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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 26 March 2019

UAE Minister: What does the Year of Tolerance mean to you?

Residents are being asked to have their say on the country's Year of Tolerance by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the UAE's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed took to Twitter to urge residents to be part of the UAE's Year of Tolerance. 
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed took to Twitter to urge residents to be part of the UAE's Year of Tolerance. 

The Year of Tolerance is in full swing in the UAE - but just what does it mean to the people who live in the country?

That is the question being posed by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the UAE's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation.

The senior government figure took to social media on Tuesday to ask his 4.4 million followers to offer their own personal insight on what tolerance means to them.

Sheikh Abdullah directed people to visit the Year of Tolerance's website, where a survey is being held to ensure the 12 month celebration is more than a mere slogan.

The UAE government announced that 2019 would be officially proclaimed the Year of Tolerance to highlight the country's dedication to welcoming people of all backgrounds and beliefs and its role in encouraging peace and stability in the Middle East and beyond.

Visitors to the Year of Tolerance are greeted by a pop-up survey asking: what does tolerance mean to you?

Online users can then share their views by choosing four out of ten words to describe their feelings, including peace, humanity, giving and respect.

There is also the option to come up with your own term to demonstrate your view.

UAE leaders have had their own say on what tolerance represents since the start of 2019.

UAE President Sheikh Khalifa said the initiative was in line with the country's efforts to bring about stability and happiness - and carry on the legacy of the Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed.

"Instilling values of tolerance carries on Sheikh Zayed's legacy and teachings," Sheikh Khalifa said when the Year of Tolerance was announced.

“It is one of the most important attributes that we can impact on our people and the global community to ensure the safety, stability and happiness of peoples across the world.”

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, hailed tolerance as a vital way to help nations 'flourish".

“Tolerance is the cornerstone of advanced societies, intellectually and humanely, and is one of the tools of empowering civilisations and ensuring stability and flourishing of nations," Sheikh Mohammed said.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, joined the outpouring of support.

"The world today needs universal human values to be promoted for the sake of future generations," Sheikh Mohamed said.

The Pope's visit to the UAE was hailed as a celebration of the UAE's efforts to promote inter-faith harmony and tolerance among all people.
The Pope's visit to the UAE was hailed as a celebration of the UAE's efforts to promote inter-faith harmony and tolerance among all people.

A landmark moment in the Year of Tolerance was the recent visit to the UAE by Pope Francis and Dr Ahmed Al Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar.

Their historic tour of the country was a shining symbol of inter-faith harmony, as two hugely influential religious leaders came together to spread a message of peace and hope.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Tolerance, said it would be “an honour to welcome the Pope to the UAE” and that he would be visiting a country that had learned the value of tolerance.

The two men, revered figures in the Catholic and Muslim faiths, attended the Global Conference of Human Fraternity and launched the Human Fraternity Document, a blueprint for promoting tolerance and mutual respect across the globe.

It was also announced that a new church and a new mosque are to be built in Abu Dhabi to commemorate their visit.

Residents can have their say on what tolerance means to them by visiting www.theyearoftolerance.ae

Updated: February 20, 2019 02:26 PM

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