Tuesday, March 29, 2011

TAKREEM lining up 10 Arab Oscars

The countdown to the Arab “Oscars” for excellence and leadership worldwide has started.

The TAKREEM Arab Achievement Awards will honor and recognize 10 such Arabs at a ceremony in Doha, Qatar, on April 30.

Beirut-based TAKREEM (Arabic for "to honor") was devised to inspire Arabs worldwide. The brainchild of media personality Ricardo Karam, TAKREEM is committed to becoming an annual landmark meant to shape a brighter opinion of Arabs worldwide and inspire present and future generations.

Arab achievers have excelled in almost every country around the planet. TAKREEM aspires to honor these achievers, acting as a platform to these outstanding men and women with unbelievable success stories to tell.

Names of the nominees are a well-guarded secret until the awards ceremony, but I got the names of two contenders – both of them proposed by bloggers. They are Wael Ghonim and Fadi Ghandour.

Wael Ghonim
Wael Ghonim is an Egyptian Internet activist, computer engineer and since January 2010 the head of marketing of Google Middle East and North Africa. Earlier this year, he became an international figure and energized pro-democracy demonstrations in Egypt after his emotional interview following 11 days of secret detention by Egyptian police. He was interrogated for being the administrator of Facebook page, "We are all Khaled Saeed" (one of the main reasons that sparked the Tahrir Revolution).

Fadi Ghandour is a Jordanian entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Aramex, a global logistics and transportation provider. He is a founding partner of, the world’s largest Arab online community. Yahoo! bought Maktoob in 2010. He is also a member of the board of Abraaj Capital, the largest private equity firm in the Middle East and South Asia; a Founding Board Member of Endeavor Jordan; and serves on the Advisory Board of the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business at the American University of Beirut (AUB), among many other roles.

Fadi Ghandour
Ghandour is passionate about social entrepreneurship. He is the founder of Ruwwad for Development, a regional private sector-led community empowerment initiative that helps disadvantaged communities overcome marginalization through youth activism, civic engagement and education. He also serves on the board of directors of Endeavor Jordan and Endeavor Lebanon. Endeavor, is an international nonprofit development organization that finds and supports high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

The TAKREEM initiative, launched two years ago, is represented by the olive branch, symbolizing the idea of peace, endurance, continuity, perseverance and accomplishment.

TAKREEM’s community consists of an honorary board, advisory and international jury, each playing a critical role in the selection and nomination process of the laureates. This year’s international jury consists of prominent figures such as Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, Carlos Ghosn and many other pioneers in their field.
Each year, the TAKREEM Arab Achievement Awards go to individuals or institutions in 10 categories:
  1. The Advancement of Peace
  2. Philanthropy and Charitable Services
  3. Arab Woman of the Year
  4. Exceptional International Contribution to Arab society
  5. Innovation in Education
  6. Young Entrepreneur
  7. Environmental Development and Sustainability
  8. Scientific and Technological Achievement
  9. Cultural Excellence
  10. Outstanding Corporate Leadership
The nominees are selected from hundreds of candidacies and winners enjoy international and regional recognition for their achievements.

According to TAKREEM founder Ricardo Karam, “Giant leaps begin with baby steps… God gives us dreams a size too big so we can grow into them. Our dream is to transcend our limitations and create a full-time initiative that showcases Arab successes. Even though TAKREEM's objectives might seem farfetched to some, they stem from the belief the bigger the dream is, the greater the results will be, as long as this dream is supported by strong determination and perseverance.”

Good luck to all the TAKREEM nominees and may the best among them win.