How can we promote intercultural and interreligious dialogue, thus laying the grounds for a more tolerant and inclusive society? This is the question that was answered by the organizers and the participating Countries of the upcoming Universal Expo in the fourth global digital event of the Pre-Expo Week series titled “Tolerance & Inclusivity Week”.
Tolerance & Inclusivity Week – 17 and 18 November 2020
Paul Hinder, Vicar Apostolic in the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia (United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen) and Apostolic Administrator of the Vicariate Apostolic of Northern Arabia (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain)
Pietro Sebastiani, Ambassador of Italy to the Holy See
Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General UNESCO
Alberto Melloni, Church Historian
Marco Impagliazzo, President of the Community of Sant’Egidio
Khadija Taufiq, student from the Bocconi University and member of the Peer Mentoring programme of the Italy Pavilion
Through top-level presentations, Italy contributed to this debate containing a preview of the contents that will characterize several much-awaited initiatives to be hosted at our Pavilion at Expo Dubai from the 1st of October 2021.
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The ‘pre-Expo event’ – visible on the YouTube di Expo 2020 Dubai channel – offered a preview of the events presented by the 190 participating Countries during the week dedicated to the same theme in November of next year, which is scheduled to close with International Tolerance Day, a highlight event of the six-month exposition.
On 16 November 2021, Italy will hold “Connecting Souls”, an international conference giving an interpretation of the general theme of the Expo Dubai “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” in a spiritual key. The event will be co-organized with several partners and will involve relevant personalities from all over the world who will discuss the efforts made to promote interreligious dialogue at global level.
The highlight of the day – explained church historian Alberto Melloni in his message to the Pre-Expo Event – will be the commemoration of the people killed in places of worship (mosques, churches, synagogues, temples) during prayer time.
Italy’s commitment at Expo 2020 Dubai is in line with the priorities of its 2021 G20 presidency and of the G20 Interfaith Forum, to be held in Bologna next autumn, shortly after the opening of the World Expo.
This month’s pre-Expo event confirms the importance that Expo Dubai organizers and participating Countries give to interreligious dialogue and to the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) diplomatic efforts to ease relations among the Countries of the Region.
In fact, the third anniversary of the signing of the Document on Human Fraternity by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahamed al-Tayyeb, on 4 February 2019 in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, will fall during Expo Dubai.
This month’s digital event is held in a year characterized by relevant diplomatic developments, including the so-called “Abraham Accords”, which were signed last 15 September to normalize relationships between the UAE and Bahrein and Israel. The aforesaid agreement – said the Commissioner of the Israel Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai – “facilitated in some way the peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates”.