Event Honors Special Olympics Movement; Celebrates Acceptance and Inclusion
UAE to Host Special Olympics World Games in March 2019
WASHINGTON, DC (8 July 2018) – United Arab Emirates (UAE) Diplomats hosted an iftar last night at the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC for local Special Olympic athletes and their families. Many athletes in attendance will travel to Abu Dhabi in March 2019 to compete in the World Games.
The program featured remarks by Special Olympics International CEO, Mary Davis and Global Messenger, Special Olympics Virginia, Frank Stephens and Dana Al Marashi, Head of Heritage and Social Affairs at the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC. The speakers underscored the important role that sports play to enhance mutual understanding, acceptance, and collaboration.
In her remarks, Al Marashi said, “Through sports, people from different cultures and nationalities find common ground and celebrate their diversity. These are the same values that the UAE embodies every single day.”
Special Olympics International CEO, Mary Davis reinforced this message, and highlighted the significance of the World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.
“Special Olympics is proud to partner with the United Arab Emirates for the upcoming Special Olympics World Games to be held in Abu Dhabi in March next year,” said Ms. Davis. “Uniting together with our friends in the UAE Embassy in Washington DC for an iftar during Ramadan is a beautiful message of inclusion, a message that will be demonstrated in the UAE next year during the World Games.”
Commenting on the event, UAE Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba said, “The UAE is thrilled to support the Special Olympics, and honor this important movement, which is dedicated to promoting respect, acceptance, inclusion and human dignity for all people.”
Attendees participated in the traditional breaking of the fast, and learned more about the values that are cherished and shared during the sacred month of Ramadan.
The UAE will be the first country in the Middle East and North Africa to host the Special Olympics World Games, which will be the world’s largest humanitarian and sporting event of 2019. Seven thousand athletes from more than 170 countries will compete in 24 sports at the World Games Abu Dhabi.