The United Arab Emirates will host the Abraham Accords Festival and Games meant to be the first in a series hosted by Morocco, Bahrain and Israel over the coming months, with the goal of deepening cultural cooperation and people-to-people ties between Abraham Accords countries.
The day-long event will begin on March 29, at the Expo 2020 Dubai with a soccer game between a regional team consisting of Israeli, Emirati, Bahraini and Moroccan players who will face a squad made up of international soccer stars.
The participating players on the Abraham Accords Classics Team will include Salaheddine Bassir, Noureddine Naybet and Mustapha Hadji of Morocco; Bakheet Saad, Basheer Saeed, Humaid Fakher of the UAE; Maor Buzaglo, Tal Ben Haim and Salim Tuama from Israel; and Talal Yousif Mohamed, Faouzi Mubarak Aaish and Mahmood Abdul Rahman Mohamed from Bahrain.
The “World Classics Team” will include Brazilian legends Kaká and Julio Cesar, Spain’s Carles Puyol and Míchel Salgado, Argentina’s Javier Saviola, Nigeria’s Jay-Jay Okocha, France’s Robert Pires, Bacary Sagna and Claude Makélélé and Holland’s Clarence Seedorf.
The group will then enjoy a festive dinner prepared by top chefs from Israel, Bahrain, Morocco and the UAE, including Moroccan chef Mohammed Baya, Israeli chef Avivit Priel, Emirati chef Khaled Al Saadi, and Bahraini chefs Yusuf Zainal and Salah Zainal.
U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides will travel to the United Arab Emirates to attend the festivities along with a delegation of high-level officials, including UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al-Khaja, Bahraini Ambassador to Israel Khaled al-Jalahma and Israel’s Minister of Culture Yehiel Tropper. Bahrain’s Minister of Sports and Youth Ayman Tawfiq Muayyad, Moroccan Minister of Culture, Youth, and Communications Mohamed Bensaid, UAE Minister of Culture and Youth Noura al-Kaabi and UAE Minister of State for Youth Shamma bint Suhail al-Mazrui will also join the VIP delegation.
The delegation will visit the respective national pavilions of the U.S., Israel, UAE, Bahrain and Morocco and will partake in cultural activities that honor each nation, according to the U.S. Embassy to Israel.
During the announcement of the visit, Nides said: “As these benefits continue to grow, so do the bonds between people. The Abraham Accords Festival and Games at the Expo is an opportunity to forge long-lasting connections between athletes, restauranteurs, and other doers and makers who have created such vibrant societies in the UAE, Israel, Morocco and Bahrain. This is what peace looks like.”