Student Contests

Abdelkader Student Prize

Students, this is your chance to learn about Emir Abdelkader, an Islamic scholar from Algeria who resisted French colonialism in the mid-19th century. The Emir’s commitment to human rights won him global admiration from the likes of President James Buchanan, Queen Victoria, Pope Pius IX, Tsar Alexander II, and the presidents of France, Greece, and Turkey. The Abdelkader Education Project (AEP) is offering four middle school prizes and four high school prizes, all at $300 each.

“If we want to strive for unity, then we must not be tolerant of our diversity, but instead accept it. Accept our differences, and realize there is more than one right answer. Try not to passively put up with others, but instead embrace them. If we all treat everyone as human beings and demonstrate the courage to accept them, then we all have a chance to right the world’s wrongs, create ethical solutions for global problems, and continue the Emir’s legacy.

— Shreya Joshi
2021 High School essay winner

"Abd el-Kader taught me that not all warriors cause bloodshed and not all scholars are passive. He directed me to believe they can be combined into a single being, and Abd el-Kader stands as an example of this. He represented a gallant and intelligent hero who cared about his people rather than his power."

— Reem Kirja
2021 Middle School essay winner

“I believe that if [Abd el-Kader] were more celebrated and spoken about, especially here in America, he could help with the plight that many Muslims growing up in the West face with their faith and give them a chance to exist as three dimensional beings, rather than harmful stereotypes.”

— Mayada Alwan
2021 High School essay winner