I was afraid to reveal I was Jewish in Bahrain - When I arrived, I realized my privilege


October 30, 2020

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A view of Manama, the capital of Bahrain.

(JTA) - On my trips to Bahrain, almost nobody knew I was Jewish.

I was a strange enough creature as it was: young, female and civilian, traveling with a mostly male, mostly military delegation; low ranking, but representing the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the top-ranked organization in the delegation. Its ranking was so far above the people in the field that one of my friends at the U.S. Navy base in Bahrain said that getting a call from me was like getting a call from Mt. Olympus.

I was a policy analyst in the U.S. Department of Defense in the late 1990s. As part of an effort to build...

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