Visually impaired Yemeni groom’s message draws thousands to his wedding in Aden

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After news quickly spread, local businessmen, companies and shops sent gifts to Abdullah, including financial support to the costs of his wedding, local press reported. (Twitter user)
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After news quickly spread, local businessmen, companies and shops sent gifts to Abdullah, including financial support to the costs of his wedding, local press reported. (Twitter user)
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Updated 20 July 2020

Visually impaired Yemeni groom’s message draws thousands to his wedding in Aden

  • The crowd responded to calls from Mohammed Ali Abdullah requesting them to attend his wedding
  • Videos shared on social media showed thousands gathering at the wedding hall to greet the newlyweds

DUBAI: The story of a visually impaired Yemeni groom went viral across the Arab world on social media platforms, as thousands of people took to the streets to celebrate his wedding in Aden over the weekend.
The crowd responded to calls from Mohammed Ali Abdullah requesting them to attend his wedding.

“Hello, my name is Mohammed Ali Abdullah, or as they call me, ‘Mohammed the blind’. I'm so happy that my life has become tinted in rose, although I don’t know what that looks like, but I hear roses are beautiful. I have finally found my life partner,” Abdullah wrote on Facebook.
“I have few friends and wish you can all be my friends and join me in my celebrations, as I want to prove to the world that I also have the right to be happy like other normal person. I will not see you at the wedding, but I will feel your presence," Abdullah said.

The hashtags “We are your friends” and “The blind is a groom” in the Arabic language started trending after his message circulated on social media.
After news quickly spread, local businessmen, companies and shops sent gifts to Abdullah, including financial support to the costs of his wedding, local press reported.
Videos shared on social media showed thousands gathering at the wedding hall to greet the newlyweds. Streets were packed with about 400 cars beeping in celebration, according to local reports.

A local activist said the wedding turned into a joyous and delightful picture of social solidarity in Yemen.

 


Muslim hotel worker wins compensation over alcohol-chocolate swap

Updated 25 September 2020

Muslim hotel worker wins compensation over alcohol-chocolate swap

  • Man was told by managers at five-star hotel that they did not wish to offend him by giving him the bottle of alcohol
  • Tribunal ruled that claim of harassment linked to religion or beliefs was legitimate one

LONDON: A man has successfully sued his employer for religious harassment after he was given a box of chocolates as a raffle prize instead of an expensive bottle of Cognac.
Zakaria Kioua, who does not drink alcohol as a practicing Muslim, was told by managers at the five-star Lainston House hotel in the south of England that they did not wish to offend him by giving him the bottle of alcohol, saying it would have been like offering nuts to a person with a nut allergy.
But Kioua, 37, said his faith was “not an illness” and he felt humiliated and targeted because of his religious beliefs.
The Cognac was a raffle prize at a staff party held in January 2017. But Kioua, who trained as a vet in Algeria before moving to the UK and worked as a linen porter at the hotel, was given “cheap” chocolates instead after one of his colleagues said he did not drink alcohol, British media reported.
After resigning from his position, Kioua launched claims against the hotel in April 2019. An employment tribunal in Southampton handed down its judgement this week, ruling that the claim of harassment linked to religion or beliefs was a legitimate one.
“A nut allergy is an illness, a life-threatening illness. It is not an acceptable point of comparison. It minimizes the importance of Mr. Kioua’s beliefs and practices,” the tribunal said.
“The point is not that (the swap) was well-intentioned. The point is that it should not have been said, just as the decision should not have been made to change Mr. Kioua’s prize,” it added.
“Both are on the grounds of his religion and neither should have happened; both are offensive and caused him distress.”
Kioua was awarded £2,000 ($2,545) to be paid by Lainston House for “injury to feelings” plus interest, The Times newspaper reported.