At the press conference he held in Marrakesh: ISESCO Director General announces winners of Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum – ISESCO Prize for Voluntary Development of Education Facilities in Islamic World

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Marrakesh: 04/04/2019

At the press conference he held in Marrakesh: ISESCO Director General announces winners of Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum – ISESCO Prize for Voluntary Development of Education Facilities in Islamic World

The Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, today afternoon at the Media Center of Palais des congrès de la Palmeraie in Marrakesh, Kingdom of Morocco, held a press conference to announce the winners of the Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum – ISESCO Prize for Voluntary Development of Education Facilities in the Islamic World. The conference was attended by Dr Khalifa Alsuwaidi, member of the Award’s Board of Trustees, and a number of representatives of local, Arab and international media outlets.

At the outset, Dr Altwaijri expressed ISESCO’s pride with participation in the Prize whose objectives are in harmony with the objectives of the Organization’s Charter that calls for the activation of the principles of solidarity to foster cooperation between Member States toward the development of education, science, culture and communication. In this regard, he cited ISESCO’s efforts in the development of education systems in the Islamic world as part of implementing its strategies set for this purpose, namely: “the Strategy for the Development of Education in the Islamic World”, “the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation in Islamic Countries”, and “the Strategy for Developing University Education in the Islamic World”.

Moreover, ISESCO Director General reaffirmed the importance of gearing waqfs (Islamic endowments) income to covering the operating expenditures of major social institutions such as hospitals, orphanages, old people’s homes and educational institutions. He also stressed that the education sector in the Islamic world faces huge challenges that can only be faced through ensuring concerted efforts by government institutions and civil society organizations, incentivizing researchers, financing academic studies and revisiting curricula and teacher training programmes.

For his part, Dr Alsuwaidi stated that His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Governor of Dubai, Minister of Finance, issued in March 1998 a decree to create a prize named “Hamdan Award for Distinguished Academic Performance”, in contribution to supporting the education sector in such a way as to prepare qualified generations capable of assuming their responsibilities and academic and professional duties. “In 2018, His Highness the Governor of Dubai issued a decree to turn the Award into a foundation that shall operate in the fields of academic excellence, talents and creativity”, he added.

In addition, Dr Alsuwaidi clarified that the new version of this non-lucrative Prize was set up in 2017 to motivate those involved in the volunteer initiatives and charitable works in the field of education to develop educational facilities in the Islamic world and honor the distinguished ones among them. Besides, Dr Alsuwaidi called for allocating waqfs for education, describing them as indispensable in the education field.

Last, the winners for this year’s edition were announced. They are: the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) for its Fael Khair (philanthropist) Program, funded by the King Abdullah Foundation; the UAE Red Crescent Society for its School Project in the UAE-Jordan Refugee Camp; and the Munib R.Masri Development Foundation (MDF) for its I.T. Faculty Project at Birzeit University and other education projects in Palestine.

It is worth mentioning that every two years, the Prize reward three winners of individuals or institutions that contributed to the development of educational facilities in the Islamic world countries. The value of the Prize is US $300,000. Every winner receives the winning certificate and a reward of US $100,000 to be employed in the development of charitable work, especially support of educational facilities.

For the record, ISESCO Director General and Dr Alsuwaidi had co-held a press conference at ISESCO headquarters on 26 April 2018 to announce the launch of the Award’s first edition and provide information about its objectives and participation requirements.