2011-2012 Abdelkader Essay Contest (College Level) Emir Abdelkader was a 19th century Arab Muslim hero admired by President Abraham Lincoln, Queen Victoria, Pope Pius IX, Sir Richard Burton, and countless Muslims for his moral courage, leadership, and life-long learning. In 1846, the founders of an Iowa community honored him by naming their town Elkader. Today, Emir Abdelkader is remembered as an esteemed humanitarian, military leader, and religious scholar who respected all cultures and faiths. 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.” Education then…now. If character is destiny, then understanding how the emir’s character was molded is definitely worth exploring—as a stimulus to thinking about the way we are educated today. Abdelkader’s life was shaped by his well-rounded and ethical education, his desire to learn throughout his lifetime, and his openness to all cultures and religions. The Abdelkader Essay Contest with focus on humanities through culture, history, civility and leadership, presents knowledge needed to excel in today’s global environment:
- Learn about an Arab Muslim freedom fighter for whom an Iowa town was named in 1846.
- Evaluate the significance of Emir Abdelkader’s life and his struggles during peace, war, imprisonment, and exile as applied to today’s world.
- Combine history and cultural understanding while supporting positive moral and social skills.
- Utilize analytical, innovative and resourceful thinking beyond the facts.