The Zayed Award for Human Fraternity has today announced Their Majesties King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein and Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan as honorees of the 2022 award, alongside Haitian humanitarian organization FOKAL.
Inspired by the co-signing of the Document on Human Fraternity by His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence Grand Imam of Al-Azhar in Abu Dhabi in 2019, the award recognises the honorees for their contributions to building a more peaceful, harmonious and compassionate world based on the values of human fraternity.
This year’s award was decided by an independent judging committee, composed of former heads of state, a Nobel peace laureate, and experts in interfaith and intercultural dialogue drawn from around the world.
As leader of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, His Majesty King Abdullah II has been recognized for his instrumental role in promoting interfaith dialogue across the Middle East region, addressing divisions among Muslims and fostering harmonious relations between East and West.
Her Majesty Queen Rania has been honored for her passionate advocacy for refugee rights around the world and consistent efforts to promote tolerance and acceptance through philanthropic initiatives.
In recent decades, Jordan has opened its doors to millions of refugees and remains one of the few places where refugees can freely move, receive education, and benefit from government services.
FOKAL, a Haitian humanitarian organization founded in 1995, was recognized by the judging committee for playing a vital role in shaping Haiti’s youth and supporting its hard-working communities at the grassroots level. The organization runs a wide range of programmes and initiatives aimed at serving the common good and building a more prosperous and harmonious society in one of the world’s poorest countries.
Commenting on the Award’s 2022 honorees, Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, Secretary-General of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity said: “The judging committee of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity conducted a review of the humanitarian efforts of the over 200 personalities and institutions nominated this year. Each candidate proved to be a source of inspiration and true epitome of human fraternity, following in the footsteps of the late founding father of the United Arab Emirates, H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam added that the selection by the judging committee of Their Majesties King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein and Queen Rania Al Abdullah, and the Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty (FOKAL) in Haiti, comes as a culmination of their tireless efforts in promoting the values advocated for, and contained in, the historic Document on Human Fraternity co-signed by His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Professor Ahmed Al-Tayeb under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and patron of human fraternity.
The Secretary-General of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity stated: "His Majesty King Abdullah II has carried a message of peace and love over successive decades, and His Majesty has made great efforts in preserving Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, and receiving refugees inside the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. He has presented a model of tolerance in the region, and supports dialogue between religions and cultures, creating a link between Eastern and Western cultures.”
“Queen Rania is a pioneering role model for Arab women and has contributed greatly to empowering Jordanian girls and ensuring their full rights, in addition to her distinguished activities in serving children and refugees, regardless of race, gender, or religion,” he continued.
Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam added: "By granting the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity to FOKAL, we aim to introduce the efforts of humanitarian institutions and organizations to provide inspiring models for individuals and institutions around the world to do their utmost to promote the values of fraternity, tolerance and coexistence."
"Their Majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania have carried the message of peace over successive decades, emphasizing the essence of human fraternity, strengthening solidarity and love among human beings without discrimination on the basis of race, creed, or geography."
“His Majesty the King stands as a model of tolerance in the region and as a pioneer and supporter of interreligious dialogue and harmony among peoples through his generous custodianship of the Christian and Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem, and his prominent role in promoting dialogue between various sects and religious groups, and promoting understanding between East and West.”
Her Majesty Queen Rania, through her charitable work and advocating for the rights of refugees, women, and children on an international scale, has also contributed to spreading the spirit of human fraternity to include marginalized communities around the world.
Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam added: "Since the signing of the Document on Human Fraternity, the Zayed Award has sought to celebrate inspiring initiatives to advance our common humanity and provide the necessary support for it. The work of the Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty (FOKAL) to improve the lives of Haitians and build a more peaceful and resilient society is a shining example of implementing the principle of human fraternity.
For his part, His Eminence Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue of the Holy See and Meeting Chair of the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity, said: “The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity appreciates very much the role played by the 2022 judging committee of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity since the opening of nominations, through the sorting of nominees, and ending with the selection of Their Majesties King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussain and Queen Rania Al Abdullah, and the Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty, known as “FOKAL.”
His Eminence Cardinal Ayuso stressed that the honorees represent a distinguished model of promoting human fraternity and spreading coexistence and tolerance, expressing his joy over how this year’s award was executed.
Dr Leah Pisar, Chair of Project Aladdin and member of the award’s judging committee, said: “This year’s honorees are true champions of tolerance, compassion, and empathy between people of all cultures. Through their work, within and between communities, they inspire us all to work for a more peaceful and humane world, anchored in the values of human fraternity.”
Established in 2019, the Award is organized by the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, an independent international committee instituted to promote human fraternity values in communities around the world and to fulfil the aspirations of the Document on Human Fraternity. It is named in honor of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late ruler of Abu Dhabi and founder of the United Arab Emirates, to celebrate his legacy of championing peaceful coexistence.