Posted by Arab American Institute on April 21, 2017 in Blog
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April 21, 2017                                                                             
Contact: Jennifer Salan, 202-429-9210 / 

Arab Americans Honor Journalist Steve Coll with Anthony Shadid Award for Excellence in Journalism

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

April 21, 2017 (Washington) – On Thursday, April 27, 2017, the Arab American community will honor journalist, author and Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Coll, Dean of the Columbia University School of Journalism, for his lifetime of excellence in journalism and his efforts to advance the profession. The Award will be presented during the 19th annual Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards in Washington, DC by Pulitzer Prize winning author Lawrence Wright , recipient of the 2015 Anthony Shadid Award.

The author of seven books on topics ranging from exposés on ExxonMobil’s dealings, to his travels throughout South Asia covering corruption and violence in the region, Coll’s career has been dedicated to exploring and reporting some of the world’s most pressing topics. His 2004 book Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 offered a searing account of the CIA’s operations in Afghanistan and its many failed attempts to capture Osama Bin Laden. Garnering Coll a Pulitzer Prize in 2005, his reporting helped broaden the American public’s understanding of the events that led to September 11.  As Dean and Henry R. Luce Professor of Journalism at Columbia, Coll teaches courses on Narrative Writing and the International Newsroom. A staff writer at the New Yorker, Coll frequently writes on foreign intelligence and national security. 

“As our country struggles with the changing reality of the media landscape, one thing remains true – quality journalism empowers our citizenry and strengthens our democracy. Steve Coll has spent a lifetime dedicated to this truth, telling powerful stories, no matter where they may take him. Both Gibran and Shadid believed in the power of storytelling, of seeking and sharing the truth for the betterment of humanity. Steve Coll’s lifetime of work reflects these values and we are proud to recognize him with the 2017 Shadid Award,” 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. The Anthony Shadid Award for Excellence in Journalism is named for the two-time Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times journalist. The award was created in 2012 to honor Anthony’s work and legacy. The biennial Award recognizes those journalists whose coverage has had a longstanding and groundbreaking impact. 

Past gala participants and awardees include former President Bill ClintonHer Majesty Queen Noor al-Hussein, actress Salma 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: Steve Coll, recipient of the 2017 Anthony Shadid Award for Excellence in Journalism

HONOREES ALSO INCLUDE:  The Arc of the United States, Hamdi Ulukaya, Greg Simon and Kamal Boullata

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.