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“The Abrahamic Family House”, the new inter-religious Emirati project

The Abrahamic Family House project.

Hosting expatriates of more than 200 nationalities, the United Arab Emirates aims to become a true model of coexistence and religious tolerance. With "The Abrahamic Family House", the new Emirati project that will build a mosque, church, and synagogue in the same place, the United Arab Emirates seems to want to achieve its objective at all costs.

Unveiled by the United Arab Emirates’ Higher Committee for Human Fraternity at the end of September, the new Emirati project, called “The Abrahamic Family House”, will be the first in the world to embody coexistence and religious tolerance, through the establishment of a mosque, church and synagogue in the same place. 

The project, designed by the British architect Sir David Adjaye, takes its name from the term “Abrahamic faith” which refers to the three monotheistic religions of Islam, Catholicism and Judaism, religions that claim the Prophet Abraham as their common ancestor. Architecturally, the central mosque will face the Kaaba in Mecca, the church altar will point from the sun to the east and the synagogue podium and the Torah will face Jerusalem.

 

Currently in the first phase of its implementation, “The Abrahamic Family House” is expected to begin its construction phase in 2020 on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, and open to the public in 2022. Once completed, the centre will become a symbol of universal peace and reconciliation for people of all faiths.

The United Arab Emirates and the promotion of tolerance

This is not the first time that the United Arab Emirates has advocated for religious tolerance. Already in 2015, an anti-discrimination law was adopted in the Emirate to prevent any behavior likely to propagate discrimination within the community. Similarly, the United Arab Emirates is the first country to have a Minister for Tolerance. As a reminder, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed said earlier this year that 2019 would be the year of tolerance.