Jordan's Prince Hassan to receive Notre Dame Award

by Michael O. Garvey

The Notre Dame Award for international humanitarian service will be given to Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan. He will receive the award at a ceremony on campus April 23 (Wednesday).p. “Prince El Hassan bin Talal is known worldwide for his intellectual and cultural leadership in the Arab world and for his religiously grounded commitment to the advancement of universal human rights,” said Notre Dame’s president, Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., in announcing the award. “A devout son of Islam, he also exemplifies the socially engaged Muslim intellectual.”p. Prince Hassan was born in Amman on March 20, 1947, the youngest son of Crown Prince Talal bin Abdullah and Princess Zein El Sharaf bint Jamil, who later became Jordan’s King Talal and Queen Zein El Sharaf. His older brother, King Hussein, whom he served as political advisor, confidant and deputy, reigned in Jordan from 1952 until his death in 1999.p. Educated by tutors as a child in Amman, Prince Hassan attended secondary schools in England and was graduated from Oxford, where he received degrees in Oriental studies.p. A fluent speaker and writer in Arabic, English and French, Prince Hassan is active internationally as an advocate of interreligious dialogue and study as a source of peaceful relations in the Middle East and throughout the world.p. Prince Hassan has founded and been active in numerous educational, developmental and humanitarian institutions in his own country and internationally. They include Jordan’s Royal Scientific Society, the Bilad Al-Sham Conference, the Al Al-Bait Foundation, the Arab Thought Forum, the Jordan Higher Council for Science and Technology, the Islamic Scientific Academy, the Triannual Conferences on the History and Archaeology of Jordan, the Hashemite Aid and Relief Agency, the Center for Educational Development, the Institute for Diplomacy, the Arab Youth Forum and the new Al al-Bait University in Mafraq. In addition to the U.N. Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues, which he founded and cochairs, Prince Hassan is chairman of the Policy Advisory Commission for the World Intellectual Property Organization, and a member of the informal advisory group to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the UNSECO International Interreligious Advisory Committee.p. Prince Hassan’s ecumenical interests have involved him in consultations with such Christian institutions as the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at Chambesy, Switzerland.p. Prince Hassan also is the author or co-author of several books, including “A Study on Jerusalem,” “Palestinian Self Determination,” “Search for Peace,” “Christianity in the Arab World,” “Essere Musulmano,” “L’islam Explique a Tous” and “El Christianismo en el Mundo Arabe.”p. The Notre Dame Award was established in 1992, in celebration of the University’s Sesquicentennial, to honor persons “within and without the Catholic Church, citizens of every nation, whose religious faith has quickened learning, whose learning has engendered deeds, and whose deeds give witness to God’s kingdom among us.”p. The award has been given previously to Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter; Mother Theresa of Calcutta; Jean Vanier, founder of the international l’Arche communities for the mentally handicapped; Helen Suzman, South African anti-apartheid politician; John Hume, peace advocate and leader of Northern Ireland’s Social Democratic and Labour Party; Brother Roger, founder and prior of the ecumenical Taize Community in France; Cardinal Vinco Puljic, archbishop of Sarajevo; civil rights activist Rev. Leon Sullivan; and Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Sant’Egidio Community.p.

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