Posted on March 01, 2011 in Arab American Institute

            



Launched in 1999 by the Arab American Institute Foundation, the awards focus attention on acts of leadership and dedication that promote the common good. The Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards recognize individuals, corporations, organizations and communities whose work, commitment and support make a difference in promoting co-existence and inclusion in all walks of life. The awards aim to promote the positive forces of diversity and cultural interaction, and to showcase programs that foster democratic and humanitarian values across racial, ethnic and religious lines. The award is named for the author of "The Prophet" whose message of human endurance and triumph was so evident in his life and work. The award further symbolizes Gibran's pride in his Arab heritage, respect for the freedom he found in the United States and his universal love of humanity. The event is supported annually by a diverse group of corporate and individual donors and is organized by congressional, honorary and steering committees.

In 2004, AAIF inaugurated the Najeeb Halaby Award for Public Service. This award will be presented annually to an Arab American who has excelled in public service and conducted his or her public life with a strong and visible pride of ethnic heritage. The award is named in honor of the late Najeeb Halaby, father of Her Majesty Queen Noor, who served as CEO of Pan American World Airways in the late 1960s and early 1970s and headed the Federal Aviation Administration under President Kennedy. The Arab American Institute Foundation believes there is an urgent need to focus attention on leadership and actions that promote our common humanity. The Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Award was launched in 1999 to recognize individuals, corporations, organizations and communities whose work, commitment and support make a difference in promoting coexistence and inclusion in all walks of life. The awards aim to promote the positive effects of diversity and cultural interaction, and to showcase programs that foster democratic and humanitarian values across racial, ethnic and religious lines. The award is named for the author of "The Prophet," whose message of human endurance and triumph was so evident in his life and work. The award further symbolizes Gibran's pride in his Arab heritage, respect for the freedom he found in the United States and his universal love of humanity.

Founded by the Arab American Institute in 1995, the AAI Foundation supports a broad range of public information and education programs that encourage Arab American participation in American civic life. Specific AAIF projects supported by proceeds of this event include Washington internships for Arab American college students and recent graduates; ethnic awareness campaigns; pride in heritage materials; projects that highlight the achievements of Americans of Arab descent; demographic research and publications about the national characteristics of Arabs in America; technical and research support to community groups serving the civic and social needs of Arab immigrants; support of Arab American participation in inter-community coalitions and programs that encourage communication between immigrant, ethnic, racial and religious groups in American society; international exchange programs; and scholarship programs for community and public service.

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