We look at how peo­ple marked Eid Al Adha

7 Days in Dubai - - EID AL ADHA - @B_Shosh shoshana@7days.ae

By Shoshana Ke­dem More than 150 stu­dents were treated to their first taste of Eid Al Adha in the UAE as they en­joyed tra­di­tional food and learned about of one of the holi­est days in Is­lam yes­ter­day.

The stu­dents, from 40 coun­tries around the world, vis­ited the Sheikh Mo­hammed Cen­tre for Cul­tural Un­der­stand­ing as mil­lions of Mus­lims spent the day with their fam­i­lies.

Also known as the feast of sacri­fice, Eid Al Adha com­mem­o­rates the will­ing­ness of the Prophet Ibrahim to sacri­fice his son as a sign of de­vo­tion to Al­lah.

HH Sheikh Mo­hammed bin Rashid Al Mak­toum, UAE Vice Pres­i­dent and Prime Min­is­ter and Ruler of Dubai, and HH Sheikh Ham­dan bin Mo­hammed Al Mak­toum, Crown Prince of Dubai, were among those to at­tend dawn prayer, be­fore meet­ing wish-wish­ers at Zabeel Palace.

At the cul­tural cen­tre, stu­dents were treated to tra­di­tional Emi­rati cui­sine and tea be­fore ask­ing ques­tions about the re­li­gion fol­lowed by more than a bil­lion peo­ple. Many have just ar­rived in Dubai to start their stud­ies at the Emi­rates Academy of Hospi­tal­ity Man­age­ment. “It was like noth­ing I have ex­pe­ri­enced be­fore,” said Austin Su Hung Li, a 20-year-old stu­dent from Tai­wan.

“It was amaz­ing to get in touch with a coun­try I have never had any con­tact with be­fore.”

Af­ter the feast, the floor opened for ques­tions about Emi­rati tra­di­tions, dress, re­li­gion, tak­ing up to four wives, wor­ship and mis­con­cep­tions.

Asked what he found most in­ter­est­ing about Emi­rati cul­ture, Ge­orge Osunde, a 25-year-old Univer­sity of Ge­or­gia stu­dent, said “how sim­ple their be­liefs are”. “I’m Chris­tian and when I look at Is­lam I thought it was more com­plex but it’s a very sim­ple, very peace­ful re­li­gion,” he said.

Lou Zi­ade, 20, who had just flown in from Lyon, said the ex­pe­ri­ence gave her a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing and it would help her avoid mak­ing any cul­tural “faux pas”.

Saad Ibrahim, 20, a stu­dent coun­cil mem­ber, added: “Peo­ple tend to for­get about Dubai’s cul­ture and this cen­tre gives a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of how it started out from hum­ble be­gin­nings.”

Ab­dul­lah Serkal, direc­tor of the cen­tre, said: “Eid is about of­fer­ing to the peo­ple in need.

“It’s about unity and dis­ci­pline and mak­ing sure that your neigh­bour is fed well. It’s about mak­ing the poor happy and mak­ing sure they have enough food and new clothes.”

PRAYER: Sheikh Mo­hammed and Sheikh Ham­dan per­form prayers at Zabeel Mosque

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