Abu Dhabi, Nov 22: Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan inaugurated the first National Festival of Tolerance through an evening of harmony, diversity and heritage between the UAE and India organized by the Ministry of Tolerance in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of India and the Indian Business and Professional Group in Abu Dhabi recently. The event took place at Umm Al Emarat Park and welcomed thousands of guests from communities across the UAE.
Speaking at the event Sheikh Nahayan said, “Today we celebrate the first National Festival of Tolerance, which we planto develop and grow every year. We celebrate our pride in the United Arab Emirates for embracing tolerance with all its aspirations and values, as a solid base for the Country’s progress”. Sheikh Nahayan noted that the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the father of the nation, recognized the importance of tolerance in building a strong and cohesive society and the need to establish love, lasting communication and respectful dialogue among all human beings.“Tolerance is the bridge between cultures and civilizations where the common values ??of humanity help bring diverse populations together. This year, we celebrate the UAE’s and India’s shared values toward building global tolerance.”
Sheikh Nahayan further noted that tolerance is a shared responsibility and the Ministry of Tolerance will work with all the country’s business, community and social groups to promote tolerance and to implement a series of programs, initiatives and activities aimed at achieving the vision of the government and the country’s wise leadership.
Sheikh Nahayan further added, "Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan, President of the UAE, works tirelessly to promote the values of tolerance, coexistence and pluralism around the world. He is supported actively in this endeavor by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.The UAE is fortunate to have such wise leaders who provide continuous support for peaceful co-existence and strive to provide harmony, prosperity and security.”
Ambassador of the Republic of India to the UAE, Navdeep Suri said, “Today, as we look forward to our future with confidence, we also take this opportunity to fondly recall the augural vision of Sheikh Zayed and our political leaders, which now stands translated into a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, taking our relationship to new heights and in the process fulfilling the aspirations of our peoples.”
The chairman of the Indian Business and Professional Group in Abu Dhabi, Dr B R Shetty shared his sentiments on the long standing relationship between India and UAE. He said, “The UAE and India are treasure troves of cultural heritage and diversity. Excellent examples of harmony, these two nations have taught the world what tolerance is all about. In spite of a diverse environment within, the UAE and India have progressed exponentially in all sectors. The grand vision of the leaders has been clear, strong and steady, which helped both the peace-loving nations to build strong relationships with the world at large. Our countries share a rich heritage and similar values built on peace, love and compassion. These qualities have enriched their degree of tolerance, contributing to making this world a better place.”
The evening began with a visit to the memorialof Sheikh Zayed.Sheikh Nahayan and the guests of the ceremony listened to an explanation of the memorial outlining the late Sheikh Zayed’s international vision. The audience enjoyed artistic and folkloric performances of the UAE and India, and works of art that included paintings of the late Sheikh Zayed, and Mahatma Gandhi, the founding father of the Indian Republic, performed by the international Indian artist Vilas Nayak who gifted the paintings to Sheikh Nahayan. Sheikh Nahayan and the ambassador of the Republic of India, accompanied by other dignitaries, then toured the folklore and heritage exhibits, which included crafts and handicrafts, jewelry, fashion and folk food of the two countries.
Abu Dhabi: National Festival of Tolerance celebrates Indo-UAE ties