The Prize rewards and celebrates the achievements of two laureates, a national of an Arab country and a national of any other country, who have contributed, through their artistic or intellectual work, to the development and diffusion of Arab culture throughout the world
The ceremony was held at UNESCO Headquarters in the presence of His Excellency Issam Bin Sakr Al-Qassimi, representing His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al-Qassimi, Governor of Sharjah, Mr Abdullah Al-Owaise, President of the Culture Department of Sharjah, and Ambassador Saif Sultan Mubarak Al-Aryani, Ambassador of France and Permanent Delegate of the United Arab Emirates to UNESCO.
Granting the prize to Dr Jamal Al-Shalabi “in recognition of his longstanding commitment to intercultural dialogue”, Mr Matsuura emphasized the significant role played by the prize-winner in exploring “the shared vision of Arabs and Europeans; through the organization of academic gatherings, he has sought to promote better understanding among Arab and European peoples, as well as among Muslims and Christians. In addition, Professor Al-Shalabi has advocated for women’s rights, drawing on the example of his native country, Jordan. His outstanding work inspires hopes for a future of rich exchange between the Arab world and Europe”.
The Director-General also granted the Prize to Professor Yordan Peev from Bulgaria. “Through his teachings and lectures, Professor Yordan Peev of the University of Sofia has devoted his life to promoting better understanding of contemporary Arab thought and culture. His remarkable work ranges from the study of Bulgarian Muslims and the teachings of Ibn Khaldoun, to the comparative analysis of different religious systems. In his studies, Professor Peev has provided a compelling analysis of some of the major issues of our times regarding intercultural communication.”
Recalling that “the Sharjah Prize enhances international awareness and understanding of the rich and diverse heritage of Arab culture”, the Director-General stated that since its inception in 1998, it has attained international recognition”. “The promotion of intercultural dialogue lies at the heart of UNESCO’s mandate. UNESCO is therefore proud to be associated with such a successful initiative”.
Author(s): Office of the Spokeswoman - Source: Flash Info N° 179-2006 - Publication Date: 13-11-2006