Dakhla is the scene of understanding, both between cultures and religions. The city, located in the area of Western Sahara and considered by Morocco as a southern province, has been the place chosen for nationalities belonging to the countries of North Africa and the Middle East to meet with one aim: to fraternise and unite in understanding between cultures and religions.
The event, organised by URI MENA, is celebrating its seventeenth edition in a context in which the differences between religions continue to be an element of discord. For this reason, initiatives such as those proposed by URI MENA provide an opportunity to give way to measures that unite human beings at a time when divisions are more than notorious. The celebration of events that are committed to understanding and coexistence necessarily involve the struggle and commitment to tolerance, and this is what they wanted to demonstrate.
Through conferences, colloquiums, joint work and conviviality, the Organisation has organised a series of conferences with the aim of contributing ideas, keys and projects to achieve this end.
An example of this was one of the parts of the congress in which representatives of both the Islamic and Hebrew religions were invited to explain the need to work together, in the spirit of peaceful coexistence. The aim of this meeting is to promote the cultural and religious understanding that reached its peak in the Abrahamic Accords. However, these agreements were not even the beginning of cultural understanding and coexistence between Muslims and Jews. The Abrahamic Accords were an official staging of what different Arab countries and Israel wanted to achieve and had been working towards for many years: rapprochement and mutual understanding. It is precisely in Morocco that there is still a large Jewish community, especially of Sephardic Jews, which is why closeness and mutual understanding continue to be key elements for both Moroccan and Jewish culture.
In addition to building bridges between cultures, the event aims to gather the keys to curbing and confronting violent extremism and terrorism through a key tool: interfaith dialogue. Today, terrorism remains one of the main threats to international security. Although Daesh has been successfully eradicated from countries such as Syria and Iraq, it is awakening from its slumber, directly threatening the stability of these already volatile and fragile countries.
More and more states and institutions are turning to religious dialogue as a tool for change. Although violence is still intrinsically linked to conflict, dialogue and diplomacy have already proven to be the most humane ways to try to find a solution to any disagreement.
On the other hand, the Sahel is one of the regions currently harbouring the most terrorists. Its proximity to North Africa, and even to Europe, is key for these groups to fulfil one of their goals: to sow discord and chaos, and to threaten peaceful coexistence through terror. Despite the current and necessary security and defence measures that ensure the integrity of all citizens, education and knowledge are two concepts that need to be cultivated and disseminated to society.
Therefore, events such as these reflect our most necessary tools: education and dialogue to move away from conflict, non-coexistence and intolerance. Confrontation and violence have never been the means to achieve stability in countries, even if this has sometimes been the prevailing option. It is in this spirit that Morocco is hosting an event of great importance because of the objectives it wishes to achieve: to promote dialogue and coexistence in a volatile and multipolar world that sometimes forgets these two fundamental tools. The aim remains the same: to continue working towards making the world more peaceful and, ultimately, more humane.