DUBAI, 10th May, 2016 (WAM)–Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has stressed that the major challenges facing the Arab region, and rapid global changes, put us all to real test that requires diligent efforts to overcome.

He added that these challenges will be overcome through creative and innovative solutions out of traditional context, and by giving young people a new hope in life based on their abilities in the development process.

While meeting with the Arab media leaders on the sidelines of the Arab Media Forum (AMF), Sheikh Mohammed reiterated that the current situation in the region dictates on all to shoulder responsibilities. He called on the media persons to rise to the occasion, given their enormous responsibilities in this critical situation in the region. He added that this stage requires concerted efforts to improve lives of peoples of the region, with focus on the youth.

He called on the media to disseminate balanced messages based on logic when addressing the youth to rekindle in them positive spirit and urge them to participate in nations-building and direct their energies to advancement of their communities and countries.

Sheikh Mohammed expressed his confidence in the media’s ability to build moral and cognitive fence of values that protect young Arab youth from sliding into an abyss of extremism. He added, “This is the most targeted category by the forces of darkness and terrorism, who have become the greatest threat to the region.”

He added the views of these extremists are false and exaggerated, and have nothing to do with “our religion”. Sheikh Mohammed said the media persons have a significant responsibility to correct the erroneous image of the Arab and Islamic societies, especially in the West, as well as work to build bridges of cultural communication with the world in order to spread the values of peace, love and coexistence among people of different tongues and races.

For their part, the media leaders thanked Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid for encouraging the media to carry out it out its role in conducive environment. They noted that the UAE will always be an incubator for constructive dialogue. The media leaders expressed their admiration about the development being experienced by the UAE in all fields.

The event was attended by H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority, Mona Ghanim Al Marri, Chairperson of AMF Organising Committee and President of Dubai Press Club (DPC). The event kicked off today with about 2, 000 media persons, writers, intellectuals, academics and media students in attendance.