September 10, 1974, our American Women’s Association in Bahrain was born. Seven women got together to form a group with three goals in mind…charity, friendship and cultural understanding. Did they have any idea that decades later it would be a respected, active and vibrant organization that not only perpetuated these three qualities but sets a standard for them?
September 10, 1974 – First meeting of the American Women’s Auxiliary held at the American Club. It was attended by 42 ladies.
1975 – AWA published their first cookbook. All 500 copies were sold. A St. Patrick’s Day dance and summer camp for children were held.
1976 – Bridge and Mahjong groups formed. First time participation in the Red Crescent Bazaar
1977 – Welfare Committee (now known as Community Services) set up and volunteers began at the Rehabilitation Home in Isa Town and the Salmaniya Hospital.
1978 – “Remember When” dance in May and Country and Western dance in October raised money for the Girl Scouts. Due to Club’s growing size, meetings now held at the Hilton Hotel.
1979 – Over 250 members. In support of International Year of the Child AWA sponsored a play bus to provide pre – school type facilities for isolated villages. Members assisted with conversion of the bus, selection of equipment and also assisted on the bus daily.
1980 – Lunch Bunch was formed and had first luncheon at La Taverna. Clubhouse was opened at the Bahrain School. Volunteers began working at orphanage in Muharraq.
1981 – First Cherry Tree Trot raised BD 6,000 for the International “Year of ‘the Disabled Child”.
1982 – “AWA Friendship Garden” built at the Isa Town Home for the Elderly and Handicapped. Held first Christmas Home Tour where homes featured food, customs, and traditions from around the world. AWA’s 2nd cookbook entitled Beginnings and Endings was published.
1983 – Cherry Tree Trot raised BD 15,000 making it possible to make generous gifts to Isa Town Rehabilitation Center, American Mission Hospital, Geriatric Center, and other homes.
1984 – The Club’s Tenth Anniversary. AWA became the American Women’s Association, an independent organization no longer an auxiliary of the American Men’s Association. Published the third cookbook. Tameta , which in Arabic means “enjoy”.
1985 – To honor “International Year of the Youth”, AWA made a generous donation to Isa Town Rehabilitation Center towards classrooms for deaf children.
1986 – Attended the groundbreaking ceremonies for the new American Embassy. A Health Fair was held. Participants included Bahrain Red Crescent Society and American Mission Hospital.
1987 – “Children Helping Children” Gala Charity Dinner with ethnic dancing in national costumes.
Proceeds of the evening went to the Isa Town Development and Rehabilitation Home.
1988 – Book Club formed. First book read was The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
1989 – First Charity Bridge Tournament was held. Tameta Cookbook became a part of the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Radcliff College.
1990 – Received plaque for volunteer services from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. AWA was presented with the Ambassador’s Commendation for Distinguished Service to the American Community in Bahrain by U.S. Ambassador Charles W. Hostler. Bowling league formed.
1991 – Although many members were not on the island during the Gulf War, the AWA persevered. Members had potluck dinners for troops with the USO and sold cookies and popcorn.
1992 – AWA moved to the current clubhouse (a generous donation from Bapco) located in Awali. Little League was formed. The First AWA Christmas Ball was held.
1993 – Teen Group was formed with a dhow trip, tie – dye, Halloween, and bowling parties. The Fourth cookbook, Melting Pot, premiers at the Craft Fair to celebrate the 20th Anniversary.
1994 – AWA celebrated 20 years in Bahrain. The first Dinner in the Desert was held.
1995 – AWA Service Awards introduced to well – deserving members. The first “Make It & Take lt” craft classes were offered. Chinese Auction was held. “Americana for Children” introduced to teach children about Arnerica and things parents learned by osmosis.
1996 – Sponsored Slim for community service. Newsletter introduced environmental column.
1997 – “Winter Wonderland” Family Day held. Chef Paul Prudhomme gave a live cooking demonstration at the Diplomat Hotel. Home and electronic equipment for the Bahrain – Saudi Institute for the Blind were just a few of the donations made this year.
1998 – “Treasure Trove” Craft Fair held. Bridge: “Fun Day” held at the Marina Club. Highly acclaimed Ramadan Night was held. Initiated Ramadan food collection. Held “Emerald Isle Evening” to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Began organizing the Cherry Tree Trot.
1999 – AWA celebrates 25 years in Bahrain! Cherry Tree Trot raises record BD16,000. Silver Pantry Cookbook is published. Two successful fashion shows held with members and the children as models. Bunco Group is formed. Party for the elderly held in honor of International ‘Year of the Elderly.” Condolence book is signed by members in memory of the late Amir and was handed by the board to Shaikha Hassa, the mother of the Amir, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa AI Khalifa. AWA receives two plaques H.E. Abdul Nabi AI Sho’aIa, the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs and, from Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and for the AWA’s community work for the elderly.
2000 – H. H. Shaikha Shabeeka, wife of the Amir, Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa opened the Fall Craft Fair at the Diplomat Hotel. The Craft Group designed and created a quilted wall hanging to present to her highness.
2004 – AWA celebrates its 30th Anniversary.
2006 – The Cherry Tree Trot was held at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) and raised over BD45,000. Off Island Tour went to India.
2007 – A quilting group is started as a branch of the Craft Group. AWA went “green” and premiered reusable bags at the Fall Craft Fair to eliminate the need for plastic bags.
2008 – The Cherry Tree Trot raised over BD52,000. The Art Group is started with its first exhibition in February. AWA Newsline is made available to members electronically. 30th anniversary of the Fall Craft Fair.
2009 – AWA Celebrates it’s 35th Anniversary. Flavorful Destinations: 35 Years of International Friendship in AWA is published.
The constitution of the American Women’s Association was submitted and approved by The Minister of Labour and Social Affairs on January 17, 1991 — published in Arabic in their official gazette.
As with this document, AWA has by-laws which may be drawn up by the committee and submitted to the office of Labour and Social Affairs for approval at any time.
Our by-laws may be drawn up by the committee and submitted to the office of Labour and Social Affairs for approval at any time.
By-laws consists of amendments which are changes to the club’s constitution that have been approved by the majority of the General Assembly.
Currently, our by-laws cover voting rights, membership groups, how amendments to the by-laws are covered, nominating committees, length of office, etc.
The Standing Rules of the AWA
Formerly, the AWA had by-laws and policies and procedures as its governing documents. The by-laws were replaced with the current 1991 constitution and the policies and procedures were organized into these standing rules and the format approved by the AWA Executive Committee on September 11, 1995.
The standing rules cover the governing body, general rules and job descriptions.