x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

UAE urged to lend its expertise to the US

The UAE should lend its expertise in inner city civil projects to the United States, Muslim community leaders say as they make their way to a forum in Doha.

The UAE should lend its expertise in inner city civil projects to the United States, Muslim community leaders said as they made their way to a forum in Doha. During a short visit to the capital, the group discussed ways in which the Emirates could provide aid to long-term projects in America's inner-cities. The focus of the seventh annual US-Islamic World Forum, which began its three-day run yesterday, is to strengthen civil society and aid non-governmental efforts to fill the gaps left by government.

"Abu Dhabi and Dubai have people who know how to think about sustainable projects," said Rami Nashashibi, the director of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (Iman), a 15-year-old non-profit organisation in Chicago with a budget of around US$2.4 million (Dh8.8m). He said with its supply of engineers, architects and businessmen, the UAE could assist in organising projects for Iman, which provides health care, housing and employment, and helps to rehabilitate former criminals.

"In the UAE, you have people who think like those in successful foundations in the US," Mr Nashashibi said. "You can send your engineers, your experiences can help. There are possibilities for some amazing collaborations between people who are interested in developing model communities." Mr Nashashibi spoke at a gathering organised by Jihad Hashim Brown, the director of research at the Tabah Foundation.

"Muslims haven't taken advantage of collaborating trans-nationally and the time is now," said Amir al Islam, the chairman of the Iman board in New York. "I would love to see us formulate a strategy where the Tabah Foundation becomes a partner with us in Chicago." He described the UAE as an "Islamic centre point amid a changing world". Around 30 participants attended the local forum. @Email:asafdar@thenational.ae