Pope: Zayed Award, a step forward on common journey of fraternity
By Benedict Mayaki, SJ
On the occasion of the Award ceremony for the 2022 Zayed Award for Human Fraternity, Pope Francis sent a video message for the event which recognizes honorees for their contributions to building a more peaceful and compassionate world inspired by the value of human fraternity.
The Pope expressed gratitude for the occasion albeit held in a virtual manner, and congratulated this year’s three honorees: Their Majesties King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein and Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, alongside Haitian humanitarian organization FOKAL (Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty).
A celebration of human fraternity
Pope Francis said that the event – “a praiseworthy initiative”- is “another step forward in our common journey of fraternity” which comes in the wake of the recently-celebrated 2nd International Day of Human Fraternity held on 4 February.
The Zayed award, granted by the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, the Pope noted, acknowledges and rewards the efforts of individuals and institutions who are committed to the advancement of humanity and the promotion of peaceful coexistence.
It is also a way, he added, “of supporting and thanking all those who strive for the justice, solidarity and fraternity proposed by the Document on Human Fraternity.”
In this regard, the Holy Father acknowledged the efforts of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for proposing the contents of the Human Fraternity Document and for supporting the work of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, which “seeks to spread the values and principles of the Document throughout the world and to achieve its goals”.
The honorees, promoters of human fraternity
Highlighting the examples of the 2022 Zayed Award honorees, Pope Francis noted that Their Majesties King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein and Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan promote human fraternity values by welcoming large numbers of refugees, and foster values of coexistence and dialogue between religious traditions in the fight against discrimination and for the emancipation of young people and women.
The Pope reminded them that the award is an acknowledgment that extends to all the Jordanian people “who with determination and courage, even amid great difficulties, pursue the path of peace, moderation and the rejection of violence.”
As regards FOKAL, the Pope underlined the humanitarian organization’s service to the common good and defense of rights in Haiti, thanks to the efforts of its founder, Michèle Pierre-Louis.
He stressed that passion and creativity are needed to give Haiti a better prospect in the future in the wake of natural disasters and other social and humanitarian problems.
An incentive to continue on path of fraternity
Pope Francis hopes that the Zayed Prize may be for the recipients, “an encouragement to persevere in their efforts on behalf of unity and peace in the world” and to “uphold the values of love, the values born of love, the values of tolerance and fraternity.”
To everyone else, the Pope trusts that the example of the honorees may motivate us to undertake initiatives that promote peaceful coexistence and be a sign of fruitful cooperation between people of different religions in the service of all humanity.
The recipients of this year’s Zayed Award for Human Fraternity were selected by an independent judging committee, composed of former heads of state, a Nobel peace laureate, and experts in interfaith and intercultural dialogue. The Award is given in memory of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, founder of the United Arab Emirates in 1971.
Join the event
People in the UAE and across the world can watch the 2022 Zayed Award for Human Fraternity ceremony held on 28 February from 17:00 (GST time) on the YouTube and Facebook platforms of the Award, and on Abu Dhabi TV and Dubai TV channels.