Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed hails UAE's Covid-19 frontline heroes during Ramadan majlis

Minister shared a message of hope with key figures from the Islamic, Jewish and Christian faiths at the first Ramadan majlis

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Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed hailed the frontline heroes leading the UAE's recovery from Covid-19 during a meeting with religious leaders on Monday.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation said the contribution of those at the heart of the fight against coronavirus would never be forgotten.

His comments came as he hosted the first Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Ramadan Majlis, which focused on the key role being played by the Emirates in bringing together people of all nationalities and faiths.

After the event Sheikh Mohamed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, highlighted the UAE's unifying principles in a brief statement on social media.

"Our core values of tolerance and peaceful coexistence have helped shape our strength and unity over the past fifty years.

"We will continue to light the path towards peace and development for the UAE and for the world for the next fifty years to come and beyond #MBZMajlis #UAE50," he wrote on Twitter.

The first Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Ramadan Majlis

The first Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Ramadan Majlis

Titled ‘Human Fraternity and Peaceful Co-existence: the Core Message of Faiths,’ the online majlis featured contributions from Sheikh Abdallah bin Bayyah, chairman of the UAE Fatwa Council, the UAE’s senior rabbi in residence, Dr Elie Abadie, and Bishop Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia.

"It is important to remember our children, brothers, and sisters on the front line who are supporting this country and humanity as a whole in facing and fighting this pandemic, as well as their role in the distribution of medicines and vaccines, raising awareness and implanting the necessary preventive measures," said Sheikh Abdullah.

During the talk, the panel acknowledged the UAE's ability to unite people of all backgrounds.

Such a spirit has proven key to efforts to overcome the pandemic.

Bishop Paul Hinder, Catholic Bishop for Southern Arabia. Pawan Singh / The National  
Bishop Paul Hinder, Catholic Bishop for Southern Arabia. Pawan Singh / The National  

Bishop Hinder recalled Pope Francis' landmark visit to the UAE in February 2019, from which a lasting legacy of unity and mutual understanding was cemented.

“I remember with joy February 4, 2019, when Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb [the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar] signed the Document on Human Fraternity here in Abu Dhabi under the gaze of His Sheikh Mohamed [bin Zayed] and many other dignitaries from the UAE and around the world,' he said.

"Things like this could happen with God's grace because there were leaders on all sides with the vision and the courage to make it happen in our own times.”

Dr Abadie said he had been warmly welcomed by the people of the UAE.

Strong ties between the Emirates and Israel were established when the historic Abraham Accord was signed between the nations in September.

“I have had the privilege of living in this beautiful and blessed country. As the head of the Jewish community, I have felt very welcome and respected," he said.

Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE ambassador to the US (left) and Rabbi Dr Elie Abadie. Courtesy: Jewish Council of the Emirates
Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE ambassador to the US (left) and Rabbi Dr Elie Abadie. Courtesy: Jewish Council of the Emirates

"I have felt the open arms and the embrace of the Emirati people. The concept of tolerance, co-existence and human fraternity are not just concepts, they are lived and practiced here.”

Sheikh bin Bayyah said while people follow different religious paths, they are bound together by their pursuit of peaceful co-existence.

“Despite the diversity of ways and methods, the source of the river of prophethood is one and the same. If the river is coloured by the soil of its course, it will always stay true to its course," he said.

"In fact, the colours of the river in question are the different peoples that flow within it, with their different traditions, needs and interests,” he said.

The virtual Ramadan series, held each Monday during the holy month, aims to promote learning and reflection.

The next event will explore the theme of global health.

In pictures: Ajman's field hospital