The Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC) in Cairo organised on 21 May an online seminar to help communities better understand the value of cultural diversity and living together in harmony.
Following the destruction of Bamiyan’s world famous Buddha statues in Afghanistan in 2001, the world now celebrates the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development every year on 21 May. The event, which is sanctioned by the UN, looks to promote diversity issues around the world.
The webinar started with an inspirational song released by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), titled “United We Fight”.
It was attended by MACIC Director, Liyaqath Ali, the Chairman of El Sawy Culture Wheel, Mohammed El Sawy, the Director of the Italian Cultural Institute, David Scalmani, and the Director of the Korean Cultural Centre, Yang Sangkeun.
The song was created to help people around the world remain united and to ignite hope during the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The UN emphasised the importance of the day for celebrating cultural diversity saying that 75% of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension. Bridging the gaps between cultures is, as a result, urgent and necessary, not only for global peace and stability, but also for its growth and development.
The event confirmed that bridging gaps between peoples and cultures is a major feature of all cultures around the world. In Indian philosophy, it is underlined in the concept of Vasudhaiva Kudumbakam, or Sanskrit for “the whole world is one great family”.
The Holy Quran also mentions that humans were made in peoples and tribes to know and understand each other.
Quoting the saying in Arabic “a man could be the enemy of what he knows not”, the seminar stressed that cultural centres of different countries have the responsibility to bridge the gap between different cultures. This can be done through educating people about the cultures and civilisations of each other, whilst transforming them into enlightened citizens.