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Habitat for Humanity Receives Arab American Award for Institutional Achievement

8th Annual Gibran “Spirit of Humanity” Gala Promotes Understanding

WASHINGTON. (April 26, 2006) — The Arab American InstituteFoundation is proud to announce that Habitat for Humanity International will receive the 2006 Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Award for Institutional Achievement in recognition of its efforts to end the cycle of homelessness and poverty that millions of families endure.

“Kahlil Gibran was an inspiring author, artist and poet whose works have spoken to millions of people from all backgrounds in dozens of languages around the world,” said Jonathan Reckford, Habitat for Humanity International’s chief executive officer. “Habitat for Humanity itself seeks to embody many of the ideals Gibran embraced and to be similarly universal in its work to build decent housing with families from all races, religions and languages. We are deeply honored to be recognized by the Arab American Institute with the Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Award.”

Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 homes in partnership with families in need throughout the world, providing more than one million people with secure and affordable housing. Through community and volunteer efforts, Habitat builds and rehabilitates houses in conjunction with the homeowner families who invest their own time and labor into the project. Habitat houses are sold to partner families with no-profit mortgages.

Habitat has active programs in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. Additionally, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Habitat announced “Operation Home Delivery,” a program designed to provide housing to those made homeless by the storm.

“It is an organization like Habitat for Humanity that offers a beacon of hope to those who seek to better their lives and the lives of their family by providing them with refuge and shelter,” said AAI President James Zogby. “In addition, thousands of volunteer builders who want to serve those in need have become empowered by Habitat’s programs.”

Past recipients of this award include Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Rock the Vote, Amnesty International, Reading is Fundamental, ALSAC/ St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the YWCA of the USA. Each awardee has demonstrated a commitment to promoting co-existence and inclusion in all walks of life. Habitat for Humanity President, Jonathan Reckford, will accept the award on behalf of Habitat for Humanity. Information on the organization and its members may be found at www.habitat.org.

WHAT: 8th Annual Arab American –“Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards”
WHERE: JW Marriot, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.
WHEN: May 3, 5:30 p.m.
RSVP: Media covering RSVP to Mira Browne, 202-429-9210/ mbrowne@aaiusa.org

About the Arab American Institute Foundation
The Arab American Institute Foundation was established in 1995 as a 501(c) (3) organization to undertake programs that promote Arab American heritage, ethnic cooperation, demographic research and international exchange between the United States and the Arab world.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in Americus, Ga., in 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than one million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.