World Interfaith Harmony Week, a United Nations resolution to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith, which was hosted in Dubai under the aegis of Ministry of Culture , Youth and Community Development of UAE from 1-7th of February 2016, concluded.
The summit which was inaugurated by ShaikhNahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, came to an end with a grand banquet at ShaikhNahyan’s Palace at Abu Dhabi.
ShaikhNahyan told the delegates that UAE is a standing testimony for having enabled people of diverse nationalities, ethnicities, languages, religious faiths, and cultures to live and work together harmoniously – not just in the week of World Interfaith Harmony but all 52 weeks of the year. Peace comes only with mutual understanding. He further urged the religious leaders present at the summit, to innovate and put into action those measures that will ensure families and homes around the world to foster the message of harmony.
This theme for this year’s interfaith summit was ‘Peace at Home Builds Peace in the World’. In the summit attended by International delegates of Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, and Mormonism faiths, Mad’in chairman Sayyid Ibrahimul Khaleel Ul Bukhari addressed the gathering, representing the Muslim Scholar’s panel. He briefed them about various Interfaith programs organized by Ma’din Academy, under the aegis of the United Nations. He received a special memento from ShaikhNahyan, in recognition to his efforts to bring religious harmony in society.
In his keynote address, Frode Mauring, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Acting in Charge of UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon, for UAE, Oman and Qatar, said every individual is entitled to human rights regardless of his or her beliefs and value of diversity should be recognised and celebrated, and not exploited for nefarious aims such as terrorism in the name of religion. Dubai Grand Mufi, Dr. Mohammad Al Qubaisi, UAE Church of Jesus representative Jeffery Singer, Former Indian Army chief and Sikh representative General Bikram Singh, Buddhist leader Kulvech Janvatanavit from Thailand, Zoroastrian representative Dr Ramiyar Karanjia etc spoke on the occasion.
In a session dedicated to youth speakers from various countries, Ma’din International Relations Director Abbas Panakkal presented a research paper. The UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth organised this summit in cooperation with Griffith University, Australia and Dubai Guru Nanak Darbar. This is the first time that a World Interfaith Harmony Day, is being hosted at UAE.