Sally Mousa sent me an article last week that really warmed my heart and soul. The title of the article is “UAE vision of interfaith harmony takes shape in Abrahamic House of Fraternity.” Reporting for The National, Arthur MacMillan provides the details.
Officially known as the Abrahamic Family House, the complex (pictured above) will be a physical manifestation of the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together signed by Pope Francis and Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University during the Pope’s visit to Abu Dhabi in February. The Document stressed the following points:
- Authentic teachings of religions invite us to remain rooted in the values of peace.
- Freedom is a right of every person.
- Dialogue among believers means coming together in the vast space of spiritual, human, and shared values.
- The protection of places of worship is a duty guaranteed by religions.
- The concept of citizenship is based on the equality of rights and duties.
- Good relations between East and West are indisputably necessary for both.
MacMillan notes that a mosque, a church, and a synagogue will each lead to a central garden under which will sit a museum and center for education on religious tolerance and reconciliation between the Abrahamic faith traditions.
MacMillan provides further details:
The mosque will be orientated toward the Kaaba in Makkah, the church’s altar will point east towards the sun, and the synagogue’s podium and Torah will face Jerusalem.
Each building will have a separate street entrance but with the ground rising gently into a podium in the middle of the site, visitors to the garden will be able to peer into all three buildings. The project is due to be completed in 2022.
The Abrahamic Family House mirrors a similar project – the Tri-Faith Initiative – based in Omaha, Nebraska.
What do you think of the Abrahamic Family House?