The Institutional Excellence
First Place An-Najah National University - Nablus

 An-Najah National University has continued its ambitious path towards the advancement of science and knowledge for many years. It has responded to world development by meeting the requirements and challenges of each decade and acted as a guiding light and a vibrant center for education and science to illuminate the future for many students. Thousands of innovators in science and various fields have graduated from An-Najah; some of them have participated in improving the realities of their community, and some have raised the name of Palestine all over the world. An-Najah has achieved success after success, and has a distinguished academic record, achieving top ranks in the classification of universities. It has maintained and continues to hold the top ranking amongst Palestinian universities. In 2012, An-Najah received the European Certificate of Excellence, awarded by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) and obtained an excellent assessment report from the Union of European Universities’ Institutional Evaluation Program (IEP). An-Najah is the first Palestinian university that has applied and gained the European model of excellence in quality management.

It was also ranked in sixth place in the Arab world among seven hundred Arab universities, and was ranked 1,029 among 22,000 universities in the world. It was endorsed in 2011 as a member of the Academic Impact Program of the United Nations. An-Najah University started its journey towards its current success in 1918 as an elementary school, and grew gradually until it was recognized as a University in 1977. In 1981 it was accepted as a member in the World Universities Association. An-Najah has not spared any effort in its quest for upgrading the academic and educational level by attracting talented staff and national academic cadres who hold advanced qualifications and degrees in many different disciplines. An-Najah then introduced colleges in various specializations including: science, law, literature, commerce, engineering, medicine, pharmacy, nursing, veterinary medicine, agriculture among others. An-Najah currently has 74 Bachelor programs, 43 Master programs and two Ph.D. programs in Chemistry and Physics.

It also offers scientific research possibilities and has established a number of specialized research centers such as the Poison Center, Renewable Energy Center, the Center of Earth Science and Seismology, Engineering Community Service and Continuing Education Center, Urban Planning and Disaster Risk Reduction Center, Water and Environment Studies Center, Center of Excellence in Materials Science and Nano-Technology (CEMSANT), Media Center, the Genes Unit at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, UNESCO Chair on Human Rights and Democracy, Poison Control and Chemical/Biological Analysis Center, Energy Research Center (ERC) and other units and centers that serve different departments and research studies. Another achievement that An-Najah prides itself in accomplishing is the establishment of the An-Najah University Hospital, which offers training opportunities for the students at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences and for professionals. An-Najah University Hospital is the top Palestinian hospital in its area in terms of modern facilities and services. It will be inaugurated in May, 2013

Second Place: Al-Haq - Ramallah

“Al-Haq” institution was founded in 1979 as a Palestinian human rights association, a non-governmental and independent institution, holding the slogan “ Law for the human”, it was established in order to consolidate the principle of the rule of law and to promote the conservation and respect of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The vision of “Al-Haq” is to work on the application of the principle (of the rule of law) and international human rights standards, international humanitarian law, in addition to commit to these laws until Palestinians enjoy equal treatment with respect to human dignity and freedom from occupation, and the full application of their rights in self-determination. The mission is to publish and disseminate the principles and standards of human rights and consolidate the commitment to the principle of (the rule of law) in the Palestinian community, and the usage of national and international mechanisms in order to influence policies at the national and international levels, in addition to accountability for perpetrators to be brought to justice. Since its founding, “Al-Haq” continued to monitor the humanitarian situation and violations practiced on the ground, on the other hand it works on the issuance and dissemination of data, reports and studies that are documenting the facts which contributed to the defense of Palestinian human rights and their land, even in international courts. AL-Haq has contributed effectively in written statements about the expansion and annexation wall to the International Court of Justice in Lahaye.

It also contributed in submitting documents for gross violations of human rights during the Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip, “Operation Cast Lead” in 2008; to a fact-finding committee, which issued the Goldstone report, which confirmed in more than a paragraph violation occupation army of international humanitarian law and war crimes during the aggression on Gaza Strip. AL-Haq was awarded several international and local awards as : Carter Award of Human Rights in 1990, the French government for human rights award in 1994, the Khoznebennj (resistance) Dutch award in 2009, welfare Foundation of achievement for NGOs Palestinian award in 2010, and Freedom Award in 2011 - Copenhagen. “Al-Haq “ is an Advisory Member for the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, it is also a member in the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva, and a member in Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights and the International Organization Against Torture Network, in addition to its’ membership in Palestinian local council of human rights organizations and Palestinian NGO Network.

Second Place: the Islamic Charitable Society - Hebron

Since the founding of the Islamic Charitable Society in Hebron as an initiative by a distinguished group of people in the year 1961. It seeks to achieve its humanitarian mission by drawing a smile on the faces of orphans, embrace them, take care of them, upbringing them and include them in the the educational process with their peers to grow up as a proficient and effective generation in the Palestinian society. The Islamic Charitable Society today embraces more than 3244 orphans. It gives them comprehensive care, education, health and social care through more than 500 male and female employees. The Society takes into consideration the comprehensive services and programs to achieve sustainable decent life for orphans. Its main programs are: the shelter program, The education program, and the subsistence and empowerment program. Sections and departments of Society includes along with the administrative services ; the Hebron House Charity for males orphans and the Hebron House charity for Females orphans to ensure a safe and a decent shelter, in addition to Charitable Islamic Schools, and Alanwar Alebrahimiya Library for children, and Dar Al- Quran and Al - Hadith,in addition to Rasmet Amal Center for education guidance, and the Institute of Saeb Al Nather for Vocational and Technical Education, as well as clinics that provide free medical care for the orphans and their families. The Islamic Charitable Society has worked on developing projects whose revenues goes to the orphans, such as Al- Rayyan Cow Farm, the sewing factory, Al -Rahma Bakery, Al- Rahma Dairy Factory, and Al Huda School, in addition to agricultural projects on the Society land, and a number of housing and commercial complexes projects, such as Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi housing project The Society activities expand to provide creative initiatives; such as reconstruction and maintenance of houses for more than 50 families living below poverty and extreme poverty lines in cooperation with the UNDP through the DEEP Program, in addition to afford 40 university scholarships for orphan students in cooperation with PalTel Group Scholarship Program. The Society also distribute food packages to the poor and needy in cooperation with other active associations in Hebron, in addition to the execution of 15 small development projects for the orphan’s families in Hebron, which contributes to the economic empowerment of those families.

The Exceptional Individual with a Special Need
First Place (shared equally): Haneen Adnan Fayek Hendieh- Nablus

Haneen Hendieh from the city of Nablus has managed to gain literary excellence in the field of writing poetry and thoughts, her talent enabled her to issue a booklet of poetry at the age of six. She completed her university studies despite her physical disability; Haneen was able to use her creative writing skills to gain a master’s degree in Arabic literature. The great support that she got from her family and friends and her confidence in her literary and intellectual work, in addition to her talent, gave her the opportunity to highlight her work and to finally get known, despite all the challenges that she faced, Without this support she would not be able to publish her poems and writings, which consequently led her to self-reliance and allowed her to accomplish her tasks without the help of others.. Her adaptation to her special needs increased her belief in herself and in her capability, which led her to reach peace and harmony within herself. Her family has never treated her as a person with a special need. She was treated as an ordinary member of the family with same rights and duties. This consequently helped her to adapt herself in the community giving her the opportunity to live as an active and constructive member in society Haneen currently works in the Palestinian Ministry of Culture hoping to obtain a doctoral certificate in Arabic literature in the future that would enable her to get more experience in writing poetry; she considers literature as an enduring humanitarian message and an elite way to transfer experiences, feelings and events from a deep perspective. Her skills in using the Internet helped her in spreading her vision and work outside the borders of her homeland, and allowed her to meet many writers and authors and to keep up with the literary scene.

First Place (shared equally): Mohammed Saeed Melhem- Jenin

Mohammed Saeed Melhem has succeeded in his educational path despite of his physical disability, depending on himself and adapting to his surrounding circumstances. Melhem is from Kufr Rai town in Jenin district he has strength and tolerance and insists on his dream that doesn’t recognize the impossible. He has challenged his disability to achieve important stages in his life; he has achieved excellence in his educational journey reaching his bachelor degree in sociology and a Masters in Political Science, nowadays he works as an educational guide in a governmental school at Qabatiya Educational Directorate. Melhem challenged difficulties of movement in addition to peoples’ perspective, while gaining academic certificates as his main goal, believing that education is the factor that can build up his life and future, he managed to finish the stage of school with honor despite his need to travel long distances outside his hometown to receive education. His higher education has formed an important turning point in the life of Melhem, as he was determined to pursue higher education despite the challenges. He lost university scholarships abroad because of the fear of donors of his inability to live and depend on himself away from home and family. He also applied to many national universities but he was faced with other challenges; mainly that some of the buildings of universities are not eligible to receive students with disabilities, but he eventually managed to enter Bethlehem University, and proceeded to deal with the circumstances, until he received his BA with honor. Melhem determined to continue the journey of education, received a Ford Foundation grant to obtain a master’s degree.His trip this time was away from home to complete his studies at the University of Jordan. This step formed an incentive for him to gain more excellence, where he found alternative solutions to adapt to his new circumstances; his powerful ability helped him to adapt to the surroundings and to build up social relations, until he gained the master’s degree with honor. Melhem worked on exploiting his time and invested his energy to develop his abilities, where he received several courses in computer, also he received a driver’s license, and owns a private car for special needs which enables him to carry out his responsibilities, professional as well as community tasks . Today Melhem aspires to academic work at a Palestinian university. He hopes to contribute to the integration of people with special needs in the community and institutions, and to achieve equality and justice for people with disabilities, and to shed light on t his experience to motivate young people to challenge the harsh conditions and difficulties to gain superiority and excellence in their academic life and career, in order to contribute in their part in the creativity approach in Palestinian society.

Second Place: Mohammed Saeed Saqer Fanouneh- Gaza

Equipped with an unlimited ambition and a unique talent; the thirty two year old Mohammed Saeed Saqer Fanouneh from Gaza Strip, works in one of the Palestinian National Authority institutions in Ramallah. Mohammed has challenged his vision disability and persistently succeed in developing his talent through the ongoing training, and participation in Sports rehabilitation programs, he played athletics, especially the long jump, gaining dozens of medals in the Arab and international tournaments depending on his capabilities. his determination and strong will helped him in overcoming the difficulties, particularly his reliance on self-development skills, and coping with his disability armed with confidence, without needing the help of blind counselors, which was reflected on his sports capabilities , in addition to his positive academic performance where he obtained a Diploma in Accounting. He Scored the sixth and seventh places in the races, running 100 meters and 200 meters respectively in the 2008 Beijing Olympics At the World Championships in Lille, France, in 2002 he won the fourth place in the long jump and fifth place in the javelin, he also won bronze medal in the long jump at the Athens Olympics in 2004. However, with all these athletic achievements; the biggest achievement by Fannuneh was when he t raised the Palestinian flag and sang the Palestinian national anthem as he won the gold medal in the long jump at the Asian Championship, which was held in the city of Guangzhou, China. Fannuneh was qualified to participate in the 2012 London Olympics in the sport of long jump the javelin and the 200 meters race.

The Exceptional Project
First Place: Lighting Palestinian villages by solar energy project

The idea of the “House of the Sun” project to light a number of remote marginalized Palestinian villages by solar energy, which is implemented by the Energy Research Center at An-Najah National University under the supervision of Dr. Imad Breik, the director of the center, aims at contributing to support the steadfastness of the marginalized areas in Palestine that lack the basic services, especially electricity, due to the practices of the Israeli occupation and its violations, aiming to isolate those areas and push its population to migrate. The Energy Research Center through the “House of the Sun” project seeks to enhance the energy sector in Palestine in cooperation with local and international institutions, and to improve the livelihood of the people in remote marginalized areas that are deprived from access to electricity and basic services, through the application of the technology of generating electricity through solar energy, the recruitment of available sources, and job creation, in order to be able to manage the available natural resources soundly and sustainably, such as gray water and wastewater treatment. The project, besides its economic advantage, is distinguished by being an environmental friendly project, which reduces the rate of toxic gases emission by relying on power generation from natural sources, such as solar energy. The center has succeeded in implementing the project and lighting a number of marginalized villages in the governorates of Tubas, Hebron and Jenin, through the introduction and the application of solar energy technology to these villages, which used to sink in darkness. The project contributed effectively in improving the standard of living in these villages, especially by raising the level of education and the level of production. The Energy Research Center since its inception in 1996 looks forward to become a leading center in the science and engineering of renewable energy and in finding appropriate and effective solutions to the energy problems in Palestine, by contributing to conduct studies and scientific research to exploit solar energy systems, wind energy and biogas, and through raising the electrical grids efficiency, energy consumption efficiency, and the reduction of toxic gases emission, thus contributing to the development of the energy sector in the Palestinian Territories.

Special Tribute
Trio Joubran

Le Trio Joubran (Samir, Wissam and Adnan) had a lot of achievements worldwide, as they have presented more than a thousand concerts in more than 80 countries and on their most important international theaters; such as the “Champs Elysees” and “salle pleyel hall” and “Olympia” in Paris, and “Carnegie Hall” , “New York Radio City Hall” in the United States, and in the European Union building and UNESCO as well as Arab national theaters in Jordan, Sudan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. They wrote music for plays and contemporary dance in addition to international cinema films. Their music has spread all over the world; Southern and Northern Americas, Europe, Middle East and Near East, Africa and Australia. They have won numerous awards in several forums and festivals. Le Trio performed five creative albums , most notable of which were :” Majaz “,” Asfar “ “ Fi Thel Al Kalam “ in honor of the spirit of our late poet Mahmoud Darwish, whom they’ve accompanied in 32 concerts in the Arab world and the world . Le Trio Joubran obtained numerous awards including: Arab Muhr Award for the years 2009 and 2011 for the best soundtrack in the Dubai Film Festival, and the best album in the British “Song Line “ and they were also nominated for “De Gango D’or “ global award for their album “Majaz”. lately they were awarded the Merit and Excellence medal from H.E. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Ten years have passed by filled with sweet and sour and challanges and dreams… Ten years full of achievements, both personal and professional … Where le Trio Joubran climbed the ladder of fame step by step, sometimes relying on themselves and other times on those who surrounds them, equipped with their talent , ambition and their music …. Palestine was always present feeding their determination and nourishing their hearts to reach where they have reached ... worldwide celebrity.

The Exceptional Project
Second Place: The re-partition of the land in the planned expansion of Ramallah City

The Municipality of Ramallah has adopted the idea of a distinct project of the re-partition of the land in the expansion scheme of the City of Ramallah by enacting the legal deduction rate of land exploitation permitted by the law up to (30%) of the total area of each piece of land without any compensation. The project aims to distribute this deducted percentage to all other pieces of land in the area, in order to re-demark the land to ensure the improvement of the shape of all pieces and their suitability for their proposed uses in the area. Consequently the Municipality would be able to implement the mandatory re-partition in accordance with the public interest and according to the local authorities law in Palestine. Engineer Osama Yacub Ahmad Hamdah, the Mayor’s advisor for engineering and planning, submitted the project that aims to provide central commercial areas and services, in order to relieve the pressure on the current commercial city center, which is suffering a crisis as a result of the rapid growth of the city, to provide new residential areas to meet the needs of the high population growth of the city, and to provide sites for public schools that meet the required standards. The project includes new ideas that differ totally from the structural drawings prepared previously for the area. There is a focus on creating public spaces that ensure social interaction among the current and the new residents. There are many other benefits that stimulate investment in the region, such as the construction of high-rise buildings, the provision of commercial and tourist areas that provide services to the residents of the city and the new residents as part of the role played by center part of Ramallah city. The project is distinguished by its provision of additional space for special uses within a suitable environment for the residents to provide them with wide streets, public squares, parks and suitable housing areas, in addition to the provision of sites for different services, such as schools and public buildings, without prejudice to the rights of the owners and in consistency with the public interest. Not only the project will contribute to the prospects of investment through the creation of local and foreign investments, such as commercial and service centers; but also will contribute to the rise of the local labor market and job creation, especially in the sectors of tourism, services and construction

The International Awardees for this year
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva

Brazil’s Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was known for his excellence in defending human rights and standing by the oppressed and persecuted, and also for supporting the issues of human justice and peace in the world, especially in Palestine. For his belief in the justice of the Palestinian cause and the right of our people to reach freedom and independence, President Lula da Silva responded to the call of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2010, to recognize the State of Palestine with the 1967 borders and Brazil was infact the first country to recognize Palestine. Palestine and the Palestinian cause have got special attention of President Lula da Silva. The Brazilian position about this issue has emerged from his leadership. In several occasions, his pro-Palestinian people attitudes and the special place he gave on his agenda to many conferences and events on the theme were decisive. In the Latin-Arab Summit, held in Brazil’s capital Brasilia in 2005, the Palestinian cause dominated the atmosphere and the summit’s agenda, especially in terms of highlighting and discussing the usurped Palestinian rights, particularly the right of the Palestinian people to independence and establish their independent state. Also «the Brasilia Summit» stressed the rejection of the occupation and achieving a comprehensive and lasting peace, the realization of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, and the establishment of a Palestinian State based on 1967 borders. “I was impressed with the conversation I had with the President of the Palestinian Authority, with his wisdom and his tranquility in recognizing that peace is primarily a game of patience, like a game of chess, while we rush to conquer it, we need to have patience to build political opportunities to achieve it.”, said president Lula in his speech at the time. Former Brazilian President Lula da Silva is a unique phenomenon on the level of world leaders. He comes from the poor class and he is a supporter of workers and social justice achievements in his country. President Lula da Silva lived a life of poverty and he was deprived of completing his education to work at a young age to support his mother and siblings. He moved from one work to another, and suffered what other workers were exposed to from violations of the rights to diminution of human values and dignity, which made him a man with a social vision defending the rights of workers and the oppressed. Also marked by his ability in influential speeches, he opposed the Brazilian dictatorship and conquered leadership positions in unions, trade unions, and the foundations of the leftist Workers’ party. He insisted on his demands for the justice and fairness of workers and poor. After founding the Workers’ Party, the Unified Workers Central (CUT) and running for three presidential elections, he succeeded in 2003 and assumed the presidency for two consecutive terms until 2010. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva succeeded, in a matter of years, in consistently combat the problem of poverty and unemployment, and saved his people from the danger of economy collapse. He was very popular during his presidency, and especially for the poor class, who gave him the title of «champion of the poor», due to his work and the achievements he made for his people. He was able to promote Brazil to one of the largest economic powers. In both Latin America and the world, Brazil began to compete with the largest economies, and even to play an important role on the international political scene, particularly with regard to Middle East issues. Mr. Lula da Silva ended his terms with a high rate of approval and promised his people he would stay with them and support their issues. He also remained a prominent supporter of the Palestinian people and for all humanitarian issues in the world. So the Board of Trustees for the Palestine International Award for Excellence and Creativity, decided to honor former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, in recognition of his pro-Palestine positions for Palestine and its people.

Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bent Mubarak Al Ketbi (Um Al-Emirat)

Due to her wisdom and passion of women , children and family issues; her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bent Mubarak Al Ketbi (Um Al-Emirat) wife of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder and former president of the United Arab Emirates ,she was able to form a live model in the renaissance of Emirati women in particular and Arab in general, as she believes in the women ‘s ability to provide quality work in their jobs, and to stand side by side with men, in addition to her responsibility in the family affairs at the same time. Her initiatives has opened new horizons to activate the role of women in various societal and national issues not only at the level of the UAE, but also Islamic and Arab world issues, she has never forgotten the suffering of the Palestinian people and has never given up her victory and support through initiatives, relief projects and developmental projects in various parts of the country. Her Highness Sheikha Fatima (Um Al-Emirat) has given Palestine special care through the launching and the support of many initiatives, including, for example; financing projects for the relief and care of Palestinian orphans who are victims of Israeli attacks, establishment of hospitals and health clinics, distribution of medicines and food for the Palestinian camps and marginalized areas, establishment of social and educational centers. Among these projects that have contributed to alleviating the suffering of the Palestinian people and support the development process, was the creation of Sheikha Fatima Rehabilitation Center in Hebron, and the Sheikha Fatima Center for the brain- disabled in Gaza, and the establishment of Sheikha Fatima Bent Mubarak secondary school in the Mazara’ al Sharqieh village in Ramallah. Her Highness Sheikha Fatima (Um Al-Emirat) accompanied her husband the late Sheikh Zayed during his rule of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and his presidency of the United Arab Emirates, as she was so close to him, she considered him her mentor and first tutor, she contributed in his success story ,the establishment of the United Arab Emirates on the second of December / 1971 is considered one of the main chapters. Her Highness Sheikha Fatima (Um Al-Emirat) was committed to take care of Arab women affairs and enable them to play their role in life and society, she contributed to support Arab and Muslim women issues in the world, and initiated to support several projects in the Arab world to ensure the advancement of women and enhancing their role in all fields while maintaining their Arab and Islamic identity.

The Great Arab Musician & Artist Marcel Khalife

The great arab musician and artist Marcel Khalife, an outstanding name that is memorized in the cultural heritage of Palestinian struggle, inherited by Palestinian’s generation after another. His art has spread to reach different parts of the world, consequently he was known as one of the most important and famous Arab artists who personified the Palestinian cause. One of his main songs is “Aheno ela khobz omi” and “Muntaseb alqamati amshi”. His work has contributed in highlighting the Palestinian cause and its message in the world the message of freedom from occupation, on the other hand his art has been characterized by its revolutionary and national nature, and has been linked to the struggle of the Palestinian people, who were raised generation after another singing Marcel songs of freedom and dignity in addition to the love of the homeland’s and peace leading to freedom and independence. Artist Marcel Khalife was born in 1950 in the town of Amsheet, Lebanon Mountain. He has been affected since his childhood with the Arab nation issues, most notably the liberation from colonialism, which was reflected on his music and songs that gained wide popularity in the world. He was known for mixing Arabic music with western instruments, and began in the late seventies and eighties to sing for Arab people issues and causes, especially Palestinians. The poems of the late Palestine poet Mahmoud Darwish has gained a great part in Khalifa’s artwork. Together they made a unique couple that has been captured by the minds of the Arab people. He also composed and sang to other poets such as Habib Sadeq and Talal Haidar, initiating the phenomenon of singing Palestinian national poems merging the image of human with the land who looks for love and hope, freedom and dignity. He composed and sang hundreds of songs which has became part of the consciousness and conscience of the Palestinian people. Arab Lebanese singer Omaima Khalil accompanied him in many of these songs. One of his famous artworks: “Inni ekhtartoka ya watani”, “Aljeser”, “tusbehuna ala watan”, “Ana ahmad alarabi”, “Asfour tal men elshubak” and “Rita”. Khalife contributed in supporting issues of oppressed people,especially the children of Palestine, where he participated in more than one occasion, such as the concert that he has held as the artist of UNESCO for peace in the city of Dubai, under the patronage of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), he devoted the money of the concert to support the children of Gaza who have been affected by the Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip. Marcel Khalife won numerous awards at the Arab and international levels, as well as the Palestinian level, as he donated the financial part of the Palestine Award for Music component provided by the Palestinian Ministry of Culture which he received in 1999 to the National Institute of Music in order to create a Palestinian National Music competition, Khalife seeks to encourage musical creativity in Palestine. “Here we conclude with some words Khalife sent from Beirut: “To the Board of Trustees and the staff of Palestine International Award for Excellence and creativity, greetings, with all joy and pleasure I received the news of giving me your honorable award. My friends, Palestine lives inside me, I feel it as my hands as a poem, a song , a demonstration ,discussion, and a wish that cant fade by time thank you for your trust , to you all the love and appreciation”