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Multi-faith leaders Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: In a unique initiative, leaders of various faiths came together to virtually share their wishes on the occasion of the UAE’s 49th National Day.

In a video released on YouTube on Monday, eight leaders representing people of different religious groups and faiths thanked the UAE’s Rulers for providing an atmosphere of peaceful coexistence and harmony.

They conveyed their National Day greetings and wishes to the UAE leaders—the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and the Rulers of all other Emirates—and the people of the country.

The religious leaders also said prayers for peace, prosperity, harmony and happiness in the country.

On behalf of the Shree Krishna Temple in Dubai and the Hindu community, the temple’s chairperson Lalit K. Karani said: “We are proud to be a part of the UAE since the country’s inception and many years before. God bless the rulers and God bless us all.”

Representing the Baha’is of the UAE, Dr Roeia Thabet said: “We pray to God the Almighty to perpetuate security, peace, unity and harmony onto our dear country, the United Arab Emirates.”

Responsible celebration

Conveying the greetings of the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurudwara in Dubai and the Sikh community, chairman of the Gurudwara Surender Singh Kandhari took the opportunity to also remind everyone about being responsible while celebrating the National Day amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. “Stay safe, stay blessed. We are all responsible. God bless all,” he added in his message.

Rev Reuben Corpuz, senior pastor of Every Nation Church in Abu Dhabi said: “We pray that God will continue to bless this nation with peace, protection and prosperity for many generations to come.”

Representing the Jewish community was Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, executive director, University Chaplain, Bronfman Centre for Jewish Student Life at the New York University.

The latest member to join the religious leaders’ group in the UAE, the rabbi wished the UAE “to be a source of light, inspiration, vision and global leadership to all around you.”

Pledge for nation

Shabbir B.S Zainee of the Dawoodi Bohra community said: “May Allah bless this country with peace, prosperity and harmony under the wise leadership of its leaders for many years to come.”

Reminding everyone that the love for one’s country is part of the faith, he urged people of the UAE to “take the pledge of fulfilling all our duties and responsibilities towards the great nation on the UAE National Day.”

Pastor Joseph Faragalla of Arabic Evangelical Church in Al Ain said: “The UAE is in our hearts. We the pastors, workers and worshippers pray that God blesses this great nation and its leaders.”

Dr Lye Ket Yong of World Alliance of Buddhists Regional Centre thanked the UAE leaders for bringing conditions and vision of a developed, vibrant and highly successful nation where its extremely diverse population coexists in peace, happiness and harmony.

“The video was the brainchild of Dr Thabet and was compiled by The Blank Canvas, a venture of my niece Kanchan Megchiani,” said Karani.