Manara Centre established by UAE to foster regional co-existence

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has recently announced the establishment of the Manara Centre, which will serve as the regional centre for coexistence. The centre, which will be based in Abu Dhabi, will support key UAE initiatives such as the Year of Tolerance and the Abrahamic Family House, and will be named after the Arabic word for “source of light”.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) will be a flagship partner of the Manara Centre, and will help implement key educational programming. The immediate priorities of the centre include building relationships with universities across the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and promoting peace and prosperity through coexistence around the world. The centre will offer specific training programmes for university students and young learners.

The announcement was attended by Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director, Dr. Ali Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Manara Centre, and members of an ADL leadership delegation. With a founding Board of Directors composed of leading experts worldwide, the centre will be led by Dr. Al Nuaimi, who is a leading global voice on combating extremism and promoting inclusion. Jonathan Greenblatt will represent ADL on the Board of Directors.

ADL, which has 100 years of expertise in combating the roots of antisemitism and hate of all forms, will work closely with centre staff to develop comprehensive programmes to promote coexistence. These will include educational materials aimed at fostering acceptance, exchanges and conferences for students from universities across the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and people-to-people engagements focused on university students. The programming will also include research reports with comprehensive data and best practice guides, as well as hosting yearly high-profile final presentation competitions in Abu Dhabi.

The UAE Ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba, stated that the Manara Centre 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. The first educational programmes of the centre are scheduled to begin in August 2023.

The establishment of the Manara Centre is a significant step towards promoting coexistence and peace in the region. Through partnerships with universities and organisations, the centre will develop comprehensive educational programming to foster acceptance and combat hate in all forms. The centre will serve as a model for the region, and its establishment reflects the UAE’s commitment to advancing peace, coexistence, and creating opportunities for the youth.

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