The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the United Arab Emirates announced Tuesday the establishment of the Joint Center for Religious Tolerance and Regional Coexistence in Abu Dhabi.
The Manara Center, which means “source of light” in Arabic, will support the UAE’s Year of Tolerance initiative and Abraham Family Homea religious complex in Abu Dhabi that includes a mosque, a church and a synagogue.
The synagogue held its first Shabbat service on February 17, and the entire complex opened to the public on March 1. Designed by award-winning Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye, the Abraham Family House “embodies Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and serves as a powerful platform to inspire and foster understanding and Accepted,” according to its website.
The announcement from the Manara Center noted that ADL, as a partner of the Centre, will support educational initiatives, including promoting the co-existence of universities in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
“ADL has 100 years of expertise in combating anti-Semitism and the roots of hate in all its forms,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. Incredible effort to provide educational programs for key players. The Manara Center is a continuation of the Middle East’s process of peace and coexistence, building on the region’s historic achievements and we look forward to continuing our work in the years to come to innovate way of bringing people together.”
The group’s creation is the latest example of the UAE’s engagement with the Jewish community following the Abraham Accords, which normalized relations between the UAE and Israel. Dr Ali Al Nuaimi, chairman of the Manara Centre, said its creation will benefit the entire region.
“We are delighted to partner with ADL, one of the best organizations in the world that promotes peace, dismantles stereotypes and brings people together from diverse backgrounds,” said Al Nuaimi.
The center’s first educational program will launch in August 2023.