Thu 07-10-2021 13:57 PM
VATICAN CITY, 7th October, 2021 (WAM) -- His Holiness Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, on Wednesday met with the judging committee of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity (ZAHF) 2022 - the third edition of the award - at the Vatican, emphasising to the jury how important their work is for the world.
Pope Francis called his historic meeting with His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Professor Ahmed Al-Tayeb in Abu Dhabi, the "first step" along the path of human fraternity. Pope Francis told the jury that "we have to maintain and sustain" the meeting and its message, embodied in the Document on Human Fraternity.
For their part, the ZAHF judging committee members expressed their deep appreciation for His Holiness’ support to the committee and their noble mission and affirmed that their judging process relies on the values of the Document on Human Fraternity.
The independent Zayed Award for Human Fraternity 2022 judging committee includes Mahamadou Issoufou, former president of Niger and winner of the 2020 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership; Joss Ramos-Horta, 1996 Nobel Peace Laureate and former President of East Timor; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former Deputy President of South Africa and former UN Under-Secretary-General; H.Em. Cardinal Michael Czerny, Under-Secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Holy See; Leah Pisar, President of the Aladdin Project; and Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, Secretary-General of the Higher Committee on Human Fraternity (HCHF).
In commenting on the meeting, Judge Abdelsalam, who is also former advisor to the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and the first Arab Muslim to receive the Catholic pope’s highest honour, said, "It is an honour for the judging committee to meet with His Holiness Pope Francis, whose joint path of human fraternity alongside the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar serves as an inspiration to the committee and to the world, which is suffering from humanitarian and health crises, as well as the plagues of selfishness, inequality, and injustice."
Following the visit with Pope Francis, the judging committee held its first in-person meeting in Rome, discussing evaluation mechanisms in deciding the 2022 award honoree(s).
The Zayed Award for Human Fraternity aims to advance human fraternity values – what Pope Francis has called "the challenge of our century" – by recognizing individuals and entities who have made profound contributions to advancing human fraternity values and peaceful coexistence.
The award, which is granted by the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, was established in February 2019 to mark the historic meeting between Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, where the two great figures signed the Document on Human Fraternity and became the first honourary recipients of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity.
The nominations process for the ZAHF 2022 is scheduled to close on 1st December, 2021, and the honoree(s) will be announced on 4th February, 2022. Nominations can be made by qualified nominators through the official website of the Zayed Award of Human Fraternity.