Saturday, April 5, 2008

Church on Friday?

Here's the run down for those of you that were curious.

The official religion of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (Dubai is one of 7 Emirates with Abu Dhabi as the capital- although Dubai has the largest population) is Islam.  Friday is the Holy Day for Muslims and I believe most Islamic nations have a Thursday Friday weekend. The weekend here was also Thursday Friday up until a couple of years ago when they changed to Friday Saturday.  I assume the change was to share more business days with Western nations. 
When I did the short study abroad in Israel (11 years ago-whoa!), our weekend was also Friday Saturday, but we celebrated the Sabbath day on Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath day).

To me, it's all just about a shift in thinking and not about what the day is named, so it's not that weird to attend church on Friday and go shopping or to work on Sunday.  However it is weird and tricky to have the Sabbath day as the first day of the weekend as opposed to the second.  There's no "Saturday is a special day it's the day we get ready for SunDay!..." and date night is trickier because our choices are either right after work on Thursday or Saturday night which is a work night/ school night.  We'll figure it out.

and possibly trickier, when do we have "Family night"?  Do we still have ours on Monday over here, or Saturday because it's the day after the Sabbath or Sunday because it's the first day of our work week/ school week and traditionally the Sabbath day? or Monday because that's the day the church leaders suggest? Hmmmm?

*the picture is of a Mosque here in Dubai that we drive by on the way to church. I didn't take the picture I borrowed it from the internet. We attend church in a large villa- not a church building in the same neighborhood.  It's been converted inside so it doesn't seem like a villa (house), it has classrooms a large living room/ chapel and even the same padded metal folding chairs that are found in every LDS church building.
**oh and the local government recognizes the LDS church as one of the religions in the country so it's not like we're meeting in secret or anything. However, there are no missionaries here and the "ward mission leader" is called the "ward service teacher leader" or something like that.


  1. Did you have church this Friday in addition to watching Conference on Sunday/Monday?

    Do you wear burkhas when you go out?

  2. We did have church on Friday (yesterday). I tried to tune in and get the Sat. am session of conference on the internet before bed tonight (8-10pm our time), but where we're staying has a pretty slow internet connection so no luck. However, I heard just enough to hear the new apostles name. We are planning on watching two recorded sessions of conference as a ward in 2 weeks on a Friday Sabbath. We'll meet in the morning for a 2 hour session, have a hr and a half potluck and then another 2 hour session (not sure how they are gonna decide which 2 sessions). Plus the men will meet to all watch priesthood together.

  3. Dusty and I are very interested in your lives over there. We enjoy that you are keeping us posted. Thanks. I guess you can read the talks online before you'll be able to see conference. That's crazy.

  4. Hey!!
    It's so fun to see your blog! Glad to hear you made it safely and that all is going well! It will be so fun to see updates on your life overseas! What an adventure! Yes, we definitely should have gotten the boys together more so they could have run around in their yellow boots together... when you get back!
    Good luck with everything!

  5. Interesting. We miss you all so much. Isn't the internet wonderful so that keeping in touch isn't that hard? We love you- hope to talk to you soon.

  6. Toria - we are all counting on you to educate us on all things Dubai. It is so interesting to hear about what is going on with you. We miss you guys and Asher's little Asherisms (Door...Door...DOOR!!!) It is FINALLY a beautiful day here in SLC but another snowy week is on the horizon. Kiss your little ones for us. We love you. Oh and say HI to my bro for me!

  7. Hey Toria, it's great to hear about your new place. Can't wait to get more updates and see your adventure unfold. Good luck getting settled in!

  8. Toria!!

    This is Steve.......Watson. I found your blog through Brandon and Dawn's blog, by way of Taylor's. How are you?
    Holy cute pic's of the kiddies. It sounds like you guys are quite the adventurers!
    We are at BYU right now...ok I'll stop the rambling post.

  9. very interesting, and a bit of a culture shock I'm sure, do tell more...