“The UAE celebrates tolerance every day of the year because tolerance distinguishes the DNA of our country,” a top official said here on Friday evening.
“Tolerance is a necessary element in our vision for the present and for the future. That vision is a global vision because our country is a global society,” said Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister for Tolerance.
He was speaking at an event to celebrate the first UAE National Festival of Tolerance as part of the International Day of Tolerance. “This national festival will be celebrated every year in future,” Shaikh Nahyan said at the programme at Umm Al Emarat Park, organised by the Indian Business and Professional Group (IBPG) in cooperation with the Ministry of Tolerance and the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
He said it was an occasion to celebrate the India-UAE friendship also. “We, in the UAE, are proud to call India our friend … a friend with whom we have enjoyed a long friendly and productive relationship.”
Shaikh Nahyan said the celebration of International Tolerance Day comes naturally to the UAE. When the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan established the UAE, he acted on a strong belief that people from diverse culture would help build a peaceful society. Hence the UAE has produced economic growth, accompanied by social and political stability, offering opportunities for citizens and residents. “Today UAE is a tolerant, prosperous and peaceful society,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Navdeep Singh Suri, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE, said Mahatma Gandhi and Shaikh Zayed, fathers of the India and the UAE respectively, set the agenda for both nations based on the value of tolerance. About Indian society, he said, although 77 per cent of people follow one faith, all communities in India are a minority by at least one aspect — they are either a religious, linguistic, cultural or ethnic minority. “It teaches us the value of accepting the differences among ourselves as an essential premise.”
B.R Shetty, chairman of IBPG, welcomed the gathering. Mohan Jashanmal, former chairman of the IBPG was felicitated by Shaikh Nahyan for his contribution to the group.
A little boy barged on to the stage and disrupted Shaikh Nahyan’s speech for a while at the event. He even reached the dais and uttered something through the mike. When security guards rushed to catch hold of the boy, Shaikh Nahyan told them to leave him and continued his speech as if nothing happened. The audience responded with a big applause to Shaikh Nahyan’s loving gesture. The boy ran away from the stage and joined another little girl and continued to play around.
Source: Gulf News