Gulf Daily News
Monday, 22nd August 2011 5
Bahrain’s future Another member of the Western steering com- who have lived in Bahrain for over 50 years and
mittee is Betsy Bennett Mathieson, who has lived adult children of residents, as well as the sponsor-
in Bahrain for 31 years. ship of families of deceased expat breadwinners
She said the councils would also help improve – meaning their residence permit does not expire
relations between Bahrain’s foreign communities. with their loved ones.
“These councils are also for expatriates to learn Another is the possible setting up of educa-
about other expatriates, that is why the ‘East meets tional packages to allow Asian students to attend
West’ launch and working together is very impor- university in Bahrain, instead of returning to
tant,” she said. their home countries for further studies,
“Through the sharing of sports and said Asian Expatriate Council working
youth activities, we will get a greater group member Khan Mohammed.
integration of expatriates into Bahraini “The Asian people are very happy
society, as well as push young Bahrainis here and most of them call Bahrain
into the same social circles as young ‘home’ as Bahrain is very peaceful.
expatriates. “These two councils give us a
“Eventually some of these expatriates very good chance to work with the
will leave Bahrain, and then you have Western expatriates and understand
wonderful ambassadors for the country them more.
to the four corners of the world.” “The co-operation is not just internal
Ms Mathieson considers the impact as well, but also external through each
of these councils on the youth to be of member’s nationality and our voice can
high importance. be extended to all areas.
n Mr Khan “East and West will work as one
“In the case of young Bahrainis,
their dreams, aspirations, mannerisms and views team, for all the people in Bahrain.”
will be expanded due to a multicultural upbring- Dates for the official elections of the council
n Members of expatriate clubs meet at a luncheon hosted by the Royal Court ... two newly- ing and this is a big step in the right direction,” boards will be announced later.
formed expat councils aim to help Bahrain’s 600,000-strong foreign community she said. Meanwhile, 16 members of the Eastern
saying all segments of the community would dress. “It will help break down fundamentalism and Expatriate Council held their first steering group
meeting last night.
benefit. “More than 2,000 years of Bahraini residency set up goals for people, as I feel the young today This was their first working meeting during
“Everyone is a part of it, including those labour- was present in the tent on Friday and if you had don’t have mentors, goals or a clear sense of direc- which they discussed the constitutional and legal
ers working on scaffolding in the heat of the day,” gone around the room and asked where they came tion, and the creation of these councils will include issues involved in forming the council, starting
he said. “This is not just for businessmen and how from, the majority would have said ‘Bahrain’,” everybody.” with the planning of the election in December,
being an expatriate here can benefit your busi- said Mr Stephenson. Issues that have been raised by members of said Mr Khan.
ness.” “For a lot of people this country is home, the Eastern or Asian Expatriate Council working The meeting took place at the Expatriate Council
Twenty-seven nationalities were present at the therefore we have an interest in this country and group include the development of foreign business Ramadan tent in Mahooz.
weekend’s meeting, the majority wearing national positively looking to the future.” and investment in Bahrain, visa permits for those email@example.com
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