Speaking to over 100 university students from around the world at Georgetown University, UAE Minister of State for Youth Her Excellency Shamma Al Mazrui highlighted the late founder of the United Arab Emirates His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and urged the next generation to continue to spread his legacy of human fraternity, compassion, and love.
“I was delighted to share the inspiring story and lessons learned from the UAE founding father His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan with such a diverse group of students at Georgetown University,” said Her Excellency Minister Al Mazrui. “His journey has been a textbook case of human fraternity and his legacy of spreading love among nations and individuals lives through all of us and will continue to be embraced by the generation to come.”
"From His Highness Zayed, I learned that the secret of love is that it is a gift, it can grow only by giving it away. Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion and love to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty,” she added.
The UAE minister delivered the remarks as part of the “Building Interreligious Solidarity” conference hosted by Georgetown University, in partnership with the Muslim Council of Elders and the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity.
The event aimed to build on the historic Document on Human Fraternity, signed in 2019 by Muslim Council of Elders Chairman His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Professor Ahmed Al-Tayeb and His Holiness Pope Francis, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates.
The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Professor Ahmed Al-Tayeb also participated in the event, delivering virtual remarks to the student participants from diverse religious backgrounds and countries – including the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, and Poland.
The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar exhorted the students to “go forth and promote peace around the world. Bring an end to war, destruction, and devastation. Raise the banner of human fraternity in the West and the East.” He also condemned what he described as the phenomenon of Islamophobia in the West and said that “Islam and terrorism are clear opposites.”
Muslim Council of Elders Secretary-General Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam urged the students to take the fraternal friendship between the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Pope Francis as a model of how partnership between people of different backgrounds and religions can change the world.
Judge Abdelsalam told the students: “As young global citizens, I hope each one of you leaves this conference with a renewed sense of hope and passion for human fraternity and understanding of ‘the other.’ We must see ‘the other’ as a brother or sister in humanity.”
Speaking alongside Judge Abdelsalam included Prefect of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue at the Holy See His Eminence Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, President of Al-Azhar University Mohamed Hussein Mahrasawi, and Georgetown senior fellow at Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs Katherine Marshall. Georgetown University’s senior leadership - President John J. DeGioia and Vice President for Global Engagement Thomas Banchoff - also delivered remarks.