Charm offensive: 'This is Bahrain' public image roadshow hits the US

Published September 28th, 2015 - 01:45 GMT

A 200-member “This is Bahrain” delegation is visiting Washington and New York until Tuesday and is hosting a conference and exhibition in each city to highlight Bahrain’s multi-cultural society and promote peace, tolerance and co-existence.  Its first event in Washington took place yesterday and will be followed by another event in New York on Monday.

Bahrain Federation of Expatriate Associations secretary-general Betsy Mathieson, who is leading the “This is Bahrain” delegation to the US, said “We are set to work closely together to change negative media perception of the situation in Bahrain and to use the Bahrain model of centuries-old religious freedom, peaceful co-existence and mutual respect in the fight against global terrorism,” said Ms Mathieson.

“Our plans also involve advocating the need for education and sharing of beliefs and values to promote understanding, peace and love on a global basis. “Bahrain suffered unfairly from negative media reports and “This is Bahrain” looks forward to working closely with the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which does an outstanding job on many fronts.”

Mr Fernandez paid tribute to His Majesty King Hamad’s commitment to peaceful co-existence and religious freedom, as well as Bahrain’s multi-faith society – describing it as a model for the world.

Meanwhile, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue in Washington to conduct exchanges of delegates, share experiences and hold meetings. Dialogue Table of Religions and Cultures (Tasamah) chairman and top Bahraini clergyman Shaikh Salah Al Jowder also led Eid Al Adha prayers at the Islamic Centre in Washington, in which he emphasised that moderate voices were helping combat extremism.

“The world is now a small village, not in size, but in cultural closeness and we have to live together happily disregarding our differences,” he said. “We in Bahrain are beyond differences and we see diversity as a personal belief that we need to respect.”

Other events include visits to places of worship, a prayer for peace and a visit to the 9/11 Memorial. The events and visits are organised in collaboration with the American Chamber of Commerce Bahrain and follow similar roadshows in London, Berlin, Brussels and Paris. Brazil and Rome have been planned as the next two “This is Bahrain” destinations.

Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material

A previous version of this article erroneously stated that an MoU was signed between MEMRI and 'This is Bahrain'. No Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed as MEMRI is an independent, non-partisan research institute.  MEMRI met with the delegation from Bahrain on September 23.

We regret the error.

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