What is the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity?
The Zayed Award for Human Fraternity is an annual independent global award that recognizes, supports and honors people and entities of all backgrounds working to advance the timeless values of solidarity, integrity, fairness and optimism.
The award was established following the historic meeting between Head of the Catholic Church His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb in 2019 in Abu Dhabi, during which they co-signed the Document on Human Fraternity under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates. The award is named in honor of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the United Arab Emirates.
Who was Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan?
A global leader and change-maker, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was a world-renowned humanitarian and conservationist who advocated respect, sustainability, education and women empowerment.
Among his many local and international achievements, Sheikh Zayed was the main driving force behind the unification of the seven independent emirates to found the United Arab Emirates in 1971. Affectionately known as the 'Father of the Nation', he was unanimously elected by his fellow Rulers of the Emirates to become the first President of the UAE, a position he held for more than three decades.
Sheikh Zayed passed away in 2004, aged 86.
When was the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity created?
The award was established in 2019 following the historic meeting in Abu Dhabi between His Eminence Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, and His Holiness Pope Francis, the Head of the Roman Catholic Church, during which they co-signed the Document on Human Fraternity under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates.
The Document is a joint declaration urging peace among all people in the world. Born out of the fraternal friendship between the two great religious figures, the Document provides a blueprint for a culture of dialogue and collaboration between faiths. The declaration intends to serve as a guide for future generations to advance a culture of mutual respect, in recognition that we are all members of one human family.
What is Human Fraternity?
The concept of human fraternity derives from the historic Document on Human Fraternity signed by His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar. The joint declaration encompasses many noble values and heartfelt aspirations such as peace, coexistence, integrity, helping others, collaboration, philanthropy, and humanitarianism.
The Document on Human Fraternity invites people from all over the world to unite and work together to advance a culture of mutual respect guided by the belief that people are members of one human family.
The Zayed Award for Human Fraternity seeks to recognize the outstanding examples of human fraternity efforts taking place every day, with people and entities of all backgrounds who have endless determination to build bridges and strengthen human connection. The Zayed Award for Human Fraternity recognizes people and organizations living the values of human fraternity and harnessing collective effort to enable transformative change.
Who has received the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity?
The Zayed Award for Human Fraternity was first awarded honorarily in 2019 to the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar His Eminence Ahmed Al-Tayeb and the head of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Francis in recognition of their respective lifelong dedications to peaceful coexistence, and their roles in the historic signing of the Document on Human Fraternity in Abu Dhabi.
The 2021 cycle was the first time the award opened to nominations from all parts of the world and the honorees were United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, and Latifa Ibn Ziaten, founder of the IMAD Association and an activist against extremism.
António Guterres served as United Nations Secretary-General since 2017 and has embarked on a dedicated mandate to address issues relating to world peace and security, spearheading a number of global initiatives including nuclear disarmament; countering hate speech and violence; modernizing UN peacekeeping practices; highlighting the severe effects of COVID-19 pandemic on elderly people and calling for a global ceasefire to urge the world to focus on the true fight – beating COVID-19.
Latifa Ibn Ziaten is the founder of the IMAD Association and an activist against extremism; she is dedicated to raising awareness against escalating extremism and violence. Having lost her son in a terrorist attack in 2012, she started taking positive action to combat the radicalization of the youth in France and around the world by working closely with families and communities to spread the message of human fraternity through peaceful means such as dialogue and mutual respect.
The 2022 honorees were Their Majesties King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein and Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, alongside Haitian humanitarian organization, the Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty (FOKAL).
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.
Their Majesties were also honored for Jordan’s role in opening its doors to millions of refugees and remaining one of the few places where refugees can freely move, receive education, and benefit from government services.
FOKAL (the Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty) is a Haitian humanitarian organization founded in 1995, and plays 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 programs and initiatives aimed at serving the common good and building a more prosperous and harmonious society in one of the world’s poorest countries.
The 2023 honorees were The Community of Sant’Egidio and Ms. Shamsa Abubakar Fadhil, known in her community as ‘Mama Shamsa’.
The Community of Sant'Egidio is a humanitarian association based in Italy dedicated to social service, founded in 1968 under the leadership of Andrea Riccardi. The Community of Sant'Egidio adopts religious diplomacy and intercultural dialogue to create peace, which has granted it worldwide recognition for strengthening the values of human fraternity. Since its founding, the association has played an active role in numerous successful peace negotiations as a facilitator or observer. One of its most prominent initiatives, ‘Humanitarian Corridors’ seeks to protect refugees and integrate them into their new societies.
Ms. Shamsa Abubakar Fadhil is a Kenyan peace mediator and community mobilizer. Known as ‘Mama Shamsa’, she is being recognized for nurturing youth in her home country and saving young people from lives of violence, crime, and extremism, by providing them with counseling, care, and training. In 2014, she created a grassroots organization, the ‘Focus on Women and Youth in Coast Province for Political Development’. Ms. Fadhil assumed many roles, including heading the National Cohesion and Integration Commission and being granted the title ‘The Focal Peace and Cohesion Champion in the Coast Region’.
In 2024, the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity was jointly awarded to: (1) Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub, (2) Nahdlatul Ulama & Muhammadiyah, and (3) Sister Nelly Leon Correa.
Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah, Indonesia’s two largest Islamic organizations, are being honored for their respective roles in the humanitarian field, as well as their peacebuilding efforts at the national, regional, and international levels.
Established in 1926, Nahdlatul Ulama is a charitable body instrumental in leading community development in Indonesia with its funding of schools, hospitals, and poverty alleviation projects. The organization, which is estimated to have over 121 million members, is the largest Islamic organization in the world. Formed in 1912, Muhammadiyah is a non-governmental organization with over 60 million members dedicated to social and educational initiatives, providing health assistance, running charitable hospitals, and operating over 120 universities around Indonesia.
Recognized as a world-leading and prolific heart surgeon, Sir Magdi Yacoub established the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation in Egypt, which offers free-of-charge medical services particularly to underprivileged and vulnerable peoples. Through his organization, Dr. Yacoub has contributed to saving thousands of lives of children around the world through critical cardiac care delivered by expert cardiologists and surgeons.
Sister Nelly Leon Correa – known as “Mother Nelly,” is president and co-founder of Fundación Mujer Levántate (Woman Standing Up Foundation), a non-governmental organization in Chile that provides care to women in prison and those recently released, supporting their reintegration into their communities as productive members of society.
Who can be nominated for the award?
Nominees for the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity can be individuals or entities from all walks of life, who have made profound contributions toward human fraternity in communities around the world.
Nominations can only be submitted by qualified nominators, including:
What are the categories for the award?
There are no categories within the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity.
How is the honoree(s) chosen?
Nominees are assessed by the Award judging committee based on the following criteria:
What does the prize include?
In addition to the trophy, the prize includes USD $1 million, which can be granted to one or more honorees every year. Recipients are honored at an annual ceremony hosted in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
How is the judging committee appointed?
The judging committee is appointed annually, bringing together a range of experts from around the globe – individuals who have shown a deep commitment to advancing human fraternity.
Each year, the judging committee includes:
When will the nomination period end?
Nominations for the 2024 cycle closed on 31 October 2023.
When will the award recipient(s) be announced?
The recipient(s) will be announced in a press conference on 2 February 2024.
Who were the members of the judging committee for the 2023 award?
WHO WERE THE MEMBERS OF THE JUDGING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2022 AWARD?
WHO WERE THE MEMBERS OF THE JUDGING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2021 AWARD?