H E Sheikha Hind (fifth, right) with other recipients of the award and officials at the ceremony in the Scottish parliament.
Edinburgh: At a ceremony in the Scottish parliament yesterday, H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser was honoured for driving education reforms and programmes that have benefitted the people of Qatar and many other nations.
The Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy was presented to H E Sheikha Hind on behalf of H H Sheikha Moza by William Thomson, great grandson of the Scottish philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.
Accepting the medal, H E Sheikha Hind said: “Over the last two decades, Her Highness has devoted her life to developing and enhancing the essential human component of our leadership’s vision for Qatar, which seeks to use our resources wisely and responsibly for the good of Qataris today and tomorrow and for the good of others less fortunate than us.”
Particular note was made of H H Sheikha Moza’s tireless work to provide Qataris of all ages and abilities with the best opportunities to be educated, citing examples of Qatar Foundation, Education City and Shafallah Centre.
The medal is awarded biannually to some of the world’s leading philanthropists. Often described as the ‘Nobel Prize for philanthropy’, it recognises those who use their private wealth for public good.
“We honour Her Highness for devoting her life to the people of Qatar while asking nothing in return but that her country should continue moving forward,” said Thomson, who also drew attention to H H Sheikha Moza’s work in the health sector and her efforts to promote education globally through initiatives such as Educate A Child.
In his keynote address, Pierre Omidyar, Founder and Chairman of eBay and previous award recipient, said all initiatives founded by recipients of this year’s award were characterised by the values of innovation, leadership and constant investment in human capital, which reflect Carnegie’s vision.
Carnegie was born in Scotland in 1835 and became a highly successful businessman in the US. He devoted his later life to philanthropy and argued that the wealthy have a moral obligation to distribute their riches for the public good. He believed that education and knowledge should be freely available to all and is best known for developing public libraries.
The legacy of Carnegie’s philanthropy lives on through the 22 Carnegie institutions around the world, which established the medal in 2001. These institutions select nominees for the medal as a way to honour Carnegie’s efforts to “do real and permanent good in this world”.
The selection committee judged that H H Sheikha Moza’s efforts in Qatar are a shining reflection of Carnegie’s vision of freely-available quality education and knowledge.
Other recipients are Dame Janet Wolfson de Botton, Chairman of Wolfson Foundation; Sir Tom Hunter, a long-term advocate of philanthropy; Dr James H Simons, Chairman of Simons Foundation; Marilyn H Simons, President of Simons Foundation; and Dmitry Borisovich Zimin, founder of Dynasty foundation.