TAKREEM : that’s a wrap

logo takreem vectorsWhen I first thought about establishing TAKREEM, I never imagined that it would grow as quickly as it has in such a short time.

TAKREEM was created to portray an alternative image of Arabs – one that speaks of hard work, productivity, creativity, success and excellence. TAKREEM’s inception happened to coincide with turbulence and tension in the Arab world where by people are demanding freedom and better economic conditions. This made us even more determined to pursue our goals.

This year, TAKREEM Ceremony was held in Manama, Capital of Arab Culture 2012; a Ceremony we were anticipating but fearing at the same time.

Yes, we were afraid to face disturbances and upheavals in a precarious and fragile region that would prevent us from going onward

Luckily, with hundreds of people coming from all over, we were able to celebrate the achievements of unsung heroes, those who believe that Education and Human Rights, Arts and Sciences, Technology and the Environment, values that we need to nurture and safeguard for a bright and prosperous future.

The Award for Philanthropy and Charitable Services was awarded to the NGO Sesobel – Lebanon for 35 years of work for the well-being and support for children with physical or mental disability. The Scientific and Technological Achievement Award returned to Nagy Habib, a great Egyptian physician and researcher on liver cancer.
A.M. Qattan Foundation – Palestine won the Innovation in Education Award. Founded in 1993, the NGO through three programs, is responsible for developing culture and education in Palestine and the Arab countries, with particular attention to children, teachers and young artists. The Environmental Development and Sustainability Award has been delivered to the Biosphere Reserve Chouf – Lebanon. 50,000 hectares are protected with 520 rare plant species, 24 villages and 70,000 people living around. The reserve was recognized by UNESCO in 2005. The Jordanian Samia Zaru won the Cultural Excellence Award. Multi-talented, this painter, sculptor and designer is a founding member of the Jordanian National Museum. Magda El Sanousi, Sudan, has been selected Arab Woman of the Year for the Arab Region Gender Equality Program, to promote equality between men and women.The Young Entrepreneur Award was won by the Lebanese Habib Haddad; Haddad has created Yamli.com, a startup that has enabled the Arabic language to develop on the web. The remarkable Saad Abdul-Latif- Palestine won the Outstanding Corporate Leadership Award. Abdul-Latif is currently CEO of PepsiCo Asia, Middle East and Africa. The TAKREEM Award for Exceptional Contribution to Arab Society was presented to Actes Sud-Sindbad – France for their efforts in favor of a cultural mix of the East and the West.

A special tribute was made in memory of the late Anthony Shadid, correspondent for The New York Times and originally Lebanese, who left us this year at the age of 43, for revealing the real spirit of Middle Easterners and for dismantling the Western stereotypes of the Arab world.

A special distinction was awarded to former USA President Jimmy Carter for his work in advancing human rights and his endeavors in establishing peace in the Middle East.

The Lifetime Achievement Award, established to acknowledge inspiring individuals whose pioneering spirit and lifelong dedication have had a significant impact on society, was given to His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan the United Arab Emirates Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

When I looked up at this panel of Achievers on stage, I was so proud of my identity.

When I look back at every single moment I witnessed during our Bahrain Event, I cannot be but gratified with the outcome.

A whole year of hard work, dedication and perseverance ended up in a magnificently successful Event where all the components had been carefully ensured.

Allow me to thank every single individual, colleague and  institution who made it happen. You were all amazing!

Today, here we are set to tackle our TAKREEM 4th edition.

Our world is currently witnessing violent and unpredictable events. Some believe this is due to sectarian conflict; others attribute it to social and political inequality and oppression. However, we would like to add ignorance to these factors.

Ignorance has always been our fiercest foe.

We need to fight it on all fronts with determination and strong will power.

2012 is coming to the end; we are all rushing to get the gifts, organize dinners, meet up family members and friends “coming home for Christmas”.

Let us join our wishes with hope, promises and compassion.

Only by tolerating our differences, admitting our shortcomings and assuming our proper rights and duties, can we hope to move towards a better future, a peaceful one-inshallah…

May you all have a Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!