Thousands accord warm welcome to Bohra leader

DUBAI - The Al Ahli Club Sports Stadium was packed almost to capacity on Tuesday afternoon with thousands of members of the Bohra community from within the UAE and abroad gathering there to accord a warm welcome to their spiritual leader, Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin Saheb.

By Zaigham Ali Mirza

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Published: Wed 18 Feb 2004, 12:13 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:44 PM

The reception was attended by high-ranking local government officials, diplomatic corps of several countries, and heads of community and religious associations, who later presented Dr Syedna with bouquets as a mark of respect.

Dr Hamad Al Shaibani, Director-General of Dubai Auqaf and Islamic Affairs Department, was also present on the occasion. The huge crowd at the stadium included men, women and children, some 600 of the volunteer Burhani Guards, a community musical band and a group of boy scouts.

The reception began with the UAE's national anthem, which was performed by students of the Bohra community, followed by a recitation of verses from the Holy Quran.

Kinana Jamaluddin, the community's Dubai representative, conducted the proceedings.

The Sultanul Bohra is in Dubai to conduct a 10-day long religious gathering, the first of its kind in the region, and is scheduled to deliver religious discourses from Saturday to March 1.

According to organisers of his grand reception of on Tuesday, some 30,000 members of the Bohra community are expected to fly in to Dubai from around the world to attend the congregation, which will also be attended by a majority of the community's 12,000 members who are residents of the UAE. About 6,000 of the total Bohra community population in the UAE lives in Dubai.

"Extensive preparations have been done to accommodate the participants of the religious meet, to the extent that even their breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be taken care of," said a member of the organising team. He added that the new mosque in Al Qusais will be the venue for the congregation, whose each session will last up to five hours every day for 10 days.

Earlier, the Sultanul Bohra was received at the airport by Shaikh Hashar Al Maktoum, Director of Information Department in Dubai. Dr Syedna was accompanied by his sons prince Qaid Johar Ezzuddin, prince Mufaddal Saifuddin, prince Qusai Vajihuddin, prince Idris Badruddin, prince Ammar Jamaluddin, and his grandchildren.



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