Abu Dhabi, February 5: Under the patronage of President of the United Arab Emirates His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, attended the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity ceremony recognizing the 2024 honorees of the award’s fifth edition.
The award ceremony - held Monday evening at the Founder's Memorial under the theme “Tales of Light" – was attended by President of East Timor His Excellency Josè Ramos-Horta; Vice President of Indonesia His Excellency Ma’ruf Amin; UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan; UAE Minister of Energy His Excellency Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei; as well as a number of senior UAE officials, ambassadors, the award’s judging committee members, and international figures.
The award ceremony coincided with the celebration of the International Day of Human Fraternity, which was unanimously designated by the United Nations as an international day in recognition of the signing of the Document on Human Fraternity in Abu Dhabi on February 4, 2019.
The Zayed Award for Human Fraternity recognized Indonesian humanitarian organizations Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah; world-renowned cardiac surgeon Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub; and Chilean NGO founder Sister Nelly Leon Correa as honorees of the 2024 award.
The award honors individuals and organizations from around the world who are working to advance solidarity, integrity, fairness, and optimism at the local and international levels and create breakthroughs towards peaceful coexistence.
The ceremony featured video remarks from His Holiness Pope Francis; His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Professor Ahmed Al-Tayeb; His Excellency Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia; and His Excellency Alberto van Klaveren Stork, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Chile.
Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah, two of Indonesia’s largest Islamic organizations, have been awarded for their humanitarian and peacebuilding efforts. Through their dedicated efforts in facilitating hospitals, educational institutions, and poverty alleviation projects, both organizations have significantly helped Indonesian community members and other vulnerable populations worldwide.
Sir Magdi Yacoub was honored for his efforts extending medical care to the most vulnerable. He is the founder of the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation in Egypt, and the Chain of Hope charitable organization in the UK. Dr. Yacoub has helped save thousands of lives, especially children. His pioneering surgical techniques have revolutionized heart transplants, and he has received numerous honors, including a British Knighthood, the Grand Order of the Nile, and the Order of Merit by Queen Elizabeth II.
Sister Nelly Correa, known as Mother Nelly, was recognized for her work in providing care to women in prison and helping reintegrate those recently released in their communities through her foundation Fundación Mujer Levántate (Woman Standing Up Foundation). Committed to the principles of human fraternity, she manages temporary shelter for female prisoners who have nowhere to go upon their release.
On this occasion, His Holiness Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church said: “Those who have been awarded the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity 2024 are recognized for their united commitment to the progress of humanity and promotion of peaceful coexistence. I trust that their example has meant an incentive for others to undertake initiatives born of fruitful collaboration among people of different religions at the service of all humanity.”
His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Professor Ahmed Al-Tayeb said: “This award draws its strength and continuity - after God Almighty - from the esteemed figure of the Arabs, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God have mercy on him and grant him peace. And it reflects the diligent efforts and continuous approach of the United Arab Emirates in spreading the culture of fraternity and global peace.”
For his part, Secretary-General of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam said: “Our 2024 independent judging committee reviewed hundreds of nominations of inspiring and impactful individuals and organizations. This year’s honorees are true champions of human fraternity across cultures, countries, and fields. This year’s honorees demonstrate that the award has truly become a global initiative and a significant platform to advance the values of human fraternity.”
Sheikh Yahya Cholil Staquf, Chairman of Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama said: “Nahdlatul Ulama is honored to receive the 2024 Zayed Award for Human Fraternity, alongside fellow Indonesian organization, Muhammadiyah. This moment truly unites the people of Indonesia and people of goodwill around the world. This award will enable us to continue our humanitarian and peacebuilding efforts as the largest Islamic organization in the world with over 121 million members.”
Dr. Haedar Nashir, General Chairman of Muhammadiyah said: “We are increasingly enthusiastic to continue working optimally in carrying out humanitarian roles at local, regional and international levels. This Zayed Award is very important and meaningful for the human fraternity movement in the world. It is a momentum to raise awareness in the hearts of all humans that we cannot live on this earth alone and must be together in sincere and authentic fraternity.”
World-renowned cardiac surgeon, Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub said: “I am honored to be a small part in this great endeavor uniting people from all over the world to treat everyone with fairness and integrity and not discriminate between people. I look forward to working with the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity team to achieve our shared objectives.”
Sister Nelly Leon Correa, the President and Co-Founder of Fundación Mujer Levántate (Woman Standing Up Foundation) said: “More than 14,000 kilometers from Abu Dhabi in the women's prison of Santiago in Chile, the inmates are currently accompanying us in this ceremony. When they found out that I had been awarded, they also felt like winners and expressed it with cries of true happiness, a cry of joy that is rarely heard inside a prison facility. This award will be a new impetus for us to work for them, for their children, for their families.”
*About Zayed Award for Human Fraternity
The Zayed Award for Human Fraternity is an annual independent international award that recognizes people and entities of all backgrounds, anywhere in the world, who are working selflessly and tirelessly across divides to advance the timeless values of solidarity, integrity, fairness, and optimism and create breakthroughs towards peaceful coexistence.
The award was launched in 2019, following the historic meeting in Abu Dhabi between His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb, during which they co-signed the Document on Human Fraternity.
The award is named in honor of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the United Arab Emirates, renowned for his humanitarianism and dedication to helping people no matter their background or place in the world.