UAE Embassy in Washington, D.C. Hosts Annual Interfaith Iftar; Abrahamic Family House Director Highlights UAE’s Commitment to Inclusion, Coexistence

March 31, 2023

Washington, D.C. (31 March 2023) – The UAE Embassy in Washington last night welcomed a diverse group of religious, government and civil society leaders to its sixth annual Interfaith Iftar – an annual tradition marking the holy month of Ramadan.

Before the call to prayer marking the end of the daily Ramadan fast, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba greeted guests and highlighted the UAE’s long history of acceptance and religious diversity. “Coexistence and inclusion are a foundation of Emirati culture and society. We challenge intolerance, welcome the stranger, and celebrate diversity.” 

The program also featured remarks by Abdulla Al Shehhi, Director of the Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi.

Mr. Al Shehhi reflected on the Abrahamic Family House’s launch last month, noting that the space – which houses a mosque, a church and a synagogue – invites contemplation and communication between people of diverse faiths.

He stated: “The Abrahamic Family House is the living embodiment of the UAE’s values of peaceful coexistence and mutual respect. It is the home of three distinct and vibrant faith communities, and a place for discovery and dialogue for people of all faiths and none.”

In attendance were community leaders, senior members of US Government and elected officials, including Deborah Lipstadt, US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, US congressman Brad Schneider and Rashad Hussain, US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.

Attendees participated in the traditional breaking of the fast, and learned more about the values that are cherished and shared during the holy month of Ramadan.