The Peace Visit: Nat Geo documentary about Pope's visit to UAE premieres in US

Religious and political leaders praise visit of Pope Francis to UAE

Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., February 5, 2019.   His Holiness Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church arrives at the Zayed Sports City.
Victor Besa/The National
Section:  NA
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The premiere of a documentary about the visit of Pope Francis to the UAE took place earlier this week.

The screening of The Peace Visit was held at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington DC on Monday.

Among those attending were religious leaders from various faiths as well as Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE ambassador to the US.

"In the UAE, people with different beliefs can live, work and worship together," said Mr Otaiba.

"Reverence, respect and compassion are core common values among all people. Prayer is both uniting and unifying."

Also in attendance was a delegation of senior UAE officials including Dr Ali Nuaimi, chairman of the International Centre of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism, Hedayah.

He was joined by Hedayah executive director Dr Maqsoud Kruse, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque director General Dr Yousif Alobaidli, and Evangelical Church of Abu Dhabi Pastor Jeramie Rinne – along with other religious leaders from the UAE.

The screening took place on the sidelines of the US State Department’s second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom event.

National Geographic Partners chairman Gary Knell said the Pope’s visit in February was a first for any pontiff, representing an historic meeting of faiths.

"His landmark trip attracted worldwide attention, with all of the grandeur and formalities that come with a papal visit set to the stunning, dramatic backdrop of the Arabian Peninsula," said Mr Knell.

"But, this trip was more than just pomp and circumstance – it had a clear purpose: to promote tolerance across not only the Middle East, but the world."

Following the screening, a discussion took place on the broader impact of Pope Francis’ visit had on the UAE and the region.

The panel was moderated by Dr James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, and featured Scott Hellier, director of the documentary; Reverend Andy Thompson, chaplain of St Andrew’s Church in Abu Dhabi; and Reverend Johnnie Moore, commissioner of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

The panel members shared their experience and thoughts on the impact the visit would have on promoting peace and coexistence across the globe.

Also in attendance were senior diplomats from the UAE Embassy in Washington DC.

The film will be distributed by National Geographic Partners later this year.