The Abdelkader Global Leadership Prize invites students to explore a 19th century historical figure, Emir Abdelkader, who lived, studied, travelled, and fought in what is now North Africa, France, and the Middle East. Abdelkader’s life story serves as a model of ethical leadership and humanitarian values that continue to inspire us. While exploring Abdelkader’s scholarship, religious commitments, and military ethics, students learn about the values and practices of Islam. The Abdelkader essay and poster contests are part of a global effort to revive Abdelkader’s legacy in ways that both counter stereotypes and inspire courageous moral behavior today.

In The News

Study Today’s Heroes, Become Tomorrow’s Champions

Study Today’s Heroes, Become Tomorrow’s Champions – AtlantaMuslim.com – October 10, 2017

As a frequenter of conferences, I can confidently say that not many possess the breadth of knowledge and inspiration of Abdelkader Education Project’s (AEP) 2017 Forum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.Read More

Elkader Iowa Inspires Project That Builds Bridges and Cultural Understanding

Elkader Iowa Inspires Project That Builds Bridges and Cultural Understanding – Northeastern Iowa Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – September 21, 2017

You wouldn’t think of Elkader, Iowa as a center for fostering interfaith dialogue and a better understanding of Islam.Read More


Abdelkader Education Project (AEP) promotes cultural literacy, civility and respectful engagement between all people through education and outreach. Our inspiration draws on Emir Abdelkader’s life story and values – courage, integrity, intellect, humility and compassion – that transends culture and faith traditions.


  • "Emir Abdelkader's strong moral character has had the most effect on my life. Reading about his life has helped me come to see Muslims in a whole new light, and I only wish that I could show others my new perspective as well."

    -- Bob Spielbauer, 2011 Elkader High School essay winner

  • "Abdelkader's jihad provides Muslims with a much needed antidote to the toxic false jihads of today dominated by anger, violence and politics."

    -- Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan (2009)

  • "The Abdelkader Education Project provides opportunities for people across this globe to engage in the important and urgent work of building civility, enhancing cultural and religious literacy, and fostering mutual understanding among peoples. In a deeply divided world, the witness of Emir Abdelkader, who was a bridge-builder, is exemplary."

    -- Kathryn Lohre, Assistant to the Presiding Bishop, Executive, Ecumencal and Inter-Religious Relations, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Chicago IL