Dubai witnessed a remarkable display of community service as thousands of Dawoodi Bohra volunteers united to prepare and serve over 150,000 meals each day to community members during the Ashara Mubaraka congregations. More than 75,000 Bohra community members gathered in Dubai for the 10-day congregations, with approximately 50,000 coming from abroad. Young and old, men and women, the Bohra volunteers worked tirelessly to provide lunch and dinner to attendees across various centers in the UAE.
The Ashara Mubaraka congregations, held annually in the first 10 days of the Islamic year, were organized in Dubai this year, attracting attendees from diverse backgrounds. The menus were thoughtfully curated, showcasing the rich and diverse flavors of the UAE’s cuisine. Local and international nutritionists were consulted to ensure that the meals not only delighted the taste buds but also provided the necessary nutrition.
Leading the culinary curation for over 27,000 attendees at the Dubai World Trade Centre, executive chef Mosleh Ismail highlighted the use of locally-sourced produce, including hydroponic veggies, olives, dates, and Hatta farm honey, in the dishes. This approach celebrated the region’s authentic flavors while minimizing environmental impact.
Staying true to tradition, the Bohra community gathered around large round plates called ‘thaals,’ sharing meals in groups of eight to foster bonding and eliminate food waste. A Zero Food Wastage approach was adopted at the Mawaids (dining centers) during the congregations, aligning with the UAE’s commitment to sustainability.
The formation of the ‘Dana Committee’ further ensured that no food went to waste. With 2023 being marked as the “Year of Sustainability” in the UAE, the committee diligently managed portion sizes and promptly distributed surplus food to those in need, embodying a spirit of giving and compassion.
The Ashara Mubaraka congregations in the UAE also contributed to the country’s waste-to-energy initiative, converting organic waste collected during meals into energy, further reflecting the community’s commitment to environmental responsibility. The event exemplified the true spirit of community service and solidarity among the Dawoodi Bohra members.