Culturally Speaking:

Promoting Cross-Cultural Awareness in a Post-9/11 World

About Mary Coons

Mary Coons is the founder and president of Pen & Ink Communications, a small business specializing in writing family stories/life histories, as well as community histories, travel writing, and business writing, including proofreading and editing services. For more information, please visit

Her first book, Safe From the Outside World: A Social History of Hanover, Minnesota, was published in 2004 and reprinted in 2009, being very well received by her community.

Ms. Coons began visiting Bahrain in December 2005, and was immediately in awe of the Arab culture, religion, and people. With more than a dozen family stories behind her, it was natural that she would seek out people to better understand who they are and how they think. Culturally Speaking is the result of her drive to learn. With no preconceived notions of religion or politics, Ms. Coons presents the thoughts of Bahraini Arabs without injecting prejudices of her own.

Beginning her writing career with freelance magazine articles thirty years ago, Coons has been published locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Her ten years in the corporate world were divided between non-profit and for-profit organizations within their respective communication departments. In 1994 she left the corporate world to begin her own company.

Ms. Coons is a member of, the Minnesota Historical Society, the  Hanover Historical Society, the American  Bahraini Friendship Society, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She is an active volunteer and well known in her community. She regularly contributes to local newspapers.

A 1993 graduate of Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota,  Coons has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations with a focus in Written Communications. She also has an Associate of Arts degree from Anoka Ramsey Community College, Coon Rapids, Minnesota.

She has traveled extensively to the Kingdom of Bahrain. In January 2008, she presented a seminar to both the expatriate and Arab communities in Bahrain entitled "Reflections of a Lifetime: Writing Your Family Stories".

Ms. (Budik) Coons was born and raised in Redwood Falls, Minnesota and graduated from Regis High School in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

She and her husband, Bob Miller, live in Doha, Qatar.

For more information, please send an email to