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New ministers possess a wealth of experience

The new ministers appointed to the Cabinet by His Majesty King Hamad last night boast a wealth of experience. Here are brief biographies, together with details of ministers given new portfolios.

New Social Affairs Minister Dr Fatima Al Balooshi was Bahrain University College of Education dean. The mother of four obtained her Phd degree in instructional technology and media from the University of Columbia in New York, US, in 1992. She has worked at Bahrain University from 1996 until her appointment as minister.

New Finance and National Economy Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, who has a masters degree in business management from St Edwards University, Austin, Texas, US, was appointed Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA) Governor since 2001.

Prior to that, he was Bahrain Stock Exchange director from 1997 to 2001. Born in 1961, he is married with three children.

New Municipalities and Agriculture Minister Ali Saleh Al Saleh was born on December 28, 1942. He took his Bachelor's in Commerce degree from Ain Shams University, Cairo. After his graduation in 1966, he returned to Bahrain and joined the family foodstuff wholesale business. He was a board member of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry from 1976 until 1993. He is the chairman of Bahrain Stock Exchange and the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre. Mr Al Saleh was formerly Commerce Minister.

New Minister of Information and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Mohammad Abdul Ghaffar has been Bahrain's Ambassador to the US from 1994 until his appointment to Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in April 2001. He took his Bachelor of Arts in political science in Pune University, India, in 1974. He had his MA in political science from New School for Social Research in New York, 1981, and PhD in political science from State University of New York at Binghamton in 1991. He joined the Foreign Ministry in 1975, and was appointed Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bahrain to the United Nations, New York, in 1990. Born on January 15, 1949, Dr Abdul Ghaffar was appointed Bahrain's Ambassador to the US in 1994 and non-resident ambassador to Canada in 1996 and to Argentina in 1998. He is married with three sons and two daughters.

New Justice Minister Mohammed Ali Shaikh Mansour Al Sitri, born in Sitra in 1950, has a BA in Arabic and Islamic studies from Al Fiqh College, Iraq, diplomas from Egypt and New Delhi, two masters degrees - one in Islamic Shari'a from the University of Cairo, Egypt, and another in administration from the University of South California, US - and a PhD degree in administration, also from the University of South California, US. Dr Al Sitri started his career at the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry. He then moved to the Health Ministry. Dr Al Sitri was also a member of the Shura Council for two terms and a member of the National Action Charter committee. His last position was head of the Jafaari Waqf Council.

New Labour Minister Dr Majeed Mohsin Al Alawi was appointed Labour Minister and Social Affairs in 2002. Prior to his appointment as minister he wasBahrain Centre for Studies and Research assistant secretary general.

Born in 1955, in Qadam village off, Budaiya Road, he completed his higher studies in the UK. He obtained a Masters of Science in organisational development and a PhD in international relations.

One of the founders of the Bahrain Freedom Movement, he left for London in 1982.

On his return to Bahrain in November 2000, he was appointed a member of the National Action Charter Implementation Committee, chaired by Crown Prince and BDF Commander-in-Chief Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. Dr Al Alawi published a book entitled Gulf Co-operation Council - Constitutional and Political Crisis in London in 1985.

New Commerce and Industry Minister Dr Hassan Fakhro has been His Majesty the King's Adviser for Economic Affairs from May 1999 until his appointment as Industry Minister in 2002.

He obtained his engineering and economic qualifications for his Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degrees in the UK. He also obtained various economic, business and management diplomas in the US.

Dr Fakhro worked in the oil industry in Bahrain and the US, before being appointed by the Bahrain Government to establish the Bahrain National Oil Company (Banoco) and eventually became the chairman of its board of directors.

He played a role in the establishment of Bahrain National Gas Company (Banagas) and was its board chairman for several years.

He was also instrumental in the formation of GPIC.

New Cabinet Affairs Minister Dr Abdulhussain Ali Mirza has worked with Bapco and the oil industry for more than 40 years before his appointment as Minister of State in 2002.

A former member of the Shura Council, he has been a member of Bapco's executive committee for 22 years and has played a key role in articulating the company's strategies over the years.

Dr Mirza was the first Bahraini to be promoted to the position of Bapco's deputy chief executive in 1998.He has worked on a number of assignments overseas, including a two-year working assignment in New York as the financial adviser for the Middle East at the Caltex headquarters from 1979 to 1980.

Dr Mirza is one of the first qualified chartered management accountants in Bahrain and one of the few Bahrainis who are Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants of the UK. He also served on many voluntary boards of social and professional societies. They include the Bahrain Management Society, the American Mission Hospital, Bahrain Accountants Society and the Ibn Khuldoon National School board of trustees.



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