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I Was Just Wished a Happy Eid-Al Adha From Avis; and I Am Not Offended

arlier this year, I rented a car twice from Avis in Abu Dhabi — this article documents on what you need to know about renting a car from Avis in Abu Dhabi — and I was just wished a happy Eid-Al Adha from the staff at Avis in the United Arab Emirates via an e-mail message earlier today…

…and I am not offended.

In fact, I smiled, as I found it thoughtful that they included me in their wishes pertaining to a holy day in Islam — not that they knew whether or not I was Muslim, which I am not.

Admittedly, I had to look up the meaning of the holiday of Eid-Al Adha — although I could have simply asked Elena of Muslim Travel Girl, who educates people who are not Muslim in the process of helping people who are Muslim save money on travel — which is the Feast of the Sacrifice and three days of celebration and prayer marking the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael, celebrated at the end of Hajj, which is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. An animal is typically sacrificed on this day — usually a sheep, goat or camel.

The reason why I bring up this topic is because I have witnessed instances of where people would be offended if they were wished a Merry Christmas even though they are not a member of any denomination of the Christian faith, as an example. Their reasoning is usually that of perceived ignorance that the greeter should know of the religious beliefs of that person; when all the greeter is usually trying to do is simply spread some genuine joy and cheer.

I personally believe that religion does more to divide people on this planet than unite them; and that if any one religion was the “correct” religion, then everyone would be of that faith — but I also believe that people should be able to freely practice their religions without scorn or prejudice. Additionally, I believe that religion is a personal trait which should not be proselytized to others; but rather to inform others — and only when they ask questions or express interest.

Despite not being a religious person, I am sometimes fascinated by what paradigms and rituals comprise the customs of cultures different from the one in which I was raised. Those differences are part of why travel can be so interesting and educational; and they should be celebrated.

Several coexistence and interfaith nongovernmental organizations in Israel have called on people of the Jewish and Muslim faiths to be sensitive to the simultaneous observance of Yom Kippur — the holiest day of the Jewish calendar which begins at sundown today and focuses on solemnity, fasting, and introspection — and of Eid Al-Adha, according to this article written by Jeremy Sharon of The Jerusalem Post.

As you probably know by reading my trip reports, I attempt to highlight the creations by people of different faiths around the world to help bring about a better understanding and admiration amongst all of us. Three examples of these trip reports include the Dohány Street Synagogue in Budapest; the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat; and the Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica in Manila — and more articles are upcoming…

…but in the meantime, please allow me to wish you a happy and joyous feast and celebration, kul ’am wa enta bi-khair, and Adha Mubarak for Eid Al-Adha; and a G’mar Chatimah Tovah, a Gut Yontiv, and as easy a fast as possible for Yom Kippur, which is the day of atonement.

Source: Avis United Arab Emirates.

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