed at ending the political impasse establishes an independent National Election Commission.
Rights groups say the US prosecution of terrorism cases targets Muslims and are fraught with abuses.
Local painters forgo experimentation to cater to growing number of foreign buyers.
Cyprus is a tax haven and has long attracted wealthy Russians, but it could become a European energy hub.
join our mailing list