The second Organization of Islamic Cooperation Festival will be a four-day celebration of Islam and a platform for Muslim countries from around the world to strengthen collaboration and form new bonds, said organizers the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).
The event will be held under the patronage of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan, UAE minister of tolerance, from April 24 to 27 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center.
During the official launch, festival representatives outlined how the four-day event serves as a vehicle to celebrate the underlying positivity of Islam and demonstrate the work of the OIC in cultivating cultural diversity through essential elements such as arts and music.
“The festival is a gateway for Muslims around the world to gain invaluable insight into the diversity of their faith through the range of different cultures and traditions of nations within our organization, while remaining true to the religious values of Islam. In addition, it serves as a crucial educative and informative platform for non-Muslims to learn about our faith,” said Youssef Aldobeay, adviser to the secretary general for political affairs, elected assistant secretary general for political affairs and OIC general secretariat.
“Furthermore, the four days will give participating countries a great opportunity to unite and engage in inter-faith, cross-country dialogue on ways in which they can collaborate and form new bonds for the benefit of their nations, their people and the organization.”
The festival, which coincides with the UAE Year of Tolerance, will address a range of topics, including tolerance as a foundation in Islam, the role of youth in spreading the culture of tolerance, and the importance of tolerance and moderation in worship.
“The festival aims to enrich the global awareness of Islamic culture,” said Mohammed Saif Helal Al-Shehhi, director of the United Nations Administration, MOFA.
Organizers revealed that the festival will feature a main stage area where Islamic scholars and thought leaders will present lectures and workshops.
The main stage will also host live performances by the Abu Dhabi Folklore Group, showcasing traditional UAE arts and culture, the Alexandria Folklore Dance Troupe from Egypt, and a display of Emirati Malid — a traditional Emirati art that embodies the UAE’s culture heritage.