News > Bahraini, Omani and Saudi Armenians > Bahrain Armenians get organized
The Armenians of one of the smallest GCC states, Kingdom of Bahrain, acquire their National Council.
After Kuwait, UAE and Qatar, the Armenians in Bahrain get together and try to form a national body that will observe Armenian events and celebrations, take care of the children in the community and form a communication link with other Armenian bodies in the broader Gulf region.
Already the Armenians of Kuwait have more than 50 years of organized community life and consist a very good example of successful community life in a region that has witnessed many hardships (including an invasion from a neighboring Iraq).
Archbishop Goriun Babian, Catholicosal Vicar of the Prelacy of Kuwait and Gulf Region, appointed a National Council in Doha, Qatar, during his visit to the Peninsula in 2004, inviting prominent community members to take part in this preliminary body. Two years later the body was reshaped after direct election by community members. The number of Armenians in Qatar is about 400.
During the last 6 years, Archbishop Babian has visited Manama, Bahrain, in three occasions, accompanied by Reverend Priest Aram Deyirmenjian (from UAE). During these visits, Holy Mass was celebrated and dinner reception was held.
Armenians of Saudi Arabia (especially from the Eastern Province and particularly from the city of Al Khobar) have made a point to attend these events, using the motor causeway that connects Saudi Arabia with Bahrain in a one and half hour ride between the two cities.
The latest visit of Archbishop Goriun Babian to Bahrain took place from 10-13 December 2009. On the evening of his arrival (10 December 2009), Armenians from Al Khobar and Bahrain jointly attended a violin performance by Anjel Amirian, originally from Armenia, married to Barouyr Amirian, Lebanese-Armenian settled in Bahrain.
On 11 December 2009, 2pm, in the Greek Orthodox Chapel in Bahrain, about 100 Armenians joined to celebrate Holy Mass. One third were from Al Khobar. By coincident, there were also about 15 members of an Armenian dance group from Aleppo, taking part in National Day celebrations in Bahrain.
The Holy Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Goriun Babian, accompanied on organ by Father Aram Deyirmenjian (from UAE). Deacon Vartan Taba-avedisian from Al Khobar served the alter.
"It is time that the Armenians enjoy a more organized community life in Bahrain after the recent increase of the number of Armenians who have chosen the island-state as a place for their work", Babian said. "The formation of the National Council will create opportunities for all members of the community to observe Armenian national and religious events, something that will enable the members to stay loyal to their roots".
After the communion, requiem service was held for those who asked the service for their beloved ones.
After the service, the majority of the attendants headed to the British Club, where a lunch was served. They expressed the wish that Archbishop Babian visits the island at least 2-3 times annually.
With the background of Armenian song and music, donations were made to the cause of purchasing a permanent plot in Kuwait for the Prelacy premises.
Archbishop Goriun Babian left Bahrain after forming its first Armenian National Council consisted of the following individuals: Mihran Haytayan, Ara Khacherian, Vrej Boyajian, Barouyr Amirian and Raffi Boghosian.
Material used from Aztarar (Official weekly publication of Prelacy of Kuwait and Gulf Region, number 39, 25 December 2010)
Read Aztarar pages about the Bahrain Armenians here (PDF, 5 pages, Armenian).