Kerala-origin tycoon gets global harmony award

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IANS Mar 1, 2012, 07.58PM IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: UAE-based business magnate M A Yusuf Ali, who belongs to a village in Kerala, was Thursday presented with the prestigious Interfaith Harmony Award at a function in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

The award was handed over by Datur Azman bin Hassan, director general of Malaysia’s department of national unity and integration.

The international Interfaith Harmony Award is the prime attraction of the International Seminar on Interfaith Harmony and Tolerance jointly organised by the International Islamic University, Malaysia, and the Kerala-based Madin Islamic Academy.

In a release issued here, Ali said he wouldn’t be a true Muslim if he turned a blind eye to his neighbours who go to bed without food.

“I employ 27,000 people of different nationalities in the nearly 100 shopping malls across the Gulf region without any discrimination,” said Ali, the lone non-Arab member of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Of his 27,000 employees, 4,000 come from his village in Nattika and they belong to all religions, Ali added.

The World Interfaith Harmony Week was first proposed at the UN General Assembly on Sep 23, 2010 by King Abdullah II of Jordan. On Oct 20, 2010, it was unanimously adopted by the UN.