ABU DHABI, 20th June, 2020 (WAM) — The Ministry of Tolerance, on Friday, hosted a virtual live event on their Facebook page and YouTube channel called “Knowing One Another”, in the presence of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance.
This was the first in a series of similar events held under the “Knowing One Another” initiative, which is aligned with the country’s vision and values.
In attendance were Afra Al Sabri, General Director of Ministry of Tolerance, Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Member of the Executive Council, Chairman of Department of Community Development, Mouza Al Akraf, Under-Secretary of Community Development, Reem AlFalasi, Secretary-General of Supreme Council for Women and Children, Dubai, Hessa Tahlak, Assistant Under-Secretary for Social Development, Mona Ajif, Assistant Under-Secretary of Support Services, Nasser Ismail, Assistant Under-Secretary for Social Welfare, as well as other members of the community.
Speaking at the event, Sheikh Nahyan said, “Communities, countries, and societies have come together in unprecedented ways to meet the COVID-19 challenge. It is my great hope that this newfound spirit of compassion and co-operation, which was so beautifully demonstrated in today’s event, becomes the new normal for humankind.”
“As the UAE continues to combat the virus, we are reminded of the critical importance of human connection and values. With the solution involving every person doing their part, now more than ever we collectively recognise we are truly all in this together,” he added.
He emphasised that the forum is evidence of the vision of the UAE and the efforts of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), who called on the nation to transform adversity into opportunity.
Throughout the event, the ministry prompted viewers tuning in, to reflect on their own experiences and learn from the participating families.
The programme presented five distinctly different families: The Iranga Karunaratne family from Sri Lanka, the Sascha Clews family from the United Kingdom, Dr. Salem Al Owais’s family from the UAE, the John Surya family from the Republic of India, and Pastor Brad Reed’s family from the United States.
The families shared their stories on how to maintain family cohesion and well-being during times of uncertainty, with Dr. Raymond Hamden facilitating the discussion.
Dr. Hamden, an expert in Clinical and Forensic Psychology, Political Psychology, Profiling, Crisis Intervention, Trauma, and Homeland Security, said, “The Ministry of Tolerance is a model of excellence in their living demonstration of inclusion and equity for the nation’s diverse population.”
Surya said, “The whole experience was emotional and fun. Seeing other families from different cultures and communities with their gifts and beliefs was extraordinary.”
Iranga Karunaratne said, “Our family was honoured and privileged to be a part of this event. We would like to thank Sheikh Nahayan and the ministry for the opportunity to share our story. This experience truly made us feel, ‘We Are One’.”
Sascha and Graham Clews said, “This is an emotional time for so many. We are aware that we tell our story from a fortunate place; we have our health, we have a roof over our heads but most importantly we have each other.”
Pastor Brad Reed commented, “Participating in tonight’s session was a real honour for our family and we loved hearing from the other Abu Dhabi families who shared their stories.”
Dr. Al Owais and Dr. Mai Al Jaber said, “The leadership has fostered these exclusive forums for families from different walks of life. It provides us with a better understanding of life experiences, drawing out the best of us, with empathy and ease.”