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  • Writer's pictureLeila Assadi

Taghreed Al-Alawi: Bringing Community Service Back to Bahrain

Taghreed Al-Alawi is an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alum from the Kingdom of Bahrain who traveled to eastern Iowa for a program entitled “Interfaith Dialogue and Religious Freedom” in July 2023. Taghreed was one of eight participants from the Near East and North Africa who participated in the program. Almost a year later, Taghreed still holds this experience close to her heart as both in America and the Kingdom of Bahrain, she has many friendships and relationships from all different religious backgrounds. 

In the Kingdom of Bahrain, Taghreed has held many social and political positions; she was a former candidate for the parliamentary and municipal elections, held the position of Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Al-Marsad Society for Human Rights, and currently works in a humanitarian charitable organization, providing many contributions in the fields of religion and freedom. 

There were countless special moments from the program that helped reach these objectives, but Taghreed highlighted two as the most memorable: community service and visiting the Amish and Mennonite Community of Kalona, Iowa.  

When visiting the Amish and Mennonite Community of Kalona, Taghreed loved seeing how their lives are different than hers, taking special interest in the ways the Amish live that make life both simpler in some ways and more difficult in others.  

Since returning home to the Kingdom of Bahrain, Taghreed has been quick to apply the lessons of community service to those around her. “I am an active member of the Red Crescent Society, and every year before the month of Ramadan, we work to distribute Ramadan aid to families in need,” she said. “On an individual level, I am in a volunteer team that contributes to community service.” She also is looking forward to holding sessions and discussion panels with groups from different sects and religions, a goal she is working towards now.   

Taghreed would like to extend a big thank you to our Executive Director, Amy Alice Chastain, and the Global Ties Iowa team for arranging and coordinating the program. Though she was able to explore the charming city a bit during her free time, Tahgreed did not think the six days was enough and hopes to visit Iowa City again. “Iowa City is one of the cities that I loved most, and I felt that the city was family-friendly and close to the heart,” Tahgreed concluded.

Until she is able to visit in Iowa City again, Tahgreed will continue to remain an active member of society in the Kingdom of Bahrain, working to share the lessons and experiences she gained in eastern Iowa.  


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