King names Jew, women to Bahrain’s upper chamber
Bahrain's King Hamad named the kingdom's 40-member Consultative Council on Saturday, including a Jew and six women.
The selections for the appointed upper house, or Majlis al-Shura, were published in a royal decree, however the process has been opposed by opposition groups who have called several constitutional amendments undemocratic.
Along with representatives of the country's Sunni and Shiite Muslim population, three members of the Al-Khalifa royal family, businessmen, bankers and a journalist will also have seats in the chamber.
One of the members, a Jew, Ibrahim Dawood Ibrahim Nonoo, was also on the previous council formed back in September 2000. Nonoo, whose family hails from Iraq but has lived in the kingdom for around a century, runs Bahrain Financing, one of the kingdom's most important foreign currency operations, according to AFP.
A Christian woman of Iraqi origin, Alice Samaan, was also a member of the previous council. Her family came to Bahrain in the 19th century, and she has occupied several important government positions, as well as worked for a United Nations office in Manama and local television.
The five other women named to the new council were university professors Fakhriya Shaaban Diri and Fawzia Said Abdullah al-Saleh, health ministry official Nada Abbas Hussein Hafedh, Naima Faisal Jabr al-Dusari, an official with a research center, and Widad Mohamed Hassan al-Fadhel, an education official.
Islamists, mostly Sunnis, grabbed nearly half the seats in the new parliament elected in two run-offs last month. Independents took 18 seats, while liberals took three. None of the women candidates were elected. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)