Celebrating Bahraini National Day

December 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

Last night, I hosted a celebration marking Bahrain’s 41st National Day during a reception at the Ritz Carlton in Washington, DC. This year’s event drew a great crowd from among influential politicians, business leaders, military officials, foreign diplomats. I would also like to recognize the Valley Forge Military Academy Band who stole the show with their dual renditions of the Bahraini and American national anthems.

Although the past two years have presented a number of challenges for Bahrain, this year’s event was an important opportunity to demonstrate the breadth and sincerity of the US-Bahrain relationship. I am looking forward to continuing the dialogue with our friends in the United States as we continue down our program of reform.

Below, I have included the text of my remarks at last night’s event. I would also encourage you to visit the Embassy’s Facebook Page for photos from the celebration.

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Speech as Delivered
Ambassador Houda Nonoo
Bahrain’s 41st National Day Celebration
Ritz Carlton, Washington, DC

Good evening, Ahlan wa Sahlan – It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Kingdom of Bahrain’s 41st National Day celebration. Although Bahrain will officially commemorate National Day on December 16th, we decided to celebrate on 12/12/12 – the last time we will see such a date for almost another century. I have taken to thinking that this is an auspicious omen for the year to come.

I am honored to be joined by so many friends and familiar faces as we celebrate my country’s heritage and culture. I would like to extend a special welcome to the Valley Forge Military Academy Marching Band and to thank them for sharing their talents with us this evening.

41 years ago, Bahrain became a free and independent nation. In that time we have built a modern country founded on progressive ideals and freedoms. Although we have had setbacks on the road to democracy, I like to think that in the last forty-one years, my country has set a solid foundation for our people. And tonight, while we consider Bahrain’s rich history, we reflect and look ahead to a very bright future.

Tonight, we are joined by members of the American military, and other militaries around the world that work together to ensure peace and security in the region. We all know that liberty comes with a heavy price. Servicemen and women of the United States Armed Forces are dedicated to protecting our freedom around the world.

Bahrain and the United States have shared a deep and growing partnership stretching back to the 1890s. Today, the Bahraini-American alliance forms the cornerstone of regional stability and prosperity. In this spirit I would like to recognize members of the U.S. Government, the State Department, and Congress who have joined us this evening.

The past two years we have faced many challenges and difficulties but I remain confident that Bahrain is on a path of reform and reconciliation.

The pillar of Bahrain’s success has always been its people, and under the leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the government of Bahrain remains committed to expanding freedom and opportunity for all Bahrainis.

I would like to thank all the diplomats and staff at my embassy for their hard work in service of the government and the people of Bahrain. It is due to their support and their ongoing dedication that we are able to celebrate Bahrain’s heritage here tonight.

I would also like to thank American Bahraini Friendship Society and the US-Bahrain Business Council who work hard to build and deepen the multifaceted relationship between our two countries.

And thank you all for joining us tonight. On behalf of His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, the government, and the people of the Kingdom of Bahrain, let us mark this occasion and ones following as celebrations of not only our past, but also our present, and our future. Shukran and please enjoy yourselves this evening.

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