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The Majlis: Why 2017 should be the Year of Tolerance

Tolerance is a significant issue in modern society. The borders between countries are unseen due to the processes of globalisation. Conflicts and wars around the world have caused a significant rise in the number of refugees who flee to other countries looking for peace and comprehension.

In the modern world, people of different ethnicities, political ideologies, religious views and cultural backgrounds live together, and this changes how people view tolerance. Tolerance is a combination of different aspects: human points of view, actions, beliefs and propensities. Tolerance makes the impossible possible and opens the doors towards more success.

Every person is both a purveyor and beneficiary of tolerance. Consequently, it is a two-way interaction that need a high levels of skills, traits and qualities. A tolerant person can disagree with the point of views or existing beliefs of another individual, but he will never judge or offend him for these views.

For that reason, people need to learn how to respect and accept differences and exist in harmony in a diverse world. As I go abroad, I face many different people. People of different lifestyles, classes, tongues, nationalities, religions, races and backgrounds. People who look and live in so many ways because we live in a diverse community. And by embracing diversity, we share experiences, learn and develop.

These people also coexist within our daily life. They could be housekeeping staff who make up our rooms. The chefs who cook our food. The cleaners who clean our streets. The drivers who take us from home to work. Our professors. Our doctors. The lifeguards who keep us safe at pools. Interacting with such different people is a fact of life for everyone.

Horrible events, such as wars and genocide, that we see in our world today have happened due to a lack of tolerance. If a society lacks tolerance, people become uncooperative, and the nation becomes easy prey for the enemies.

In the UAE, the wise leaders emphasise the importance of tolerance, and it is a particularly significant aspect of the country where more and more people feel their differences. After the success of 2015’s Year of Innovation and 2016’s Year of Reading, 2017 the Year of Tolerance sounds just beautiful.

Let’s set an example, and show the world that everyone can express his ideas, opinions and beliefs in our tolerant UAE. Let’s become a good model for others by demonstrating the best human qualities.

Let’s show the globe that we live in a world where people respect each other regardless of their religion, race, gender or age.

Celebrating the heritage and differences of other people is the perfect way to demonstrate tolerance – the UAE keeping peace among different people, while being fair, permissive and objective towards other races, religions and nationalities.

Undoubtedly, being tolerant requires a lot of effort and courage, but the UAE is an essential figure of successful coexistence of different people in one territory.

Salem Al Hosani graduated from Zayed University with a bachelor of arts in international studies, specialising in international affairs.

If you have a good story to tell or an interesting issue to debate, contact Melinda Healy on [email protected].

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