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Dubai taxi driver’s gesture proves UAE to be one of the safest places for Jews: Israeli official

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Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, deputy mayor of Jerusalem, says the UAE is one of the safest places for Jews to visit.
Image Credit: Wam

Dubai: A “warm” gesture from a Dubai taxi driver to the family of Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, the deputy mayor of Jerusalem, left them feeling that the UAE is one of the safest places in the world for people. Jews to live and visit.

Sharing her experience of walking a street in Dubai after attending a dinner party with her husband and four children in December 2020, she said her husband wears the Yarmulke, a traditional head covering for Jews.

“My husband never wears the Kippah outside in Europe because we are always a little afraid of the anti-Semitic attitude, and in general he normally only wears a hat,” she told Emirates. News Agency (WAM) ahead of his week-long visit to the United Arab Emirates. , which begins on Monday.

‘Welcome Jews’

“This Friday evening in Dubai, we were invited to a joint dinner; on the way home, he kept his Kippah on his head. Suddenly a taxi pulled up in the middle of the road and the driver rolled down the window and said, “Welcome Jews. We are so glad to have you here! ‘ ” she says.

How her children’s impression of the Arab world changed

Expressing his joy, Hassan-Nahoum said the taxi driver’s message represented “the warmth and greetings from the people of the UAE. It was truly amazing.

She said her children, ages 18, 17, 15 and 12, grew up feeling like “the Arab world doesn’t like us, and I’m so happy that I can give them a different story. We can be friends; we can become a family again and then build the region together. So it is very important for me as a mother and also as a politician and a leader.

The deputy mayor of Jerusalem, who is also a co-founder of the UAE-Israel Business Council and the Gulf-Israel Women’s Forum, said she had many interesting experiences from her visits to the UAE since the two countries signed the Abraham’s accords in September. 2020.

“But this [taxi driver’s story] was the most touching, ”she added.

Hassan-Nahoum said people should continuously share such friendship stories to further strengthen the relationship. “Such stories play an important role in relationships,” said the leader, who is a lawyer and communications consultant by profession.

An Israel-UAE “ green corridor ” to boost tourism

As the deputy mayor responsible for tourism in his city, Hassan-Nahoum believes that Israel and the UAE can create a “green corridor” for tourists vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel between the two countries.

Since the two countries have leading positions in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, “what is incredible, I call on my government to [accept this proposal] and I am very hopeful, ”she said.

Hassan-Nahoum is delighted to welcome “a new era of Muslim pilgrims to Jerusalem” following Abraham’s accords which helped establish diplomatic relations between Israel and four Arab countries – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. Sudan.

Religious tourism

The city’s religious tourism has mainly focused on Jews and foreign Christians for decades and now more Muslims will come to visit Islam’s third holiest site, Al-Aqsa Mosque, she said. note.

Asked about the expected number of new tourists to Jerusalem, which is still closed to tourism due to the pandemic, she said: “It’s hard to predict, but I think in a normal post-COVID year, we might consider almost a quarter of a million Muslim tourists, much of it from the UAE and Bahrain. And probably double the number of Israeli tourists will travel to the UAE. “

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