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New and Expanded 2015 AEP FORUM – September 18-19!!!

On September 18-19, AEP will convene its 6th annual forum in Elkader, Iowa. The 2015 AEP Forum is designed to demonstrate how the life and values of Emir Abdelkader can serve as a significant lesson for cultivating humanity between people of all cultures in the private, government and non-profit sectors in the United States and throughout the world. Larger than previous years, the 2015 AEP Forum includes a 20-member delegation from Algeria and additional special guests in business, government and education from throughout the United States.

A morning seminar focused on education in the classroom, will be presented by leaders from Harvard Pluralism Project, Islamic Networks Group and leading Iowa educators developing an AEP Professional Development Program for teachers. Opening remarks will be presented by David Hamod, President and CEO of the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce. A second morning seminar is focused on business opportunities in Algeria presented by high level business leaders from Algeria and the US, including Algerian Ambassador to the US; CEO/President, US Algeria Business Council (USABC); and CEO of Promo-invest in Algeria. The afternoon session includes an address by Algerian Ambassador, H.E. Madjid Bouguerra; reflections on AEP and vision for the future presented by Kathy Garms and John Kiser, AEP co-founders; introduction of Abdelkader Association “In the Footsteps of the Emir” by Mr. Abdelmalek Sahraoui, CEO of Promo-invest in Algeria; and Dr. Ismael Chikhoune, CEO/President USABC; and presentations to high school and college student winners of the annual AEP essay contest.

As a special addition to AEP Forum festivities, the Algerian delegation includes two ethnic bands that will perform at a free public concert on the evening of September 19 joined by local area musicians.

The AEP Forum is open to everyone and inspires discussions around Emir Abdelkader’s life story and values that integrate culture, education, and business relevant for today. It is designed to be of particular interest to parents and educators interested in bringing lessons of the Emir to the classroom, and business leaders interested in business opportunities in Algeria.


Emir Abdelkader was…

  • Known for his civility, compassion, moral courage, and self-restraint with a zest for learning;
  • A heroic nineteenth-century Arab Muslim scholar-soldier-statesman and humanitarian;
  • Admired by world leaders such as President Lincoln, Queen Victoria, and Pope Pius IX as well as military adversaries;

The Emir was respected from the Missouri Territory to Moscow to Mecca. Upon his death in 1883, The New York Times eulogized, “…The nobility of his character won him the admiration of the world… He was one of the few great men of the century.”

The Abdelkader Education Project…

  • seeks to renew public awareness of a great personality who possessed many needed qualities in short supply today;
  • provides learning tools and curriculum materials to help educators incorporate Abdelkader’s story and his example in today’s classroom.

The initial spark for the Abdelkader Project came in the form of a biography written by John W. Kiser. Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abdelkader sensitively combines the political, historical and ethical dimensions of Abdelkader’s life.

Student Testimonial

Bob Spielbauer

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