Essay Contest

Abdelkader Global Leadership Prize

U.S. High School and College/University Students

Essay Contest – Scholarship Awards

Essay deadline: Before April 15, 2018

Who can participate? Students enrolled at U.S. high schools and colleges/universities, including exchange students.

Why participate? This global education initiative features important history with lessons for today. Learn about the Middle East and Islamic culture through the legacy of humanitarian Emir Abdelkader (1808-1883). His powerful and non-threatening example of Islamic leadership in compassion and highest moral values counters stereotypes and inspires learning about cultural literacy, civility, tolerance, and understanding.

Sign up today to enter the essay contests. Explore models of ethical leadership, moral courage and humanitarian conduct. Essays are due before April 15, 2018.

Essay Scholarship Awards

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)

2015 Winners

Why is Emir Abdelkader important today? His life story with its “universal” message encourages building bridges of cultural understanding. It demonstrates that although cultures have differences, they share fundamental humanistic values. Respected from Missouri to Moscow to Mecca, Abdelkader was an Arab Muslim hero from Algeria and known as a courageous humanitarian, scholar, statesman, and warrior. He was admired by President Lincoln, Queen Victoria, Pope Pius IX and countless Muslims and non-Muslims from many nationalities, religions, and social classes. 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.” Emir Abdelkader is remembered as an esteemed humanitarian, ethical military leader, and religious scholar. His relevance for our global society today transcends culture and faith traditions.

Essay Contest Guidelines and Procedures

1) EDUCATORS: Become a mentor to guide one or more students or an entire classroom to encourage discussions.

2) STUDENTS: Identify your mentor for guidance then sign-up to participate. Submit essays any time before April 15, 2018.

3) Read, Research & Examine: Abdelkader’s life of struggle during peace, war, imprisonment, and exile. 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: address all of the following points

  • Why does Emir Abdelkader’s life story and legacy deserve remembering today?
  • What is relevant for our global society? What is relevant to your own life?
  • Reflect on Abdelkader’s education as compared to your own education.

5) Essay Requirements:

  • 1200-1500 words
  • Microsoft Word or PDF
  • 1.5 line spacing
  • Times New Roman/12 pt.
  • First/Last Name on each page

6) Click “Submit EssayA confirmation notice will be sent upon receiving the essay.

7) Essay Deadline: Submit essays any time before April 15, 2018

8) Questions? Please contact