UAE launches new centre for promoting regional co-existence

It will focus on empowering young people across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia to play an active role in promoting and practising peace


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Tue 14 Mar 2023, 1:24 PM

Last updated: Tue 14 Mar 2023, 2:38 PM

A new centre for promoting peace and co-existence through educational programmes for young people in the region has been established in the UAE.

UAE authorities on Tuesday announced the launch of the Manara Center - The Regional Center for Coexistence at an event held in Abu Dhabi.

Based in the UAE’s Capital and named after the Arabic word that means source of light, the Manara Center will support core UAE values and initiatives, such as the Year of Tolerance and the Abrahamic Family House.

The center will focus on empowering young people across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia to play an active role in promoting and practising coexistence through their participation in three categories of synergistic university-based programs.

The Manara Center was established with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as a flagship partner to help implement key educational programming.

Immediate priorities will include forging relationships with universities across the Middle East and Southeast Asia to promote peace and prosperity through coexistence around the world, with specific trainings designed for university students and young learners.

Building on many years of close collaboration between the UAE and ADL, the announcement was attended by and Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director, Dr. Ali Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Manara Center, and members of an ADL leadership delegation.

“We are delighted to partner with ADL, one of the world’s best organizations to promote peace, dispel stereotypes, and bring people from all backgrounds together,” said Dr. Ali Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Manara Center.

“The Manara Center will be based in our region and for the benefit of our region.”

With a founding Board of Directors made up of leading experts from around the world who are focused on this work, the Manara Center will be led by Dr. Ali Al Nuaimi, who will serve as Chairman. Dr. Al Nuaimi is a leading global voice on combating extremism and promoting inclusion. Jonathan Greenblatt will represent ADL on the Board of Directors.

“ADL brings 100 years of expertise in combating the roots of antisemitism and hate of all forms,” said Greenblatt. “We are honoured for ADL to be the key player in providing educational programming for this incredible effort. The Manara Center is a continuation of the progress towards peace and co-existence in the Middle East, building on the historic achievements in the region and we look forward to continuing our work to bring people together in innovative ways in the years to come.”

ADL will work closely with Center staff to build, enhance and deploy comprehensive and tested programs to promote coexistence.

Programming will include but not be limited to:

1. Development of educational materials aimed at fostering acceptance

2. Student from Universities across the Middle East and Southeast Asia with exchanges and conferences in the region with associated education institutions

3. People to people engagements focused on university students

4. Research reports with comprehensive data and best practice guides

5. Hosting yearly high-profile final presentation competitions in Abu Dhabi

“This Center will be a model for the region, and is a reflection of the values that the UAE and the United States share including a commitment to advancing peace and coexistence, and creating opportunities for the region’s youth,” said Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States.

Following the launch, the first educational programs will be set to begin in August 2023.


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