Not in Egypt anymore

Israeli Embassy to UAE celebrates first Passover seder

Ambassador Eitan Na’eh tweets a rather straightforward answer to the age-old Passover question: ‘What is different this night?’

Israel's Embassy to the UAE holds its first Passover seder, March 27, 2021 (video screenshot)
Israel's Embassy to the UAE holds its first Passover seder, March 27, 2021 (video screenshot)

The Israeli Embassy to the United Arab Emirates held its first Passover seder Saturday night, and Ambassador Eitan Na’eh proudly shared a moment from the festive evening online.

Na’eh tweeted a video of participants singing the song “Ma Nishtana,” traditionally sung by the youngest attendant of the seder, which asks “What is different this night from other nights?”

“‘Ma nishtana’ the timeless words of the Passover night,” he wrote.

“What is different this night of all other nights? Well here it is: the first Seder of the Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi, UAE, under the starry skies.”

The UAE has a small but growing Jewish community, estimated to number some 3,000 people.

Na’eh arrived in the UAE in January to fill the post of Israel’s first-ever envoy to the Gulf state, following last year’s normalization agreement between the countries.

Na’eh told The Times of Israel as the time that he saw a bright — and cheaper — future ahead for Israelis as ties develop.

“The UAE is an opening to a huge market, huge ports, with very big free trade zones,” he said. “There are huge advantages for Israeli trade, be it imports and also exports, for lowering the cost of living.”

Israel and the UAE signed a US-brokered normalization agreement at the White House on September 15, 2021. The move was followed by normalization agreements with Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.

Na’eh, 57, has said Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi’s goals for the relationship were both “wide and specific.”

“Get to know the place,” he says he was told. “Get to know the issues. Map the issues. Map those individuals we need to be in touch with, then go and meet them. Enhance, increase cooperation in all possible areas… Develop the dialogue on all levels.”

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