DUBAI, The University of Balamand, UoB, awarded Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, an honorary doctorate in recognition of his charitable and humanitarian work during a ceremony held in Dubai recently.

This is the first honorary doctorate of its kind bestowed by the university outside Lebanon and has been introduced to celebrate shining examples of humanity.

In his speech, Dr. Elie Salem, President of UoB, said, "Sheikh Nahyan fosters the idea of tolerance and dialogue at a time when we most need it. When we established the Sheikh Nahyan Centre for Arab Studies and the Dialogue of Civilisations at UoB, we founded an institution that embodies his personality. The Centre brings together Christians and Muslims who are sincere in their faith and understand the divine message, and serves as a platform to deter extremism, hatred and atonement, not only in our region but throughout the world."

Salem also praised the spectacular renaissance of the United Arab Emirates, which turned the desert into a magnificent garden and a civilisation that has amazed the world. He concluded by wishing the UAE success and leadership in its cultural journey.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak welcomed Dr. Salem and the university delegation to its second country, the UAE, and expressed his gratitude for the honorary degree granted to him by the University, saying, "I will always consider this honorary degree from UoB to be one of the most important awards and honours I have received."

Sheikh Nahyan expressed his great pride that the certificate comes from one of the region's most prestigious universities, which is also from Lebanon a country of tolerance, coexistence, originality and love for all.

Expressing his pleasure that this honour coincides with the celebration of "Year of Zayed," he added, "The late Sheikh Zayed was a man of wisdom, peace, tolerance, construction and reconstruction. He always told us that the future of the Arab nation and the prosperity of its societies depends on our individual and collective capabilities for continuous creativity, useful innovation and enabling people to fulfil their role in shaping life in society."

On the role of universities, Sheikh Nahyan said that the late founding father believed they have a duty and a responsibility to drive the progress of the nation by preparing students, developing knowledge, encouraging scientific research, and fostering fruitful interaction with the society's hopes and aspirations.

"We clearly reflect the strong relations between the people of Lebanon and the UAE and we resolutely declare our commitment to working together to develop these relations always for the benefit of the two brotherly countries," he concluded.

Source: Emirates News Agency