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May 10, 2017, 12:58 PM

URI MENA Participates in Peace in Diversity Conference

URI MENA Participates in Peace in Diversity Conference

URI MENA participated in the first international conference on “Peace in Diversity: The Integrative Approach to Inter-cultural and Civilizational Affairs.”

The conference was organized by the International University of Agadir (Universiapolis) - Morocco, Federation of the Universities of the Islamic Word (FUIW), The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) - Morocco, United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and Ma’din Academy, Kerala, India.

Moreover, the conference was organized in cooperation with Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) - Malaysia, Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali - Brunei, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) and A Common World Among Youth (ACWAY).

The conference which held at the main campus of the International University of Agadir (Universiapolis) in Agadir, Morocco, was attended by over 50 participants coming from different countries including India, Malaysia, Indonesia, UK, USA, Algeria, Jordan, and Morocco.

URI participants included: Mamoun, Regional Coordinator for URI in the Middle East and North Africa Region, Naoufal, URI Global Council Trustee from Morocco, Muntaser, URI MENA Office Manager, and Nesreen from the URI Jordan team.

The conference was opened by inspirational speeches of renowned figures, including:

  1. Sheikh Sayyid Ibrahimul Khaleelul Bukhari: one of the India’s most recognized Muslim leaders. He is the founder and chairman of Ma’din Academy, an educational and charity institution in Kerala, India.
  2. H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser: High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.
  3. H. E. Governor of Agadir, Kingdom of Morocco
  4. H.E. Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ISESCO)
  5. H.E. Prof. Dr. Aziz BOUSLIKHANE Founder President International University of Agadir (Universiapolis), Morocco.
  6. Asst. Prof. Mohammad Mohiuddin, Director, International Relations and Cooperation, International University of Agadir (Universiapolis)

Among the key speakers were two members from URI MENA Leadership team; Mamoun Ahmad- Regional Coordinator for URI in the Middle East and North Africa Region and Naoufal El Hammoumi, Middle East and North Africa Global Trustee.

Mamoun introduced URI as a global grassroots interfaith network that cultivates peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the world. He spoke about the work of URI in several fields, including Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation, Human Rights, Poverty Reduction, People’s Empowerment, Social and Economic Inclusion, Policy Engagement, Political Partnerships, Nuclear Disarmament and Environment Protection. Also, Mamoun highlighted URI major global initiatives; he talked about the URI "Talking Back to Hate" campaign" as an example of how faith-based organizations can contribute to peaceful coexistence by combating hate speech.

Nouafal shared his experiences with a number of regional and international organizations/ initiatives that engage in promoting peace and intercultural dialogue, including his work with United Nations Alliance of Civilizations when he participated in conducting a survey to identify organizations that promote cultures of peace and intercultural dialogue across the globe during 2000 and 2010. The outcome has helped many organizations to network and cooperate to enhance their work. Also, he spoke about his cooperation with the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and his role in URI-MENA. Nouafal stressed the importance of cooperation and networking between like-minded civil society organizations to maximize their impact and role in maintaining peace and security to make the world peaceful and cooperative. He explained how URI is open to cooperation with local, regional and global like-minded organizations.

The conference comprised several lectures and round-table discussions covered many themes including:

1.      The institutional Role in ensuring harmony & peace in multi-cultural and multi-religious environment. Panelists and presenters were:

  • Dr. Ahmed Ould Bah, Director of External Affairs, The Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ISESCO)
  • Ms Nihal Saad, Chief of Cabinet & Spokesperson for the High-Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, New York, USA.
  • Associate Prof. Dr. Azidan Abdul Jabar, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Modern Languages & Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Malaysia

 2. Social, Cultural and civilizational significance of Ibn Battuta’s travels and its reflection on harmony & tolerance to explore positive cultural heritage. Panelists and presenters were:   

  • Dr. Ilias MAJDOULINE, Director, School/Faculty of Polytechnic, International University of Agadir (Universiapolis), Morocco.
  • Dr. Bachir Soualhi, Special office to the Rector, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Malaysia
  • Dr. Abbas Panakkal, Director of International relations, Ma’din Academy, India
  • Dr. Md Habibur Rahman, Asst. Prof. at International University of Agadir, Morocco

3.      How the Role of Youths by the inter-cultural and civilizational integrative methods can solve the Ethnic & Religious conflicts. Panelists and Presenters:

  • Dr. Rawaad Mahyub, President of A Common Word Among the Youth (ACWAY), UK
  • Ms Hinde Adjar, Ph.D researcher in Ibn Zohr-ENCG, Morocco
  • Mr. Ahad Shah, University of Pennsylvania, USA
  • Mr. Tan Tawfiq, President of Indonesian Youth Council, Indonesia

4.      The role of civil society in ensuring peace and harmony in a multicultural and multi-religious environment. Panelists and Presenters:

  • Mr. Mamoun Ahmad, Regional Coordinator for United Religions Initiative – Middle East and North Africa region.
  • Dr. Khadija Khouya, School of Polytechnic, International University of Agadir.
  • Mr. Nouafal El Hammoumi, URI Global Council Trustee.

Conference outcomes:

  • Highlighting the moral imperatives of all cultures, religions, convictions and beliefs to call for peace, tolerance and mutual understanding.
  • Affirming that the mutual understanding and inter-cultural and religious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace and harmony.
  • Recommending strategies to combat the forces of division that spread misunderstanding and mistrust, especially among people from different races, cultures, religions and nations.

See additional photos on the URI MENA Facebook page.

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