Everyday Heroes

2017 Gala Honorees

Muzoon Almellehan

A Syrian refugee and education activist, for her work in standing up for the rights of children, particularly girls, to stay in or go back to school.

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Dr. Waheed Arian

Afghani refugee who became a doctor in the UK, for his pioneering telemedicine program that allows British doctors to advise medics in Kabul via Skype. The successful program is being extended to Syria, Iraq and other conflict zones.

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Colonel Matthew Bogdanos

Prosecutor for the New York County District Attorney’s Office, for his work in exposing the link between antiquities trafficking and terrorist financing.

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Jim Estill

CEO of a Canadian appliance company Danby, for personally investing millions of dollars to bring 58 Syrian refugee families to Canada. He found them homes, gave them jobs and even bought one man a dollar store.

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May Makhzoumi

President of the Makhzoumi Foundation, for her work as a pioneer in providing vocational training, microcredit, health care and development programs to tens of thousands of young Lebanese in vulnerable situations and Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

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Dr. Denis Mukwege

Congolese gynecologist, for founding the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu where he specializes in the treatment of women who have been gang-raped by rebel forces.

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Mansour al-Nogaidan

Saudi intellectual and author, for his trendsetting advocacy of reform, respect for diversity, and plea for tolerance in Arab societies.

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Sammy Rangel

Former gang member, for co-founding the Chicago-based NGO Life After Hate to counter the seeds of hate and inspire and give far-right extremists opportunities to change their lives and find compassion and forgiveness.

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Lt. Kochar Saleh

A lieutenant in the Peshmerga forces of Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq, for her inspiring leadership in organizing local Kurdish resistance to the brutal onslaught of ISIS in northern Iraq, for helping the Yazidi and Christian communities and for her active participation in the liberation of Mosul.

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Latifa Ibn Ziaten

French-Moroccan activist, for her relentless work to prevent young French Muslims from being recruited into the ranks of violent extremists.

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2016 Gala Honorees

Emmanuel Jal (South Sudan)

Musician, actor, former child soldier, and political activist, for his efforts to bring peace and reconciliation to his people through music and art.

Nadia Murad (Iraq)

A Yazidi woman who survived the massacre of her family and sexual enslavement by ISIS, for her valorous exposure of atrocities committed by terrorists against her people.

Nicholas Kristof (USA)

New York Times columnist, for his steady focus on the root causes and cultural and political ramifications of violent extremism.

Abdihafid Yussuf Abdi (Kenya)

Co-founder of Teachers Against Violent Extremism, for his courageous and innovative work fighting the influence of Al-Shabab in Kenya.

Turki Al-Dakhil (Saudi Arabia)

Director General of Al-Arabiya TV, for his outspoken advocacy of tolerance, freedom of the press, and the rights of minorities and women in the Gulf region.

Serge and Beate Klarsfeld (France and Germany)

Honored for their lifetime dedication to expose and bring Nazi war criminals to justice, and their tireless efforts to use the lessons of history to denounce racism and bigotry.

Rochester Institute of Technology (USA)

A team of students at the Rochester Institute of Technology (USA), winners of the Peer-to-Peer Challenging Extremism Initiative award organized by the State Department, for their innovative approach to countering hate speech on the internet.

Hafsat Mohammed (Nigeria)

A radio journalist-turned-civil society activist, for her resilient campaign against religious intolerance in Nigerian schools and for leading a grassroots multi-faith effort to denounce Boko Haram.