Dubai was the site for the 2016 Jubilee Games for Ismailis from all over the world. The events were held at Dubai’s World Trade Centre. I found it odd that it had the same name as the ill-fated New York’s World Trade Centre. It was a commercial area, an area of Dubai I hadn’t yet visited. The centre was large enough to accommodate all the Ismaili athletes and spectators who had come to watch the games.
It was a week long affair, with extravagant opening and closing ceremonies. Almost 2000 athletes participated in over 100 games across 50 different sports. 800 international volunteers made the core team of volunteers who were supported by more than a thousand volunteers from around the world!
The different sports included ones that are known around the world: soccer, basketball, badminton, tennis, volleyball, table tennis, cricket, and swimming among others. There were some that are not so common around the world, such as throwball and traditional volleyball. My cousin played in the Canadian throwball team and I was fortunate to capture a slam dunk service (a ten second video)!
A very interesting traditional volleyball game was held between two Canadian teams, a segment of which I was able to post on twitter as well! (30 second video)
The event brought Ismailis from all around the world closer with opportunities to interact and share traditions and knowledge from different parts of the world. Through the spirit of sports, the athletes, volunteers, and spectators were able to form bonds of friendship and camaraderie. The countries/regions that participated in this memorably splendid event included: Afghanistan, Canada, USA, Portugal, Pakistan, India, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, France, United Kingdom, Madagascar, Tajikistan, Bangladesh. (This list is not exhaustive as I may have missed a few nations).
It was truly a demonstration of pluralism at its best!
You can watch the closing ceremonies here to experience the great energy and spirit that filled the halls of the World Trade Centre last year in July!