Virtual Discussion: The socio-economic impact of the Corona pandemic in Bahrain

Virtual Discussion: The socio-economic impact of the Corona pandemic in Bahrain

A virtual discussion on, “The socio-economic impact of the Corona pandemic in Bahrain”, was organized by Derasat in cooperation with UNDP Bahrain.

Distinguished speakers were part of this webinar and discussed, how Covid-19 has impacted Bahrain’s population socially and economically, and how it compares to the UK and the US.

It took place 5th October, 2020 at 2:00 PM (Bah time), via Zoom.


Watch webinar recording

H. E Md. Nazrul Islam

Embassy of Bangladesh

H. E. Md. Nazrul Islam, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to the Kingdom of Bahrain belongs to the 1995 batch of Bangladesh Foreign Service. Prior to his appointment as Bangladesh Ambassador to Bahrain, he was Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Bangladesh in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from July 2015-February 2020, and concurrently Bangladesh Ambassador to the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition based in Riyadh from October 2018 – November 2019. He also served concurrently as Deputy Permanent Representative to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation from 2015 to 2019.
In an almost two and half decade long career as a diplomat, he has served as Charge d’ Affaires at the Bangladesh Embassy in Beirut from July 2014 to June 2015, Counsellor at the Bangladesh High Commission in Canberra from 2007-2010, First Secretary at the Bangladesh Embassy in Baghdad in 2002-2003 and Second Secretary at the Bangladesh Embassy in Seoul from 1999-2002. Ambassador Dr. Islam has also served in domestic assignments in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in his capacity as Director General (West and Central Asia) and Director General (Parliamentary Affairs)  from 2011 – 2014, Director (SAARC and BIMSTEC) from 2004-2006, and desk officers at different sections.
Ambassador Dr. Islam holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Water Policy and Governance from the University of New England, Australia, and a Masters and Honours Degree in Economics from the University of Dhaka.

Stuart Summers

Deputy Ambassador
Embassy of the United Kingdom

Stuart Summers joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1999. He was appointed as Second Secretary Political/High Commission Spokesman, British High Commission, Nicosia, Cyprus in 2002. Two years later, he was transferred to Prague for the role of Second Secretary Political, British Embassy, Prague – including Secondment to Cz EU Presidency. After spending four years in Prague, in 2009 Mr. Summers was assigned as the Head of Chancery in Iran and later moved to Dubai as the head of the Iran office. From 2013 to 2016, he served as Secondment – Senior Adviser, Strategic Planning at the European External Action Service (EEAS). Prior to his current position at the British Embassy in Bahrain, he spent two years (2016 – 2018) in London, as the head of the France, Italy, Benelux team, Europe Directorate at the FCO.

Mr. Summers was born in Paris, France and received his MA in history from Edinburgh University (1993).

Rabia Qureshi

Counsellor for Political & Economic Affairs
Embassy of the United State of America

Rabia Qureshi, a Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. Department of State, has completed diplomatic assignments in Abuja, Nigeria; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Washington, D.C.; and, at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York, where she served as Political Adviser on the United Nations Security Council team.  Since July 2019, Ms. Qureshi has been Counselor for Political and Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Manama, Bahrain.  She is a graduate of the U.S. Department of State’s Arabic Field School in Muscat, Oman, and received her Masters degree in Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies from Columbia University. 

Stefano Pettinato

UNDP Resident Representative
Kingdom of Bahrain

Mr. Stefano Pettinato is the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and currently also serving as the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i., in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Before that, he served as UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Bahrain in 2017 and 2018.
His career at UNDP included assignments as Deputy Resident Representative for El Salvador and Belize, Regional Policy Adviser on Social Policy and Human Development at UNDP’s Regional Centre in Panama and the Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean in New York, and Policy Adviser in UNDP’s Human Development Report Office. He co-authored the 2003 and 2004 editions of the Global Human Development Report.
Before joining UNDP, Mr. Pettinato worked at the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. He also served as a Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and as a consultant at SWIFT.
He is co-author of the book “Happiness and Hardship: Opportunity and Insecurity in New Market Economies” with Carol Graham (Brookings Press, 2002) and has published several articles and book chapters on poverty, inequality, subjective well-being, and social security reform. Mr. Pettinato graduated summa cum laude in Development and Public Economics from the University of Florence and obtained a second Master’s Degree in International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Omar Al-Ubaydli


Director of Studies and Research

Omar Al-Ubaydli is Director of Studies and Research, and Director of Economics and Energy Studies at the Bahrain Center for Strategic, International & Energy Studies (Derasat). He previously worked as an Assistant Professor of Economics at George Mason University, USA, as well as being a member of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s Joint Advisory Board of Economists. Dr. Al-Ubaydli received his BA in Economics from the University of Cambridge (Queens’ College) and his MA and PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago. Dr. Al-Ubaydli’s research has been published in several international, peer-reviewed journals and has been featured by media outlets including the Economist magazine.

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