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  JEWS OF BAHRAIN      יהודי בחריין    
 
 
  BAHRAIN  
 
THE JEWS OF BAHRAIN:

HOUDA EZRA EBRAHIM NONOO

HOUDA NONOO, THE JEWISH AMBASSADOR OF BAHRAIN TO THE U.S   הודה עזרא נונו, השגרירה היהודיה של בהריין בארצות הבריתHouda Ezra Ebrahim Nonoo (also Hoda Nono; Arabic: هدى عزرا نونو‎) is the Bahraini Ambassador to the United States. She was appointed to the position by decree of Foreign Affairs Minister Khaled Ben Ahmad Al-Khalifa. Nounou is the first Jewish person, and third woman, to be appointed ambassador of Bahrain. She is also the first Jewish ambassador of any Arab country, and the first female Bahraini ambassador to the United States.  Some local media criticized the appointment,  and Radio Canada reported that her nomination was controversial within Bahrain, with some suggesting that a Jewish person might not be the best choice to defend Bahrain's refusal to recognise Israel. Al-Khalifa rejected these concerns.

Prior to her appointment, she was president of the Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society, and had for three years been a member of parliament (40-member Shura Council), after being appointed by King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifah. Her appointment made headlines because Houda is part of the small Jewish community of Bahrain. Bahrain's Jewish community reportedly consists in just thirty-seven people, most of whom are the descendants of immigrants from Iraq and Iran.  Nonoo is not the first person in her family to enter Bahraini politics, or member of the Jewish community. In 1934, her grandfather Abraham Nonoo served as a member of the Manama Municipality, the first ever elected municipal body in Bahrain. In 2000, a cousin, Ebrahim Daoud Nonoo was appointed to parliament. The Nonoo family is originally from Iraq having moved to Bahrain over a century ago.

 
 

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