Abdullah bin Zayed attends Beirut Institute Summit’s gala dinner

Abu Dhabi, 11th October, 2015 (WAM): HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Foreign Minister, attended last night a special gala dinner on the evening of the first day of the Beirut Institute Summit in Abu Dhabi.

Two exceptional individuals were honoured. Prince Saud Al Faisal received a special posthumous award in recognition of his dedicated diplomatic work in the Arab region for 40 years. In addition, Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, received a special award in recognition of her humanitarian work.

Prince Saud, the late Saudi foreign minister, was honored for his lifelong efforts to promote regional dialogue and cooperation on a range of disputes affecting the Arab region. The award was presented to his son Prince Khaled in the presence Prince Turki Al Faisal, Member of the Board of Beirut Institute and Co-Chair of Beirut Institute Summit.

Sheikha Jawaher was honored for her sponsorship of social and humanitarian organizations in Sharjah and her special efforts to support children in the UAE and refugees in the Arab region.

More than 120 international and regional figures engaged in closed-door talks focusing on the reconfiguration of the Arab region and its global space were invited to this special event. Four policy circles saw international and regional legacy leaders and thinkers openly shared opinions and ideas on the state of the region from a global perspective.

The powerful line-up speakers included sitting and former presidents, prime ministers and ministers and led by Prince Turki Al Faisal, Chairman of King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, Dr. Amre Moussa, former Secretary General of the League of Arab States, and Dr. Barham Salih, former Prime Minister of Iraqi Kurdistan and Former Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq.

Raghida Dergham, Founder and Executive Chairman of Beirut Institute, said: “As well as providing a forum for discussion on the Arab region, our summit also gave us a chance to honor notable individuals.” The gala dinner featured a stellar array of leaders and thinkers paying tribute to two outstanding figures who have done so much in the causes of diplomacy and humanitarianism. The selfless efforts of Prince Saud and Sheikha Jawaher serve as an example of what can be done to effect a positive reconfiguration of the Arab region given the challenges we face.

Concluding today (October 11), Beirut Institute Summit sought to explore the Arab region’s challenges and potential through integrated inter-disciplinary perspectives that move beyond a traditional understanding of the concepts of “political economy” and “security threats”. Among the issues under the spotlight at the open-door plenary sessions were the role of smart cities, Arab women’s viewpoints and the relationship between ideas and policy.