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An Accidental Liberal: HE Omar Ghobash’s Global Citizenship lecture

Lara J Carim5 April 2013

What does it mean to be an Arab and a Muslim in the modern world? How does an ordinary Arab individual explain to themselves the series of cataclysmic events that took place in the 1970s–80s?

Sheikh Zayed Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

How do and should the country deal with radical Islamic ideas? HE Omar Ghobash, United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Ambassador to Russia, addressed these existentialist, political and ethical questions in the first UCL global citizenship lecture on 18 March 2013.

Drawing on his personal experiences growing up in UAE then at boarding school in England, and levening the demanding subject matter with a welcome sprinkling of humour and anecdotes, HE Ghobash charted his own journey towards a liberal outlook – a liberalism he defined as encompassing tolerance, respect for the individual and a healthy attitude on the part of the authorities towards the private sphere.

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