Founder of the Maimonides Foundation, Professor Khalili, has been appointed UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the promotion of peace among nations through culture and education. The designation comes after the Maimonides Foundation’s collaboration with school improvement experts EdisonLearning on the free Interfaith Explorers learning resource (interfaithexplorers.com), which promotes harmony and understanding between the three Abrahamic Faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
When addressing Professor Khalili at the designation ceremony, The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, cited the resource as a great example of his contribution to education, saying, “I wish to mention in particular the project called Interfaith Explorers, which is being taken forward in primary schools in England and Wales. In your own words, this project is an invitation to a ‘voyage of exploration into understanding each other.’ This goal is especially vital today -- in a world changing quickly, where societies are increasingly connected and increasingly fragile.”
During his acceptance speech, Professor Khalili stated, “I believe that the real weapon of mass destruction is ignorance, and if ignorance is the problem, then surely education must be the solution.”
He then went on to acknowledged the profound difference that Interfaith Explorers has had on cultural acceptance across the globe, saying, “In 2011 I asked EdisonLearning, one of the most experienced and respected education organisations, to establish a curriculum to use in 18,500 ... schools, to teach children aged between 10 and 11, that there is far more that unites the world’s faiths than divides them. The...[resource] is now on the Interfaith Explorers’ website, and is available free for all English speaking schools worldwide.”
When discussing the website’s 400 videos and interviews, with people ranging from royalty and religious leaders, to teachers and students, he noted, “It became obvious that they are all talking about the similarities between the three faiths, and acknowledging that the rules of the three faiths are the same.
“The younger generation is our future, and if we do not reach them now, we miss the opportunity to give them the right compass for life.”
The ceremony took place at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris on Tuesday 16 October 2012.
Interfaith Explorers is an online resource, freely available to every school in England and Wales. This exciting resource has been commissioned by the Maimonides Foundation
, a charity chaired by Professor Nasser David Khalili, that is committed to supporting harmony through dialogue. This unique collaboration with EdsionLearning Ltd combines online teacher and pupil resources with commissioned video material.
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