Pope in UAE: The digital media’s 360° approach

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The official peg upon which Pope Francis’ visit to the United Arab Emirates is hung is his participation in Monday’s Global Conference of Human Fraternity, and a member of the Conference’s communications team shares how the event is being covered on social media.

By Linda Bordoni – Abu Dhabi

Pope Francis and Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of the Al-Azhar Institute in Cairo and Chairman of the Council of Elders, deliver their speeches on Monday afternoon at the Global Conference.

26-year-old Eman Ayoubieh, a digital media specialist here in Abu Dhabi, is part of the Conference communications team specializing in social media.

She told me the Pope’s visit and participation in the Global Conference of Human Fraternity is an incredible occasion to work on something really special, and to make a contribution to the country she calls home.

Listen to the full interview

Eman Ayoubieh says she feels privileged to be able to be part of the team bringing the Pope’s – and the Conference’s – message of tolerance and respect for diversity to all media platforms.

Eman spoke of her own experience as a woman who is not an Emirati citizen (she was born here but her parents come from Egypt and Syria), saying that all the talk about tolerance and respect in the UAE are deeply grounded in reality.

Opportunity of a lifetime

Eman says this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be working on a project such as this: “No matter how many late nights… How many people can say they worked on a ‘His Holiness Pope Francis project’?”

From day one, she said, the team has set our strategies aimed at being very comprehensive, very inclusive, striving to reach out to everyone, with no exceptions.

UAE hub for tolerance, fraternity, coexistence

She says she believes this visit deserves – and will get – global exposure, further strengthening the global position of the UAE as a hub for tolerance, for fraternity, for coexistence: “We’re just one very big nice country living together in peace and harmony.”

“I’m not Emirati; I was born in this country and from as far as I can remember I was never not allowed to practice what I believed or to do what I wanted to or to pursue any path that I wanted to pursue: faith, beliefs, religion, even dress code”, she said.

Eman clearly has a deep love and respect for the UAE, which she says “Is a Muslim country but it is a home to all religions, to everybody who lives here – they all call it home”.

Social media

Regarding her work for the Global Conference on Human Fraternity, she says the communications team is using the main social media platforms: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

“We are doing videos, production, creating designs, generating content regarding the Pope and also the Grand Imam and the UAE’s position on tolerance etc.”, Eman revealed.

For the Global Conference, she concludes, we have a global “360° approach” that includes doing PR, writing articles, features, and opinion pieces in a concerted effort to reach out to everyone: no one excluded!



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