U.S.-Bahrain Relations

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The American Mission Hospital

• The American Mission Hospital is a non-profit healthcare institution located in Manama, Bahrain focused on providing quality, affordable medical services to all.

• This non-profit hospital began after teacher, Dr. John G. Lansing and his three students, Samuel M. Zwemer, James Cantine and Philip T. Phelps came together on a common interest of providing medical attention to all individuals who seek care in Arabia.


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• Since the opening in 1903, the American Mission Hospital

still stands strong today providing a multitude of facilities for all patients.

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American Mission School

• Although during the 1920's, the first male and female public schools were opened, prior to the twentieth century, this missionary elementary school was set up in 1899.

• Amy Zwemer, the wife of Samuel M. Zwemer who is accredited for igniting the vision of a health service for Bahrain through the American Mission Hospital, was motivated by the compassion young girls in her neighborhood had for learning. Beginning with teaching a few girls on Ms. Zwemer’s back porch, Al Raja School which still stands today was built on the donations from the Reformed Church in America.


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  • The students which attended this school learned about many topics throughout the school day and in the afternoon were taught trade crafts by American staff and Bahraini’s in the community.
  • Today, the previous all-girls school is now known as the American Mission School both educates all children grades KG-12 and has been awarded accreditation.

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US Navy

• In 1949 began a relationship between the United States Navy and the Kingdom of Bahrain which prospered during the intervening decades.

• Beginning with a small contingent of sailors in Bahrain, throughout the years, the Navy has gained a more robust presence in the region through the transition from this small group to the Fifth Fleet.

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  • Now, the Commander Fifth Fleet occupies one of the most modern bases in the Navy with over 2,000 service personnel working there.
  • The U.S Fifth Fleet is responsible for over 2 million square miles of water including the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, and the Arabian Sea providing the United States Navy with access to three critical points in the region. 

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• In 2004 the Bahrain-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was signed on September 14, and came into force on August 1, 2006.

• Bahrain is the first Gulf Cooperation Council member and third Arab country to enter into a free trade agreement with the U.S.

• The FTA between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United States is an international agreement that seeks to promote increased trade between both the countries.

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  • The agreement outline the duties and obligations of both countries in the elimination of trade tariffs on imports and exports. It further aims to liberalize other conditions of trade in goods and services between Bahrain and the US.

• Since its implementation in August 2006, the U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement has increased export opportunities for American business. U.S. exports to Bahrain, which totaling $652.3 million in 2016, have been have been consistently higher since the FTA has been in effect. Two-way goods trade reached 1.2 billion in 2016, up 61% since 2005.


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