Princess Lamia Bint Majid Saud Al Saud, Secretary General and member of the board of trustees at the Al Waleed Philanthropie Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: Reducing the gap between Islam and the West is one of the main ways to achieve peace in the region, said Princess Lamia Bint Majid Saud Al Saud, Secretary General and member of the board of trustees at the Al Waleed Philanthropies, during the first day of the World Tolerance Summit in Dubai.

Defining tolerance as “respect, acceptance of others and an art of listening”, Princess Lamia emphasised the need for more platforms where dialogue on topics such as tolerance can be discussed.

She referred to the various initiatives held by Al Waleed Philanthropies that focus on social development, health care, youth empowerment, as steps taken to help change some of the most common misconceptions about the Arab world and to reduce the gap between Islam and West.

“We have six academic centres in some of the most popular institutions in the world including Harvard, Cambridge, and the American university of Cairo that focus on giving people the chance to better understand the religion of Islam, as well as helping Arabs living in these countries have a better life,” she said.

Dr Abdul Latif Bin Rashid Al Zayani, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, highlighted the need for tolerance to achieve peace. “Leaders need to realise that values which focus on achieving equality and the acceptance of others are needed for the development of future generations,” he said.

Along with visionary leadership, Dr Al Zayani highlighted the importance of legislations, institutions and programmes that work together towards building tolerance in the community.

“We need legislations that don’t differentiate between people when applying the law, such as in court procedures and administrative procedures,” he said.