As I head to the airport on my twelfth 4th of July in Washington D.C., I cannot think of a better exit view than the fireworks, observed not from below, but from up aboard a departing plane.
Who would have thought that a three-year post would last over four times that, I certainly never imagined. I still remember that feeling of pure exhilaration on the very first day; I couldn’t believe that only one building stood between my GWU office and the White House.
I want to start by wishing everyone a very happy 4th of July. As we celebrate and commemorate the independence of the United States, I think of all the fond memories here in my various roles, from student at Goerge Washington University (GWU), to the Assistant Defense Attaché and eventually the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain. I am sad to leave my second home that I have grown to love.
When I think of D.C. and the things I will miss most, besides its obvious charm and the political hustle and bustle, I think of the beautiful sights forever engraved on my mind, the colors of D.C., the sounds. I think of my favorite restaurants, like Café Milano and Rasika, and of course, of George Washington University. Foggy Bottom comes to mind, the neighborhood of GW’s campus, located in a beautifully diverse area overlooking Washington Circle. DuPont Circle. M Street in Georgetown. The National Mall and its iconic monuments. I will remember every detail, every neighborhood, and every person who’s directly or indirectly touched my life somehow, right down to the guy who served my coffee at Baked & Wired Cafe. I will remember Equinox at West End, not only a gym, but a place that became a hub for members to share thoughts and analysis of the never-ending D.C. puzzles and politics.
I want to first sincerely thank the Government of my beloved Bahrain for allowing me the opportunity to serve my country in such a way that has exposed me to different learning experiences and practices in foreign service, diplomacy and the many challenges that these entailed.
My dear friends and family, thank you for your support and the tremendous sacrifices made for my sake, so that I could fulfill my duties away from home. The magnitude of these has not gone unnoticed, and I hope that I will be able to return the favor one day.
My colleagues at the Embassy, my exceptional team; thank you for your support and encouragement. We will always be family, and I will remember every day with fondness and nostalgia.
To friends I have made over these past many years, whether US civil servants, or Congressional members and staffers, defense officials, academics and scholars, private sector employees and the countless others (you all know who you are). I want to thank you for your friendship and kindness, and for leaving an imprint that will stay with me for the remainder of my life. The United States has graciously welcomed me wholeheartedly from day one, I hope to return the favor and welcome as many of you as is possible in Bahrain, and I wish you all the very best of luck on your current and future endeavors.
I now go back with new hopes to my country, which I have dearly missed. Back to where I come from, and where my identity lies. To take my place among my fellow Bahrainis, known for their generosity and acceptance, in a prosperous country with so much potential, and many achievements under its belt. I dream that I will one day be able to say that I have contributed to shedding light on Bahrain’s beauty and reality, and to spreading its legacy far and wide.
I’m both eager and ready to begin my new role as the CEO of the National Communication Centre (NCC) in Bahrain, and I am humbled for the trust and confidence I’ve been granted by the Government and Leadership of Bahrain. It is an honor and a privilege to serve my country.
I will admit I am grateful that my new role ensures my return to my second home, and I look forward to being back here in my capacity as CEO of the NCC with a different set of challenges to tackle and conquer.
This is not goodbye, but a chance for me to say that I will definitely be back at it, right here in D.C..
P.S: Looking out of the airplane window, I noticed colorful fireworks with Washington Monument in the background. Fireworks, what a great way to celebrate the end of an era, I do appreciate the sentiment D.C., and I wholeheartedly return it.
“Goodbye doesn’t mean forever. If it did, we ought to be saying ‘BadBye’.” — Someone on the internet