FOLLOWING The AJN’s report two weeks ago on Melbourne’s David and Miriam Klein and their five sons who recovered from COVID-19, the story has come to the notice of the United Arab Emirates consulate, which has since met the couple online and sent a message of support to the family and the wider Jewish community.
A day after the UAE and Bahrain signed the Abraham Accords with Israel, normalising relations with the Jewish State, the UAE consulate in Melbourne contacted The AJN asking for assistance in setting up a meeting with the family.
The outcome was a 20-minute Zoom session on Friday, hours before Rosh Hashanah, during which UAE consul-general Dr Nariman Al Mulla spoke with the Kleins and The AJN.
H.E. Dr. Nariman Al Mulla – UAE Consul General in Melbourne hosted a family from the Jewish community in the state of Victoria, due to the COVID-19 infection of a family of seven. @MoFAICUAE @aus_jewishnews pic.twitter.com/Z49S0IdvfU
— UAE Con in Melbourne (@MelConsulate) September 18, 2020
Addressing Miriam, she said, “When I read your family’s story published in The Australian Jewish News, it truly touched me,” adding she was particularly moved “as a physician, when I read the details of your husband’s journey through COVID-19”.
Al Mulla said she wanted to “show the United Arab Emirates community how this family had courage to fight this pandemic and to stand up and tell the whole nation their story”.
“As a doctor, I know that most of the people nowadays don’t take COVID-19 seriously until now … my community, when they hear about the real story, probably people will take it more seriously.”
After the Kleins related their battle with COVID-19, Al Mulla shared her own story – of her late father’s illness. “It’s as if you’re fighting with nature, and I think God at that point, usually hears us, feels us.”
An emotional Miriam added, “Our faith took us through”, recalling the groundswell of support from Melbourne’s Jewish community and doorstep contributions of essentials which became “our daily miracle”.
David recounted people reciting tehillim (psalms) for the family’s recovery and organising a 96-hour prayer and study marathon. “The outpouring of our community was really beyond comprehension.”
Al Mulla arranged for the Kleins to receive flowers and books about the UAE’s history and archaeology, and invited the family, and The AJN, to visit the UAE once lockdown rules have ended.
The consul lauded the Abraham Accords, “Our leaders have always been encouraging peace, the UAE today is considered a land of peace … we have to open new chapters, we have to think with a different philosophy. We are all very, very happy about this signing.”
David added, “We are exceptionally excited by the signing of this agreement. It’s something very, very special … what the UAE has done is groundbreaking and phenomenal.”