Date: March 30, 2011
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The Takreem Awards were created out of a thirst to inspire Arabs around the world. They aim to promote and recognize Arab accomplishments, bringing to light Arab excellence and leadership worldwide.
2011 has been an eye opening year for me. Since I have lately been reevaluating my own identity and my own relation to being “Arab”, I am very fascinated by their mission at Takreen, which is to “recognize key Arab achievers by celebrating their milestones and portraying how well established, strongly rooted, and united the Arab world is.”
I definitely don’t think that the Arab world is well established, strongly rooted, or united. Yet every day, I realize that I believe that we should be: a united Arab world.
And that is the cool thing about pan-Arab initiatives like Takreem. They might start out idealistic, but a little idealism is always healthy.
The candidates still have not been announced for 2011. I am looking forward to seeing a list of individuals from all across our region that have affected, and will continue to affect, change.
Here are the winners of last year’s Takreem Awards:
1. Award for Philanthropy: Arcenciel, an apolitical Lebanese non-profit organization committed to assisting those living on the margins of society.
2. Award for Arab Women of the Year: Nahida Nakad has had an outstanding journalistic career that spans almost 30 years.
3. Exceptional International Contribution to Arab Society: For over forty years the Council for Arab-British Understanding has lobbied for a positive approach to Arab-British relations, as well as challenging anti-Arab prejudice in the UK.
4. Award for Innovation in Education: BouJoude is a Professor of Science Education at the American University of Beirut (AUB)
5. Award for Young Entrepreneur Award: Rana Shanawani is the founder of BIDAYA (Boosting and Inspiring Dynamic Youth Achievement), a Syrian non profit organization dedicated to providing young, disadvantaged adults with the financial and technical support needed to turn their viable business propositions into successful ventures.
6. Award for Environmental Development and Sustainability: Enviromena Power Systems, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, is the leading developer of solar projects in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
7. Award for Scientific and Technological Achievement: Abdel Magid Salem Hamouda of Libya has a stellar record as an inventor.
8. Award for Cultural Excellence: Jack Shaheen has dedicated most of his professional career to challenging the negative image of Arabs as portrayed in the media and most especially Hollywood.
9. Award for Outstanding Corporate Leadership: Sobhi Batterjee is the co-founder, President and CEO of the Saudi German Hospital (SGH) Group, the largest healthcare developer in the MENA region.
I will keep you updated when this year’s candidates are announced.