Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the US, hosted an interfaith iftar at the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC. More than 150 government, religious and community leaders attended the event to celebrate the customary breaking of the fast.
The iftar featured remarks from prominent interfaith leaders, including Hamza Yusuf, Reverend Andy Thompson and Rabbi Yehuda Sarna. The leaders discussed how the UAE is advancing greater inclusion and acceptance for all people, regardless of their background, nationalism or faith.
"The UAE does more than preach a message of inclusion," said Reverend Thompson, pastor of St. Louis. Andrew's Church in Abu Dhabi. "As a Christian faith leader in Abu Dhabi, I see the country's leaders and residents live their commitment to interfaith understanding all the time."
"Inclusion and tolerance is not something new for the UAE," Ambassador Al Otaiba told guests. "These values were ingrained in UAE policy and Emirati society since before our country's founding in 1971." The Ambassador noted that these founding values have remained an integral part of the UAE's identity, especially as Emiratis celebrate 2019 as the " Year of Tolerance. "