Posted by Allied Media on April 23, 2010 in News Clips
On April 21, 2010, the Arab American Institute (AAI) held its 12th annual Kahlil Gibran “Spirit of Humanity” Awards in Washington, D.C. Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations delivered the key speech for the event. Ambassador Rice recognized the honorees of the evening, among them: Mayor Daley, Judge Barkett, Mr. Zeitoun, Juma al-Majid, and the Corporation for National Community Service for their commitment to advancing the common good initiative.
“This year’s honorees remind us of the importance of some great American ideals: service, responsibility, inclusion, and equality. Citizenship grants us great blessings, and it demands great responsibility. Our limitless diversity and our founding commitment to equality are among our greatest strategic assets,” said Rice.
Ambassador Rice also congratulated AAI on its 25th anniversary celebration. According to Rice, “Arab Americans have been making vital contributions to our country since at least the 1880s, but the establishment of the AAI in 1985 was a true milestone. Since then, AAI has been a key voice in the larger American chorus: speaking up about pressing needs and concerns, championing increased Arab American participation in our nation’s political and civic sphere, and fighting ignorance and intolerance.”
Most notably, Ambassador Rice highlighted the shift in foreign policy, undertaken by the new U.S. administration, toward Arab and Muslim communities throughout the globe. Rice noted the administration’s efforts in “expanding exchanges, deepening our collaboration on science and technology, working together on global health issues such as H1N1, and partnering to expand the reach of economic prosperity.” Following President Obama’s New Beginning speech in Cairo last June, the President will host a Summit on Entrepreneurship next week, where more than 250 entrepreneurs from 50 countries, including many in the Arab world, will gather to advance opportunity in America and abroad.
Ambassador Rice’s full speech can be read found here.
Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Award:
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.