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Under the auspices of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the State, may God protect him, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, attended a ceremony honoring the winners of the Zayed Prize for Human Fraternity in its fourth edition for the year 2023. He attended the honoring ceremony that was held yesterday evening in the edifice Zayed the Founder, His Excellency Saqr Ghobash, Chairman of the Federal National Council, and His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence.
And His Excellency Muhammad Abdullah Al Junaibi, Chairman of the Federal Authority for Protocol and Strategic Narration, His Excellency Sheikh Shakhbout bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State, and a number of senior officials, ambassadors, members of the award jury, and a number of international personalities.
The honoring ceremony coincided with the International Day of Human Fraternity, which was approved by the United Nations unanimously by its members, in celebration of the signing of the historic Abu Dhabi Document on Human Fraternity on February 4, 2019.
The fourth edition of the award was won by the Catholic community of Sant’Egidio and the Kenyan peacemaker Shamsa Abubakar Fadel, known as “Mama Shamsa”, in recognition of their efforts to promote the values of human brotherhood in societies and at the global level.
The idea of hope
The Zayed Prize for Human Fraternity this year highlighted the idea of hope as a value and message to promote brotherhood and human coexistence.
The ceremony included two virtual speeches via video from His Holiness Pope Francis, Pope of the Catholic Church, and His Eminence, the Grand Imam, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Sheikh of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, Chairman of the Council of Muslim Elders, “honorary winners of the first edition of the award,” as they congratulated the winners of the award for the year 2023.
His Holiness Pope Francis said: “While we exchange feelings of brotherhood with each other, we are called to promote a culture of peace that encourages dialogue, mutual understanding, solidarity, sustainable development and inclusion, and we all carry in our hearts the desire to live as brothers, and the desire for mutual assistance and harmony among us. This happens very often – and unfortunately we have painful indications of this – so further searches for brotherhood should be encouraged.
His Holiness added: “I thank all those who join our fraternal march, and I encourage them to commit themselves to the cause of peace and to respond to the tangible problems and needs of the marginalized, the poor, the defenseless, and those in need of our help. Thank you very much, thank you very much for the Zayed Prize this year, which is awarded to the community of Sant’Egidio and Mrs. Shamsa. Abu Bakr Fadel, thank you very much for your work and testimony.
For his part, His Eminence, the Grand Imam, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, said: “There is no doubt that the path of human fraternity is full of challenges and hardships, but the good intentions and hard work embodied today by the Zayed Prize for Human Fraternity represent a glimmer of hope and a source of encouragement for all those who love goodness and peace around the world.”
His Eminence added: “In this regard, I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the work on this award, which has become a global platform for presenting shining models that join the march of human fraternity, and support their efforts to continue to alleviate the suffering of the weak, the oppressed and the poor for a more peaceful, just and fraternal life.”
The Sant’Egidio Community was honored in recognition of its effective humanitarian initiatives, including the “Humanitarian Tracks” program that supports refugees, as well as its successful efforts in holding peace negotiations, resolving conflicts, and promoting human coexistence in various parts of the world, from Guatemala to Mozambique.
Values and principles
Professor Alessandro Zaccuri, former president of the Community of Sant’Egidio, a member of the Presidency Council of Sant’Egidio, and a national member of the Liencien National Academy of Sciences in Italy, who received the award on behalf of the Sant’Egidio Community, said: “We are gathered here today by the values and principles of human fraternity that guided the late Sheikh Zayed. Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God rest his soul, which guides us in our efforts today. He added, “This award encourages us to continue our work to build a future of human brotherhood in all parts of our world.”
Honoring Mama Shamsa, peacemaker and prominent community activist, came in recognition of her efforts to advance the empowerment of youth and women in Kenya, as well as her care for young people and protecting them from engaging in a life of violence, criminality and extremism, by providing them with advice, care and training.
Mama Shamsa said: “This honor is not only about winning, but about how we live and achieve the goals and objectives of this prestigious award.
She added: «I want people in Kenya and in the whole world to know that one does not have to come to the United Arab Emirates to feel this spirit that the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God bless his soul, was known for. Rather, this spirit and its impact can reach person wherever he is.