Public Diplomacy Shapes the Image of a Nation, Lectures Omar Ghobash

01 Mar 2020

His Excellency Omar Ghobash, Assistant Minister of Culture and Public Diplomacy – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was warmly greeted at Zayed University recently to lecture students his take on “How Public Diplomacy Shapes the Image of a Nation.”

The Emirati Author, Businessman, and Diplomat was received by Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Vice-President of Zayed University, alongside Dr. Dwight Brooks, Dean of the College of Communication & Media Sciences (CCMS), and Dr. Fares Howari, Acting Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS).

Following his 10-year mission in Russia as the Ambassador of the UAE, Ghobash mentioned that he had diplomatically reached out to Russian counterparts and portrayed the image of tolerance and acceptance in the UAE to all nations. He said that the image represented was profoundly affected by the norms of fundamentalist Islam in Chechenia. “I was capable of meeting and persuading many that we are actually following different religious traditions away from extremism and disapproving violence.”

He lectured the students about his novel “Letters to A Young Muslim,” which was published in 2017. Mr. Ghobash said he has dedicated years to the question of tolerance and Islam. The meaning and limits of tolerance must be explored within and among different faiths. “I dedicated my work to my son, to guide him to position himself within the Muslim tradition without falling to evil influences that could drag him to being an object for various political, financial, and war reasons.”

His Excellency gave insightful messages to the young audience on pursuing public diplomacy as a career to aid the nation’s frameworks to shape a better image to the rest of the world. “Having sent over 10 years as a diplomat and meeting with other diplomats, I found that traditional diplomacy is quite dry, its core value revolves around general meetings and attending gala dinners, which I believe is dull. The real work is in public diplomacy, which is more vibrant, active, and driven with passion towards cultural exchange, compassion, and tolerance,” he said.

The lecture, which was held at Al Ghail Hall in ZU Abu Dhabi Campus, and was attended by over 100 students from both Colleges CCMS and CHSS, faculty members, and staff. The meeting was concluded by a Q&A session.

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