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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Dh1m Arab Hope Makers Award 2018 to be announced tonight in Dubai 

Fifteen finalists have been chosen from over 87,000 entries for the prize, which rewards 'those who make hope'

The winner of last year's Arab Hope Maker award, Nawal Al Sufi, was presented the award by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, for her work with refugees in Italy. Reem Mohammed / The National
The winner of last year's Arab Hope Maker award, Nawal Al Sufi, was presented the award by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, for her work with refugees in Italy. Reem Mohammed / The National

A young Kuwaiti who strives to educate the public about petroleum engineering, a Palestinian university professor who housed refugees free-of-charge on campus and a school child who launched a scheme to teach first aid to young people are among the 15 finalists for this year’s Arab Hope Makers Award.

In its second year, the award, which seeks out inspirational stories from across the world, will be presented in recognition of an inspirational story of "heroic" good deeds tonight in Dubai.

The committee received more than 87,000 entries this year, with the winner receiving Dh1 million in prize money.

Mr Mohammad Omran, Arab Hope Makers Project Manager, said: “In the first edition, we received submissions from countries such as Syria, Yemen and Iraq – all places in the news practically every day due to the strife that conflict has inflicted and continues to inflict on those living there. One of our runners-up last year was Magda Gebran who has devoted her life to helping children in Egypt’s poorest areas."

One of the 2018 finalists, Professor Diya Abdo, originally from Palestine but now living in the US, facilitated the housing of 32 refugees at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and equipped them with the necessary skills and tools to integrate into the community. The refugees were provided with rent-free utilities, Wifi and the use of college facilities and resources, as well as community support from the college campus and its friends. She also started the group Every Campus A Refuge to urge other universities to do the same.

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Maysa Al Zoughbi started the Physician project to teach first aid to 11-18-year-olds after a child died at her school because an ambulance could not reach him in time. Neither the other children not the teaching staff were able to carry out the first aid needed to help save him.

Also in the running is Fahd Al Farsi, who strives to educate high school pupils and fresh university graduates about pertroleum engineering through workshops, laying the foundations for his country to remain a key player in the industry.

Last year's award was presented to Nawal Al Sufi, a Moroccan woman who helped rescue more than 200,000 refugees who had arrived on Italy’s shores, by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, who conceived the award.

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