Mexican embraces Islam after 3 months' life in Dubai

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Mexican embraces Islam after 3 months life in Dubai
Ricardo Abraham Gonzalez Rubio

Dubai - Ricardo Abraham Gonzalez Rubio adopted the name Ibrahim and wants to immerse himself in the UAE's culture and religion.


Bernd Debusmann Jr.

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Published: Wed 21 Jun 2017, 9:30 PM

Last updated: Fri 23 Jun 2017, 12:23 PM

After less than three months living in Dubai, a Mexican expat says he has been transformed by the country's culture and traditions - and has even converted to Islam.
Mexico City native and marketing professional Ricardo Abraham Gonzalez Rubio - who has since also adopted the name Ibrahim - says that he immediately set it upon himself to immerse himself in the UAE's culture and religion when he first arrived from his overwhelmingly Roman Catholic homeland.
"I learned a lot about culture, about Islam. I wanted to know what it was all about, so I began to investigate. This is, after all, a Muslim city, in a Muslim country," he said. "I immediately found it very attractive. So I decided to focus on it (Islam)."
Like many expats, Ricardo says he was fortunate to have Emirati and Muslim friends that were happy to answer all his questions about Islam and the local culture.
"Whenever I had time, I went with my Emirati friend to eat dinner with him and other Emiratis. I asked them all my questions, about women and their role, why people eat with their hands, why this, why that," he recalled. "The more they explained, the more curious I was."
His final decision to convert to Islam, he told Khaleej Times, came during a nighttime visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
"I had asked my friend what it feels like to be Muslim, and I decided to go to the mosque in Abu Dhabi. I wanted to get to know it," he noted. "But when I arrived, it was closed."
"But an Emirati who works there came out, asked me where I was from, and eventually let me enter. I had the mosque to myself," he added. "It changed me...I felt it. It moved me. The minute I felt it, I forgot all my stress. It was beautiful"
Ricardo says his Muslim friends happily welcomed his decision.
"They've welcomed me, and thanked me for giving the best of myself to God, not to any person," he said. "It (Islam) creates the best version of you."
As a Muslim, Ricardo said he would now do his best to explain his decision to friends back home, many of which might have little understanding of Islam or might have flawed assumptions about the religion. His family, however, have been supportive - he even has a brother who similarly converted to Islam in Canada five years ago.
"Many don't know what to say. They think it's deeply personal and don't even know how to approach it, or see it as complicated," he said. "I want to figure out how to explain the things I've seen. I want to share. It's all about helping people be better."

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