Bahrain to name Jewish envoy?

Bahrain will name a Jewish ambassador to the United States, a report said.

Huda Azar Nunu, a Jewish woman who is a lawmaker in Bahrain’s upper house, will be named to the Washington position, according to a report this week in A Sharq al-Awsat, a Saudi-owned pan-Arab daily published in London.

“The sources denied that the appointment of Nunu as a woman and a Jew is a public relations campaign by Bahrain in the West, emphasizing that Huda Nunu has proven her qualifications, whether through her membership in the Consultative Council or through her work in human rights associations, of which she is an active participant in Bahrain,” the newspaper said.

Bahrain, a Persian Gulf state sandwiched between Iran and Saudi Arabia, has a tiny Jewish population dating back to Talmudic times. Nunu is descended from Iraqi Jews who migrated to the port of Manama in the late 19th century. Jews in Bahrain have kept a low profile but generally have been treated well.

The nation is considered among the more progressive in the region, and was among the first to allow women to run for public office.

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