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Pillars of tolerance

Reem Antoon

Tolerance – the ability or willingness to tolerate and accept behaviours, beliefs and opinions that are different from your own although you may dislike or disagree with them.

The UAE government announced that 2019 will be officially proclaimed the Year of Tolerance to strengthen the nation’s role of encouraging stability and prosperity in the region.

“Instilling values of tolerance carries on Shaikh Zayed’s legacy and teachings,” says UAE President Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The Year of Tolerance will focus on five main pillars.

The first will be to deepen the values of tolerance and co-existence among cultures and people by concentrating on teaching the youth on the values of tolerance while the second seeks to solidify the UAE as the

global capital for tolerance.

The third factor will see the country enacting multiple cultural programmes and contributions to build tolerant communities while the fourth pillar will focus on legislative and policy-oriented objectives that

contribute to mandating cultural and religious tolerance. The fifth pillar will focus on promoting tolerance and co-existence via targeted media initiatives and projects.

“In the UAE, the Year of Tolerance will be celebrated as a national effort towards further advancing a decades-long dream of creating a tolerant and cohesive society, open to people of varying cultures and

religions from around the world. The UAE and tolerance go hand-in-hand,” says Shaikh Khalifa.

Tolerance, like other behaviours, are learned/taught. Either someone has to teach it to you, or you have to learn it for yourself.

Most of us have trouble being tolerant with others I am sure you will agree.

As a living, breathing society, everyone is constantly learning and adapting to each other – it comes with the territory.

But tolerance is also about our relationship with ourselves and not only with other people.

At times I have to think that when something or someone is annoying or bothering me it is bothering me!

The situation or the person may not even be aware of how I feel, let alone be prepared to change because of them.

So what does tolerance mean to me?

Well, it is simple really – treat other people with respect regardless of who they are, what they look like, what they believe in, or where they come from.

So basically, ‘do unto others what you would have them do unto you.’

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