By Lekshmi Gopalakrishnan
Fujairah City (UAE), Nov 16 For the first time in the Middle East, Indian spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar held a meditation programme at a football stadium in Fujairah, one of the emirates of the UAE, to promote world peace that saw participation of thousands of people, including women and children.
The galleries of the Fujairah football stadium, which has a capacity to accommodate 10,645 people, was full late Thursday evening as the audience, cutting across geographical and gender barriers joined the 'gurudev' in the much-awaited "Illuminate Peace" event.
Sri Sri imparted lessons about imbibing the art of happiness in life and explained how tension and stress create an intolerant society.
The gathering mediated in unison according to the directions of the guru who concluded the session with the "shanti" mantra, wishing peace and prosperity to the entire humanity across the globe.
The Art of Living (AOL) founder is visiting the Emirates for the first time. He embarked on a four-day tour to the UAE Thursday on an invitation from the ruler of Fujairah, Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi.
Showering praises on the efforts taken by Fujairah in promoting peace and countering extremism, Sri Sri offered full support of the AOL to bring peace and happiness in the Arab world.
"We want to bring happiness in the whole Arab world. All the Arab countries are burning with many issues. And there are crores of people suffering," he told the gathering.
The AOL is doing its bit to bring solace to the people of Iraq, Sriya, Lebanon and Jordan, he added.
The Crown prince of Fujairah, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, who was present during the event, called the spiritual guru as the 'Master of Love'.
Earlier, Sri Sri and his AOL delegation were accorded a warm reception at the royal palace here attended by prominent members of the Royal family, the Emirates and the Indian diaspora, including billionaire businessmen M A Yusuff Ali, B R Shetty, Jawahar Gangaramani and Ajay Khimji.
At the reception, Fujairah ruler Al Sharqi said the UAE aims at enhancing its stature as a leading country in strengthening the cohesion between cultures.
He also stressed that the country's humanitarian directives represent the principles of its wise leadership and are based on its belief in the values of goodness and giving, which was established by late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan -- the founding father of the UAE.
The Crown prince said the UAE has encouraged peaceful coexistence and unity between various cultures while affirming its commitment to tolerance, as well as its efforts to strengthen international unity.
He also commended Sri Sri's humanitarian initiatives.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has been spearheading a worldwide movement for a stress-free and violence-free society through his foundation's numerous spiritual and lifestyle enhancing programmes.
Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the Arab League, also called on Sri Sri and discussed about the general political situation prevailing in the region.
As part if his tour, the spiritual leader will also visit a labour camp and address labourers in Sharjah. He will also also conduct a two-day, three-session meditation master class named "Unveiling Infinity" in Dubai. LGK UD SCY SCY