The Abrahamic Family House, a new center of learning, dialogue and faith practice, has opened in Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Cultural District and will welcome visitors from 1 March.
Inaugurated by Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, and Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, the center includes three separate places of worship – a mosque, a church, and a synagogue – And a shared space for meeting and conversation.
Rooted in the UAE’s values of bringing people and culture together, Abrahamic Family House reflects the diversity of Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE, home to a vibrant multicultural community of all faiths. The project was inspired by the principles contained in the Human Fraternity Document, signed in Abu Dhabi in 2019 by Pope Francis His Holiness and His Holiness the Grand Imam Dr Ahmed Tayeb.
Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, President of the Abrahamic Family House, said: “The Abrahamic Family House is a symbol of the UAE’s long-held values of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence – values embodied by our founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed. The center will be an A platform for learning and dialogue, a model of coexistence against the backdrop of our nation’s multiculturalism and diversity, where more than 200 nationalities live peacefully together. We hope the Abraham Family Home will inspire youth everywhere as we highlight our common humanity, and work to create a more peaceful world for future generations.”
At the Abrahamic Family House, visitors are invited to attend religious services, guided tours, celebrations and opportunities to explore their faith. Each dedicated house of worship, Eminence Ahmed El-Tayeb Mosque, His Holiness Francis Church, and Moses Ben Maimon Synagogue, has space for observers, and daily guided tours will show visitors the design features associated with the practices and traditions of each faith.
Professor Mohammed Al Mahrasawi, Co-Chair of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity and former President of Al-Azhar University, said: “The Abraham Family House is a true reflection of the provisions of the Human Fraternity Document, which calls for ensuring peaceful coexistence. It is a testament to the people’s vision to promote interreligious dialogue and peace among all people. The House of the Abrahamic Family is a model of human coexistence, reconciliation and mutual respect.”
The complex’s central forum serves as the center of the visitor experience, where immersive exhibits will introduce visitors to the Abraham Family House and invite them to reflect on the three faiths. The space will host discussions, forums and meetings that promote understanding, dialogue and peaceful coexistence. The shared garden is another space for members of interfaith groups and visitors of all faiths to meet, learn and converse.
The three chapels are the same height and have the same external dimensions, and were designed by Sir David Adjaye of Adjaye Associates, respecting the architectural codes and individualism of each faith. Each takes the form of a cube, 30 meters deep, 30 meters wide and 30 meters high.
Mosques, churches and synagogues will provide communities of faith with a beautiful and peaceful setting in which to attend religious services, hear Bible readings and prayers, and experience sacred rituals. The Abrahamic Family House will also offer a vibrant range of educational and faith-based programs and events, as well as initiatives for young people to foster knowledge exchange and interfaith collaboration.
Following the recent inauguration, the house will be dedicated, after which faithful will be welcomed to practice their faith. From March 1st, visitors will have access to forums and guided tours. – trade arab news agency