The United Arab Emirates [UAE] is building a church, mosque and synagogue in one location in Abu Dhabi, to underscore the need for all religions to live in harmony.
The unique and historic project dubbed the “Abrahamic Family House”, which is currently in the first steps of implementation, will take three years to be completed and opened in 2022.
Gulf News said the Abrahamic Family House is among the first projects of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, which was reviewed at its second meeting held at the New York Public Library in which the Committee shared with stakeholders their mission to progress a culture of mutual respect and dialogue across all backgrounds, beliefs and nationalities.
Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and several top Emirati officials, and representatives of several institutions and partners were present.
The design of the Abrahamic Family House, by the award-winning and globally-renowned architect, Sir David Frank Adjaye a British-Ghanaian, was unveiled at the New York event.
The meeting coincides with the beginning of the 74th United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.
Reflecting on this historic initiative, His Eminence Elect Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and Higher Committee member, said:
“This endeavour is a profoundly moving moment for humanity. Although sadly evil, hatred, and division often make news, there is a hidden sea of goodness that is growing and leads us to hope in dialogue, reciprocal knowledge and the possibility of building – together with the followers of other religions and all men and women of good will – a world of fraternity and peace. I would like to thank the UAE for the concrete commitment shown on behalf of human fraternity.”
Commenting on the occasion, Judge Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Salam, Higher Committee member and Former Advisor to the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, His Eminence Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, remarked:
“The formation of the Committee has come at an important time and has required all peace lovers to unite and join the efforts to spread coexistence, brotherhood, and tolerance throughout the world.
Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig, Senior Rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation and a Higher Committee member said: “This is an important opportunity for all who believe in the power of faith and humanity. It will help build bridges between religious leaders and communities as well as foster peace and harmony in an era that is too often defined by difference.”
Sir David Adjaye, Founder and Principal of Adjaye Associates, commented: “I believe architecture should work to enshrine the kind of world we want to live in, a world of tolerance, openness, and constant advancement. Architecture and landscape design can interpret the fabric and principles of a place, to advance the conversation, reassess current assumptions about the world, and discover more meaningfully what a place can give back.
The contemporary design was chosen after a rigorous process that included architects of diverse backgrounds and faiths from around the globe.