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Emirates News Agency – Abrahamic Family House, a haven of tranquility for Abu Dhabi’s diverse community and Emirati tourists

by Guendalina Dainelli

ABU DHABI, 24th March, 2023 (WAM) — Comprising three separate houses of worship – the Mosque, Church and Synagogue – the Abraham Family House will welcome visitors from 1st March, 2023.

Located in Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Cultural District, Abrahamic Family House is rooted in the Emirati values ​​of bringing people and culture together. The site has become an attractive destination for people from various cultural and religious backgrounds.

weekly religious service

All prayers, including Friday prayers, are held at the Eminence Ahmed El-Tayeb Mosque. Mass in English every Sunday at 12 noon in St. Francis Church. Daily services are held at the Moses ben Maimon Synagogue.

Each building can accommodate 200 to 350 worshipers. The wayfinding around the site is in Arabic, English and Hebrew. Among the first media outlets to visit the site, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) interacted with worshipers, visitors and staff.

Center for Interreligious Dialogue

The center is also the first place for learning and interreligious dialogue. Tourists are provided with free English or Arabic-speaking guide services.

In addition to the three chapels, there is a spacious reception area which includes a pleasant café, a library corner and a selection of gift shops.

As part of the area called the Forum, there is the Intent Wall, where visitors are invited to write down their wishes and intentions. The triangular plates are covered with messages of love and peace in different languages.

A few meters away, the signature of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates; Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktou, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness; Pope Francis; Dr. Ahmed El Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and His Holiness Dr. Ahmed El Tayeb are set on the marble surface.

peaceful environment

Despite the presence of many people, the environment is quiet thanks to the special sound-absorbing system covering the walls.

Everything sold in the store carries messages of coexistence, such as menorahs inspired by the three religions and kippahs (hats traditionally worn by Jewish men) displayed at the booth. They are hand crocheted by Muslim women in Abu Dhabi.

“The souls of visitors are touched by this place,” said Nicola Cosmo, gift shop retail manager.

“I saw people literally tearing up. I can’t get over a Polish gentleman who was a bus driver for a group of tourists. He sat next to me, crying and shaking and telling me that his family had Jewish roots. He was overwhelmed with emotion to be in a place that was so meaningful to his personal story.”

Maria, who only calls herself by her first name, is the second Russian tourist visiting the UAE. “I appreciate the modernity of architecture; the style is especially attractive to younger generations. I’m on social media and I’m going to take a lot of photos today, the place is so beautiful. I’ll be using my photos in my stories because The strong message of peace embodied in this place is very relevant today.”

stunning architecture

Corinne S., a French national living in Abu Dhabi, said: “It is magnificent, never seen before. I was very curious to find out what was hidden beyond the pillars. Once inside, you will find that everything is so peaceful And warmth. You feel embraced.”

Serena C., an Italian who lives in Abu Dhabi, said that when she walked around the garden, she really felt like she was witnessing everyone’s dream of peaceful coexistence.

“Straight lines, minimalist, yet grand and majestic at the same time. The stillness and stillness are only interrupted by birdsong and the sound of the wind. I find the absence of color in architecture calming and reassuring. It makes me notice and appreciate the greenery of the trees and water more blue,” she said.

spiritual connection

Taking a seat in the first row of the church, we met Alejandro M., a young engineer from Rosario, Argentina. He works in the oil and gas industry in Abu Dhabi.
“At home we dedicate ourselves to Pope Francis. He is from my country; he is somehow part of the family. This is my first time here. I want to start my tour to pray for my father who is unwell, “He said.
It is clear that the Abraham Family House has provided the diverse Abu Dhabi community and Emirati visitors a haven of tranquility as a place of reflection, spiritual connection, learning and dialogue.

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