UAE Minister of Tolerance attends National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC
WASHINGTON, DC, 5th February, 2017 (WAM) — UAE Minister of State for Tolerance, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi has led a multi-faith delegation to Washington, DC to attend the Annual National Prayer Breakfast, and meet with US officials to discuss cooperation in promoting tolerance.
While in Washington, Sheikha Al Qasimi participated in a roundtable discussion on the Middle East region with key US leaders, discussing a number of regional issues of mutual interest. She also met with a number of UAE students at the UAE Embassy in Washington to discuss the Tolerance Programme with them. In that dialogue, she emphasised to them the importance of coexistence, empowerment and peace-building.
During the National Prayer Breakfast, Minister Al Qasimi met with religious and government leaders from the US and around the world, highlighting the UAE’s role in advocating for peace and working with international coalitions to build sustainable solutions of coexistence and understanding, especially among the youth.
Sheikha Lubna joined a panel at The Wilson Centre with CEO Jane Harman and a number of regional experts. She underscored the UAE’s philosophy of acceptance as being deeply rooted in the country’s heritage, and the UAE has always been a gateway to the world, welcoming people of varying faiths, beliefs and backgrounds. The Minister stressed the UAE’s commitment to religious freedom, saying, “Our constitution guarantees freedom for all to practice religious worship of their choosing and we are diligent to enforce our laws that protect the rights of everyone in our country”.
At The Wilson Centre, Lubna Al Qasimi and Ms. Harman discussed their upcoming paper on, “The Women in Public Service Project and Middle East Programme – Women’s Leadership in the UAE”, covering women’s advancements in politics, economics, conflict situations and rights issues in the UAE.
The UAE is made up of an 80 percent expatriate population from more than 200 nationalities, and is part of a multinational coalition to eradicate and also understand the root cause of extremist ideology through a variety of initiatives, such as Hedayah and the Sawab Centre that counter negative rhetoric and provide support, positive alternatives, promote tolerance, coexistence, stability and peace.
In 2016, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi was appointed Minister tasked with the newly established National Programme for Tolerance, strengthening the government role as an incubator of tolerance, consolidating the role of the cohesive family in building a tolerant society, promoting tolerance among the youth and protect them from fanaticism and extremism, enriching scientific and cultural content on tolerance and contribute to international efforts to promote tolerance, highlighting the UAE’s role as a tolerant country.
Sheikha Lubna and her accompanying delegation concluded their Washington trip with a visit to the UAE Embassy by invitation of UAE Ambassador, Yousef Al Otaiba, for a working lunch discussing tolerance, UAE-US bilateral relations, government innovation and a number of other topics of interest with diplomats, staff and Emirati students studying at universities in the Washington, DC area.
The UAE delegation included Omar Habtour Al Derei, Director of the Department of Fatwa at the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, Abdulrahman Ibrahim Al Nasri, Preacher for the authority, Father Mina Hanna, representative of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Reverend Canon Andy Thompson, MBE, Senior Chaplain at St Andrew’s Church in Abu Dhabi and Mrs. Sona Kazanjian, Director International Ministries for the Fellowship of the Emirates, based in Dubai.
[Source: Emirates News Agency/WAM/Moran-Media Relations]
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