A Dubai school recently hosted an interfaith iftar in the last days of Ramadan -- upholding the UAE's values of coexistence and tolerance.
Gems Metropole School brought together people of multiple faiths and nationalities at one Iftar table - in an event that held the thoughts of 'Faith and Tolerance'.
The city's Christian representatives attended the Iftar, including Father Tanius Geagea, the priest of the Arab and French Catholic community in Dubai, and a group of faithful sisters representing the Church. Representatives of the Hindu and Sikh communities, Bhushan Kulkarni and Khushwant Singh, respectively, also attended the event.
Al Azhar University's Dr Mohammed Ahmed spoke about the meaning of fasting at the Iftar.
He explained, “Fasting is a practice that is performed by Muslims and other faiths. The month of Ramadan is the month of giving and love, where meeting together at the Iftar table embodies the values of tolerance and love on which the UAE was built.”
Father Michael O’Sullivan, the representative of the Catholic Church, also addressed the audience with a speech in Arabic and English, in which he greeted everyone for the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan and expressed his great happiness to see families and people coming together after facing many challenges suffered by all.
He underlined, "The arrival of Ramadan and Easter at the same time is a (matter of) joy and pleasure and perhaps a sign that fraternity and love must prevail. During both the holy month and Easter, we thank God for the blessings he gave us and living in the UAE is one of the greatest things we have. We are very lucky to be guests in this blessed country, where the leadership cares about all people equally. It is a great honour to live in such a loving place - the UAE."
Naveed Iqbal, Principal of Gems Metropole School said, “Ramadan is a time for all communities to come together, to reflect on personal actions and to think about others less fortunate. This interfaith Iftar allows us to not only tolerate our differences in religion but to also respect each other and all religions...we eat together, we learn from each other, and we pray for those less fortunate in our own ways. I am proud to be part of the GEMS Metropole school community and participating in such a great event.
Mahmoud Ali, Director of Arabic Language, and Islamic Education Programs at Gems Metropole School opined, “The interfaith Iftar has instilled in our students’ minds the true meaning of tolerance and brotherhood...the participation of Gems Metropole School students to organize this event has developed their leadership skills.”
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