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Bahraini Jews return to the Shabbat prayers in Manama's synagogue. Image Credit: Sheikh Khalid Al Khalifa Twitter account @khalidalkhalifa

Abu Dhabi: Torah hymns resounded in the ancient Jewish synagogue in the heart of Bahraini capital Manama after a 74-year disruption, as Bahraini Jews returned to the Shabbat prayers in the synagogue.

Nancy Khaddouri, a Jewish representative in the Bahraini parliament, explained that the synagogue was established in the 1930s, and was initially funded by a French Jewish pearl merchant to provide a place of worship, indicating that Bahraini Jews have continued to preserve their traditions over the past years.

“They were always allowed to worship freely and perform their prayers in their homes,” she added.

Khaddouri told Asharq Al Awsat the entire Jewish community comes from a common historical background, its roots go back to Iraq since 1873 and 1880, during the era of Sheikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifah.

Khadouri points out that those present today are among the original Jews who settled in Bahrain, and they work in trade and exchange, integrating into Bahraini society with different religions, in keeping with coexistence and religious tolerance.

Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, diplomatic advisor to the King of Bahrain, on Sunday published pictures of the first prayer held in the Jewish Synagogue, showing Bahraini Jews as they read the Torah.

Sheikh Khalid described the return of the Jews to the synagogue for the first time since 1947 as a “historic moment for the Jewish people of Bahrain and a renewed history of national coexistence.”

In March, Bahrain appointed its first ambassador to Israel, Khalid Al Jalahma, following the peace agreement concluded last year.