Pope Benedict XVI Awards – Pontifical Medal at Vatican

H.E. Ms. Leila El Solh, Vice Chairman of Alwaleed Philanthropies "Global" in Beirut, Chaired by HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has been awarded the Pontifical Medal by Pope Benedict XVI during a ceremony to mark the occasion held at the Vatican on Wednesday 12th March 2008. The medal was in recognition of the achievement and efforts made by the Alwaleed Philanthropies "Global" for encouraging tolerance between the different religious faiths and social groups in Lebanon, and promoting religious dialogue. Moreover, the medal acknowledged the foundation’s philanthropic activities and support to those in need regardless of their background and creed.

Ms. El Solh said that the foundation serves as the address for every Lebanese citizen committed to his land, roots, and devoted to his country, free of religious or regional affiliations. These principles were cherished and adopted by the late Prime Minister Riad El Solh, Lebanese leader of independence who spared no effort in applying these principles as part of the National Pact. For these reasons, HRH appointed, Leila El Solh, daughter of Riad El Solh to represent the foundation and its work in Lebanon, preserving the same national and humanitarian principles.

Alwaleed Philanthropies "Global" Lebanon was first announced on the 19th of July, 2003. The foundation headquarters overlook Riad El Solh Square. In a very short period of time, the foundation made great achievements and managed to reach many of the areas in Lebanon in need of humanitarian support for development projects and to fight poverty. Within only a span of a few years since its establishment, the foundation has become a pillar of support for educational, health and social organizations throughout Lebanon, and has built an advanced network with other sectors and public entities in the country. The foundation has become significant on a national scale and a support to the government’s existing philanthropic efforts. Alwaleed Philanthropies "Global" has become a role model to other similar foundations and organizations as it is considered as the most important humanitarian foundation in Lebanon. Ms. El Solh was the first Lebanese woman in history to hold a cabinet position when she was appointed Minister of Industry in 2004. She is the youngest daughter of the late Prime Minister Riad El-Solh. In 2006 the Lebanese American University honored H.E. Leila El-Solh with a doctorate degree in humane letters.