SZGMC promotes tolerance around the world

ABU DHABI, In 2018, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre, SZGMC, reinforced its position as a platform for cultural rapprochement, religious and cultural dialogue, and tolerance between various religions and cultures, in line with the vision of the late Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The total number of visitors to the SZGMC in 2018 amounted to 6,150,271, including 1,418,587 worshippers and 3,807,094 visitors. The mosque’s success in attracting visitors from various cultures is a realisation of Sheikh Zayed’s vision, which calls for tolerance and coexistence.

The support of the wise leadership for the SZGMC since its establishment, has helped it carry out its important mission, as a cultural and intellectual centre.

The centre which has enhanced its stature as a leading centre that presents the bright image of Islam, was honoured by the His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, with the “UAE Pioneers Award,” which is one of his many leading Emirati initiatives. The SZGMC also received the “Tolerance Category Award” during the “Arab Social Media Influencers Summit.”

Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al Owais, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the SZGMC, said, “In 2018, the Year of Zayed, the SZGMC presented its message that cherished the values of the Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed, and represented its strategic axis and highlighted its accomplishments. The SZGMC also launched several initiatives, programmes and events that resulted in a year full of giving and noble values and highlighted the legacy of the Builder of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed. We stand today on a solid foundation of values in 2019, which President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced as the ‘Year of Tolerance’, a well-established value of the UAE community.”

Sultan Dahi Al Humairi, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the SZGMC, pointed out that the growing annual number of visitors to the SZGMC reflects its stature as a cultural and religious tourism attraction in the UAE and around the region, as it is a model of architectural creativity and a leading international religious destination.

Dr. Youssef Al Obaidly, Director-General of the SZGMC, stated that the mosque is a source of pride that highlights the honourable image of the nation’s sons and daughters, who harnessed their energies and capabilities and offered services to all visitors of the SZGMC from various cultures in 2018, the Year of Zayed. The number of visitors who visited the SZGMC through tour operators amounted to around 1,542,099 while the number of visitors from educational institutions amounted to 15,440, and the number from government institution reached 8,121, he added.

The exhibition at the SZGMC includes a rare collection of Islamic manuscripts, historic photographs, artefacts and classical and modern artworks borrowed from 15 local and international institutions.

In accordance with the wise leadership’s vision to establish the values of tolerance and moderation, the SZGMC launched, under the patronage of Sheikh Mansour, the “7th Spaces of Light Award for Photography,” under the theme, “Tolerance.”

The SZGMC also completed a vital project that highlighted its global cultural role, by gifting models of the mosque and the centre’s publications to 19 UAE embassies around the world, to establish a message of tolerance and extend bridges to peoples around the world, as well as to international cultural institutions, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Youssef Mane’ Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States, US, and SZGMC Director-General, presented a model of the mosque to the UAE Embassy in Washington.

The centre also had a considerable presence in the international forums and exhibitions for leaders of the tourism and cultural sector, including the Internationale Tourismus-BAlrse Berlin, ITB-Berlin, the World Travel Market-London, the Arabian Travel Market Summit 2018-Dubai, and the Asian Travel Market Exhibition in Singapore.

The SZGMC was visited by many worshippers and fasting people during the Holy Month of Ramadan, including 1,144,011 fasting people had iftar in its iftar tents while the total number of charity meals distributed by the mosque amounted to 70,500. Ishaa and Taraweeh prayers were also held by 110,158 worshippers.

In 2018, it was visited by many leading international officials, presidents and ministers, including Moon Jae-in, President of South Korea; Dr. Barham Salih, President of Iraq; Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa; Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan; Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan; HRH Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, Crown Prince of Jordan, and Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister of Foreign Affairs.

During the ‘Year of Tolerance 2019’, the centre aims to spread the values of tolerance and establish the culture of moderation, through following the wise leadership’s vision to promote intellectual openness, coexistence and respect, on a land that hosts over 200 nationalities from various religions and beliefs.

Source: WAM – Emirates News Agency