Doha – Qatar Tribune
The 11th Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue (DICID) opened on Tuesday with a focus on youth as important players in promoting interfaith dialogue and understanding.
Being held under the theme "Youth and their role in enhancing the value of dialogue", the forum will run until March 27.
On the occasion, organizations and individuals winners of the 11th DICID awards were honored for their efforts in serving the society and improving young people's role in interfaith dialogue.
From 42 organizations and 130 individuals nominated for the awards, Jordan-based Global Forum for Moderation and Three Faiths Forum (TFF), based in England won the DICID Best Organization awards while the DICID Best Individual Award went to Dr Mihai Valentin Vladimirescu, a professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Craiova and Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman, a Maranao Muslim princess.
Speaking to Qatar Tribune on the sidelines of the conference, DICID Chairman Prof Ibrahim Saleh al Naimi said, "DICID indeed is a crystal clear evidence that Doha is a place for religious tolerance as it brings together people with diverse beliefs and faiths from more than 50 countries to engage in harmonious interfaith dialogue".
He added, "It is an opportunity for people from different cultural and religious backgrounds to build up channels of communication which will in turn improve interfaith dialogue's quality".
He said that many secondary school students in Doha with different religious beliefs would enrich the event through sharing their religious tolerance experiences in dealing with their peers of different origins and beliefs.
Referring to the objective of providing young people with such opportunity, the DICID chairman said, "We are keen to pave the way for our young generation to open their minds to diversity of faiths and cultures because only then they will be able to form reliable decisions in their lives and think properly".
"We engage youth from multi-religious backgrounds in inspiring dialogues and activities and make them meet in a sharing ground marked with their similarities but with a full recognition and mutual respect for their points of differences at the same time."
Dr Hamed Abdulaziz al Marwani, professor of Sharia and Islamic Studies at Qatar University and a member in DICID's board of directors, highlighted youth's role in interfaith dialogue saying" interfaith dialogue is not a static procedure, rather it's a dynamic process that needs active members on the ground and undoubtedly this mission is best done by youth".
Speaking about the organization's role in engaging youth in interfaith dialogue, Director of TFF Stephen Shashoua said, "We ran a variety of activities for young people as we, for example, develop programmes for them to speak with politicians about several topics and engage with them in social activities.