UK event to showcase Bahrain’s diversity
Manama, May 4, 2014
More than 100 delegates and religious leaders are set to take part in an exhibition and conference showcasing Bahrain’s diversity in London next week.
This is Bahrain, which is being organised by the Bahrain Federation of Expatriate Associations (BFEA) and will be held at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre in Westminster, London, on May 16, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
It is hoped the event, one of the first of its kind, will pave the way for a number of similar conferences in major cities throughout the world - aimed at educating people about the freedom of religion people enjoy in Bahrain and the country's diversity.
"We believe it is time to share the specialness of Bahrain with the rest of the world," said BFEA secretary-general Betsy B Mathieson, at a Press conference held in Alumni Club, Adliya.
"This is a non-political event and we are working as NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and volunteers to let people know about the amazing freedom we all enjoy in Bahrain. As Bahrainis and expats alike, we are all very proud of this diversity, religious freedom and freedom of speech.
"During this exhibition and conference, we want to show people how we are all one family in Bahrain and have been for centuries. Bahrain is still the most progressive and tolerant country in the region when it comes to freedom and human rights and this is something we should be shouting from the rooftops about," Mathieson added.
BFEA has also invited a number of London-based VIPs to attend the one-day conference, including members of the UK's House of Lords, parliament, media and think tanks.
Bahraini students studying in London and Bahrainis living and working in London have also been invited.
Sacred Heart Church religious teacher Michael Fernandes is one of scores of religious officials from Bahrain invited to speak at the event.
"Bahrain is a place where people from all religions are free to practise their faith, and we have been able to hold many church events and festivals here with the full support of the authorities and the rest of the community," said Fernandes.
"This year we are celebrating our diamond jubilee as the church has now been here for 75 years. Bahrain can get negative Press in the UK and other parts of the world and I strongly believe I am here to represent the real side of Bahrain," he added.
Bahrain's Hindu Temple chairman Sushil Muljimal also said that he was honoured to be involved in the event.
"Our temple has been in Bahrain for more than 200 years and I am very proud to say that we have been invited to take part in this event. It is a real moment for us," he said.
"The government, the Ruling Family and everyone in Bahrain have co-operated with us over the years and have supported our religious events - so let us show the world that there is harmony, freedom of speech and nothing to fear in Bahrain," he added.
This is Bahrain, which is being sponsored by local businesses, will be officially opened by the Duke of York Prince Andrew, who has been a firm friend of Bahrain and regular visitor for many years. – TradeArabia News Service