The Department of Community Development (DCD) in Abu Dhabi held yesterday a virtual Ramadan council entitled "A Cohesive Society" through visual communication technology, where several themes were discussed, namely those that are relevant to the role of the department, the social sector, places of worship, societies and clubs belonging to the communities, in creating a cohesive and unified society, that is able to face challenges and crises, and thus embody the aspirations and directives of the wise leadership to work on stability and community cohesion to confront all difficulties, especially emergency ones.
The Council was attended by His Excellency Eng. Hamad Ali Al Dhaheri, the Undersecretary of the Department of Community Development, and representatives of the social sector, places of worship, clubs and community societies in Abu Dhabi, as well as the department's employees.
Regarding the first theme, Al Dhaheri explained that community cohesion is a vital necessity, especially in societies that are culturally and intellectually diverse, knowing that this helps promote communication and integration between members of society, and instill a sense of belonging within the framework of national values that accommodate cultural richness, in addition ethnic and religious diversity, and will lead to the creation of a safe environment for all components of society. This goal represents a main and vital pillar in the social agenda that we seek to continuously achieve in cooperation with the social sector in the Emirate.
Al Dhaheri also affirmed that since the beginning of the Corona pandemic, places of worship, clubs and communal societies in Abu Dhabi efficiently succeeded in interacting with the society to address the pandemic. This involved urging people to join hands in achieving visions and uniting the efforts that we are working on, in cooperation with the social sector in the Emirate, either by engaging in volunteering work, or through donations, or by urging communities to participate in vaccination campaigns, among other various initiatives. This led the UAE to be in the first rank worldwide in confronting the epidemic, and in its commitment to the precautionary measures of physical distancing and vaccination, in order to safely go back to normal life.
The second theme discussed during the session tackled the role of shared human values in promoting social cohesion. This was presented by Bishop Urado Sarkis of the Armenian Church and Father Bishoy Fakhri from the Coptic Orthodox Church in Abu Dhabi, who both emphasized that achieving cohesion is a reflection of the societal maturity accomplished by the state over the years, through the UAE’s continuous efforts to unify efforts among all members of society, and based on its belief on the importance of joint action, especially in facing challenges and achievements.
The third theme dealt with the role of associations in enhancing communication between expatriate communities and the local one to achieve cohesion. Dr. Ali Zayed Brima, President of the Sudanese Social Club, and Mr. Khalid Al Bashaira - Vice President of the Jordanian Society, spoke about the importance of communal clubs and societies in achieving visions and making positive changes for the sake of society, as well as achieving sustainable development; in addition to the role of associations in consolidating the bonds between communities, and empowering them through constructive dialogues and providing them with an effective environment.