The UAE message of tolerance, coexistence, love and acceptance was reverberated by students of Sheikh Zayed International Academy in Islamabad during Academy's annual 'International Day' celebration.
The ceremony held under the patronage of Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al Zaabi, UAE Ambassador to Pakistan, began with the UAE national anthem. It was followed by a speech by Al Zaabi on the academy’s leading role in the education sector, its academic and cultural excellence, and its efforts to improve the education system in Pakistan, as well as on the role played by the UAE Embassy in supporting the academy.
Al Zaabi also highlighted the academy’s efforts to raise awareness about cultures, tolerance, coexistence, love and acceptance, as well as to encourage respect for other cultures and traditions and harmony among students of various nationalities, to prepare them to lead their communities in the future. He then thanked the academy’s administrative and teaching staff for their efforts to make the day succeed and reinforce the academy’s role in the education sector.
Al Zaabi stressed that values of compassion, peace, tolerance, openness and coexistence are the basic components of the UAE’s cultural pluralism since its establishment while noting that the country hosts over 200 nationalities in its territories and its laws reinforce the values of respect and equality and criminalise hatred and intolerance. The UAE has also ratified international conventions that aim to combat violence, extremism and racial discrimination, to become a global capital of dialogue among civilisations, with the aim of reinforcing peace and social cohesion, he added.
The academy, which was founded by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 2003 and is supported by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is being managed on the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and has become the largest educational establishment in Islamabad.
The International Day ceremony included theatrical and educational performances held in the academy’s theatre, as well as artistic performances about several cultures in many languages, and folklore dance from around the world. The academy’s students wore traditional costumes representing 25 countries. A cultural exhibition was also held on the sidelines of the event, which showcased various cultures and traditional crafts.
The event was attended by members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Pakistan, local officials, representatives of the academic community, parents of students, and the academy’s administrative and teaching staff.