On the occasion of the 1150th Anniversary of Al-Farabi
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is my great pleasure and honor to participate in this special occasion dedicated to the 1,150th anniversary of the great thinker Al-Farabi. It is no coincidence that your esteemed university is named after this unique philosopher, who was a bridge-builder between civilizations.
Al-Farabi University has embraced the legacy of this great humanist by advocating for global citizenship. The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) is also proud of its partnership with your esteemed university and the shared values we continue to promote together.
Al Farabi was fascinated by human perfection. Man was the center of the Universe, and only an intelligent man can understand happiness. His influence and teachings have closed many gaps and eliminated many misunderstandings between civilizations.
After his passing, and through the Middle Ages, Al-Farabi’s teachings influenced the minds of Arab leaders throughout the Muslim world both on the meaning of life and on the future of Mankind. Therefore, his teachings and influence have contributed to a genuine philosophical rapprochement and mutual understanding between civilizations, which lasted until modern times.
We have to retain that, over the centuries, his work has symbolized the most valued humanistic qualities of love, tolerance, understanding, and respect of the other, no matter what belief or color.
“Knowledge without upbringing, without a moral beginning, can bring harm, not good”: This quote from the great philosopher Al-Farabi is the essence on which Global Citizenship Education Programs all over the world can lean on.
We continue to be inspired by this great thinker and influencer of his time and beyond, especially today, as the world is in turmoil due to the pandemic.
COVID19 has brought unprecedented educational disruption, with 1.2 billion students and youth across the planet affected by school closures. This figure amounts to almost 60 percent of the world’s student population. Amid this pandemic, Global Citizenship Education is even more relevant than before as we see a surge in stigma, polarization, racism, and hate speech against vulnerable communities.
While traditional education remains vital by focusing on improving literacy and facilitating the transmission of knowledge and skills from one generation to the next, there is a growing need for transformative education such as Global Citizenship Education, which nurtures shared values and respect for diversity.
UNAOC is committed to achieving the goals of global education, particularly since education and youth are two of the four pillars of our programming. For UNAOC, education is a vital component of developing tomorrow’s leaders.
Concluding, I salute the great Islamic thinker Al Farabi and all the partners who have gathered today to celebrate his wisdom and knowledge.