Our History

awa-founders

 

September 10, 1974, our American Women’s Association in Bahrain was born. Seven women got together to form a group with three goals in mind…charity, friendship and cultural understanding. Did they have any idea that decades later it would be a respected, active and vibrant organization that not only perpetuated these three qualities but sets a standard for them?

 

Sep­tem­ber 10, 1974 –  First meet­ing of the Amer­i­can Women’s Aux­il­iary held at the Amer­i­can Club. It was attended by 42 ladies.

1975AWA pub­lished their first cook­book.  All 500 copies were sold. A St. Patrick’s Day dance and sum­mer camp for chil­dren were held.

1976 – Bridge and Mahjong groups formed. First time par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Red Cres­cent Bazaar

1977 – Wel­fare Com­mit­tee (now known as Com­mu­nity Ser­vices) set up and vol­un­teers began at the Reha­bil­i­ta­tion Home in Isa Town and the Salmaniya Hospital.

1978 –  “Remem­ber When” dance in May and Coun­try and West­ern dance in Octo­ber raised money for the Girl Scouts. Due to Club’s grow­ing size, meet­ings now held at the Hilton Hotel.

1979 – Over 250 mem­bers. In sup­port of Inter­na­tional Year of the Child AWA spon­sored a play bus to pro­vide pre – school type facil­i­ties for iso­lated vil­lages. Mem­bers assisted with con­ver­sion of the bus, selec­tion of equip­ment and also assisted on the bus daily.

1980 – Lunch Bunch was formed and had first lun­cheon at La Tav­erna. Club­house was opened at the Bahrain School. Vol­un­teers began work­ing at orphan­age in Muharraq,

1981 – First Cherry Tree Trot raised BD 6,000 for the Inter­na­tional “Year of ‘the Dis­abled Child”.

1982 –  “AWA Friend­ship Gar­den” built at the Isa Town Home for the Elderly and Hand­i­capped.  Held first Christ­mas Home Tour where homes fea­tured food, cus­toms, and tra­di­tions from around the world. AWA’s 2nd cook­book enti­tled Begin­nings and End­ings was published.

1983 – Cherry Tree Trot raised BD 15,000 mak­ing it pos­si­ble to make gen­er­ous gjfts  to Isa Town Reha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­ter, Amer­i­can Mis­sion Hos­pi­tal, Geri­atric Cen­ter, and other homes.

1984 – The Club’s Tenth Anniver­sary. AWA became the Amer­i­can Women’s Asso­ci­a­tion, an inde­pen­dent orga­ni­za­tion no longer an aux­il­iary of the Amer­i­can Men’s Asso­ci­a­tion. Pub­lished the third  cook­book. Tameta , which in Ara­bic means “enjoy”.

1985 – To honor “Inter­na­tional Year of the Youth”, AWA made a gen­er­ous dona­tion to Isa Town Reha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­ter towards class­rooms for deaf children.

1986 – Attended the ground­break­ing cer­e­monies for the new Amer­i­can Embassy. A Health Fair was held. Par­tic­i­pants included Bahrain Red Cres­cent Soci­ety and Amer­i­can Mis­sion Hospital.

1987 –  “Chil­dren Help­ing Chil­dren” Gala Char­ity Din­ner with eth­nic danc­ing in national cos­tumes. Pro­ceeds of the evening went to the Isa Town Devel­op­ment and Reha­bil­i­ta­tion Home.

1988 – Book Club formed. First book read was The Handmaid’s Tale by Mar­garet Atwood.

1989 – First Char­ity Bridge Tour­na­ment was held. Tameta Cook­book became a part of the Schlesinger Library on the His­tory of Women in Amer­ica at Rad­cliff College.

1990 – Received plaque for vol­un­teer ser­vices from the Min­istry of Labor and Social Affairs. AWA was pre­sented with the Ambassador’s Com­men­da­tion for Dis­tin­guished Ser­vice to the Amer­i­can Com­mu­nity in Bahrain by U.S. Ambas­sador Charles W. Hostler. Bowl­ing league formed.

1991 – Although many mem­bers were not on the island dur­ing the Gulf War, the AWA per­se­vered. Mem­bers had potluck din­ners for troops with the USO and sold cook­ies and popcorn.

1992 AWA moved to the cur­rent club­house (a gen­er­ous dona­tion from Bapco) located in Awali. Lit­tle League was formed. The First AWA Christ­mas Ball was held.

1993 – Teen Group was formed with a dhow trip, tie – dye, Hal­loween, and bowl­ing par­ties. The Fourth cook­book, Melt­ing Pot, pre­miers at the Craft Fair to cel­e­brate the 20th Anniversary.

1994 AWA cel­e­brated 20 years in Bahrain. The first Din­ner in the Desert was held.

1995 AWA Ser­vice Awards intro­duced to well – deserv­ing mem­bers. The first “Make It & Take lt” craft classes were offered. Chi­nese Auc­tion was held. “Amer­i­cana for Chil­dren” intro­duced to teach chil­dren about Arner­ica and things par­ents learned by osmosis.

1996 – Spon­sored Slim for com­mu­nity ser­vice.  Newslet­ter intro­duced envi­ron­men­tal column.

1997 –  “Win­ter Won­der­land” Fam­ily Day held. Chef Paul Prud­homme gave a live cook­ing demon­stra­tion at the Diplo­mat Hotel. Home and elec­tronic equip­ment for the Bahrain – Saudi Insti­tute for the Blind were just a few of the dona­tions made this year.

1998 –  “Trea­sure Trove” Craft Fair held. Bridge: “Fun Day” held at the Marina Club. Highly acclaimed Ramadan Night was held. Ini­ti­ated Ramadan food col­lec­tion. Held “Emer­ald Isle Evening” to cel­e­brate St. Patrick’s Day. Began orga­niz­ing the Cherry Tree Trot.

1999 AWA cel­e­brates 25 years in Bahrain! Cherry Tree Trot raises record BD16,000.  Sil­ver Pantry Cook­book is pub­lished. Two suc­cess­ful fash­ion shows held with mem­bers and the chil­dren as mod­els. Bunco Group is formed. Party for the elderly held in honor of Inter­na­tional ‘Year of the Elderly.” Con­do­lence book is signed by mem­bers in mem­ory of the late Amir and was handed by the board to Shaikha Hassa, the mother of the Amir, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa AI Khal­ifa. AWA receives two plaques H.E. Abdul Nabi AI Sho’aIa, the Min­is­ter of Labor and Social Affairs and, from Min­istry of Labor and Social Affairs and for the AWA’s com­mu­nity work for the elderly.

2000 – H. H. Shaikha Shabeeka, wife of the Amir, Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khal­ifa opened the Fall Craft Fair at the Diplo­mat Hotel.  The Craft Group designed and cre­ated a quilted wall hang­ing to present to her highness.

2004 AWA cel­e­brates its 30th Anniversary.

2006 – The Cherry Tree Trot was held at the Bahrain Inter­na­tional Cir­cuit (BIC) and raised over BD45,000.  Off Island Tour went to India.

2007 – A quilt­ing group is started as a branch of the Craft Group.  AWA went “green” and pre­miered reusable bags at the Fall Craft Fair to elim­i­nate the need for plas­tic bags.

2008 – The Cherry Tree Trot raised over BD52,000. The Art Group is started with its first exhi­bi­tion in Feb­ru­ary. AWA Newsline is made avail­able to mem­bers elec­tron­i­cally.  30th anniver­sary of the Fall Craft Fair.

2009AWA Cel­e­brates it’s 35th Anniver­sary. Fla­vor­ful Des­ti­na­tions: 35 Years of Inter­na­tional Friend­ship in AWA is published.