UAE announces a new 4-day weekend 10-13 Nov
The United Arab Emirates decided to adopt a new 4-day weekend for a category of residents 10-13 Nov
To celebrate the Indian holiday of Diwali, some schools in the UAE will give their kids an extra weekend. The Israel-Hamas war is still going on, though, so there won't be many parties on campus.
UAE announces a new 4-day weekend
Parents were told that Gems Our Own Indian School would be closed on Friday, November 10, and Monday, November 13, because of the holiday. For the kids, this would mean a four-day break.
The director of the school, Lalitha Suresh, said that the four-day break would give families more time to enjoy Diwali over the long weekend.
"This year, Diwali celebrations at school will be low-key. The only activities planned are educational class assemblies." "All students have been told to be aware of what's going on in the region, and they have been told that as a way to celebrate Diwali, they should give money to the Emirates Red Crescent campaign," she told Khaleej Times.
It was about the "Tarahum—for Gaza" effort that the UAE started to help Palestinians who were hurt by the war in Gaza. Thousands of people from the UAE have donated, which has helped the ERC send tons of life-saving supplies to Gaza.
All big events at a school in Abu Dhabi have been canceled this year.
Abhilasha Singh, director of Shining Star International, said, "It's hard to imagine how bad the damage is in Gaza." The humanitarian disaster we are seeing is being watched by everyone in the world. Because of this, we've cut back on all of our events. I talked to my kids about this (the Gaza situation) this morning during the morning meeting. Telling them that whenever they feel like they "don't have enough," they should stop and think of the children and adults who died in Palestine and their families who are still suffering. Someone told them to remember how lucky they are to live in a peaceful state. The kids were paying close attention."
The school has stopped all dance and music events. "We feel really bad about being happy right now." Our hearts hurt. We are only following the important parts of the program. We are all hoping for peace in the whole border area. The situation should soon come to an end.
One school in Sharjah closed for the day to celebrate Diwali. The principal of Sharjah Indian School, Pramod Mahajan, said, "This year, we're not giving out any sweets." The students' council has been very aware of the issue, in fact.
Parents and students in schools all over the UAE can give things like food, blankets, tents, soap bars, toothpaste, women's health products, diapers, and wet wipes to help the people in Gaza.
No more celebrations
Gems Education had already sent a message to schools saying that celebrations would have to be put on hold "until further notice" because they would be "inappropriate" given the violence going on in the area. The note said that the events that were affected were religious holidays like Diwali, as well as Christmas events and parties, such as winter wonderlands and festive fêtes.
Meanwhile, students who were a little disappointed at first said that they fully supported the school's choice once they knew why it was made.
Sri Hari, a Shining Star International student in Grade 7, said, "It made me a little sad when I first heard that we wouldn't be celebrating holidays like Diwali." Still, I didn't feel bad after I realized the reason. I agree with what the school decided. We're giving the victims money that we would have spent on these parties to help them.
Another student in Grade 9, Faisal, said, "In response to our situation in Gaza, our school organization has taken a positive initiative." We have chosen not to celebrate Children's Day, Diwali, and other holidays this year to show our support for the victims.
Schools are constantly giving everyday things to the people in Gaza to help them. He also said, "We think small actions can make a big difference."
"Everyone knows what's going on in Gaza." I think that our choice not to enjoy the holidays is a good one that shows our support for the innocent people. Someone in Grade 9 named Salem said, "I don't think we should be celebrating when so many people are dying."