Discover the latest honorees for the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity
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.
Playing a major role in spearheading global peace and diplomatic efforts, it has organized and led several interfaith and intercultural conferences including the Asian-African Islamic Conference and the World Conference on Religion and Peace. Its diplomatic efforts also helped secure the release of South Korean hostages held by Taliban fighters in Afghanistan in 2007.
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. The organization actively promotes religious harmony in Indonesia, while also undertaking peacekeeping efforts to resolve conflicts in Central Africa, as well as humanitarian aid to vulnerable populations in the Middle East and Asia, including the Rohingya refugees.
The Muhammadiyah Disaster Management Center was also established under the organization with the aim of disaster risk reduction, preparedness, and rehabilitation. Supporting communities affected by natural disasters and other tragedies, the group helps restore the lives of those affected the most.
Recognized as a world-leading and prolific heart surgeon, Sir Magdi Yacoub is currently a Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London and the founder of 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 trained a generation of young Egyptian doctors, nurses, scientists, and technicians at the highest international standards.
Nicknamed the “Heart Savior,” Dr. Yacoub also founded the Chain of Hope foundation in the United Kingdom, treating children with correctable cardiac conditions from war-torn and developing countries. The foundation also established training and research programs to help local cardiac units apply the latest and most robust medical practices.
Dr. Yacoub established the largest heart and lung transplantation program in the world where more than 2,500 operations have been performed. Additionally, having opened the first cardiac center in Ethiopia and another, with a research unit, in Mozambique; Dr. Yacoub is leading the development of the new heart center in Kigali, Rwanda.
Ushering in a new era for heart transplantations in the United Kingdom during the 1980s and pioneering surgical techniques such as the Ross procedure, the modern arterial switch, and, more recently, a modified Mustard operation, Dr. Yacoub has contributed immensely to medical development in the field of cardiology.
His achievements have been recognized with British knighthood and several other honors, including the Grand Order of the Nile in 2011, the highest honor bestowed by the Arab Republic of Egypt; the Order of Merit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2014; and the title of “Sir” in 1991 for his remarkable medical contributions and his role in saving thousands of heart patients worldwide. He was also awarded the Order of Merit by the United Kingdom in 1992.
Sister Nelly Leon Correa 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 back into their communities as productive members of society.
Established in 2008, the foundation treats incarcerated women with compassion and mercy and provides them with necessary supplies like clothing, as well as social and mental care. This includes helping maintain vital connections with their families and loved ones while in prison. The foundation also maintains a temporary shelter for female inmates who have nowhere to go upon their release.
The foundation provides opportunities to women after their release that allow them to participate fully in their societies, overcome social stigma, and permanently leave lives of crime. Ninety-four percent of the participants in Sister Nelly’s programs do not have a new conviction within two years of being released from prison.
Sister Nelly is a member of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd.
Known as Mother Nelly, her first mission as a member of the congregation involved working in homes with underprivileged girls, many of whom were abandoned. Through numerous years of devoted service, Sister Nelly fully embraced the role of motherhood by loving and caring for each girl as if they were daughters of her own.
Sister Nelly’s lasting impact is evident in the positive outcomes experienced by her program’s participants. She has been an echo to the voiceless through her efforts in helping those ignored by society and preventing crime and injustice in communities.
The Community of Sant'Egidio is a humanitarian association dedicated to social service, founded in 1968 under the leadership of Andrea Riccardi. Subsequently, during the group’s expansion in 1973, it was given a home at the former Carmelite monastery and church of Sant'Egidio in Rome, Italy.
The Community's most significant diplomatic achievement was the mediation of the Peace Agreement for Mozambique on 4 October 1992, which ended a sixteen-year civil war. Sant'Egidio has been described as "one of the most influential conflict resolution groups in the world" by the accolades it has received from a wide range of leaders.
One of its most prominent initiatives, ‘Humanitarian Corridors’ seeks to protect refugees and integrate them into their new societies. These corridors ensure safe passage for migrants by arranging air travel, while working in partnership with European airlines. This prevents them from taking small and dangerous boats to cross the Mediterranean Sea, an undertaking which has also helped fight human smuggling. To date, thousands of refugees have benefited from this initiative.
Since its founding, the association has played an active role in numerous successful peace negotiations as a facilitator or observer, which include Mozambique (1989-1992, peace treaty), Guatemala (1996, mediate civil war), Kosovo (1996-1998, negotiate with Serbia), Congo (1999, national dialogue), Burundi (1997-2000, peace treaty).
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.
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’. Its success led to her election as the first woman to chair the Nyali Sub-county District Peace and Security Committee. Triggered by widespread criminal activities in Mombasa involving over 200 juvenile gangs, she pioneered a comprehensive campaign to reform affected youth. This evolved into a multi-sectoral engagement involving members and leaders from spheres of religion, civic service, government. Established in 2019, this campaign has contributed to the transformation of over 1000 youths who have opted out of criminal life and gained access to amnesty as well as counseling and training.
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’. She is also the chairperson of the Mombasa Women of Faith Network, in which she represents the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims. Under her leadership, the Network is fostering interfaith relations while countering community-level challenges, such as early marriages, an array of gender-based violence cases, and violent extremism.
Her zeal to bring cohesion, integration, and acceptance of diversity among women - irrespective of tribe, religion, status, or political affiliation - led to her appointment as representative of the board of the African Women of Faith Network.
His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan pursued a distinguished military career before ascending to the Throne in 1999.
King Abdullah II has launched and supported several initiatives that promote intra- and inter-faith harmony and peace around the world, such as the “Amman Message”, “A Common Word”, and the annual UN World Interfaith Harmony Week.
In recognition of his efforts to promote peace, spread interfaith harmony, and safeguard Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem under the Hashemite Custodianship, King Abdullah II has received several prestigious awards, including the Peace of Westphalia Prize, the Templeton Prize, Italy’s Lamp of Peace of St. Francis, and the Scholar-Statesman Award from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah
An active humanitarian, Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan has dedicated much of her career to improving the lives of Jordanians by supporting efforts to create opportunities for their advancement.
She has worked extensively to enhance education and empower women and children, and drive innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship through society.
Internationally, Queen Rania is an advocate for tolerance, compassion, and promoting empathy between people of all cultures and backgrounds. She has spoken widely on fighting stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims, and has worked to foster greater understanding between people of different faiths and cultures. She is also a champion for refugee rights and aspirations around the world.
The Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty (FOKAL) was founded in 1995 in Haiti and since offered support programmes to the local population in the fields of education, development, and arts and culture, with the aim of building a more prosperous and peaceful society.
The organisation has been selected by the judges due to the wide range of programs it runs which serve the local communities and civil society organisations. Specifically, FOKAL plays a vital role in shaping the lives of the local youth and supporting hard-working communities at the grassroots level. The Foundation runs a wide range of programs and initiatives such as Martissant Park, Heritage, and Civic Education (Ajulih), among others.
Since becoming the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations in 2017, António Guterres has embarked on a dedicated mandate to address issues relating to world peace and security. Guterres has spearheaded a number of global initiatives ranging from: nuclear disarmament; countering hate speech and violence; modernizing UN peacekeeping practices; highlighting the plight of the older generation during the COVID-19 pandemic and the related Global Cease Fire Appeal and Initiative, also inspired by the international health crisis. The last initiative saw 170 members and observer states commit to the appeal, thereby demonstrating the key impact Guterres has been able to make to human fraternity during his time as head of the UN.
A Moroccan-French activist, Latifa Ibn Ziaten is a mother dedicated to raising awareness against escalating extremism and violence. From the devastating circumstances of losing her son, Imad – who was murdered in a terrorist attack in 2012 - Mrs. Ibn Ziaten found the strength to overcome this tragedy by taking positive action to combat the radicalization of youth in France and beyond. Today, as a well-known civil society activist in France and across Europe, she works closely with families and communities to prevent youth radicalization and spread the message of human fraternity through peaceful means such as dialogue and mutual respect.