One of the most popular attractions of UAE, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is being shared with the world through its miniature versions. They are being displayed to help spread the message of inclusion.
Taking pride, these miniatures are placed in the UAE embassies and cultural centres around the globe. Besides, they are an added effort towards the celebration of the ‘Year of Zayed’, which is the hundredth anniversary of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Constructed between 1996 and 2007, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located in Abu Dhabi, and is the largest mosque in the country. It is considered to be a key place of worship for Friday gathering and Eid prayers. Moreover, over 41,000 people visit it during Eid.
The models of the landmark site are a symbolic initiative of the UAE and its efforts of promoting the inclusion, tolerance and inter-faith dialogue.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre has launched a scheme in association with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation.
At present, 19 UAE embassies and cultural foundation have put the miniatures of the mosque on display.
Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the United States, was presented with a model of the mosque by a delegation of government and faith leaders from the UAE. It is now placed at the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC.
Al Otaiba said, “As we celebrate the Year of Zayed in 2018, it is an honour for the Embassy to display this inspiring testament to Sheikh Zayed’s legacy. I’d like to express my sincere thanks to all those behind the initiative which helps promote the shared principles of tolerance and inclusion cultivated by the Founding Father and adopted by the UAE.”
The director general of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre, Dr Yousif Al Obaidli said, “The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque reflects the UAE’s commitment to the spirit of diversity in culture, thought and civilisation that Sheikh Zayed valued.”
“The initiative adds to the efforts made to reflect and immortalise the principles valued by the Founding Father, which he inspired from the moderate teachings of Islam, a religion that calls for inculcating the concepts of peaceful co-existence, tolerance, and cultural pluralism,” he added.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was launched by the late president of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Every year, around five million worshippers and tourists visit the mosque. In 2017, it was also ranked second in the Top 25 Landmarks in the World Category of TripAdvisor.