Tolerance is a fundamental human and moral value: Professor Reyadh AlMehaideb, Vice President of Zayed University

Professor Reyadh AlMehaideb, Vice President of Zayed University
Professor Reyadh AlMehaideb, Vice President of Zayed University

UAE: Coinciding with the International Day for Tolerance, which falls on November 16 every year, Professor Reyadh AlMehaideb, Vice President of Zayed University, said on this auspicious occasion: “Tolerance is a fundamental human and moral value; it is an eye and heart opener to the positive attributes of people and to overlook their shortcomings. Tolerance is a genuine recognition that all societies in today’s world are but a cosmopolitan human mix of diverse cultures bound together by their sincere allegiance to their countries, whether as native nationals or committed expatriates.

Society has a fundamental obligation to cherish and celebrate its cultural diversity as it the richer for it, as well as it is a basic right for each member in the society to hold and take pride in his or her respective culture and beliefs being the building blocks for our unique individual characters. Accepting our diversity allows co-existence in peace and mutual respect.

Tolerance has always been a pillar of our national values in the UAE as practiced by the Founding President, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may his soul rest in peace) in his insightful vision, and a cornerstone of our society. We recall his wise words that a “true believer should be compassionate and tolerant, for cruel is the ruthless who has no mercy.” The late Sheikh Zayed practiced tolerance as part of the good human nature in each of us, and it became a pillar in his life. To him, being tolerant was part of being realistic, and he was always close to the hearts of the people. Tolerance was the means and the objective at the same time; for tolerance is achieved by practicing and propagating it, by providing a helping hand to people in need regardless of who they were, and by providing humanitarian relief to many nations in times of conflict and natural disasters. This was the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed.

Tolerance of course has continued as a fundamental pillar in the UAE leadership’s approach, inspired by the legacy of the founding fathers of the nation, practicing the true Islamic faith characterized by tolerance and devoid of fanaticism or extremism in this country and abroad. Examples in this regard are plentiful. For instance, the emphasis of  the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, while hosting a group of Islamic scholars and preachers during the holy month of Ramadan in 2013, on the importance of raising awareness and spreading a culture of moderation and tolerance that characterizes the Muslim religion, and that the duty of scholars is call the faithful to the good deeds that God loves and is pleased with using positive means that highlights the teachings of the great and timeless message of Islam.

Also, the confirmation of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai last month that “the United Arab Emirates today represents a model of tolerance and we will work to consolidate its leadership in this area,” stressing that “the UAE has succeeded in becoming a human center of gravity attracting people from all over the world, demonstrating that the UAE and tolerance are two sides of one beautiful meaning”, and that ” tolerance is such an important guarantor of the stability of societies and the sustainability of development, that we need to reconstruct the intellectual and cultural thinking of our Arab societies to establish coexistence, tolerance and openness. “

We as the Zayed University family, stand proud of our commitment to fulfill the directives of the UAE wise leadership through strengthening the spirit of tolerance in the Zayed University community. Our academic and administrative members originate from over 50 different countries, with our students welcoming their international peers belonging to more than 20 countries in the Middle East, United States, Australia and others, all with diverse social, political and economic backgrounds.

The ZU leadership, represented by Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance and President of Zayed University, along with the University’s Executive Management continuously encourage our students, faculty, and staff to launch initiatives to infuse tolerance as a sustained value in the academic and research dialogues at Zayed University. We are very confident that Zayed University’s diverse intellectual community can provide a significant contribution in communicating this message to the community and the world and in instilling moderate and tolerant values and behaviors in the hearts and minds of our students, so ZU can truly reflect what the founding father HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan wished it to be, a cultural and intellectual beacon for the UAE and the region.”

About Zayed University:

Zayed University is today the premier national university in the United Arab Emirates and a regional leader in educational innovation and change. It has created and implemented a skills-rich, outcome-based general education program that systemically develops student skills, knowledge, and values associated with liberal learning and provided a solid foundation for pursuit of disciplinary majors and future careers. Zayed University welcomes national and international students, and provides them with a high quality education, offered by seasoned teaching scholars to prepare them to shape the future of the United Arab Emirates.

Zayed University offers Undergraduate and Graduate degrees in the following Colleges: College of Arts & Creative Enterprises (recognized as substantially equivalent by NASAD), College of Business (Accredited by AACSB), College of Communication & Media Sciences (Accredited by ACEJMC), College of Education (Accredited by NCATE), College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Natural and Health Sciences, and College of Technological Innovation (Accredited by ABET).