Pope Francis makes a historic visit to the UAE

Pope Francis visits the Arabian Peninsula for the first time to attend inter-religious talks

Pope Francis shakes hands with Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb of Al-Azhar at inter-religious meeting in the UAE. Photo: courtesy of http://w2.vatican.va

by Staff Reporter

Culture 4 February 2019

This is a big deal. History was made on Sunday 3 February when Pope Francis became the first Pope to visit the Arabian Peninsula.

Pope Francis, who has proven to be pretty progressive and popular compared to his predecessors, touched down in Abu Dhabi, UAE on Sunday after a 48-hour flight.

The 83-year-old pope tweeted the day he was flying:

“I am about to leave for the United Arab Emirates. I am visiting that Country as a brother, in order to write a page of dialogue together, and to travel paths of peace together. Pray for me!”

We can definitely get on board with the Pope’s message. On the invitation of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Pope Francis arrived to the to attend an inter-religious meeting and hold a Mass at Zayed Sports City. The Pope’s visit coincides with Inter-faith Harmony Week as observed by the United Nations. His visit also marks the Year of Tolerance in the UAE, which is home to a diver number of Arabs of different cultures and religion as well as people from across the world.

So far, Pope Francis has met with leading Muslim clerics and signed The Document on Human Fraternity for world peace along with Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb of Al-Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders. This specific meeting marks the first time a Pope has met with the Muslim Council of Elders – again this is a big deal.

You can read The Document on Human Fraternity that Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar signed today through the Pope’s tweet below.

Pope Francis will also be holding an open-air mass for 135,000 Catholics on 5 February. The UAE is home to nearly a million Roman Catholics from different ethnic backgrounds including people from across the Arab world, India and the Philippines.

On his mission to strengthen relations with The Vatican and the rest of the world, Pope Francis has already visited Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt and next month, he’s off to Morocco. One of his main goals on all these trips is to promote understanding, empathy and peace between countries and religions especially between the West and the East. Check out more from Pope Francis visit so far through the tweets from the official twitter account for the news of HH Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Hello and Hala . . .
The Arab Edition is a space that belongs to all of us who want to own and change the narrative. It’s where bridges are built through stories and shared experiences. Do you want to be a bridge builder? Do you want to join in the conversation? Do have something to say? A story to share? We bet that you do.
If you’re a content maker of any kind (writer, artist, photographer, film maker, YouTuber, blogger) or simply someone with something to say, an opinion worth sharing or have a story you want to tell one of our editors or writers then we want to hear from you. Head over to About Us and find out what we are looking for then fill out the form in Contact Us.
Now is the time to celebrate and share our stories, history, traditions, successes and opinions no matter where we are from. The Arab Edition is waiting for you to help us build that bridge of stories.
Comment Policy:
The Arab Edition encourages discourse and discussions on all our articles. This is a space where you should feel free to express your thoughts and opinions in order to continue the conversation. However, discussions can get heated. While passion is great we encourage you to be kind to one another and be thoughtful of the words and terms you use when addressing each other.
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons