Pope Francis

Ambassador Al Otaiba Op-Ed: “Why We Invited the Pope to the Arabian Peninsula”

February 2, 2019

In 1960, two American missionary doctors went deep into the harsh desert of the Arabian Peninsula to set up a hospital in a mud block building with dirt floors and a palm frond roof. For the Bedouins who lived there and practiced Islam, it would be their first experience with modern medicine—and their first contact with Christianity. Over the next few decades, with the encouragement and support from local tribal leaders, the husband-and-wife medical team would grow the hospital, save many lives and cement a lasting legacy of respect and admiration between Christians and Muslims in what would later become the United Arab Emirates.

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