The Grand Imam of Al Azhar has pledged that a humanitarian honour he received during his landmark visit to the UAE will be used to offer vital financial support to people in need.
Dr Ahmed Al Tayeb received the Human Fraternity Award-Dar Zayed to mark his historic tour of the Emirates alongside Pope Francis, head of the Catholic church, in February.
The accolade was jointly awarded to the two influential religious leaders for their efforts to spread the values of peace and co-existence across the globe.
They received the award as they launched the Human Fraternity Document, calling on people across the globe to unite to bring about inter-faith harmony and spread a vital message of peace, in Abu Dhabi.
The blueprint to "guide future generations" to advance a "culture of mutual respect" spanning all nationalities, backgrounds and beliefs was unveiled after Pope Francis and Dr Al Tayeb, revered figures in the Catholic and Muslim faiths, met at the Global Conference of Human Fraternity in the UAE capital during the momentous visit.
Dr Al Tayeb said the monetary value of the award would be donated to a number of worthy causes, the Egyptian Zakat and Charity House, which he chairs, as well as the Tahya Misr Fund and the children’s ward of the Orman Cancer Hospital in Luxor.
The funds will also be used to pay off the debts of many underprivileged people.
Dr Al Tayeb expressed his appreciation for the role of Pope Francis in promoting dialogue and understanding between various cultures and religions.
At the Pope’s side for much of his visit to the UAE, Dr Al Tayeb has played a leading role in reconciliation between Islam and the Catholic Church.
Regarded as a moderate voice for Muslims, he served as Grand Mufti of Egypt between 2002 and 2003 and in 2010 was appointed the Grand Imam of Al Ahzar, the thousand-year-old university in Cairo that is regarded as the leading academic school for Islam.
During his milestone UAE tour, Pope Francis visited churches in the Emirates before holding an open-air mass in Abu Dhabi attended by more than 150,000 people.
He also hailed the efforts of the UAE to promote tolerance, peace and harmony all over the world.