Dialogue is only way to promote harmony
Saudi Arabia has embarked on national dialogue to pave the way for greater understanding among citizens and the need for coexistence of nationals with the expats living in the country besides providing a wider platform for interaction among the youth.
King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue (KACND), established in 2003 by a royal decree, also facilitates dialogue among various sections of the society to promote public interest and consolidate national unity based on the Islamic faith.
This year, under the “Ambassador Program for Cross Cultural Dialogue” KACND organized a multicultural meeting with the participation of children of expats from the Philippines, Azerbaijan, India and the host country.
The event aimed to encourage kids from a young age to spread the culture of dialogue and respect cultural diversity.
This can only be achieved by consolidating national unity within the framework of the Islamic faith and deepening it further through comprehensive national dialogue.
Part of the process for inter-faith dialogue is tackling social, cultural, political, economic and educational problems on the basis of dialogue as well as setting up channels for putting in place a mechanism for joint action in this regard.
Other objectives include encouraging the largest possible number of people to take part in the dialogue and to further strengthen the role of civil societies for ensuring justice, equality and freedom of expression within the framework of the Islamic law.
The center also promotes the concept of dialogue within the society, turning it into a method for dealing with various types of problems.
It also believes in developing a strategic vision for national dialogue and ensuring the applications of the results obtained in the process. KACND has various programs and divisions such as a forum, a national meeting, an intellectual database, letters of dialogue, a youth committee and the center’s departments’ regional supervisors.
The first meeting of the KACND was held in Riyadh on July 15, 2002. It brought together various Saudi scholars and intellectuals from all over the country representing diversified viewpoints. During the four-day meeting on national unity, the main agenda was the role of scholars in cementing their function and international relations.
The second forum on “fighting religious fanaticism and extremism” was held in 2004 in Makkah while the 3rd session on “women’s rights and their obligation to the society” was held in the same year in Al-Madinah.
KACND has already organized a number of national dialogues and hundreds of workshops and trainings across the country. It has also received foreign dignitaries and delegations working for international dialogue.
A forum entitled “Young Saudis’ Expectations” organized by the KACND in Dhahran garnered a lot of interest as it focused on the problems men and women are facing currently. Both males and females representing their provinces and cities attended this forum.