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Houda Ezra Nonoo

(1964 - )

Houda Ezra Nonoo is a Jewish Bahraini diplomat who served as Bahrain's Ambassador to the United States from 2008 to 2013.

Nonoo (born September 7, 1964) was born in Bahrain, the granddaughter of Iraqi Jews who migrated to the Kingdom. She attended boarding school in England and obtained a bachelor’s degree in accounting from City of London Polytechnic.  She then went on to receive her MBA in Business Administration from the International University of Europe in Warterford, UK.

Today, only about 36 Jews live in Bahrain, and Nonoo is related to all of them.  Though she is not strictly religious, Nonoo observes the high holidays, fasts on Yom Kippur, and is mindful of Jewish traditions.

As a founding member of the Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society, Nonoo worked to bring attention to the plight of domestic workers and other foreign laborers while also working to promote the rights of women and children.  In 2006, Nonoo was appointed by King Shaikh Hamad Bin Salman Al-Khalifa to serve on the Committee for Finance and Economic Affairs to the Shura Council, where she replaced her brother Ibrahim, the first Jewish member of the council.

On July 3, 2008, Nonoo was appointed by King Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa as Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United States. She became Bahrain’s first female ambassador to the United States and the first Jewish ambassador from any Midde Eastern Arab Country. She remained in the position unil 2013.

Sources: The Washington Post (December 19, 2008); Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United States.