Lojain Omran and Ahmad Al Mansouri make the shape of a flying dove to demonstrate the Tolerance Sign. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: The ‘Tolerance Sign’ announcing Dubai as the capital of the world for tolerance was launched on Thursday in an event that saw four doves being released into the sky at the base of Burj Khalifa.

Weeks after His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced a landmark global initiative for tolerance to consolidate the UAE’s status as a capital for tolerance and openness in the region, the hand sign of a dove and a hashtag Tolerance_Unites_Us were announced during an event.

A famous celebrity presenter was also appointed as the ambassador for the newly launched Mohammad Bin Rashid Award for Tolerance with a task to spread the culture of tolerance and promote the values of peace across the region.

Lojain Omran, also a social media influencer, followed on social media by millions of people from across the GCC and the region, pledged to further enhance and promote the values of tolerance and coexistence using her social media accounts, which she described as a powerful tool to reach out to people from various backgrounds.

The hashtag launched has been translated into different languages as a way to spread the message of tolerance coming from the UAE.

Ahmad Al Mansouri, secretary-general of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Award for Tolerance, said the award carries a very important message about the UAE, a country where there is a peaceful coexistence of more than 200 nationalities with different cultures.

“The tolerance initiative is one of the many noble initiatives launched by Shaikh Mohammad, with a goal to eliminate violence, extremism, hatred, and discrimination across the region and around the world while also promoting values of tolerance and openness to others,” said Al Mansouri.

He said The Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for World Peace has been officially changed to the Mohammad Bin Rashid Tolerance Award, adding that the award is open for participation to all groups from all over the world and will be honouring global icons of tolerance.

“The award, headed by Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance, embraces five branches, three of which honour the efforts of global icons of tolerance in the fields of human thought, creativity in literacy and aesthetic art. The other two are in the area of innovative competitions organised by the award through youth initiatives and the use of novel media,” he said.

The award will also support creative productions in addition to serving as a dedicated programme to support youth leadership, providing them with opportunities to spread their creativity on social media.

Al Mansouri said on November 16, which marks World Tolerance Day, they will launch three initiatives on tolerance.

Lojain Omran said the UAE is already a role model for tolerance and with an initiative like this, the UAE will further nurture such values among the community, across the region and the world.

“I call on everyone to be an ambassador of tolerance. Tolerance is something that begins from within us and is spread outwardly. I hope everyone can begin spreading this message. It is my responsibility as a human being to spread this message first, and now it is my duty as an ambassador to do so. I have always emphasised inner peace and values of respect and understanding with others and have learned to accept others regardless of their background.”

Omran said that she will work hand in hand with those working with the award to deliver “the humanitarian mission whose aim is to realise and achieve acquaintances, dialogue, understanding and respect in the Arab societies, hoping to strengthen the role of young leaders in the beloved UAE as well as the Arab world”.