Second OIC festival in Abu Dhabi celebrates Islam to form new bonds

Festival organizers, from left, Faisal Abdullah Al-Sheikh, Youssef Aldobeay and Mohammed Saif Helal Al-Shehhi.
Updated 23 April 2019
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Second OIC festival in Abu Dhabi celebrates Islam to form new bonds

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.


467 Dar Al-Hekma students graduate in Jeddah

Updated 20 May 2019
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467 Dar Al-Hekma students graduate in Jeddah

Dar Al-Hekma University held a graduation ceremony for 467 undergraduate and postgraduate students from the 2018-2019 academic year. The students represented the 17th batch of the School of Design and Architecture, the School of Business and Law and the School of Behavioral Sciences and Education.
The event, which took place on May 16, was held under the patronage of Salih Al-Turki, Jeddah mayor and honorary president of Dar Al-Hekma University, and was attended by mothers of the students.
In her speech, Dr. Suhair Al-Qurashi, president of Dar Al-Hekma University, congratulated the students and their parents for their achievements. She wished them luck and urged the students to use the knowledge they gained at university to serve their country and religion.
“Today we celebrate the graduation of a new batch who will join the labor market. I am quite confident that our students will be valuable to the labor market and society and contribute to economic development because they have been prepared by highly-qualified faculty members who enjoy global experience,” she said.
“Indeed, this is one of the most beautiful moments in your life. Today you are reaping the benefits of the years you have spent studying at the university. Your efforts have paid off. You are about to start a new phase of your career and I am confident you will be successful. Keep up the persevering and fruitful efforts to reach the top,” Al-Qurashi told the students.
Jeddah mayor Al-Turki said the new batch of graduating students will follow in the footsteps of their predecessors and contribute to the development of the country and society and play a national role as citizens. Congratulating the students and parents, he said their achievements reflect the high standard of Dar Al-Hekma University.
Al-Qurashi thanked the sponsors and founders of Dar Al-Hekma University who have dedicated their time and efforts to the institution. She said the university will continue to recognize them as they are part of the successes achieved by the students.
During the event, speeches were delivered by the university’s board of trustees; guardian of the graduating students Dr. Hatim Al-Marzoky, deputy minister of education for universities; winner of Dar Al-Hekma Award for Outstanding Woman Dr. Eiman Al-Mutairi, assistant minister to the minister of commerce and investment; and the graduates.
Awards were handed out to the top-performing students, including the Abdulmajeed Outstanding Performance Award and Khalid Ali Al-Turki Award for Talents. Donors and sponsors, including Al-Turki, were also honored.
A documentary highlighting the development and achievements of the university was shown to the audience.