Presentation to be Made at 2017 Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards

Posted on April 11, 2017 in Press Releases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      
April 10, 2017                                                                             
Contact: Jennifer Salan, 202-429-9210 / 
Arab Americans Honor Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya
Presentation to be Made at 2017 Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards

April 10, 2017 (Washington) – On Thursday, April 27, 2017, the Arab American community will honor Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya for his commitment to service and empowering others. The Award for Individual Achievement will be presented during the 19th annual Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards in Washington, DC.   

An immigrant, Ulukaya established his Greek yogurt company “Chobani” in 2005. In less than a decade, he grew the company’s worth to more than $1 billion. After witnessing the worsening refugee crisis around the globe, he established the Tent Foundation—his personal philanthropy that seeks to improve the lives and livelihoods of the world’s 65 million refugees and displaced people and help them realize their full potential.

Understanding the intricate and enduring nature of this crisis, Mr. Ulukaya signed the “Giving Pledge” in 2015, committing to give away most of his personal wealth over his lifetime to assist refugees. His commitment to refugees extends to his own business, which employs hundreds of resettled refugees and empowers them and their families to succeed.  Sitting on the boards of the Special Olympics and the Pathfinder Village, he is a testament to living one’s life in service of others.

“Like Kahlil Gibran, Hamdi Ulukaya is an immigrant who chose to make America his home and we are all the beneficiaries. Whether it be refugees, his own employees or the disability community, Hamdi has chosen to put the success and well-being of others first. His seemingly endless love for humanity and belief that businesses can change the world for the better, has impacted the lives of countless individuals, and made our world a better place. For lifting so many and for acting as a living example of how to empower those around us, we are proud to honor Hamdi with the 2017 Gibran Award for Individual Achievement,” said AAIF Foundation Director Maya Berry.   

The Kahlil Gibran “Spirit of Humanity” Awards 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 are named for the author of The Prophet, whose message of human endurance and triumph was so evident in his life and work. The awards further symbolize Gibran’s pride in his Arab heritage, respect for the freedom he found in the United States and his universal love of humanity.  

Past gala participants and awardees include former President Bill ClintonHer Majesty Queen Noor al-Hussein, actress Selma Hayek, former President of Poland Lech Walesa, former Sen. George Mitchell, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former professional boxer Muhammad Ali, actor and philanthropist Jamie Farr and recording star Sting.


WHAT: 19th annual Kahlil Gibran “Spirit of Humanity” Awards gala

WHO: Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, recipient of the 2017 Kahlil Gibran Spirity of Humanity Award for Individual Achievement  

HONOREES ALSO INCLUDE:  The Arc of the United States, Steve Coll, Greg Simon 

WHERE: Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1000 H St. NW, Washington, D.C. 

WHEN: Thursday, April 27, 2017 Reception 5:30PM | Gala dinner 6:30PM

MEDIA CONTACT:; 202-429-9210


About AAIF: The Arab American Institute Foundation’s goal is to encourage, recognize, and celebrate Arab American participation in American civic life, and to cultivate and mobilize a strong, educated, empowered Arab American community that can play a meaningful role in developing and improving U.S. policies. A not-for-profit affiliate of the Arab American Institute (AAI), the Foundation supports programs that promote greater awareness of Arab Americans in the United States, demographic research and international outreach. The AAIF serves as the primary national resource on the Arab American experience for the media, academia, government agencies and the private sector. Through its numerous outreach programs, the AAIF builds leadership skills among students and young professionals and informs the American public, government agencies and organizations about the contributions and concerns of Americans of Arab descent.