The Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS) held a ceremony on Monday in London that honored IsraAID and the British Jewish NGO HIAS+JCORE for their work in evacuating and resettling Afghan nationals after the jihadi terrorist movement, Taliban, seized power in October 2021.
According to AISS, the Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid (IsraAid) “coordinated the evacuation of 167 vulnerable Afghan nationals, from Afghanistan to the UAE and Albania, before long-term resettlement in countries including Canada, France, and Switzerland.”
AISS was established in October 2012 in Kabul and was forced to relocate to London after the Taliban movement captured Kabul.
HIAS (the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) with JCORE, the UK’s Jewish voice on refugees and racial equality, formed a merger HIAS+JCORE.
According to AISS, “Throughout the Afghan crisis, the extended HIAS community assisted with housing: this includes helping new resettlement partners to start receiving refugees during this unprecedented moment. Evacuated Afghans were housed on eight military bases across the country and HIAS’ involvement in this unprecedented resettlement effort was immediate.”
AISS added “In the UK, HIAS+JCORE initiated the Afghan Emergency Appeal to raise funds for refugees in the UK with basic necessities — from outerwear and underwear to toothpaste and towels — as well as practical, social and psychological support.”
Yotam Polizer ,the CEO of IsraAID, was present to accept the Avicenna Award. Afghanistan’s former ambassador to the United Kingdom, Said T. Jawad, delivered a talk on the ceremony on the “Deep-rooted History of Jews of Afghanistan.”
World Jewish Relief (WJR), a British NGO, supported the UK’s resettlement of Afghan refugees in Britain “with charitable work. It provided employment services to refugees, “ according to the AISS program.
Jewish Federations responsible for initiative with Shapiro Foundation
The Jewish Federations of North America were responsible for the initiative with the Shapiro Foundation to provide $1 million “to support local Jewish organizations in resettlement efforts for more than 1,900 Afghan refugees across 15 communities and 12 states, as well as through 42 volunteer circles, “noted AISS.
The award is named after the Islamic philosopher, Avicenna, who is widely considered the “most significant philosopher in the Islamic tradition and arguably the most influential philosopher of the pre-modern era, “ according to AISS.
The AISS program noted that he was “Primarily a metaphysical philosopher of being who was concerned with understanding the self’s existence in this world in relation to its contingency, Avicenna philosophy is an attempt to construct a coherent and comprehensive system that accords with the religious exigencies of Muslim culture. As such, he may be considered to be the first major Islamic philosopher.”
AISS said “The events of August 2021 in Afghanistan resulted in a cataclysmic political shift, which saw the return of the Taliban to power and the withdrawal of the last remaining international troops. Given the brutality of the first Taliban regime in the 1990s many civilians were deeply concerned about their welfare and the future of their country… The assistance provided by numerous Jewish organizations during the Afghanistan evacuations of 2021 demonstrate the principle of ‘mutual co-existence’ which is at the core of the AISS Avicenna Peace Award.”
Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian jurist and Nobel Peace Laureate, delivered the keynote speech at the award event.