Prizes and discounts bountiful Ramadan for all

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					                                                                                                                                                                                                  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                             

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                                                                                                             Ramadan for all
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