November 13, 2012, 6:00 pm - May 17, 2019, 1:59 pm


Grand Hyatt Washington
1000 H Street, NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20001 (Map)

The Middle East Institute's 66th Annual Banquet is an occasion to reflect on recent events in the Middle East and to honor individuals who have made a positive impact on the region within the realm of politics, culture, business, and philanthropy.  The banquet brings together nearly 500 Arab and American diplomats, government officials, business leaders, and distinguished guests for an evening of conversation and celebration.

This year's MEI Visionary Award will be received by Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel, a businessman and noted philanthropist who supports job creation and poverty alleviation in the Middle East and globally. The MEI Visionary Award recognizes an Arab individual or institution for their outstanding work in the region. Previous recipients of this award include former deputy prime minister of Lebanon and philanthropist Issam M. Fares; Gaza physician and peace activist Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish; and Egyptian social media activist Esraa Abdel Fattah.  The Visionary Award will be presented to Mr. Jameel by David Rubenstein, CEO of the Carlyle Group.

The 2012 Issam M. Fares Award for Excellence will be presented to Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, a noted Palestinian leader, legislator, activist and scholar.  This award, endowed by His Excellency Issam M. Fares, former deputy prime minister of Lebanon, honors an Arab individual for his or her outstanding contributions to the region in the realm of politics, culture, business, and philanthropy.

The Middle East Institute is proud to present the first annual Award for Distinction in Civic Leadership to Egyptian business leader and civil society activist Naguib Sawiris.  This award category was created in the wake of the Arab uprisings to honor outstanding individual achievement in the realm of democracy promotion and the advancement of good governance in a time of transition in the Middle East. The Award for Distinction in Civic Leadership recognizes an Arab individual for their superlative work in the region in the vital areas of democracy promotion and citizen engagement.  


*To register for the Annual Banquet as a member of the press, contact Elisha Meyer at