Anchored in Alliance: Celebrating U.S.-Bahrain Relations

Exploring more than 120 years of shared experiences, Anchored in Alliance shows the interwoven history between the United States and Bahrain and how this bond has continued to grow in recent years. At the core of this relationship have been shared values and mutual ambitions that underscore the depth and range of the two nations’ history together.

On August 15. 1971, Bahrain declared independence and was officially recognized by the United States. Before independence, Americans had been working with Bahrainis to sustain a booming oil industry some 40 years after U.S. companies initially drilled for oil in the nation. However, long before oil production and Bahrain’s new global status, Americans arrived on other business ventures and missionary trips as early as the 1880s, fighting epidemics such as cholera and smallpox, and founding the first hospital in Arabia. These sorts of exchanges left lasting impressions on Americans such as Dr. Corine Overkamp and educator Pat Boyer, who both spent decades living and working in Bahrain. Similarly, Bahrainis have traveled to the United States to share their culture and to build relationships within business, government and academic communities. Bahraini leaders including HM Hamad bin Isa AI Khalifa have been welcomed to the White House, Congress and other centers of decision-making to collaborate on solutions to global issues. In addition, there has been cooperation in business such as when several Bahraini technology startup companies participated in a Silicon Valley program hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Their stories along with others featured here, are an emblem of the people-to-people connections fostered during these encounters.

Contemporary American-Bahraini Exchanges are built upon this history and expand into the world of sports, technology and culture. American professional athletes train Bahraini youth and coaches, teaching leadership and teamwork, while artists exchange their talents and use the arts as a common ground for expression. Bahraini students seek American education at school across America, and Bahraini entrepreneurs are a growing force in fashion and industry alike. The United States and Bahrain first forged this dynamic partnership over a century ago, creating an alliance that will continue to shape the future of both nations.

View The Virtual Exhibit Here


This exhibition was curated by the Meridian Center for Cultural Diplomacy in Washington D.C., with support from the U.S. Department of State.

Project summary

Anchored in Alliance: Celebrating U.S.-Bahrain Relations
Regions: Near East and North Africa
Countries: Bahrain, United States
Impact Areas: Cultural Diplomacy
Program Areas: Culture
Partners: Public Sector