A 29-year-old woman from Ukraine died in Dubai earlier this week — just a few hours after she converted to Islam, according to a popular social media account on funeral prayers in the country.

Scores of Emiratis and expats turned up at Al Qusais cemetery mosque to offer funeral prayers for the woman on Friday, as seen in the photos shared by janaza_uae.

The woman, identified as Daria Kotsarenko, also had no family or relatives in Dubai, janaza_uae said in a post on X on Thursday, prompting an outpouring of grief, love, and support.

Daria arrived in the UAE as a tourist and eventually started looking for a job, according to several social media sources. During her search, she encountered not only career opportunities but also the beauty of Islam.

A widely shared document indicated that Darya was a Christian who converted to Islam in Dubai on March 25.

Her death — just a few hours after she embraced Islam — was believed to have been caused by a heart attack. As a new Muslim in Ramadan, she was fasting when she died.

Show of support

Darya's story had touched many, leading to a massive crowd at the funeral prayers for her on Friday.

This act of solidarity isn’t new to UAE residents. There had been previous instances where crowds of faithful were seen at the funeral of new converts in a show of support.

One such example was in November 2022, when a 93-year-old woman named Louis Jene Mitchell, also known as Um Yahya, died soon after converting to Islam. At that time, she was in the UAE with her son. The same social media account, janaza_uae, shared her story of conversion and the details of her funeral.

This news drew attention from the residents of Abu Dhabi, who turned up in large numbers to attend her funeral.

Lt-Gen Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, previously praised such efforts, saying that this is a great example of Emirati values.

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