‘I’m a proud Bahraini Jew’

‘I’m a proud Bahraini Jew’

The Jewish community, which once flourished in the Kingdom bears testimony to the greatness of the land of tolerance. Two centuries ago, Jews were an integral part of the Bahraini society contributing immensely towards its economy, trade and banking sector. Out of 500 Bahraini Jews, only 37 now live in the Kingdom, but the community has a significant presence in the social scene. Houda Nonoo, a prominent member of the community was the former Kingdom’s envoy to the US, while Nancy Khedouri, another Bahraini Jew is a member of the Shura Council.

Speaking to Tribune, Moses Sweiry, a Bahraini Jew now residing in the UK, said the Kingdom has always remained a land of religious coexistence and tolerance. “My father was a well-known businessman in the Kingdom. We migrated to the UK after his health worsened. I was the only Jew at school but never suffered any discrimination at the hands of my friends or classmates. “Everyone in the Kingdom I know accepted our religion and we were very much part of the Bahraini society. I continue to visit the Kingdom as I have a large number of friends there.”

Sweiry family is one of the Bahraini Jewish families which migrated to the West before the emergence of the Zionist state in Palestine. Dr Youssef Al Mutairi, author of ‘The Jews in the Gulf’ asserts that there were no Jews in the region after the First World War, except in Bahrain. Manama was one of the most sought-after places for the members of the Jewish community in the region, which contributed to the creation of intellectual and cultural affinity between the Islamic and Jewish religions.

“There is a common cultural and linguistic background, and that is why the Jews did not live in their own neighbourhoods. The American Mission schools in the Gulf, i.e. the missionary centers, accepted students from all religions, thus contributing to the integration of Jews into the Gulf society,” Dr Youssef had observed.

Ms Khedouri, a member of the Shura Council, stressed that the Jewish community is very well integrated into the Bahraini society. “Throughout my life in Bahrain, I have never had any bad situations. On the contrary, I have grown up and dealt with my Bahraini friends from all religions. We still have friendly relations. We join together in joys and sorrows, and I thank God for this blessing. “As a Bahraini Jew, I am proud of my identity and feel fortunate to have freedom of worship and my ability to preserve my tradition and culture amid Bahrain’s religious diversity. Despite religious differences, we stand united in the name of Bahrain.”

These days not many Bahrainis know about the presence of Jews in the Kingdom. But decades before, this was not the case.




GCC national in the dock for using illegal weapon

GCC national in the dock for using illegal weapon

A drunken GCC national fired bullets into the air to break up a fight started by him, it is learnt. The action landed him in police net as he is accused of using an illegal weapon. He was arrested after a police complaint was filed against him. The GCC man had initially denied using the g

Verdict date set for man accused of killing father

Verdict date set for man accused of killing father

A Bahraini drug-addict on trial for killing his father will learn his fate on October 31, 2018, announced the High Criminal Court yesterday. This came after a mental report to determine his psychological state deemed him responsible for his actions. The report showed that the defendant wa

Woman earns court order to rejoin husband

Woman earns court order to rejoin husband

The Court of Urgent Matters ruled in favour of a Bahraini woman who wanted to rejoin her husband. According to court details, the woman left her husband a few months ago and since then she had been staying with her father. “Although she expected her husband to reconcile with her, it did not

Women’s collective on a rare cooking mission

Women’s collective on a rare cooking mission

More than 60 women gather every day in a small village on the western coast of the island for a special mission – cooking food for those who take part in mourning processions as part of the Ashoora rituals.  They prepare about 750 kg of food every day before distributing them t


‘Trump suggested Sahara wall to stem migrants’

‘Trump suggested Sahara wall to stem migrants’

Madrid : Spain’s foreign minister revealed that US President Donald Trump suggested building a wall along the Sahara desert to stem the arrival of migrants, as he plans to do on the Mexican border. “Closing ports is not a solution, and neither is building a wall along the S

Pakistan wants Saudi join CPEC

Pakistan wants Saudi join CPEC

Islamabad : Saudi Arabia will be the third “strategic partner” of the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a senior Pakistani minister announced yesterday, soon after Prime Minister Imran Khan returned from his first foreign trip to the cash-rich kingdom.

Amazon digital ad share on the rise

Amazon digital ad share on the rise

San Francisco : Online retail colossus Amazon is gaining ground in the US digital advertising market as the dominance of Google and Facebook erodes, according to an eMarketer forecast released on Wednesday. The market tracker predicted that Amazon will take in $4.61 billion in online a

GCC national in the dock for using illegal weapon

GCC national in the dock for using illegal weapon

A drunken GCC national fired bullets into the air to break up a fight started by him, it is learnt. The action landed him in police net as he is accused of using an illegal weapon. He was arrested after a police complaint was filed against him. The GCC man had initially denied using the g

Sony to release ‘classic’ PlayStation

Sony to release ‘classic’ PlayStation

Paris : Sony announced Wednesday it plans to launch a miniature games console designed like the original PlayStation pre-loaded with 20 vintage games as it joins the retro gaming craze just in time for Christmas. Dubbed the PlayStation Classic, the new console comes with a considerably

Verdict date set for man accused of killing father

Verdict date set for man accused of killing father

A Bahraini drug-addict on trial for killing his father will learn his fate on October 31, 2018, announced the High Criminal Court yesterday. This came after a mental report to determine his psychological state deemed him responsible for his actions. The report showed that the defendant wa

Woman earns court order to rejoin husband

Woman earns court order to rejoin husband

The Court of Urgent Matters ruled in favour of a Bahraini woman who wanted to rejoin her husband. According to court details, the woman left her husband a few months ago and since then she had been staying with her father. “Although she expected her husband to reconcile with her, it did not

-->