Celebrating 2020 – A New Decade of Opportunities

2020 Abdelkader Global Leadership Prize

ATTN: Students at high schools and colleges in the U.S.
Sign-up now. Submit entries on or before March 15.

MEET THE CHALLENGE! Write an ESSAY or PODCAST INTERVIEW SCRIPT that highlights the significance of Emir Abdelkader’s life and struggles during peace, war, imprisonment, and exile in light of current events. Admired by President Lincoln, Abdelkader represents a model statesman, ethical leader and humanitarian so important for cultivating cultural and religious understanding and balance in thinking about critical issues today.

View contest details plus printable Poster & Flyer at
HIGH SCHOOL (1st Place=$1000; 2nd Place=$750; 3rd Place=$500)
COLLEGE (1st Place=$1500; 2nd Place=$1000; 3rd Place=$750)

NEW! MENTOR AWARD ($300) for the person who mentors the most student entries, meeting criteria. Become a mentor then encourage students to sign-up and participate as individuals or as groups. Please visit Become a Mentor.

“The Abdelkader Education Project provides opportunities for people across this globe to engage in the important and urgent work of building civility, enhancing cultural and religious literacy, and fostering mutual understanding among peoples. In a deeply divided world, the witness of Emir Abdelkader, who was a bridge-builder, is exemplary. All of us can learn from reflecting on the history of his life, and the ongoing relevance of his legacy. Therefore, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Inter-Religious Relations encourages students to participate in the essay/podcast interview script contest.
Kathryn Lohre, Assistant to the Presiding Bishop
Executive, Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations 
Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA) in America, Chicago

President Dr. Sayyid Syeed stated, “…Emir Abdelkader represents the values and attributes that we want to inculcate in our American Muslim sons and daughters. We want his life to be celebrated in our mosques, in our Sunday schools and in our Friday sermons. We see in him a bridge of compassion and humanity connecting us with our brothers and sisters of other faiths and faith communities.”

ISLAMIC HORIZONS MAGAZINE (Jan-Feb 2019) featured “Emir Abdelkader: A Hero for Humanity,” and can be found at www.abdelkaderproject.org/aep-in-the-news. Pages 20-27 tell about: the Emir, Elkader (Iowa), and Commander of the Faithful… as added value for educators. Check out ISNA’s 3 minute video shared at the 2019 convention in Houston.

UNIVERSITIES IN ALGERIA AND IRAN. John Kiser met with Political Science and Foreign Relations faculty at the University of Algiers. He presented his thoughts on Abdelkader’s importance as a faith-based international role model, exemplifying spiritual humility among many other virtues. At the University of Mascara he spoke on “The Progress of AEP in the USA.” John also spoke at Ferdowsi University in Iran with Eastern Mennonite University.

ABDELKADER PRIZE FOR EDUCATORS engaged middle and high school teachers, and college and university faculty to adapt and use AEP’s educational resources in their classrooms. AEP curricula suits learning objectives in history, social studies, geography, military, religion, biography, or leadership classrooms. The following winners implemented 3 lessons about the life story and legacy of Emir Abdelkader, including contemporary connections and offered feedback on the experience: Christina Cone Smithtown, New York; Jennifer Larson, Decorah, Iowa; and Jennifer Blanchard Sayed, Irving, Texas.

ELKADER (IOWA) PUBLIC LIBRARY hosted Kathy Garms’ presentations titled, “The Man Behind Elkader’s Name.” Enthusiastic audiences learned more about Emir Abdelkader’s legacy with significance for today and AEP’s educational initiatives.

Student voices address Abdelkader’s importance including courage, humility, and justice. One blog was titled, “Tolerance: Drawing inspiration from the Emir in the modern world,” while another student reflected on her Algerian heritage and culture. Another blogger wrote “Gaining Understanding through Education,” yet another addressed Abdelkader’s statement, “Collect as precious pearls the words of the wise and virtuous.”

Faith and Culture Center introduced their Abdelkader Ambassador Program. This program ignited a new generation of bridge-builders in the spirit of 19th century commander and humanitarian Emir Abdelkader. It equips rising leaders with relationships, skills, and resources needed to create diverse and inclusive programs in the communities they represent.

The Sabeel Center in Des Plaines, Illinois, hosted the exhibit “America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far” September through December 2019. In October, Kathy Garms, AEP Co-Founder, was invited to speak about Emir Abdelkader’s impact in America, along with Shadab Zeest Hashmi who shared her poetry.

To receive AEP News & Notes directly, visit www.abdelkaderproject.org and sign-up in the right bottom corner. Stay informed of activities, events, and opportunities, along with updates.

VIEW PAST AEP NEWS & NOTES at www.abdelkaderproject.org/aep-news-bulletin

ABDELKADER EDUCATION PROJECT (AEP) 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.

AEP DEVELOPMENT AND PROGRAM FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES are available. Becoming a sponsor demonstrates commitment to education in building cultural understanding and providing global perspectives for educators and students as well as business, social and political leaders of all faiths and cultures. To donate and learn more, please visit our website or contact kathy@abdelkaderproject.org.