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Year of Tolerance

The President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan declared 2019 as the ‘Year of Tolerance’. “Instilling values of tolerance carries on Sheikh Zayed’s legacy and teachings,” he stated. “It is one of the most important attributes that we can impact on our people and the global community to ensure the safety, stability and happiness of peoples across the world.” His HIghness Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi said, “The UAE is a place of tolerance, co-existence and openness to other cultures….. the world today needs universal human values to be promoted for the sake of future generations”.  

But what is Tolerance? Understanding tolerance can help shift our attitudes toward others, leading us to a more productive and happy life. By teaching tolerance, we allow individuality and diversity whilst promoting peace and a civil society. The level of tolerance in your life can be attributed to higher levels of happiness and contentment. It is amazing to realise that the UAE is home to people from over 200 countries, representing a variety of religions, ethnicities and cultures so what better country could be the global co-ordinator than the UAE to develop co-operation within a new Global Tolerance Alliance to promote acceptance around the world? The country has become a global model of tolerance and co-existence among people living and working together in peace, dignity and respect. This gives a perspective on how important tolerance is in our lives.

So it is no surprise that the Ghaf tree, the UAE’s national tree, has been chosen as the logo for the year. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum tweeted, “Tolerance is a universal value and Ghaf is our authentic national tree, a source of life and symbol of stability in the middle of the desert. Under its shadows our ancestors gathered to consult on matters related to their daily lives. In the ‘Year of Tolerance’, we chose the Ghaf as a logo for all of us to live by the principles of tolerance, coexistence and diversity.”

In February we witnessed the historic visit of Pope Francis to Abu Dhabi who was invited to hold a landmark Papal Mass and meet with the Muslim Council of Elders, recognising freedom to worship any religion. And so next week, we look forward excitedly to another of the many global events this year – the Special Olympic World Games to be held in Abu Dhabi next week, at which DESS will be represented by 70 of our students. Yet another DESS first. It will be the first time that the Games will be held in the Mena region and are expected to attract more than 7,500 athletes of determination from around the world with an estimated 500,000 spectators. What an memorable experience for our children to be present, to represent our school and to witness another historical occasion.

Being tolerant of each other and caring for each other is what makes us human. It is a thought that reminded me of all the goodness that DESS represents; how fortunate our children are to spend their childhood in a country of such rich diversity and how daily they are learning to build values of tolerance, love and respect. We can be confident with such values, the world, in their hands as the future generations, will achieve lasting peace.

Congratulations to our staff Star of the Week, Mrs Brannock aka Mrs Twit on World Book Day.

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