Distinguished guests from around the world gathered at the historic Elkader Opera House for the 5th Annual Abdelkader Education Project (AEP) Forum held on May 4th.

L-R John Kiser, Ambassador Abdallah Baali, Kathy Garms, Ahmed Moustafa
Algerian Ambassador Abdallah Baali
2013 05 04 AWN 103 Brandon__, 2012 Collegiate Essay winner a (1)
The AEP Forum has grown from honoring local Iowa high school students to honoring nationwide high school and college students.
2013 05 04 AWN 092 John Kiser presents award to Iowa high school winner Gaffney
Students receiving awards during the 2013 AEP Forum included: 1st place Iowa High School ($1,000) to Noreen Gentry of Decorah; 2nd place Iowa High School ($500) to Hannah Gaffney (pictured right) of Manchester; 1st place U.S. High School ($1,000) to Florian Riederer of North Andover High School, MA and 2nd place ($500) to Marwa Sayed, Boston University Academy, MA.
  Students receiving awards on the U.S. Collegiate level included: 1st place ($1,500) to Jeanette Guellil of Webster University, Missouri and 2nd place ($1,000) to Maxwell Lykins of University of Wisconsin, Madison.
During his acceptance remarks, Lykins commented on the themes he believed constitute Abdelkader’s worthy legacy. “These are: humanity in the face of conflict, magnanimity in victory, and perseverance in defeat. Our world would be a kinder place if we all strove to act in such a worthy manner.”“[Abdelkader] sets a challenging example of patience and perseverance in his faith. He also shows how tolerating others need not involve, in any way, the lessening of one’s convictions,” Riederer noted during his acceptance remarks.
Honored guest Ambassador Abdallah Baali of the Algerian Embassy in Washington DC stated, “Emir Abdelkader is a true world hero whose legacy is reaching a much broader audience telling about shared values and how humanity can prevail over all differences and prejudices.”
2013 05 04 AWN 090 Ahmed Moustafa, keynote speaker_1 Keynote speaker Ahmed Moustafa (pictured left), a leading international authority on Arabic art and design, focused on the integration of art, aesthetics, and Emir Abdelkader. His emphasis is to build cultural bridges of mutual respect and understanding through the medium of his art. Thank you, Dr. Moustafa, for sharing your treasured artworks with the AEP: “Umm Al-Kitab/Essence of Divine Writ,” “Frolicking Horses,” and “Trilogy of Where Two Oceans Meet.”
  2013 04 29 DSLR 133 Panelist (L-R) Wee, Moustafa, Jezairy, M Moustafa’s presentation set the stage for a panel discussion that included Dr. Ali Jazairy, head of Innovation and Technology for WIPO at the UN, Geneva, Switzerland; Dr. Liang Chee Wee, President ofNortheast Iowa Community College, Calmar, Iowa; Jerene Mortenson, retired teacher and school administrator, South Dakota; and Moustafa. The discussion was moderated by John Kiser, author of Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abdelkader.  
Dr. Jazairy, a descendant of Abdelkader, spoke about his work in relation to the intellectual property landscape. “The Abdelkader Education Project is an excellent vessel through which young people can be encouraged to open their minds,” Jazairy stated. Northeast Iowa seminars will coordinate with the Abdelkader Project Education Forum in May 2014.
Fouad Chergui, artistic director of the Abdelkader Popular Education Festival in France, shared his plans to host the 2ndannual Festival in Lyon this December. Chergui is working with CLAP (connection, local, action and plural), a social work association in Lyon, to collaborate with the Abdelkader Education Project.
“The Abdelkader Education Project has grown exponentially since its inception in late 2009,” noted Kathy Garms, Project Director. “In the coming year, the Abdelkader Global Leadership Prize truly will be a global leadership prize as we expand to offer essay opportunities to students from around the world.”
The Abdelkader Education Project promotes cultural literacy, civility, and understanding while reviving important lost history with relevance for today. The multifaceted life of Emir Abdelkader, a widely acclaimed 19th century Arab statesman, humanitarian, warrior, religious scholar and ethical leader, is the vehicle for the global education project.Special thanks to our sponsors: Principal Financial Group, Embassy of Algeria in Washington DC, Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Opera House Players, World Wisdom Press and Friends of Abdelkader for their support.


IOWA TOWN NAMED FOR MUSLIM HERO EXTOLS TOLERANCE By Samuel Freedman Amid an expanse of undulating farmland, deep in the steep valley carved by the Turkey River, the town of Elkader sits most of the year in remote obscurity. Population 1,200 and gradually shrinking, it is the seat of a county without a single traffic light.Improbably enough, this community settled by Germans and Scandinavians, its religious life built around Catholic and Lutheran churches, bears the name of a Muslim hero. Abd el-Kader was renowned in the 19th century for leading Algeria’s fight for independence and protecting non-Muslims from persecution. Even Abraham Lincoln extolled him. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING

Please visit our website www.abdelkaderproject.org Thank you for following our project! Contact: Kathy Garms, Project Director, at abdelkaderproject@gmail.com

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