Israeli Independence Day Celebration in Bahrain Strikes a Happy Note

Bahraini officials attend a grand event organized by the Israeli Embassy in Manama, where Israelis and Bahrainis experience each other's food, music and dancing while building bilateral business ties
June 1, 2023
The dance group Tzuza performs at the celebration of Israel’s 75th Independence Day, Wyndham Grand Manama hotel, May 31, 2023. (Israeli Embassy to Bahrain)

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The Israeli Embassy in Bahrain celebrated Israel’s 75th Independence Day in May with a major event at the Wyndham Grand Hotel Manama, attended by Bahraini Industry and Commerce Minister Abdulla bin Adel Fakhro and many government officials, academics, businesspeople, diplomats, and friends of the embassy. It was only the second time the Israeli Embassy has organized such an event in the kingdom, following the signing of the Abraham Accords between Bahrain and Israel in 2020.

Israeli Ambassador to Bahrain Eitan Na’eh noted “the importance of the growing cooperation between the private sectors between the two countries,” and mentioned the recent implementation of many joint commercial projects between Bahrain and Israel.

He also pointed out “the importance of growing cooperation between the young generations in Bahrain and Israel, who are the generations for the future.”

“There is a growing relationship between Bahrain and Israel since the beginning of the signing of the Abraham Accords, and there is an acceleration in relations since the visit of Israeli President Isaac Herzog to Manama in December 2022,” he said.

At the celebration, guests were served a mixture of Jewish, Israeli, Arab and Bahraini dishes prepared by Arab Israeli chef Elias Matar. The dishes were highly praised by all.

Israel’s Tzuza dance group performed at the event, with 12 young dancers presenting a unique show that shed light on Israel over past decades through music and dance.

The Bahraini Interior Ministry’s orchestra played both the Israeli and Bahraini national anthems.

The event also featured a photo exhibition titled “Israel in the Eyes of Bahraini Youth,” which displayed photos taken by young Bahrainis who visited Israel last year.

There was also a group dance by young Bahrainis and Israelis, who performed the traditional dabke and other Israeli and Bahraini folk dances.

A number of Bahraini and Israeli businessmen who were at the celebration also held bilateral discussions and meetings.

Mahmood, a young Bahraini who visited Israel last year, told The Media Line there was a “need for Bahraini citizens to visit the State of Israel, because of its historical monuments and Islamic, Christian and Jewish sanctities.”

“Today we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the State of Israel. The existing relations between Bahrain and Israel are very important for both parties, and we as Bahrainis are happy to learn about Israeli culture,” he said. “There are many similarities between the two parties, even in religion, there are similar teachings regarding food, drink, and others.”

Ahmed Abdelnabi, a Bahraini entrepreneur, told The Media Line, “At the beginning of my professional life, I now start my practical life in entrepreneurship, specifically in the field of artificial intelligence and applications, and I see a great opportunity to enter into this field with Israeli companies. … I will visit Israel soon in order to search for agreements that could benefit me in my work, and this matter will certainly be fruitful.”

Safaa Qassem, a Bahraini entrepreneur, told The Media Line, “We are moving toward peace, and there are more Bahraini-Israeli agreements, and we are waiting to get more benefits from these agreements that we are moving toward. Today we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of Israel, and we hope that peace will come to the Middle East.”

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