Aga Khan Foundation Receives Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Award
Arab American Institute Foundation Honors International Achievement
Washington, D.C. June 14, 2000 – In a ceremony at its Annual Awards Dinner last night, the Arab American Institute Foundation (AAIF) presented its annual Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Award for international accomplishment to the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF).
AAIF instituted the Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards to draw attention to acts of leadership and dedication that promote the common good. The Awards recognize individuals, corporations, organizations and communities whose work, commitment and support promote tolerance and inclusion in all walks of life. They aim to promote diversity and cultural interaction, and to showcase initiatives that foster democratic and humanitarian values across racial, ethnic and religious lines.
The four other 2000 award winners were the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, ALSAC\ St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Fannie Mae, and Focus:Hope.
The evening was rendered even more celebratory by the spirited address delivered to the 350 guests at the gala dinner by the President of the United States. Mr Clinton remarked on the important opportunity the awards ceremony presented to the audience to reflect upon ways to ensure peace through our shared humanity. He said that strengthening diversity and reaching out to others were values important to all Americans – indeed to the future of the world as we know it today. He also expressed his desire for all peoples to come together in their hearts and embrace the ideal of love for others embodied in the works of Kahlil Gibran.
In presenting the award to AKF, Jean AbiNader, the gracious Chairman of the Awards Steering Committee, referred to this "unique Foundation, which is based in the best traditions of faith in humanity, and in the spirit of humanity." Guillaume de Spoelberch, accepting the award for the Aga Khan Foundation, explained that: "The Kahlil Gibran Award incorporates a philosophy and an ethic we all share. It celebrates the common desire of people for dignity, respect, peace and a better quality of life. It honors those people around the world who have earned the right to say: ‘We did it ourselves!’"
The Aga Khan Foundation is a non-denominational, international development agency established in 1967 by His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam of the Ismaili Muslims. Its activities focus on empowering communities to create and apply progressive solutions in the education, health, rural development and civil society enhancement sectors. Working with a host of cooperating agencies and thousands of volunteers, the Foundation reaches out to vulnerable populations on four continents, irrespective of their race, religion, political persuasion or gender. It has branches and independent affiliates in 12 countries, including the U.S.A., and supports 120 projects in 13 countries. The Foundation’s total expenditure was $89 million in 1999.
The Foundation is part of the Aga Khan Development Network, which is one of the largest private international development groups serving people of all faiths and backgrounds in South and Central Asia and Africa. With mandates ranging from health and education to architecture, rural development and the promotion of private sector enterprise, AKDN agencies seek to realize the social conscience of Islam through institutional action.
AKDN counts amongst its partners multilateral and bilateral development agencies and non-governmental organizations, including institutions of the World Bank Group and various agencies of the United Nations and the European Union, as well as government agencies of Canada, the United Kingdom, several other European countries, the United States and some 25 countries across the world in which it operates.
For further information, please contact:
Aga Khan Foundation Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A.
1-3 Avenue de la Paix 1901 L Street, NW, Suite 700
1202 Geneva Washington, DC 20036
Telephone: (41.22) 90.97.200 Telephone: (202) 293-2537
Fax: (41.22) 90.97.291 Fax: (202) 785-1752
Aga Khan Foundation honored for humanitarian work in the field
By SACHA SHIVDASANI
Source: Earth Times News Service
The Arab American Institute Foundation (AAIF) presented its annual Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Award for International Accomplishment to the Aga Khan Foundation in Washington DC on Wednesday.
The award recognizes individuals, corporations, organizations and communities whose work, commitment and support promote tolerance and inclusion in all walks of life. Its aim is to showcase initiatives that foster democratic and humanitarian values across racial, ethnic and religious lines.
Congressman Ray LaHood, (R-Illinois), presented the award to the foundation. He said "Tonight, we have a most extraordinary opportunity to recognize an institution whose reach extends beyond national governments and organizations and touches villages, people, and groups where they live, and how they live, on a daily basis."
Guillaume de Spoelberch, Director of the Aga Khan Foundation, accepted the award, stating "The Kahlil Gibran Award incorporates a philosophy and an ethic we all share. It celebrates the common desire of people for dignity, respect, peace and a better quality of life. It honors those people around the world who have earned the right to say: 'We did it ourselves!'"
The Aga Khan Foundation is a non-denominational, international development agency established in 1967 by His Highness the Aga Kahn, the 49th hereditary Imam of the Ismaili Muslims and one of the major international institutions within the Aga Khan Development Network.
The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) is a group of agencies working to improve living conditions and opportunities in specific regions of the developing world, particularly Asia and Africa. The mandates of these agencies range from the fields of health and education to culture, rural development and the promotion of private sector enterprise. In their endeavor to build self-sustaining institutions that can respond to the challenges of social, economic and cultural change, the Network's agencies are continually exploring technologies that will enable people in disadvantaged and isolated communities to build better futures for themselves.
The Aga Khan Foundation tries to make it possible for poor people to act in ways that will lead to long-term improvements in their income and health, in the environment, and in the education of their children. The Foundation is not restricted to a limited project time-frame, and is willing, where necessary, to make a long-term commitment to a particular region or problem. The Foundation's total expenditure was $89 million in 1999.
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