The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced the establishment of the Manara Center – the Regional Center for Coexistence. Located in Abu Dhabi, the Manara Center, named after the Arabic word meaning light source, will support the UAE’s core values and initiatives such as the Year of Tolerance and the Abrahamic Family House.
The Manara Center was established with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as a flagship partner to help deliver important educational programs. Priorities will include building relationships with universities in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, promoting peace and prosperity through worldwide coexistence, and providing specialized training for university students and young learners.
The announcement was attended by ADL CEO and Country Director Jonathan Greenblatt, Chairman of the Manara Center His Excellency Dr. Ali Al Nuaimi, and members of the ADL leadership delegation, building on years of close cooperation between the UAE and ADL.
“We are delighted to be partnering with ADL, one of the best organizations in the world that promotes peace, dismantles stereotypes and brings people together from diverse backgrounds,” said His Excellency Dr. Ali Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Manara Centre. “The Manara center will be based in our region and for the benefit of our region.”
The founding board of the Manara Center is composed of leading experts dedicated to this work from around the world and will be led by HE Dr. Ali Al Nuaimi, who will serve as Chairman. Dr Al Nuaimi is a leading global voice in combating extremism and promoting inclusion. Jonathan Greenblatt will represent ADL on the board.
“ADL has 100 years of expertise in combating anti-Semitism and the roots of hate in all its forms,” Greenblatt said. “We are honored that ADL is a key player in delivering educational programs for this incredible endeavour. The Manara Center is a continuation of the process of peace and coexistence in the Middle East, building on the historic achievements of the region, and we look forward to Continue our work in the years to come to bring people together in innovative ways.”
ADL will work closely with center staff to establish, enhance and deploy a comprehensive and tested plan to facilitate coexistence. Programming will include but not be limited to:
- Develop educational materials designed to promote acceptance
- Students from universities in the Middle East and Southeast Asia exchange and meet with relevant educational institutions in the region
- Interpersonal Communication Centered on College Students
- Research reports with comprehensive data and best practice guidance
- Hosts annual high-profile final showcase competition in Abu Dhabi
“The center will serve as a model for the region, reflecting the shared values of the UAE and the United States, including a commitment to promoting peace and coexistence, and creating opportunities for youth in the region,” said Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States.
Once launched, the first educational programs will begin in August 2023.