77th Annual Gala Dinner


The Middle East Institute is pleased to announce the awardees to be honored at its upcoming 77th Annual Gala Dinner on April 17th in Washington, D.C.

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About the Awards


The Issam M. Fares Award for Excellence, endowed by the former deputy prime minister of Lebanon, was created to honor inspirational, innovative Middle Eastern individuals who are making a difference in their communities and internationally. The Middle East Institute Visionary Award recognizes an individual or organization for outstanding work in the region.

Past Award Recipients


2023

Distinguished Global Leadership Award

His Excellency Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak

His Excellency Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak

Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer, Mubadala Investment Company


2022

Issam M. Fares Award for Excellence

Gen. John P. Abizaid

General (ret.) John P. Abizaid

Former Commander of U.S. Central Command
Former U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


2021

Distinguished Global Leadership Award

H.E. Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan

H.E. Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan

Chairman, Saudi Aramco
Governor, Public Investment Fund

Issam M. Fares Award for Excellence

LIFE

LIFE

Lebanese Diaspora Philanthropic Organization

Middle East Institute Visionary Award

Fawzia Koofi

Fawzia Koofi

Afghan Women's Rights Activist


2020

Issam M. Fares Award for Excellence

Altibbi

Altibbi

Digital Health Platform

Middle East Institute Visionary Award

Egyptian Food Bank

Egyptian Food Bank

Humanitarian Organization


2019

Issam M. Fares Award for Excellence

Nadine Labaki

Nadine Labaki

Lebanese Actor and Director

Middle East Institute Visionary Award

Othman & Leila Benjelloun

Othman & Leila Benjelloun

Co-chairs of the BMCE Bank Foundation


2018

Issam M. Fares Award for Excellence

The American University of Beirut (AUB)

The American University of Beirut (AUB)

Institution of higher learning

Middle East Institute Visionary Award

Huda Alkhamis Kanoo

Huda Alkhamis Kanoo

Philanthropist dedicated to arts, education, and women's empowerment


2017

Issam M. Fares Award for Excellence

Sheikha Hussa Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah

Sheikha Hussa Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah

Kuwaiti art collector and curator

Middle East Institute Visionary Award

Fadi Ghandour

Fadi Ghandour

Social entrepreneur and philanthropist


2016

Issam M. Fares Award for Excellence

Vera Baboun

Vera Baboun

Mayor of Bethlehem Municipality

Middle East Institute Visionary Award

Syria Civil Defense

Syria Civil Defense

"The White Helmets"


2015

Issam M. Fares Award for Excellence

Sheika Hoor Al-Qasimi

Sheika Hoor Al-Qasimi

President and Director of the Sharjah Art Foundation

Middle East Institute Visionary Award

Mohamed A. El-Erian

Mohamed A. El-Erian

Chief Economic Advisor, Allianz, and Chair, President's Global Development Council


2014

Issam M. Fares Award for Excellence

Ayman Asfari

Ayman Asfari

CEO of Petrofac and chairman of the Asfari Foundation

Middle East Institute Visionary Award

Shafik Gabr

Shafik Gabr

Founder of the Shafik Gabr Foundation


2013

Issam M. Fares Award for Excellence

Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid

Iraq-born architect

Middle East Institute Visionary Award

Abdlatif Al-Hamad

Abdlatif Al-Hamad

Kuwaiti philanthropist


2012

Issam M. Fares Award for Excellence

Dr. Hanan Ashrawi

Dr. Hanan Ashrawi

Palestinian legislator, activist and scholar

Middle East Institute Visionary Award

Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel

Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel

President, Abdul Latif Jameel Co. Ltd.


2011

Issam M. Fares Award for Excellence

Amb. Lakhdar Brahimi

Amb. Lakhdar Brahimi

Fmr. under-secretary general of the League of Arab States

Middle East Institute Visionary Award

Esraa Abdel Fattah

Esraa Abdel Fattah

Egyptian human rights and democracy activist


2010

Middle East Institute Visionary Award

Issam M. Fares

Issam M. Fares

Former Deputy Prime Minister of Lebanon


2009

Middle East Institute Visionary Award

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish

Palestinian doctor