Ahlan Wa Sahlan Bibi Habibi!

Rabbi Dr. Elie Abadie
Filed on March 11, 2021

It is with great enthusiasm and honour that I, as the Senior Rabbi of the Jewish Council of the Emirates representing the Jewish Community, welcome you to the UAE, with the local Arabic words of welcome, with the hospitality rooted and founded in the teaching of our common - Jews and Arabs - Patriarch Abraham - Ibrahim il Khalil).

Our community has been growing and flourishing in the last few years, in this beautiful country of tolerance, acceptance, peaceful coexistence and harmonious living among different faith communities.

The courageous, wise and brave move by our leaders, The President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, together with your leadership and guidance, has led to the Abraham Accords becoming a reality.

History has been made, the old path and narrative have been abandoned and the future has been forever changed for the better. We are at the 'crossroads of history'.

As the leader of the Jewish Community in the Emirates, I have seen with my own eyes and experienced personally, the benefits that this rapprochement between Israel and the Gulf region has brought. Every day as I walk through the streets of the UAE, with my kippa on my head, I am welcomed and greeted kindly. The desire of the Emirati people to explore and learn more about Jewish people, their history, faith and culture is truly inspiring. Very often we have local Emiratis join us for Shabbat meals as they want to learn more about our Jewish customs and rituals. We have so much in common: our faith in the one and only God, our steadfast adherence to family values, traditions and customs, our respect for the sanctity of life and human dignity.

The Jewish community feel at home here, as it continues to grow. Jewish and Israeli business people are settling here and establishing business relationships that are benefitting both Israel and the UAE.

Prime Minister, we applaud your leadership, courage, wisdom and perseverance in establishing normalisation and peace with as many countries as possible, especially Arab and Muslim countries, who are our natural brothers and sisters. We are here to support your endeavors and, as a community, we are proud to represent the Jewish people with dignity and honour.

We hope you enjoy your time here in the UAE, achieve much success in your mission and will return soon to spend time with our Jewish community. Barukh Habah.

Rabbi Dr. Elie Abadie is the Senior Rabbi of the Jewish Council of the Emirates, a network of Jewish communal leaders who are building and growing Jewish life in the UAE

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