The Abdelkader Education Project (AEP, Inc.) is a 501c3 non-profit organization that promotes cultural literacy, civility, and respectful engagement between all people through education and outreach drawing on Emir Abdelkader’s life story and values – courage, integrity, intellect, humility and compassion – that transcend culture and faith traditions. Emir Abdelkader (1808-1883) was admired by President Lincoln, Queen Victoria, Pope Pius IX and countless Muslims and non-Muslims. His life story inspires tolerance and understanding while exploring models of ethical leadership, moral courage and humanitarian conduct.
John W. Kiser’s biography Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abdelkader, launched in 2008 in Elkader, produced a local essay contest to revive the memory of Elkader’s namesake. This soon evolved into the Abdelkader Education Project (AEP) with its many components.
Today, annual Abdelkader Global Leadership Prize essay contests are global education and scholarship opportunities for students enrolled in high schools and colleges/universities across the United States in separate competitions. Learn more about the essay contest here.
In addition, the annual AEP Forum provides opportunities for sharing and networking for everyone with presenters, educators, and essay award winners to discuss timely topics regarding better understandings and building bridges between cultures based on the Emir’s values with relevance for today.
The Abdelkader Education Project revives important lost history with relevance for today. The multi-faceted life of Emir Abdelkader, a widely acclaimed 19th century Arab Muslim statesman, humanitarian, warrior, religious scholar, and ethical leader, is the vehicle for the global education project.
With roots in Elkader, Iowa, the AEP is a citizen diplomacy initiative with the belief that ordinary citizens have a vital role to play in global citizen diplomacy and can make a difference in our world.