Diplomat tells of joy as first Israeli is born in UAE since the Abraham Accords

Mia Sztulman Starosta’s parents work for the new consulate in Dubai

Baby Mia is the first Israeli to be born in the UAE. Pictured with her mother, Jacqueline, and father Ilan, who is head of mission for the Consulate of Israel to Dubai.

A baby girl born in Dubai on August 14 has made history.

Mia Sztulman Starosta is the first Israeli infant to be born in the UAE since the Abraham Accords.

Her father, Ilan Sztulman Starosta, is head of the mission for the consulate of Israel to Dubai, and her mother, Jacqueline, is the economic advisor there.

They moved to the emirate for the roles six months ago.

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All our other children were born in Israel, but Mia is the first Israeli to be born in the UAE, after the Abraham Accords, which of course is emotional for me
Ilan Sztulman Starosta, head of mission for the Israeli consulate in Dubai

Mia is their fifth child and weighed a healthy 2.9 kilograms when she was born.

Mr Sztulman Starosta told The National the symbolism of her birth in an Arab country was important to him and his wife.

“We actually requested to come to Dubai,” he said.

“All our other children were born in Israel, but Mia is the first Israeli to be born in the UAE, after the Abrahamic Accords, which of course is emotional for me.

“The Abraham Accords felt like having a dream when it became true. In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we’ve been involved in so many attempts to get to peace moving, and suddenly we managed to break through.”

A birthday and an anniversary

Baby Mia is the first Israeli to be born in the UAE. Pictured with her father, Ilan Sztulman Starosta, head of mission for the consulate of Israel to Dubai

Israel’s Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid, inaugurated Israel’s consulate in Dubai in June and described it as a “centre for co-operation”.

Mia was born days after the Israelis and Emiratis celebrated the anniversary of the Abraham Accords, which were agreed on August 13 last year.

The Accords normalised the relationship between Israel and the UAE, and also between Bahrain and Israel, meaning overt trade, travel and business could start.

Within weeks, regular commercial flights started between the UAE and Tel Aviv, and more than 200,000 Israelis have visited the Emirates. That number would probably have been higher were it not for the pandemic.

Mr Sztulman Starosta said Mia’s birth was easy, but now he needs to deal with her documentation.

“We haven’t started consular services yet, so her passport will be the first to be issued here,” he said.

“I’ve got to get all sorts of permits and stamps, so it’s going to take me a few weeks.

“Then we’ll be able to take her back home to see my other kids and my family.”

Watch: One year on - what are the Abrahamic Accords?

Updated: August 17th 2021, 2:47 PM