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15 July 2024

Dubai hosts World Interfaith Day on Feb. 3


Dubai will host the World Interfaith Harmony Day under the patronage of Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE’s Minister for Culture, Youth and Community Development, on February 3 at the Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights Hotel.

The meet takes place during the first week of February every year. The World Interfaith Harmony Week (February 1-7, 2016) provides a platform for all interfaith groups and other groups of goodwill to gather and express their solidarity and work together to promote harmony and goodwill in the world.

This year, the conference will focus on how peace at home builds peace in the world. It will bring together a combination of international leaders from faith groups, universities, businesses, NGOs and public institutions to discuss the contribution of various faith traditions in building peaceful homes and strong families which are essential components for building peace in the world. The objective is to facilitate peace and harmony between people of all religious and philosophical traditions while exploring ways to work together to strengthen homes and communities.

Frode Mauring, UNDP Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Acting In-charge for UAE, Oman and Qatar, is among the key speakers from the faiths of Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Mormonism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism who will offer insights on how to nurture and build peace at home and how to connect it to peace in the world.

There will be presentations and discussions by political, religious, educational and business leaders. The main topic is ‘Peace At Home Builds Peace in the World.’ Sub-themes of the summit include:  What Holy Books Teach about Peace in the Home, The Role of Youth in Building Peaceful Homes and Communities, Scholarly Perspectives on Connecting Peace in the Home to Peace in the World and Developing Collaborative Interfaith Projects. Two hundred local and international delegates are expected at the conference.

About the week

‘"World Interfaith Harmony Week celebrates the principles of tolerance and respect for the other that are deeply rooted in the world’s major religions. The observance is also a summons to solidarity in the face of those who spread misunderstanding and mistrust," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The World Interfaith Harmony Week was first proposed by King Abdullah II of Jordan at the UN General Assembly in September 2010 and was unanimously adopted by the General Assembly on October 20. In the resolution, the General Assembly, points out that mutual understanding and inter-religious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace and establishes the Week as a way to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith.

The UN General Assembly encourages all states to support the week to the spread the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in the world’s mosques, churches, synagogues, temples, and other places of worship, on a voluntary basis and according to their own religious traditions or convictions.

Organising committee of the Dubai event

This event is hosted by Gurudwara Guru Nanak Darbar, Dubai.

The organising committee comprises Prof. Nasr Arif, Director of Islamic Civilisation Academy in the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development, UAE, Dr. Brian J. Adams, Director of Centre for Interfaith & Cultural Dialogue in the Griffith University, Australia, and Surender Singh Kandhari, Chairman of Guru Nanak Darbar Gurudwara, UAE.