New King Hamad award launched
Manama, April 13, 2014
Britain's Duke of York, Prince Andrew, has joined Bahrain's expatriate community to create a unique new award.
The King Hamad Awards programme was announced yesterday during an audience with His Majesty King Hamad, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
It will be international, offered to Bahrainis and expatriates, and range from bronze through to platinum.
His Majesty praised historic ties with Britain and reiterated Bahrain's keenness to strengthen them.
Expats' role hailed
His Majesty King Hamad yesterday praised the expatriate community for playing a constructive role in the growth of Bahrain's vibrant economy.
He also hailed the extraordinary level of dedication that expatriates have shown in their professions and towards the development of the kingdom.
The King said this as he received at Sakhir Palace Duke of York Prince Andrew, who conveyed greetings from Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles.
The King welcomed Prince Andrew and extended greetings to the Queen and Prince Charles. He lauded deep-rooted historic relations and co-operation, reiterating Bahrain's keenness on bolstering ties.
His Majesty also received representatives of expatriate communities in Bahrain.
"Bahrain remains committed to providing a welcoming environment to our partners from around the world, and it is our sincere desire that you and the next generation of expatriates will find Bahrain as welcoming a home as the generations that preceded you," he said.
Prince Andrew praised deep-rooted relations bonding the two countries. He hailed the landmark reforms led by His Majesty to develop political life in Bahrain.
He pointed out that a major event would be held in London next month to project Bahrain's landmark developments and reforms to the world.
The Bahrain Federation of Expatriate Associations secretary-general Betsy Mathieson greeted His Majesty and described the kingdom as 'One family, the Bahrain family'.
Mathieson said in a speech that the awards "would help equip young people with the skills, knowledge, passion and confidence to allow them to shine in today's global society." Prince Andrew will be international patron of the awards.
"It is a perfect way to cement 200 years of Britain's historic special relationship with Bahrain," said Mathieson, who also read out a poem she had written for the occasion - 'For the love of the King'.
She thanked all those who supported the federation's activities, especially the 'Thank You Bahrain' event to celebrate the National Day.
She said many of the expatriates enjoy more freedoms, and a better lifestyle in Bahrain than in their countries of birth.
"Your Majesty, you have given us so much and our communities wanted to find a way to give back to the kingdom and our Bahrain family."
Students Gabi Wilson and Jennifer Gilbert delivered a speech in which they described their life's journey, having been born in Bahrain and spent their formative years on this beautiful island.
"Living in Bahrain instilled in us a very strong sense of community and love for this island which we regard as 'home'."
"We lived in Bahrain up to our graduation from St Christopher's School and, at the age of 18, we moved to the UK to pursue our university courses. It is no surprise that, when our term finishes, our holidays are spent in Bahrain, we come back to 'our home'." - TradeArabia News Service