Foreign AffairsWritten evidence from Peter Francis, Chemical Engineer (Retired)


Peter Francis ~ Retired Chemical Engineer.

Residency in Bahrain 1966–1975 and 1987–1996, frequent visitor until 2008.

Resident in Saudi Arabia 1982–1987.

Senior Engineer in the Oil Industry.

Many Bahraini friends and acquaintances.

Member of the London based Bahrain Society.


Peter Francis retired Chemical Engineer with a long association with Bahrain from 1966 to 2008, two residential periods 1966–1975 and 1987–1996, with frequent visits during other times.

Resident in Saudi Arabia 1982–1987.

In Bahrain employed in various engineering positions by Bahrain Petroleum Company.

In Saudi Arabia employed by Caltex and seconded to Petromin as Project Manager for a major petroleum installation in Jubail.

Bahrain Experience

My work in Bahrain brought me in daily contact with other expatriates and Bahrainis

I lived along with my wife and children in the Company town of Awali. Here my children were educated in a mixed community school and we socialised with the same mixed community.

During this long and close relationship with Bahrain and Bahrainis I was in a position to observe that the Bahrain people are among the most hospitable and friendly people that I have had the pleasure to meet and how it now grieves me to see these charming people in such violent disagreement.

It has long been recognised that historically tension exits between the two major Muslim religious groups, which has been exacerbated by outside influences and the growing discrepancy between the have and have not’s, as Bahrain’s wealth and population has grown. Unfortunately, this is a fact of life throughout the Muslim world, especially where one group dominates the other.

As a result of historical ties and expatriate influence, Bahrainis have always had a close affinity with the UK, enhanced by the almost universal ability of Bahrainis to speak English and the fact that many Bahrainis have received their advanced education at premier UK education establishments.

Bahrain is a shining example of religious tolerance, which unlike Saudi Arabia, allows the organisation and practise of various religions along with the varying Muslim beliefs.


Keep an open dialogue with all parties in Bahrain.

Obtain confidential reports from current expatriates.

Obtain confidential reports from Bahrainis who are not publically affiliated to one side or the other.

7 November 2012

Prepared 21st November 2013