2015 Abdelkader Global Leadership Prize Essay Winners

U.S. COLLEGE

Fatima Tayebi1st place ($1,500)

Fatima Tayebi
Wayne State University

“Emir Abdelkader has given me hope that we can once again prove to the world that Islam is not about violence and bloodshed, rather it is based on the peace and universal morals that he practiced throughout his life.”

Mandy Conrad2nd place $1,000

Mandy Conrad
University of Iowa

“The Emir’s struggle to exemplify Islamic principles not only impacted the lives of fellow Muslims, but also impacted global warfare tactics…His diplomacy was used as an instrument to reverse destruction and was also used as a blueprint for inter-religious negotiations.”

U.S. HIGH SCHOOL

James Wendt1st place ($1,000)

James Wendt
Naperville, IL

“Beyond the inspirational nature of his actions, Abdelkader’s tenants should function as a blueprint for human interactions. Abdelkader was a revolutionary. His transcendent and progressive views about religion, about human rights, and about where the two converge still inspire.”

Jonathan Carrillo-Lopez2nd place Jonathan ($500)

Carrillo-Lopez
Trevor G. Browne HS, Phoenix, AZ – $500

“History has demonstrated that a jihad is within all of us, a fight for rights, equality, or reform, but it is one’s purpose which decides if his or her footprints fossilize in the sands of time, awakening hope for the successive generations to call for jihad. I desire to be a positive change in the world, a jihadist like Abd el-Kader, for unity among men.”

IOWA HIGH SCHOOL

Connor Freeman1st place ($1000)

Connor Freeman
Decorah

“It is important to acknowledge that the standards of one’s language or culture cannot be forcibly imposed upon those of another, if productive cooperation is to be achieved. Common ground must be sought, and in this there can be no greater model than Abd el-Kader.”

Hannah Gaffney2nd place ($500)

Hannah Gaffney
Manchester

“Emir Abdelkader inspires me to work towards better cultural understanding and living a holier life. Abdelkader may have been one man, but his morals and beliefs earned him the respect of many, and the life he lived will positively influence the world forever.”