ABU DHABI, 14th March, 2023 (WAM) — The UAE today announced the formation of the Manara Centre, the regional centre for coexistence. Based in Abu Dhabi and named after the Arabic word that means “source of light”, the centre will support core UAE values and initiatives, such as the Year of Tolerance and the Abrahamic Family House.
The Manara Centre was established with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as a flagship partner to help implement key educational programming. Immediate priorities will include forging relationships with universities across the Middle East and Southeast Asia to promote peace and prosperity through coexistence around the world, with specific training designed for university students and young learners.
Building on many years of close collaboration between the UAE and ADL, 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.
“We are delighted to partner with ADL, one of the world’s best organisations to promote peace, dispel stereotypes, and bring people from all backgrounds together,” said Al Nuaimi. “The Manara Centre will be based in our region and for the benefit of our region.”
With a founding Board of Directors made up of leading experts worldwide who are focused on this work, the centre will be led by Dr. Al Nuaimi, who will serve as the Chairman.
Dr. Al Nuaimi is a leading global voice on combating extremism and promoting inclusion. Jonathan Greenblatt will represent ADL on the Board of Directors.
“ADL brings 100 years of expertise in combating the roots of antisemitism and hate of all forms,” said Greenblatt, noting, “We are honoured for ADL to be the key player in providing educational programming for this incredible effort. The centre is a continuation of the progress towards peace and co-existence in the Middle East, building on the historic achievements in the region. We look forward to continuing our work to bring people together in innovative ways in the years to come.”
ADL will work closely with centre staff to build, enhance and deploy comprehensive and tested programmes to promote coexistence. Programming will include the development of educational materials aimed at fostering acceptance; students from universalities across the Middle East and Southeast Asia with exchanges and conferences in the region with associated education institutions; and people-to-people engagements focused on university students.
The programming will also include research reports with comprehensive data and best practice guides and hosting yearly high-profile final presentation competitions in Abu Dhabi.
“This centre will be a model for the region, and 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,” said Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States.
Following the launch, the first educational programmes will be set to begin in August 2023.