Thursday, May 29, 2008
Hopeful and Unusual Occurrence
From the BBC:
Bahrain names Jewish ambassador
Ms Nonoo is a businesswoman with homes in Bahrain and London.
Bahrain's king has appointed a Jewish woman as the country's envoy to the United States.
Houda Nonoo said she was proud to serve her country "first of all as a Bahraini" and that she was not chosen for the post because of her religion.
She is believed to be the Arab world's first Jewish ambassador.
Ms Nonoo, 43, has served as a legislator in Bahrain's 40-member Shura Council for three years and is head of the Bahrain Human Rights Watch.
"It is a great honour to have been appointed as the first female ambassador to the United States of America and I am looking forward to meeting this new challenge," Ms Nonoo told the Associated Press news agency.
Her family is originally from Iraq, having moved to Bahrain over a century ago.
Bahrain has one of the world's oldest and smallest Jewish communities. It was, at one time, home to as many as 1,500 Jews. Today the community has a synagogue and numbers around 50 people.
Bahrain is a close US ally but has no diplomatic relations with Israel.
It has a Shia Muslim majority, roughly 65% of the population, but the ruling elite is Sunni.
I think this is very cool - first because of the innate hostility to jews in the middle east, and also because she is a woman in a society where woman have little voice.. .