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Fri 19 Jul 2019 03:28 AM

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Nat Geo set to release film about Pope Francis' visit to the UAE

The Peace Visit produced by National Geographic, which highlights the visit of Pope Francis to Abu Dhabi, will be distributed later this year

Nat Geo set to release film about Pope Francis' visit to the UAE
Pope Francis blesses a child as he arrives to lead mass for an estimated 170,000 Catholics at the Zayed Sports City Stadium on February 5. (KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)

A documentary film produced by National Geographic, which highlights the historic visit of Pope Francis to Abu Dhabi in February, will be distributed later this year.

Interfaith leaders from Washington DC and the UAE gathered at the National Geographic headquarters earlier this week for an exclusive premiere of The Peace Visit, state news agency WAM reported.

It added that the event took place on the sidelines of the US State Department’s second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.

National Geographic Partners chairman Gary Knell said at the event that Pope Francis’ visit to the UAE was a first for any pontiff, and represented an historic meeting of faiths in Abu Dhabi.

"His landmark trip attracted worldwide attention, with all of the grandeur and formalities that come with a papal visit set to the stunning, dramatic backdrop of the Arabian Peninsula," said Knell. "But, this trip was more than just pomp and circumstance – it had a clear purpose: to promote tolerance across not only the Middle East, but the world."

Following the screening, a panel discussed the film and the broader impact Pope Francis’ visit had on the UAE and the region.

The panel was moderated by Dr James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, and included Scott Hellier, director of The Peace Visit, Reverend Andy Thompson, chaplain of St Andrew’s Church in Abu Dhabi, and Reverend Johnnie Moore, commissioner on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Each of the panelists was present at Pope Francis’ mass in Abu Dhabi, and they shared their experience and thoughts on the lasting impact the visit will have to promote peace and coexistence among humankind.