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‘Finding Inner Peace through Muslim Perspective’: a book about the life of Muslims in GCC countries by Japanese author

Her book titled ‘Finding Inner Peace through Muslim Perspective.’ (Supplied)
Her book titled ‘Finding Inner Peace through Muslim Perspective.’ (Supplied)
Naoko Kishida, Founder of UAE-Japan Cultural Center with a mission of exchanging culture between UAE & Japan. (Supplied)
Naoko Kishida, Founder of UAE-Japan Cultural Center with a mission of exchanging culture between UAE & Japan. (Supplied)
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05 Sep 2021 05:09:46 GMT9
05 Sep 2021 05:09:46 GMT9

Amin Abbas

DUBAI: Director and founder of the UAE-Japan Cultural Center Naoko Kishida recently released a book titled “Finding Inner Peace through Muslim Perspective.”

In an exclusive interview with Arab News Japan, Kishida shared the story behind her fourth & latest book: “It was published in May 2021. This book is about how Arab/Muslims find tranquility and meaning of life with religion Islam. I spent three years developing the idea and made research on each topic. Just then, the pandemic happened.”

“But I had the idea for this book since 2017, and contemplated for a long time what is the best way to present Islam to Japanese people. I finally set my eyes on some particular problems that Japan struggles in 21st century, such as suicide among youth, bullying, over-working death, social isolation, and solitary death,” she added.

Speaking of her inspiration and the main lessons that people can learn from the book, Kishida said: “This is the introduction of Islam through everyday life in the UAE. Many Japanese believe the stereotype image of Arab and Muslim world such as poverty, conflict, extravagant life in an oil-rich country, disparity of rich & poor, suppression on women, power harassment against labors, etc… which is easily found in Western media.”

“Japan is struggling to find the solutions for these serious social problems for more than 30 years, establishing committees against solitary, against bullying, against suicide, women’s inequality, anxiety of getting old, and so on. But nothing brought solutions, on the contrary, these problems have become deepen and more complicated,” she told Arab News Japan.

Kishida said she simply wanted to present the peaceful life and tolerance found in the UAE. She also wanted to shed light on how the country keeps ahold of its traditions after the “radical change of life since the 1970s.”

The Japanese author said her latest book is more of a study rather than a story, with a lot of research from international organizations such as the WHO and the World Bank.

“In addition, many quotes from Quran, Hadeeth and Arabic poems are introduced in each chapter,” she explained.

“It is difficult for Japanese to understand the concept of Islam if only explained its teaching without examples. So, I wrote many anecdotes and fragments of life in the UAE, with Islamic teachings and quotes at the same time,” she added.

Kishida was first introduced to the Middle Eastern culture when she participated in the “Ship for World Youth Program” in 1990.

READ MORE: The UAE classrooms that teach both Japanese and Arabic

About 200 youth from 13 countries sailed on a ship for 3 months to learn other’s cultures, introduce their own country, know different perspective, discuss their social problems and the solutions. After this program, she married a UAE local man and lived in the country for 30 years.

She established the UAE – Japan cultural center in 2008, in hopes of promoting the cultural and social interaction between the two countries. 

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the center was forced to shift its activities online, much like all other companies and organizations.

“We held many meetings and practices before starting the online courses. Some students do not like to study online, some adapt quickly. But for now, we have only choice of online courses to avoid the risk of spreading the infection,” Kishida said.

“However, it brought us a good deployment as well.  Now we have students from Abu Dhabi, RAK, Fujairah and all over UAE.  Also in Arabic cultural courses, we have Japanese participants not only from Dubai but also Abu Dhabi and even from Japan. Some Japanese ladies are eager to learn about the UAE, even after they went back to Japan,” she added.

“Japan Center is looking for the tutors of Arabic Cultural Courses. During these 13 years, we had more than 50 tutors who taught UAE Culture to Japanese residents. If you are interested in giving lectures or workshop regarding Arabic culture, please contact us through email: ,” Kishida said.

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