The Covid-19 pandemic has affected dramatically the need of communities, societies and nations for intercultural understanding at a time where -all the more- communication, solidarity and cooperation are of utmost importance.
Thereby, the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Ireland, His Excellency Mr. Sultan Mohamed Al Ali, and the UAE Embassy undertook a creative initiative to strengthen the cross-cultural dialogue between distinguished educators, academia members, scientists, anthropologists, artists, intellectuals, youth leaders and students from both Ireland and the UAE.
Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Ireland, His Excellency Mr. Sultan Mohamed Al Ali
With the close cooperation of the Higher Colleges of Technology in UAE, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the University of Limerick as well as the support of Dublin City University, Science Foundation of Ireland, UAE Space Agency, Emirates Nuclear Energy Cooperation, Cork Institute of Technology, Blackrock Castle Observatory in Ireland and Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine & Health Sciences, they created a virtual platform where the participants had the chance in five different, unique online sessions to share their expertise, insights, experience and talents while exchanging their thoughts and different ideas on topics that have garnered immense interest in the COVID-19 era, such as higher education, technology, diversified economy, space science, nuclear energy, cultural identity and heritage.
This Cross-Cultural Dialogue Week’s target was to highlight the readiness of the UAE and Ireland’s higher educational institutions in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, to promote the active participation of young people in the educational system, to raise awareness of the current technological breakthroughs and innovations, to inspire an intercultural dialogue on diversity, equality and women empowerment, to boost the pride in young people’s culture and heritage by presenting it to their peers; but first and foremost to prepare the next generations of leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs.
Two web-sessions were also created exclusively for students participating from universities both in Ireland and in the UAE under the theme "Young Leaders", where they had the chance to elaborate on "sustainability and inclusive societies" and "the consolidation of culture in the minds of young people".
His Excellency Ambassador Sultan Mohammed Al Ali expressed his joy in holding these webinars while praising the relations between the UAE and Ireland, encouraging more young people from both countries to take part in youth-led innovative and creative sectors in business, economy, science and arts.
‘Currently, more than 10,000 Irish people live and work in the UAE, among over 200 other nationalities from around the world, making UAE one of the most multinational and multicultural places on the planet’, His Excellency added.
As a commercial and creative melting pot at a global crossroads, the UAE seek to bring nations together to seize opportunities provided by education, new technology, financing approaches, sustainability and policies.
This is also the main idea around Expo Dubai 2020 (October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022) with the main theme of ‘connecting minds, creating the future’ that inspires people by showcasing the best examples of human brilliance, achievement, innovation and cooperation from around the world in sectors like media, information and communication technologies, tourism, renewable energy, manufacturing and commercial aviation.
His Excellency pointed out the need of many more similar initiatives that will encourage young people to connect with their peers from all four corners of the world, so that -in unity- they can collaborate for excellence in serving society and mankind, embrace the values of coexistence, tolerance, diversity and openness to other cultures, reinforce their cultural ties, but most importantly share their knowledge, hopes and dreams for a better and brighter future.