Abdelkader Global Leadership Prize

Essay Contest and New! Poster Contest

Deadline: On or before May 15, 2018

Who can participate? Students enrolled at high schools and colleges in the United States, including exchange students.

Why participate? Discover lost history with valuable lessons for today. Learn about a 19th century Muslim humanitarian whose heroic legacy provides an important model for understanding Islamic culture, interfaith relations, ethical leadership and multiple world views. Be part of a global campaign to revive the life story and values of Emir Abdelkader in ways that counter stereotypes and inspire courageous moral behavior.

Scholarship Awards

Essay Contest

U.S. High School students – 1st Place $1,000; 2nd Place $500
U.S. College/University students – 1st Place $1,500; 2nd Place $1,000

New! Poster Contest

U.S. High School students – 1st Place $1,000; 2nd Place $500
U.S. College/University students – 1st Place $1,500; 2nd Place $1,000

Essay contest winners

Why is Emir Abdelkader important today? Considered Algeria’s George Washington, Emir Abdelkader is seen as a moral leader on a par with Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela. His life story demonstrates that although cultures have differences, they share fundamental humanistic values. Respected from Missouri to Moscow to Mecca, Abdelkader was an Arab Muslim and a courageous humanitarian whose ideas were adapted by the creators of the Geneva Conventions. He was an ethical leader, scholar, and statesman who was admired by President Lincoln, Queen Victoria, Pope Pius IX and many others. In 1846, an Iowa settlement was named "Elkader"; in 1860, he saved thousands of Christians in Damascus; and 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."

Contest Guidelines and Procedures

1) MENTORS: Become a mentor to guide one or more students to participate in one of the contests. A mentor is an educator/professor, education administrator, librarian, or an experienced and trusted adviser aligned with an educational institution or non-profit organization. Please sign-up to be a mentor to receive notices directly via email. Encourage students to sign-up to participate and guide them to completion.

2) STUDENTS: Contact an educator/professor, education administrator or librarian to be your mentor. Then, sign-up to participate on the AEP website now. Essays and posters are due May 15, 2018. A confirmation notice will be sent to you and your mentor via email upon receiving the entry.

3) STUDENTS: READ, RESEARCH & EXAMINE. Explore Abdelkader’s life of struggle during peace, war, imprisonment, and exile in light of current events in America and the world. Resources include, but are not limited to: Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abdelkader (1808-1883) by John W. Kiser; The Compassionate Warrior by Elsa Marston; Emir Abdelkader: Hero and Saint of Islam by Ahmed Bouyerdene and more.

4) Write ESSAY or Create POSTER addressing all of the following points

  • Why does Emir Abdelkader’s legacy deserve remembering?
  • What lessons did you derive from reading about him?
  • What is relevant to your own life?
  • Reflect on Abdelkader’s education as compared to your own education.

5) ESSAY REQUIREMENTS – original work by a student

  • Sign-up and submit essay to participate (include mentor contact information)
  • 1200-1500 words
  • Microsoft Word or PDF
  • 1.5 line spacing
  • Times New Roman/12 pt.
  • First/Last Name on each page
  • Submit Essay on or before May 15, 2018

6) POSTER Requirements – original work by a student

  • Sign-up to participate (include mentor contact information)
  • Digital graphic designs, illustrations, or photographs in high resolution jpeg
  • Size: under 5 Megabytes
  • Text or captions must include English
  • Submit Poster on or before May 15, 2018

Click “Submit Essay” or “Submit Poster
A confirmation notice will be sent to you via email upon receiving your entry.

8) ENTRY DEADLINE: On or before May 15, 2018.

9) QUESTIONS? Please contact kathy@abdelkaderproject.org.

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