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In fluent Arabic, UK spokesman says Islam’s call to prayer ‘amazing’

Edwin Samuel has described Islam’s call to prayer or ‘Azan’ in Arabic as ‘moving’ during a recent trip to Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

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Edwin Samuel, Britain’s spokesman for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), has described Islam’s call to prayer or ‘Azan’ in Arabic as “amazing” and “moving” during a recent trip to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.

Samuel, who uses his fluency in Arabic to engage with Arabic-speaking users on social media, posted the video on his Instagram account as the call to prayer was being heard in the background.

“Right now, I am in the Grand mosque,” he said in Arabic. “This great amazing voice [of the Azan] moves human emotions both psychologically and spiritually…[it moves] all humans from all religions.”Samuel also hailed the UAE for its “model” that is “integrative and tolerant” to people who belong to “different religions.”

Abu Dhabi’s grand mosque is a key place of worship during Friday and Eid prayers. It can accommodate more than 41,000 people. The mosque is also open for tourists to come and see its grandiose structure.

Samuel spoke in classical Arabic. He is also said to be able to speak in both Syrian and Saudi accents. There are 21 countries that officially speak Arabic but people speak in different accents with vernacular versions also changing inside each Arab country itself.
However, most Arabs understand classical Arabic, which is taught in schools, and used during official ceremonies and in media broadcasts.

On his Instagram account, Samuel shows different snippets from different Arab states including him eating a famous Egyptian dish called foul in Cairo or trip to Saudi Arabia, showing how the government is protecting a heritage area.

On Twitter, Samuel is more active, where he answers people’s question on UK’s polices in the region, and has more than 17,000 followers.

(The article was first published in the Arabic-language website for Al Arabiya News Channel)