Each year at its Annual Awards Banquet, The Middle East Institute recognizes and honors extraordinary individuals - in the humanities, politics, philanthropy, business and the arts - who have made a positive impact on the region. Hundreds of Arab and American business leaders, policymakers, analysts, ambassadors, diplomats and distinguished guests convene for an evening of conversation and celebration leading into MEI's Annual Conference the next day.
The Issam M. Fares Award for Excellence, endowed by the former deputy prime minister of Lebanon, was created to honor inspirational, innovative Arab individuals who are making a difference in their communities and internationally. The Middle East Institute Visionary Award recognizes an Arab individual or institution for outstanding work in the region.
Past Award Recipients
Issam M. Fares Award for Excellence
Social entrepreneur and philanthropist
Mayor of Bethlehem Municipality
Sheika Hoor Al-Qasimi
President and Director of the Sharjah Art Foundation
CEO of Petrofac and chairman of the Asfari Foundation
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi
Palestinian legislator, activist and scholar
Amb. Lakhdar Brahimi
fmr under-secretary general of the League of Arab States
Middle East Institute Visionary Award
Sheikha Hussa Sabah
Kuwaiti art collector and curator
Syria Civil Defense
"The White Helmets"
Mohamed A. El-Erian
Chief Economic Advisor, Allianz, and Chair, President's Global Development Council
Founder of the Shafik Gabr Foundation
Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel
President, Abdul Latif Jameel Co. Ltd.
Esraa Abdel Fattah
Egyptian human rights and democracy activist
Issam M. Fares
Former Deputy Prime Minister of Lebanon
Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish