September 2012 News Bulletin

Elkader, IA (photo: Claire Wright)

Emir’s Story Gets More Exposure

Annual Essay Contest Expands. The Abdelkader Global Leadership Prize: The Past Serving the Present is now open to all high school and college students in the United States. More information is provided below.

2012 Great Lakes Conference titled “With Liberty and Justice for All” hosted by the Iowa Council for Social Studies on October 1-2 will include a presentation by Kathy Garms on the Abdelkader Education Project and Abdelkader Global Leadership Prize: The Past Serving the Present, titled “Connecting Continents, Cultures, and Centuries.”

Sister Cities International in Washington DC has invited Kathy Garms, AEP Director, and John Kiser, author of Commander of the Faithful, to present the Abdelkader Education Project at the Midwest Regional SCI Conference “Diversity in Action” in Cincinnati on October 5-6. The AEP will be introduced during the “Global Classroom” session.

Abdelkader Education Project partner, oneblue.org in Washington DC, recently launched oneblue.tv, their web-based interactive chat show that focuses on Conflict Resolution around topics relevant to Arabs, Muslims, and the United States.

Abdelkader Essay advanced to Iowa History Day. Essay student Bob Spielbauer advanced to the National History Day Contest held at the Iowa Historical Society. His paper titled “Abd el-Kader: Reforming the Muslim Image” was selected at the regional event. In Bob’s own words, “The theme was “Revolution, Reaction, and Reform in History” so it worked quite well for Abd el-Kader. …Abd el-Kader is just such a good topic because it’s both local and national, and it’s both close to my heart and relevant worldwide.”

Kinza Academy, California-based Muslim Home Schooling Association, has contracted John Kiser to abridge Commander of the Faithful…The Life and Times of Emir Abdelkader for 8-12 year olds.

Elsa Marston’s book about Emir Abdelkader and the French colonial experience for the young adult market will soon go to print.

Harvard Pluralism Project is expected to craft a case study on ethical, military, and religious leadership based on Emir Abdelkader’s legacy.

University of Virginia Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture offers Abdelkader Fellowship. The Post-Doctoral Fellowship is offered to researchers who can demonstrate how their chosen subject relates to the life of Emir Abdelkader as a model of moral leadership, learning, statesmanship, honor on the battlefield, and openness to all faiths.

Fetzer Foundation of Kalamazoo, Michigan has commissioned John Kiser to write a “white paper” on the relevance of Abdelkader’s life to matters of governance—focusing on themes of empathy and forgiveness.

New Name ~ New Eligibility ~ New Guidelines ~ New Competition Levels

2012-2013 Abdelkader Global Leadership Prize

The Past Serving the Present

High school and college students are invited to write essays to reflect on the contemporary meaning of the life of Emir Abdelkader (1808-1883), whose legacy is an inspiration for ethical leadership, civility, moral courage, and cross-cultural and interfaith understanding. Abdelkader was an Arab Muslim hero admired by President Lincoln, Queen Victoria, Pope Pius IX and countless Muslims and non-Muslims across nationalities, religions, and social classes. In 1846, the founders of an Iowa community honored him by naming their town Elkader. 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.” Today, Emir Abdelkader is remembered as an esteemed humanitarian, military leader, and religious scholar who respected all cultures and faiths.

The essay contest began four years ago in Elkader and became the launch pad for recalling the memory of this globally admired figure of great character. Contests are now offered throughout the U.S.

Essay competitions are offered in three categories with winning prizes awarded in each category

  • U.S. high school students
  • Iowa high school students (essays will be entered in the national competition)
  • U.S. college students

Students are invited to enter a journey of discovery connecting cultures across centuries

  • To read an engaging biography with relevance for today, Commander of the Faithful…The Life and Times of Emir Abdelkader (1808-1883) by John W. Kiser. Learn about Abdelkader and author at www.truejihad.com.
  • To learn about the Middle East and Islamic culture through stories of real people
  • To examine Emir Abdelkader’s life of struggle during peace, war, imprisonment, and exile
    • To write an essay to broaden perspectives on historical, civic, global and cultural and interfaith awareness
    • To compete for monetary scholarship awards and honors for writing the essay

Contest details can be found on our website www.abdelkaderproject.org.

We extend our continuing gratitude to AEP founding sponsor, The Principal Financial Group, for their stalwart support for the Abdelkader Global Leadership Prize. The essay contest began in Iowa and is now offered to all high school and college students in the United States.

We are extremely grateful to the Embassy of Algeria to the U.S. and Ambassador Abdallah Baali for the material and moral support so generously provided to the Abdelkader Education Project from its inception.

We value and appreciate the support and encouragement of our “Friends of Abdelkader” and invite others to join.

Support AEP

Please contact us to discuss how you can sponsor an Abdelkader Global Leadership Prize and/or support the Abdelkader Education Project work in other ways. Your investment and support demonstrates commitment to the further development of global education and ethical leadership standards.

Stay Connected with AEP

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Please visit our website www.abdelkaderproject.org.

Thank you for following our project and let us know if you would like more information.

We welcome all questions and comments.

Contact: Kathy Garms, Project Director, at abdelkaderproject@gmail.com

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