The much-anticipated Zayed Award for Human Fraternity 2022 is set to be announced next week in Abu Dhabi, with prize money of USD $1 million to support the winner or winners’ work to promote peace, harmony, and intercultural dialogue.
Writing exclusively for the Jerusalem Post in January, Dr Leah Pisar, Chair of Aladdin Project and a member of the Zayed Award’s judging committee said the award “recognizes courageous individuals and organizations who strive to build more harmonious societies.”
Against a global backdrop of growing anti-Semitism, resurgent extremism and humanitarian crises, the award aims to draw attention to the importance of global unity in countering these threats.
On its 2nd ever edition, the Zayed Award takes inspiration from the co-signing of the Document on Human Fraternity in 2019 by the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, and a leading Sunni authority, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Professor Ahmed Al-Tayeb. It is named in honour of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the United Arab Emirates and the late ruler of Abu Dhabi, where the document was signed.
Earlier this month, President Biden joined with the Pope and the Grand Imam to call for greater global cooperation to fight the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other world crises in the name of human fraternity.
“The values of tolerance, respect, and dignity articulated in the Document of Human Fraternity are essential to progress and peaceful coexistence, and much needed in the current state of world affairs,” added Dr. Pisar, who was recently appointed to the US Holocaust Memorial Council by President Joe Biden.
The Zayed Award’s winners are decided by a diverse and independent panel of authoritative public figures from around the world. This year, the panel includes former President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou, Nobel Peace Laureate José Ramos Horta, and experts in peacebuilding as well as intercultural and interfaith dialogue. The 2022 winners have been selected by the panel from a pool of candidates put forward by qualified nominators.
The award is organised by the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity, an independent body of scholars, religious leaders and international figures involved in peace-making or humanitarian organisations.
Abdelsalam, Secretary General of the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity, said: “This year’s Zayed Award for Human Fraternity will be a spotlight of hope for our world at a time when we are emerging from the darkness of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar were designated as honorary recipients after the co-signing of the Document on Human Fraternity. In 2021, UN Secretary General António Guterres and French-Moroccan activist Latifa Ibn Ziaten were recipients of the award’s first ever edition.
Secretary General Guterres decided to donate his share of the award, $500,000, to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees "to support its indispensable efforts to protect the most vulnerable in the human fraternity, the forcibly displaced."
Latifa Ibn Ziaten, on the other hand, has used the prize to continue her vital work in the field of counterextremism. She founded the IMAD Association after her son’s tragic murder during the Toulouse and Montauban shootings in 2012.
Ibn Ziaten said: “this award is an acknowledgement that human fraternity must be nurtured, and never taken for granted. It was humbling to be recognized last year for work that I, like many others, have done to promote tolerance and mutual understanding in communities.”
You won't want to miss out on watching this year's ceremony honouring these amazing humanitarians promoting peace, harmony, and intercultural dialogue. The 2022 award ceremony will be broadcasted to interested audiences around the globe from Abu Dhabi next week.
This article was written in cooperation with Zayed Awards