Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Awards Prince Alwaleed

HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Chairman of Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation-Global (Registered in Lebanon), was awarded an honorary plaque by HE Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), during a ceremony held on Tuesday October 8th 2013 at the Four Seasons, Riyadh. Prince Alwaleed was honored in recognition for his humanitarian and philanthropic efforts in the Islamic world through Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundations.
To mark the occasion, Prince Alwaleed said: “This honor is a tribute to the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundations and their charitable and humanitarian activities that reached more than 80 countries worldwide, including the OIC Member States. This expression of appreciation is certainly something to be proud of.”
The event was attended by HRH Prince Khalid Bin Bandar Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Governor of Riyadh Province, HRH Prince Turki Bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Deputy Governor of Riyadh Province, HE Mr. Abdullah Bin Majdou’ Al-Qarni, Acting Deputy of Governorate of Riyadh Region, Royals, VIPs, dignitaries, representatives of international, local and regional media and members of Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, and Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) that is chaired by Prince Alwaleed. The ceremony was hosted Dr. Sulaiman Eidi, Saudi television broadcasters Deputy Head of the Saudi Radio and Television.
The ceremony commenced with verses from the Holy Quran recited by Sheikh Khalid Bin Fahd AlJaleel, Imam of the King Khalid Mosque, Riyadh. Moreover, an opening speech was given by Mr. Ossama Bin Saleh Al Tayyib, Acting Secretary General Islamic Relief Organization, Jeddah and representative of the charitable organizations in Saudi Arabia. This was followed by a speech from HE Mr. Ziauddin Saeed Bamukhrama, Ambassador of Djibouti to Saudi Arabia and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Saudi Arabia. During the ceremony, a documentary about Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundations was aired.
Furthermore, HE Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu gave a speech during the ceremony, and presented the award to Prince Alwaleed. Moreover, Prince Alwaleed is the first to be honored by the OIC. In his acceptance speech, Prince Alwaleed expressed his sincere appreciation for the award.
In 2012, Prince Alwaleed and Prof. Ihsanoglu signed a memorandum of understanding between Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation and the OIC
The OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations and has a membership of 57 states spread over four continents. The Organization is the collective voice of the Muslim world and seeks to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among nations.
The Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundations are involved in a wide spectrum of humanitarian and philanthropic activities in more than 80 countries. Their main focus areas have been established around strategic initiatives, ranging from Disaster Relief and Community Development, to Women and Youth Empowerment, as well as Promoting Intercultural Understanding.
HRH Prince Alwaleed’s speech during the ceremony:
In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate
Praise be to God, the Lord of the Universe, and may prayers and peace be upon the most honorable of Messengers our Prophet Muhammad, his Family and his Companions
Your Highnesses and Excellency’s,
Your Excellency Brother Professor Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation,
Distinguished Dignitaries, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Attendees
Peace be upon you and God’s mercy and blessings,
Ever since its inception 44 years ago, on Rajab 12, 1398 A.H. (September 25, 1969), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been making vigorous efforts towards achieving its goals in order to promote the development of Member States forming its structure and making it the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations. It is considered the collective voice of the Muslim world. It consists of 57 Islamic States and represents over 1.5 billion Muslims, working to promote joint action among them, defend their rights in international fora, protect their interests, and clear up misconceptions about their faith.
As I stand here today, I realize that the goals I am aiming to achieve intersect with many of the Organization’s goals. There is common ground between us, and we share many similarities, and therefore I would like to express my deep thankfulness, appreciation and gratitude to the OIC and those in charge of it, for the efforts exerted and the devoted hands working with mastery and excellence.
I would also like to thank the OIC, in the person of His Excellency brother Ekmeleddin Oğlu, for their confidence in me and their appreciation of the efforts made by our three humanitarian Foundations, particularly Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation-Global, whose charitable and humanitarian goals intersect with the OIC’s goals for the promotion of human rights, especially children and women, to whom many of our Foundations’ programs are dedicated; as well as the promotion of solidarity and cooperation among Muslims; the support of joint action for the betterment of Muslim communities; the advancement of development programs; the promotion of scientific research for the development of science and technology; the dialogue between the followers of religions and civilizations for the purpose of converging their views in order to promote peaceful coexistence between them and achieve the mission of humanity, that is to build the earth God created them for, as God the Exalted said: (He is the One Who raised you up from the earth and settled you therein). It is for this reason that we established six centers in various universities around the globe, with the mission of maintaining the true values of Islam and dispelling misconceptions about it. The Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation-Global also financed the creation of the Islamic wing at the Louvre Museum in Paris, which shows the world the long history of Islamic civilization.
I would also like to express my pride at being honored today by the OIC. My pride and my honor stem from the fact that this Organization represents 57 Islamic states that were covered by our development programs. Being honored personally by the OIC is a tribute to the Alwaleed Bin Talal Humanitarian Foundations, whose activities spanned more than 80 countries worldwide, including OIC member states. This is indeed a great recognition worth taking pride in.
Dear attendees, our role and duty as businessmen in the field of charitable and humanitarian works, require us first to thank God the Almighty who bestowed upon us his grace. He alone deserves praise for the riches he has given us, and we believe that thanksgiving is a way of increasing one’s blessings, for God the Exalted said: “If ye are grateful, I will add more unto you”, and giving charity generously does not decrease one’s wealth but rather increases it, as said the Prophet, God’s praise and peace be upon him: “Charity does not decrease wealth but surely increases it”.
And we also believe that God commanded charity in all areas of benevolence, by saying: (God enjoins justice and kindness). He has promised, and God never breaks his promise of repaying good deeds with further good, as he the Exalted said: (Could the reward of good be aught but good?), and God’s benevolence does not compare to that of anyone else, as our honorable Prophet, God’s praise and peace be upon him, proves God’s presence and his assistance to those who help their brothers, in the authentic Hadith: “God helps His servant as long as the servant helps his brother”, and the one benefiting from God’s help shall never be harmed by anyone’s betrayal.
Second, they require us to be fully aware of what the school of life has taught us… that money is a gift from God; it is entrusted to the servant and could be reclaimed. So if the servant knows how to manage and spend it following his donor’s way, to Whom be ascribed all perfection, He will keep the money for him, bless him and reward him in this world and in the Hereafter. But if the servant mismanages money, contrary to his donor’s way; He will reclaim it from him and give it to someone who manages it better. God the Exalted said: (And if you turn away, He will replace you with another people, and they will not be the likes of you), and instances thereof are too many, in both ancient and modern societies.
And third, they require us to realize that our contribution to the success of local and global economy through business and investment projects is one of the two wings of development, contribution to charitable and humanitarian works being the second, and both wings are necessary for flight. We also realize that the emergence of voluntary work in any society, and the keenness of businessmen to perform their social responsibilities along with their responsibilities and their role in economic development, reflect the maturity and civilization of this society.
Dear brothers and sisters, I am pleased that you have accepted the invitation and honored us by attending this honorary ceremony, and I am proud to be here among you. I would also like to reiterate my gratitude and my appreciation to His Excellency brother Ekmeleddin Oğlu, the first OIC Secretary-General to be elected democratically, and the ninth Secretary-General since the Organization’s inception. Having taken office in January 2005, he has been at the helm of the only Organization representing the entire Muslim world, and he has taken measures that led to a quantum leap considered by observers as a reform plan for the OIC, and I find myself impelled to mention the most important among them:

  • The transition from conceptual solidarity to solidarity in action.
  • The adoption of the new OIC Charter.
  • The establishment of new departments in the organization, mainly:
    • The OIC Department of Family Affairs
    • The OIC Department for the Advancement of Women

These reformatory changes in the OIC’s charter, programs and plans have led to positive effects that reflected on the Member States, resulting in major success in achieving goals, but there is still a long way to go to reach the desired goal, namely true Muslim cooperation and solidarity.
I ask God to help those working in the service of Islam and Muslims, as pleases Him, and to grant them success, for He is able to do that, and may God bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions and grant them peace ……