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Iraqi pharmacist Tala Al Khalil crowned 'Arab Hope Maker'

Iraqi pharmacist Tala Al Khalil crowned Arab Hope Maker

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, with Tala Al Khalil,  winner of 'Arab Hope Maker', during the awards ceremony / GulfNews

Dubai: Tala Al Khalil from Iraq won the Hope Maker in the Arab world. In the ceremony held at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai on Sunday, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, crowned Tala as the first Hope Maker. The event marked the closing ceremony of the fourth edition of Hope Makers, the largest initiative of its kind in the Arab world, which aims to honour individuals dedicated to humanitarian efforts and community initiatives that bring about positive change.

Tala Al Khalil, a pharmacist from Iraq, was chosen as the winner from an impressive pool of over 58,000 nominations. Recognizing her outstanding contributions, Tala was presented with a financial reward worth Dhs 1 million. HH Sheikh Mohammed also directed that the three other finalists, Mohamed Al Najjar from Iraq, Fathiya Al Mahmoud from Egypt and Amin Mounier from Morocco, be honoured with the same value as the first Hope Maker award during the ceremony.

The ceremony, attended by an elite group of influential media, humanitarian and cultural figures from the Arab world, featured the operetta "The Arab Dream," revived by the Hope Makers initiative to celebrate its fourth session. The event showcased inspiring humanitarian stories and shed light on individuals who have dedicated their efforts and resources to serving their communities.

The judging committee, part of the Hope Makers initiative under the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation Global Initiatives, selected finalists based on the distinguished impact of their initiatives. The criteria included the initiative's topic, challenges addressed, real and tangible change achieved and its ability to reach the target segment.

Tala Al Khalil initiated her journey as a Hope Maker in 2015 by establishing a special 'caravan' at the Basra Children’s Hospital to support young cancer patients. Overcoming challenges associated with illness, she later founded the Warriors Academy in 2018, providing care for young people of determination suffering from various illnesses. Tala has personally cared for 200 children with Down Syndrome and cancer until now.

The Arab Hope Maker Award, a prestigious honour for philanthropists in the Arab world, aims to spotlight individuals who contribute to improving living conditions and spreading hope in their communities.

“In our part of the world, hope making is life making. The only way we can overcome challenges is through collaborative efforts,” said Sheikh Mohammed during the concluding ceremony.

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