UK expat shows solidarity with Dubai Muslims by baking and distributing cupcakes

Published:  1 Jun at 6 PM
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A UK expat is determined to show solidarity with Dubai’s Moslem community by the simple act of baking cupcakes for them.

It may sound crazy, but Nicola Donal and her husband Brendon’s unique initiative is making friends and bringing a spirit of community to Dubai. When Nicola, a Mancunian herself, heard about the Manchester tragedy and read reports about increasing levels of hate crimes against Muslims, she determined to express solidarity with local people by baking cupcakes and distributing them around her district.

The Facebook post which spurred her initiative was by a Muslim woman who told of her fears for her children as the hate crimes increased. Troubled by the post, she created her ‘Bake down Barriers' initiative, modelling it after the Pay it Forward initiative which encourages those who’ve benefited from a good deed to pass it on by doing a good deed to another person. Nicola’s take is her attempt to counter an evil deed by random acts of kindness – hence the distribution of freshly-baked, homemade sweet cakes.

So far, 12 local Muslim families have received the cupcakes, including one British Muslim recipient born, brought up and educated to university level in Manchester before she moved to Dubai. Saira Choudry passed Nicola’s good deed on by giving chemistry lessons to the daughter of a friend and preparing food for gardeners working in the neighbourhood.

British Muslim Tanzilah Dadabhoy said he’d been upset by yet another demonstration of negativity in today’s troubled world. When he saw Nicola’s post and read about her heartfelt gesture, he thought the idea of ‘pay it forward’ was brilliant. British expat Elaine Hardman, whose friend in the UK had lost a son to the terrorist bomb, said Nicola’s actions had brought a smile to her face during a heartbreaking time. She received a box of cakes from Nicola and is determined to pass the kindness forward. Brendan is proud of his wife’s initiative, saying it made him realise so many good, caring people want to do something for their community.
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