ABU DHABI, UAE, October 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, launched the "Hajj: Memories of a Journey" exhibition, organised by the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre, SZGMC.
The exhibition is taking place on the grounds of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and will run until 19th March 2018, marking the 10th anniversary of the Centre's establishment.
Sheikh Mansour toured the exhibition, co-organised by SZGMC and the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, TCA Abu Dhabi. It includes a rare collection of Islamic manuscripts, historical photographs, antiquities and classical and modern artworks, which were loaned from 15 local and international organisations. It also houses private collections and collectables and Hajj souvenirs provided by community members.
He stated that organising the exhibition and displaying its collection of cultural and historical treasure reflected the prestigious stature of the SZGMC, as a cultural and civilised icon that cares for the advancement of humanity, and promotes the true teachings of Islam and the UAE's essential customs, traditions, philosophies and values, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Sheikh Mansour added that the exhibition is the perfect opportunity to learn about the deeply-ingrained values of tolerance in Islam, through the rich heritage of the Hajj pilgrimage, which developed with the passing of time and the increasing numbers pilgrims from various parts of the world, who faced considerable challenges and hardships in their long journey. He described the Hajj as a journey to return to one's true self and to confront intolerance that is rejected by the noble values of Islam.
His Highness expressed his happiness at seeing the documented materials from the pilgrimage of the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan while stressing that these documents enrich the content of the exhibition and provides a humanitarian example of an unequalled leader, who has made his principles and values part of the country's lifestyle, which has placed it first regionally and third internationally in a tolerance index in the World Competitiveness Yearbook, which was published by the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland.
"Such events are open invitations for connecting our past, present and future with the values of co-existence, diversity, moderation and selflessness, which were inspired by the words and actions of the late Sheikh Zayed that totally combined the nation's efforts, making the UAE an oasis of variety and cultural diversity," he said.
Sheikh Mansour expressed his happiness at the transformation of the Centre, which now attracts many tourists from various nationalities, who desire to view its Islamic architecture that displays the history of the Islamic civilisation, where people enjoyed peace, co-existence and intellectual and economic growth.
Ahmed Juma Al Zaabi, Deputy Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the SZGMC, stated that the launch of the exhibition by Sheikh Mansour reflects the desire of the wise leadership to strengthen the country's stature as a destination of tolerance, balance and co-existence, with an environment for with noble values that were inspired by Islamic thought and humanitarian ethics, which are full of peace and giving.
He explained that the importance of the exhibition lies in its value and location, as it highlights Islam's pivotal role and its history, which the world can see clearly at the SZGMC.
Al Zaabi added that the UAE had given the world an inspiring model of advancement that includes all aspects of life while maintaining its Arab and Islamic values.
"The centre is a comprehensive project that carries an ethical message about the heritage and values from the teachings of Islam and the traditions and lives of our fathers and grandfathers. The exhibition represents the meaning of this spiritual message, though its antiquities, memorabilia and historical photographs, which will highlight to the entire world the faithful and humanitarian stature of a true leader, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan," he further added.
"Holding the exhibition, in co-operation with the SZGMC, will help us realise the Authority's strategies, which aim to celebrate and promote our heritage, as a major part of our identity and society," said Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.
"The visitors at the exhibition will feel the diversity and richness of its exhibits on the greatest ritual in Islam, where every pilgrim can indeed see the greatness of our tolerant religion, which brings together, under its flag, all the races of humanity from a variety of cultures and backgrounds, making us equal in the eyes of our creator," he added.
The launch was attended by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development; Ahmed Mohamed Al Humairi, Secretary-General of Presidential Affairs at the Ministry; Hamad Abdul Rahman Al Madfaa, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council Affairs of the Federation at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs; Ali Salem Al Kaabi, Director of the Office of the Minister of Presidential Affairs; Mohammed Ahmed Al Murr, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library, and several under-secretaries and senior officials.
SOURCE Department of Culture and Tourism