Shaikh Mohammad with Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II. The Mohammad Bin Rashid Tolerance Award is the newest addition to the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: A landmark global initiative for tolerance was launched on Saturday to consolidate the UAE’s status as a capital for tolerance and openness in the region. The initiative was launched by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

As part of the initiative, the ‘Mohammad Bin Rashid Tolerance Award’ was introduced to honour global figures who promote tolerance in the field of human intellect, literary creativity and aesthetic arts and instil the values of tolerance among Arab youth. The award aims to support intellectual, cultural and media productions related to promoting the values of tolerance and openness to others in the Arab world.

Shaikh Mohammad also launched the region’s first of its kind International Institute of Tolerance to provide necessary consultations and experiences to consolidate the values of tolerance among peoples across the world.

The Institute will produce and publish tolerance-related research, will work with other cultural institutions in the Arab region and teach the new emerging generations values of tolerance. The Institute will also conduct social studies to delve into the root causes of intolerance, isolation and sectarianism and will support Arab researchers and global specialists in tolerance. It will also organise a series of programmes that aim to provide young people with appropriate and healthy environments to deepen their awareness on some issues related to tolerance and help them bring their ideas to fruition.

Nurturing professional and distinguished young leaders in the field of tolerance is also part of the Institute’s objectives, which are to sow the seeds of tolerance, promoting a giving mindset, serving communities and rejecting extremism among peoples. It will organise events, forums and training programmes in this regards.

Award board

Announcing the award, Shaikh Mohammad issued directives to set up a board of trustees under the chairwomanship of Shaikha Lubna Bin Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance.

Dr Hamad Al Shaibani, will serve as the Managing Director of the Institute for Tolerance and Ahmad Khalfan Al Mansouri as Secretary General of the award.

Shaikh Mohammad asked all relevant bodies to coordinate efforts to make the award a core element in producing unique young leaders whose abilities can be tested and developed through selected programmes. This includes communication skills with the community, preparing them culturally and scientifically, and deploying the expertise of these experienced people to develop strategies to promote tolerance among the Arab communities.

The Mohammad Bin Rashid Tolerance Award is the newest addition to the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, the most inclusive global initiative that aims to develop the human communities and includes more than 30 humanitarian, charitable knowledge, health and educational institutions.

The Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, headed by Shaikh Mohammad, also aims to change the lives of more than 130 million people worldwide over the course of the next ten years.

“The UAE stands today as a unique role model for tolerance and we will work tirelessly to consolidate its leading position in this field. The UAE and tolerance are two faces of the same coin. We have succeeded to be a key magnet for professionals from around the world and we are proud that tolerance is a key value of the Emirati community,” Shaikh Mohammad said.

“We aim from the newly launched initiative to transform tolerance into palpable institutional value that benefits all peoples in the Arab region,” Shaikh Mohammad added.

“Tolerance is a key factor to maintain communities’ sustainable development and stability and we need now a cultural and intellectual reconstruction to strengthen the values of tolerance and openness,” Shaikh Mohammad said.

Award categories

The Mohammad Bin Rashid Tolerance Award will include five categories, three of which will be dedicated to human intellect, literary creativity and aesthetic arts and the other two will be related to organising innovative contests in youth projects and modern media.

In the human intellect category, the award will be conferred on scientists and intellects who featured prominently in promoting the values of tolerance. In the literary creativity category, the award will be given to writers and novelists whose works are characterised by cultural pluralism and calls to maintain human heritage, besides spreading the values of equality and understanding between peoples.

In the aesthetic arts category, the award will be granted to those who have made remarkable achievements in theatre, painting and cinema arts and harnessed their art works to extend bridges of communication between different cultures.