‘We are looking for hope makers’: Sheikh Mohammed announces launch of Dh1 million award

The Ruler of Dubai has said that hope is the epitome of strength and the engine of change

by

Sahim Salim

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Published: Mon 12 Jun 2023, 4:53 PM

Last updated: Tue 13 Jun 2023, 12:15 AM

The UAE Vice-President has personally called on ‘hope makers’ in the region to share their inspirational stories. This came as His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the launch of the 2023 edition of the Arab Hope Makers initiative.

The largest initiative of its kind in the Arab region, the Dh1-million award celebrates individuals who devote their time and efforts to drive positive change in communities without seeking personal gains or recognition in return.


“Hope is strength. It is the driver of change and the secret to new beginnings,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote on Twitter. “Hope is to go on giving and to seize opportunities. It is an infinite source of good for humanity.”

The UAE continues to seek hope makers to highlight their efforts and honour their work, he added.


“When talk of conflict, desperation and negativity prevails across the region, we talk about hope, charity and positive change in our communities. There are thousands of hope makers in every city and village; all we need to do is shed a light on them.

“We call on you to send your nominations via arabhopemakers.com if you see yourself or someone you know as a hope maker.”

Who can apply?

Organised by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, the Hope Makers initiative targets Arab individuals and institutions who have a creative and impactful project, programme, campaign or initiative that aims to improve a certain aspect in the community, alleviate the suffering of those in need, solve a local challenge or enhance the quality of life.

Potential hope makers can nominate themselves or be nominated by others who find them worthy of the title. The initiatives should be sustainable, scalable, impactful and measurable. The winner will receive a Dh1 million prize.

Nominees will go through several qualifying stages where they are closely evaluated and their projects examined, before the winner is announced in Dubai.

Close to 250,000 stories of hope

Since its launch in 2017, the Hope Makers initiative has attracted 244,000 nominations.

In the first edition of the initiative, Nawal Al Soufi from Morocco — who helped save the lives of more than 200,000 refugees — was named the Arab Hope Maker. However, Sheikh Mohammed surprised everyone by giving Dh1 million to each of the five finalists. Among them were Maali Al Asousi from Kuwait who dedicated her life to volunteering in Yemen and led over 30 initiatives that helped 250,000 people; Majida Jobran from Egypt who spent 27 years of her life helping the poor in Cairo; Hesham Al Thahabi from Iraq who provided homes and shelter for hundreds of street children; and the White Helmets, a group of 3,100 volunteers, who saved tens of thousands of people from under the rubble of collapsed houses in Syria.

Sheikh Mohammed continued the tradition of honouring all five finalists over the next two editions of the initiative.

In 2018, Mahmoud Wahid from Egypt was named the Arab Hope Maker for giving refuge to homeless seniors on the streets of Cairo.

In 2020, Ahmed Al Falasi from the UAE bagged the title for establishing advanced kidney dialysis centres and incubators in Kenya’s Mombasa.

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