EXPLORING YOUTHS’ PERCEPTIONS OF (IN)TOLERANCE IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Corresponding Author(s) : Ghada M. Abaido
Humanities & Social Sciences Reviews,
Vol. 8 No. 3 (2020): May
Purpose of the study: This paper aims to explore how youth perceive the meaning of social, cultural, and religious tolerance in the United Arab Emirates as a multicultural, multi-ethnic society.
Methodology: Data were collected using a survey conducted with 400 participants from different nationalities living and studying in UAE universities representing over 40 different nationalities.
Main Findings: The study reveals that the roots of tolerance have historically been embedded in the UAE through various societal, geographic, religious, and economic factors. Findings revealed that 70.5 % of the sample expressed the belief that the UAE is a relatively tolerant society, whereas 29.5% believe that more efforts need to be made to instill values of tolerance, inclusion and acceptance. Surprisingly, more than half the respondents (53.5%) stated that they were unaware of the existence of a Ministry of Tolerance in the UAE.
Implications: The topic of tolerance and intolerance has been a research area of interest in several countries but rarely raised in the Arab region. Many misconceptions have surrounded the meaning of tolerance especially in a region that has witnessed several social and political turbulences.
Originality/Novelty of the study: Limited or no studies have been conducted towards understanding and conceptualizing tolerance in the Middle East and Gulf Cooperation Council societies. Since 2019 was announced as the Year of Tolerance, it was significant to investigate this nationwide initiative and its impact on the 200 different nationalities living in the UAE.
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