ABU DHABI, Language learning and the arts can be important catalysts for tolerance, human fraternity, peace, understanding, and harmony in the world, said Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance.

"Language learning and support for the arts promote the understanding of one's self and one's culture, and instill admiration for other cultures as well," he said at an event to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the founding of the Alliance Francaise Abu Dhabi on Friday.

The Alliance Francaise is the largest linguistic and cultural multinational non-governmental organisation in the world, which promotes French language and culture.

The Alliance Francaise Abu Dhabi, much in the spirit of France itself, sees language learning and cultural appreciation as significant endeavors for people with different backgrounds to gain knowledge of one another, Sheikh Nahyan noted.

"Over the last 45 years, the work of this Alliance affirms that learning languages and understanding the history and culture of others are activities that lift the spirit, enrich our daily lives, and instill a passion for life-long learning," he said.

Sheikh Nahyan said the Alliance Francaise Abu Dhabi contributed to the phenomenal growth and development of Abu Dhabi.

"Like the city itself, the Alliance owes much of its success to the vision and leadership of our nation's founder the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who generously supported your mission when you began operation in 1974," he pointed out.

"Today, under the wise leadership of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and with the guidance and strong support of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Abu Dhabi continues to develop and prosper, and the Alliance Francaise Abu Dhabi continues to receive the steadfast support of our community," he added.

The minister appreciated the contributions of the organisation to strengthen the cultural ties between France and the UAE.

Sheikh Nahyan also congratulated the publication of the book titled 'The Alliance Francaise of Abu Dhabi: 45 years of Francophonie in the United Arab Emirates.' "This book shares the story of our historic cultural ties. Its rich narrative is woven together with compelling photographs, which illustrate the roots of the relationship between French and Arab cultures, and which celebrate the fruits of our cultural cooperation," he said.

"The Alliance Francaise Abu Dhabi is vital to our community because it offers enriching experiences that bind our community together," the minister affirmed.

The Alliance has offered opportunities for French and Emirati people, as friends and colleagues, to share in many activities and conversations, he noted.

"Most prominent in my mind are the values that we have shared, and which underpin our conversations, namely, a devotion to our own cultures and a deep respect for and appreciation of other cultures, ethnicities, languages, religions, and beliefs.

"We have shared the desire for global tolerance, and for the peace, safety, prosperity, and well-being of our communities," he said.

He further added that the present-day world's boundaries became blurred, where interconnections and interdependency became the norm.

"We also live in a time when world developments have created certain crises in confidence regarding the institutions that provide the contours of the modern world.

"To those who wonder whether we can meet these challenges, I would affirm that global stability and prosperity begin with friendly alliances, such as that exemplified by France and the UAE.

"Just as our two nations derive mutual benefit from our relationship, other nations in the region and the whole world stand to gain from our success," he explained.

On the occasion of celebrating the milestone for Alliance Francaise Abu Dhabi, he declared the UAE's support of the concept of 'one global family dedicated to peace and prosperity.' "One global family that understands the moral necessity of fostering a culture of knowledge, understanding, kindness, and respect," the minister said.

Source: Emirates News Agency