Abrahamic Family House marked first anniversary with expanded programme of community activities

  • In its first year, the centre for learning and dialogue has hosted over 250 community events and workshops, and over 250,000 worshippers and visitors
  • Anniversary was marked with a month-long calendar of activities including the Human Fraternity Majlis, performances by The Little Singers of Paris, a calligraphy exhibition, and a cross house community workshop that resulted in a collaborative mosaic to be displayed in AFH.
  • For its second year, the Abrahamic Family House will expand its programmes, symposiums, education and youth activities, with core themes including the role of faith in sustainability, technology, and the arts.

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 11 March 2024: The Abrahamic Family House is a centre for learning, dialogue and the practice of faith. February marked a year since its inauguration in February 2023. Located in the Saadiyat Cultural District in Abu Dhabi, the site encompasses three Houses of Worship – the Eminence Ahmed El-Tayeb Mosque, the St Francis Church, and the Moses Ben Maimon Synagogue – as well as shared spaces for gathering and dialogue.

Rooted in the UAE’s values of bringing people and cultures together, the Abrahamic Family House embodies the diversity of the United Arab Emirates. The project was inspired by the principles in the Document on Human Fraternity, signed by His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence Grand Imam Dr Ahmed El-Tayeb in Abu Dhabi in 2019.

After a first year focussed on building communities, the Abrahamic Family House organised a month-long programme of diverse activities to mark its anniversary, and looks ahead to expanded programming and impactful initiatives in the year to come.

His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, President of the Abrahamic Family House, said: “Over the last twelve months, the Abrahamic Family House has provided a unique platform for understanding and dialogue, serving multiple faith communities, and welcoming visitors. Since its inauguration one year ago, the three remarkable Houses of Worship at the Abrahamic Family House have developed into active faith centres for Abu Dhabi’s Muslim, Christian, and Jewish communities. Yet the most remarkable aspect is how the Abrahamic Family House has developed into a space for meaningful encounters, where everyone can engage in dialogue, mutual learning and understanding. Through our programming, partnerships, and initiatives, we seek to shed new light on shared human values and create pathways to peaceful coexistence.”     

Acting Operations Executive Director of Abrahamic Family House Centre, Abdulla Al Shehhi, said: “Since its inauguration, the Abrahamic Family House has welcomed over 250,000 worshippers, visitors, delegations and students, of all backgrounds and from around the world, to experience its journey of understanding, in an environment of thriving faith communities. The Houses of Worship have organised a year-round calendar of religious services and events, including celebrations of Ramadan, Easter, and Passover in 2023, as well as ongoing community events that offer education, discussion and spiritual reflection to their respective faith communities.”

Key highlights from the first year

In addition to a calendar of religious services and events, some highlights included Tahfeeth Circles to learn the art of reciting the Quran at the Mosque; Christmas ornament and card making workshops at the Church; and Hannukah celebrations at the Synagogue.

The Abrahamic Family House organised a series of 250 educational programmes and cross-House workshops that welcomed 15,000 participants. These included discussion sessions where speakers and attendees were invited to engage with topics such as the role of faith in climate change, art, and achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, as well as creative workshops exploring activities like crafts, aroma mixing, and caring for plants and the environment.

Marking the anniversary

To mark its first anniversary, a special programme of activities reflecting the Abrahamic Family House’s central values took place throughout February.

Fraternal Visuals, a special exhibition exploring themes of conversation between faiths through Arabic calligraphy, was displayed in the Forum for all visitors to explore. At the St Francis Church, the world-famous children’s choir ‘The Little Singers of Paris’ gave a series of performances exploring the themes of Truth, Love, Unity, and Holiness through choral music.

A tile-making workshop invited participants to create a mosaic tile that reflects an aspect of their personality, culture or faith, for a collaborative mosaic in the Abrahamic Family House Garden: a physical embodiment of diversity, exchange, and cross-cultural understanding.

Looking ahead

This year the Abrahamic Family House plans to expand its activities and programming, growing its communities even further. Priorities include developing its capabilities in research, scholarship and publications through partnerships with higher education institutions.

The Abrahamic Family House will continue to host an active calendar of educational programmes, focused on the core themes of the role of faith in sustainability, technology, and the arts, and popular community events such as the book club, and arts and crafts workshops. Upcoming courses offer a chance to learn mindful communication skills; Sign Language and Braille; and theatrical play, puppetry and storytelling for children.

Registration and further details of upcoming events and programmes are available at abrahamicfamilyhouse.ae.

About the Abrahamic Family House

Rooted in the UAE’s vision of bringing people and cultures together, the Abrahamic Family House is dedicated to fostering peaceful coexistence for generations to come.

Encompassing a mosque, a church, a synagogue, and a forum to learn and nurture mutual understanding, the Abrahamic Family House welcomes people from all walks of life to exchange knowledge and practice faith.

Inspired by the principles in the Document on Human Fraternity and the values of the UAE, the Abrahamic Family House embraces diverse beliefs, founded on common humanity, coming together in peace.