x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

UAE event supports Peace Day

Over 10,000 people have signed a giant candle-shaped wall at the Mall of the Emirates to pledge their support of International Peace Day.

Over 10,000 people have signed a giant candle-shaped wall at the Mall of the Emirates to pledge their support of International Peace Day. It is the first time that the UAE has officially held an event in support of Peace Day, an international day of non-violence which falls on September 21. It was given a set calendar date by the United Nations in 2001, thanks to the advocacy of Jeremy Gilley, a British filmmaker and peace campaigner. A group of young professionals, led by Chiara Maioni, a Dubai-based film producer, were so captured by Mr Gilley's story after viewing one of his films earlier this year, that they started an organisation to raise awareness of Peace Day in the UAE ? In Support of Peace One Day. "This year has been purely about building awareness so that we have a solid foundation with which to create a much bigger event next year," said Nayla al Khaja an Emirati film maker and spokeswoman for the project. "Then perhaps we will have the partnerships in place so that we also can contribute to areas of conflict and hunger. So while we have achieved a phenomenal amount in a short space of time we are not running before we can walk." The group produced three short videos, directed by Ali Mostafa, which have been shown on television during the run up to the event. The films were screened at Cinestar today. Globally, over 200 million people participated in tens of thousands of events including peace walks, debates, poetry readings and concerts. Last year the UN claimed that claimed that the guns fell silent over much of Afghanistan on September 21 as the US, Nato, the Afghan government and the Taliban all pledged to halt attacks. Aid workers try to take advantage of the brief lull in violence to vaccinate children against preventable diseases such as polio. lmorris@thenational.ae