Manama, Nov. 12 (BNA): His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa patronised today, in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, a ceremony at Isa Cultural Centre to confer the 2018-2019 Isa Award for Service to Humanity, to “EDHI Foundation” in Pakistan, for its efforts in the field of service to humanity.
On arrival, HM the King was welcomed by Deputy Premier and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity, HH Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa.
After the National Anthem was played and Holy Quran verses were recited, HM the King delivered the following address:
“In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Praise be to Allah, and prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammed, his family and his companions,
“Your Highnesses, Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,
“Peace, and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you,
“It is with great pride that we celebrate with you today the positive results of the Fourth Edition of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity, an award which has been advancing with confident and successful steps since we ordered its establishment 10 years ago, and which reflects the approach that sums up what our late father, may he rest in peace, believed in and worked for. He strove throughout his reign to carry the banner of peace, and has been known for his calls and efforts to achieve genuine fraternity among humanity, reinforcing with this approach the human tolerance and the ability of civilizational building which have characterized the people of Bahrain in all times and circumstances.
“Based on this great responsibility that we hold towards a great national leader who illuminated with his thought and generosity the march of our country, and reinforced with his determination the pillars of its contemporary development, comes this Award with its distinguished memory and broad scope as the best guide to explore human achievements on the world stage which enhance the value of man, and which makes service to humanity and sacrifice for its protection and continuity a sacred human duty.
“We are pleased, on this occasion, to congratulate the Edhi Foundation of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on winning the Award for its outstanding humanitarian services in the charitable, medical and relief fields. We appreciate, here, the great efforts made by those in charge of the Foundation in furthering its noble message as wished for by its late founder, Mr. Abdul Sattar Edhi, whose name shall remain immortal through his sacrifices, and whose contribution shall remain an exceptional model of outstanding humanitarian work.
“We would like also to praise with appreciation and admiration the efforts of all the institutions and individuals from different countries of the world who have applied for the Award in its Fourth Edition, particularly those whose work stood out and competed for the Award until the final arbitration stages. We are keen that the judging process is conducted by an elite panel of international experts and consultants, and in accordance with the most accurate scientific standards.
“In this regard, we must commend with great appreciation the remarkable support and outstanding management of the work of the Award since its establishment by the Chairman of its Board of Trustees, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa. We also praise his sincere role and achievements throughout his distinguished career, as well as his closeness to the great late Amir.
“In conclusion, we reiterate our congratulations to Edhi Foundation, and wish it continued success in carrying out its noble mission, expressing our sincere thanks to the Board of Trustees, the Jury Committee and the General Secretariat for their tireless efforts which have led the Isa Award for Service of Humanity to hold the deserved place it has today, and to be a constant reminder of the blessed march of the Father of all, His Majesty Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, may Allah rest his soul in peace and paradise.
“Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you”.
Then, HH Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, Deputy Premier and Board of Trustees Chairman of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity, delivered the following speech:
“In the name of Allah, the Merciful,
“Your Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa,
“Your Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister,
“Your Highnesses and Excellencies,
“The great father, the late Amir HH Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, will always live in our hearts and memory, and on the anniversary of his birth, we thank Your Majesty for dedicating an award that truly commemorates his character and kindness.
“The Isa Award, which through Your Majesty’s directives I have the privilege of chairing, has today become an international award. The late Amir, Shaikh Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, may God bless him, was renowned for his noble feelings; he was a kind father and a source of comfort to the sick and the weak, a generous ruler and the author of outstanding deeds of charity and welfare. All these are fittingly commemorated in this Award, which honours humanity and good works, regardless of origin, colour or nationality.
“Every two years, each session of the Award celebrates his memory and outstanding human character, which can never be forgotten by those who lived in his era and knew him as both an Amir and a person. Today, in the fourth edition of the Award, and on behalf of myself, the Board of Trustees and the Jury, I express sincere thanks and appreciation for Your Majesty’s sponsorship of this Award, and Your Majesty’s presence which adds so much to its meaning and significance, and reflects the depth and richness of Your Majesty’s vision of the importance of humanity and its needs.
“All of this underlines the importance of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity, as a continuation of the era of a leader whose heart beat in time with those of his people.
“Today, our global society needs an initiative that reflects the Kingdom of Bahrain’s deep-rooted respect for humanity and coexistence, a respect which so distinguishes our life and history. We need, also, an award which restores humanity to the individual, encourages charitable works, and embeds the values of openness, coexistence and peace of which Bahrain is so proud.
“Based on the Award’s statute, and following thorough and transparent study, the Board of Trustees and the Jury have selected a name which fully deserves to carry the fourth edition of the Isa Award. We could not have done so without Your Majesty’s keenness that our work should fully reflect Bahrain’s human values and ideals.
“The decision of the Board of Trustees, based on the Jury’s findings after two years of professional and transparent research and deliberation, is to grant the Award to the Abdul Sattar Edhi Foundation from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
“The Abdul Sattar Edhi Foundation is a project which richly deserves the Award, in appreciation and recognition of its ongoing humanitarian work in all parts of Pakistan. The Foundation’s work includes providing treatment to the sick, helping the needy, housing the homeless, educating poor children and saving them from delinquency or exploitation. A field visit by the Award’s General Secretariat and one of the distinguished members of the Jury has further underlined the value and significance of the Foundation’s work.
“We therefore congratulate the Foundation and commend the will of its founder, extending best wishes to the Foundation’s leadership for even further charitable deeds and humanitarian work.
“We also express thanks and appreciation to Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, Dr. Achyuta Samanta, and Dr. Omar Ezat Salama, whose institutions received the Isa Award in its previous three Sessions, for their kind words and wishes for the Award and its role in supporting the continuation of their humanitarian work. We are keen to maintain our contact with them, because their charitable work is at one with the noble goals of the Award.
“I also seize this opportunity to express thanks and appreciation to the Royal Charity Organisation (RCO) for its support and assistance to the Isa Award, and thank our guests who are sharing this ceremony with us here today.
“My thanks and appreciation also go to Their Excellencies the members of the Board of Trustees, the Jury and the General Secretariat, along with all those who have contributed to the success of our noble humanitarian work, under Your Majesty’s guidance.
“We look forward to the continued progress of this Award, as a shining chapter in our contemporary history, giving priority to humanity and placing the Kingdom of Bahrain in the leading rank of countries caring for humanity, its values and rights, in response to the call of Isa Bin Salman for a more beautiful world blessed with peace, brotherhood and tranquillity.
“May God bless our work for the good of all humanity,
“And may peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you.”
Following the speech, a documentary on the life of late Amir HH Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, “Everlasting Flame”, was screened.
Then, member of the jury of the 4th edition of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity, Dr. Awa Marie Coll-Seck, delivered the following speech:
“Your Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain
“Your Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa,
Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier
“Ladies and Gentlemen,
“It's a great pleasure and an honor, for me, to address this exceptional audience.
“The Isa Award for Services to Humanity is another example of your vision and generosity. And I would like to congratulate and thank you on behalf of all members of the jury.
“In a world where humanitarian crises, wars, conflicts, natural disasters, poverty and inequalities are the daily life of millions of people, your actions to highlight and encourage best practices of people helping others are appreciated and extremely important.
“The beauty of this Award is its non-political aspect. Moreover, its real significance lies in the recognition of exceptional people making positive changes in their communities. I strongly believe that public recognition should not go only to super stars, but also to those who make sacrifices to help the neediest through tangible actions.
“We express our sincere and deep gratitude for the trust you have placed in us to select the final candidates for this prestigious humanitarian award.
“It is my pleasure to announce that this year’s Award goes to Abdul Sattar Edhi Foundation.
“Abdul Sattar Edhi, in his early age, was confronted by his mother’s sickness. His experience taking care of his mother gave him the desire to establish a charity to help the poor all around the globe.
“He said: ‘My mother's plight forced me to think about those who suffer with no one around to help.’
“Abdul Sattar Edhi started his adventure by buying a pickup he used as an ambulance. He called it ‘The Car of the Poor’. With his pickup, he made himself available to drive people in need to the nearest hospital.
“Step by step, he increased his potential in helping people. Later, his efforts led to the creation of the Edhi Foundation, Pakistan's largest non-profit welfare institution.
“The Edhi Foundation relies entirely on donations. It employs 3,500 people and has tens of thousands of volunteers across the country. The Foundation provides ambulance services, free hospital and care centers, homes, rehabilitation centers, child adoption centers and education services.
“The Edhi Foundation's work covers all faiths, religions and nationalities without distinction. Over time, the people gave him the titles of ‘Angel of Mercy’ and ‘Father of the Poor.’
“Abdul Sattar Edhi didn’t forget people outside Pakistan. The Foundation has carried out relief work in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Eastern Europe and the United States through donations of ambulances, food, financial resources and direct assistance to refugees, victims of hurricane, cyclone, etc.
“Abdul Sattar Edhi was a hero to the poor in Pakistan and abroad. He was so loved by people from all social levels that official funerals were organized for him and a one-day national mourning was declared in Pakistan.
“May he rest in peace.
“His wife and children who have been always at his side are continuing his tremendous work.
“Before closing, we would like to thank His Highness the Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Board of trusties, members of the board, and the general secretary of the Award, who have made our work fruitful and our stay in Bahrain wonderful.
“Thank you very much.”
A documentary film on the achievements and charity activities of the Abdul Sattar Edhi Foundation, the winner of the fourth edition of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity, was screened.
Then, HM King Hamad conferred the Isa Award for Service to Humanity to Faisal Abdul Sattar Edhi, the son of philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, who received the recognition on behalf of Edhi Foundation.
Next, Faisal Edhi, delivered the following speech:
“Your Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain
“Your Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister;
“Honourable Members of Board of Trustees and Jury Committee,
“Ladies and Gentlemen.
“It is with deep honor to be among you today in the Kingdom of Bahrain to receive the Isa Award for Service to Humanity. Thank you all for your warmth, hospitality and generosity.
“I am also delighted to be among you today as a representative of Edhi Foundation, which was honoured to receive the Isa Award for the Service to Humanity in its fourth session.
“This prestigious award, which was established in honor of the late Emir of Bahrain, Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, as a contribution from the Kingdom of Bahrain to the world to encourage humanitarian actions and initiatives aimed at making the world better place to live.
“More than six decades ago in Karachi Pakistan Abdul Sattar Edhi, my father, started his Humanitarian Mission with a dispensary then added an ambulance. Then he expanded the mission to almost every area of welfare and relief activities for the society. His Humanitarian Mission is providing ambulance service, shelter homes, coffin shroud and graveyard, child adoption, missing person’s service, nursing school not in Pakistan but every part of the world where natural disasters accrued.
“The late Amir which the Award carries his name will always be in the heart and memory of those people who will benefit from it, God bless him and rest his sole in peace.
“I must mention his quotes that the keys to success of any person that are: Punctuality, simplicity, always tell truth and hard work.
“Upon these pillars he spent his entire life serving the ailing humanity of the world. Only peace brings harmony among the nations of the world.
“In conclusion, I must express my thanks and appreciation to the Board of Trustees of the Award, the Jury and the general secretarial for the efforts and good work.
“I and my entire family on behalf of Edhi Foundation are again thankful to you Your Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and to Prestigious Isa Award for Service to Humanity, which will go to Abdul Sattar Edhi and the Nation of Pakistan.
“Thank you all once again. Thank you, Bahrain.”
Ceremony attendees included senior Royal Family members, Speaker of the Council of Representatives, Shura Council Chairman, ministers, parliamentary committees’ chairpersons, members of the Board of Trustees of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity, governors, senior BDF, Interior Ministry and National Guard officers, diplomats, heads of charity organisations, businessmen, the media and press, representatives of the Edhi Foundation and guests.