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Noura with Abdul Rahman Alotbi (left) and Amna Alotbi Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: A 74-year-old Emirati teacher in Dubai has much to be proud on the 51st UAE National Day as she has educated many youth, especially girls, on the importance of preserving the rich heritage and culture of the country.

Speaking to Gulf News, Dubai-born Noura Sultan Farhan Mubarak, said she considers herself blessed to be an Emirati and to be born in the UAE. Going back to her childhood, she recollects how she began her studies with the Mutawah.

Importance of prayer

“There were no schools like we know them now. We used to read the Holy Quran and we learned about the importance of prayer and fasting, and we learned about our religion,” she says.

She talks of how as a teacher, she had the privilege of personally educating students about the significance of the UAE National Day and training them to participate in a number of activities.

Noura, who also worked in the Heritage Village, was an active participant in several cultural events there.

“I was an Islamic teacher [Quran teacher], I had a place where I taught boys and girls the Holy Quran during the mornings. In the evenings, we would go around the whole Heritage village walking in Tomena [teacher reading the Quran and students chanting behind him or her],” she shares.

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Noura with a Quran Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Housekeeping tasks

She says besides teaching the girls to read the Holy Quran, she would also train them in housekeeping (Senna) tasks. “For example, I would teach them how to make achar, dakhone and mix of Arabic perfumes. All these things we would display in the exhibitions.”

Noura Sultan
Noura Sultan says Emirati youth must imbibe their heritage by visiting places of cultural value Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

She specially makes a mention of the traditional mabkhara [incense burner] to put dakhone [incense] on it and also the marfa’a [stand] where they would keep the Quran to read.

She says youngsters must preserve the UAE heritage by visiting places of importance regularly and keeping their heritage alive.

“Thankfully, our Ministry of Education is taking a lot of inititiave to make this happen,” she adds.

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Noura with common cultural items found in Emirati homes Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Majlis help preserve traditions

She said social platforms like the majlis that are held by UAE leaders and others are a great way to educate youngsters about the traditions and culture of the past.

“People come here and listen to how their grandfathers and great grandfathers lived,” she points out.

She says she would like to congratulate and extend her best wishes to President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on the occasion of the UAE’s 51st National Day. “May God bless them and grant them a long life,” she prayed.