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Experiences and Insights on the Path of Peace and Development (Special Session)

12:00 - 13:30


Session Moderator:            Dr. Lana Mamkegh                                  Jordan


speakers:                               HE Dr. Michael Frendo                            Malta

                                                Dr. Nabil Ayad                                         the UK

                                                Dr. Barbara Michalak-Pikulska               Poland

                                                Dr. Ersat Hurmuzlu                                 Turkey

                                                Dr. Abdulhaq Azzouzi                            Morocco
















HE Dr. Michael Frendo

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malta

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

          Our reflections today on a Just Peace for Development come at a time when all of this seems to be slipping away from our grasp. Perhaps never since the end of the Second World War has there been a more important time for us to reflect on the tools we need to employ to save Justice, Peace and Development in our world. In my brief address, I will reflect on four specific tools which are pivotal to achieving these aims. There are other tools to consider, of course, but these four tools are, in my view, fundamental.

          The first tool is the assiduous application of International Law. Unless we are resigned to live in global disorder simply based on the force of power, we need  to assert, unfailingly and unequivocally, in any circumstance and in relation to all international actors, the universal application of international law.

          Without a rules-based international order there is only the might of power – as we can see every day on our television and mobile phone screens: flagrant breaches carried out in front of our eyes: invasions of the territory of another sovereign  state,  massacre of  civilians,  collective  punishment,  and  the massive obliteration of life. International law without exception must also be applied to armed conflict of whatever nature, at all times.

          The international community acting - or not acting - together is the source of the strength or weakness of international law and its ability to be enforced :  the  strength  of  international  law  depends  on  the  resolute willingness of the international community to respond, and to hold violators accountable.

          In the words of the Preamble of its own Charter, the United Nations was set up “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war ... to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person … to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.” These are the world aspirations of a just peace for development.  But they are also hollow words for so many when this Organisation is unable to stop conflict and to be an effective instrument of a just peace and of development. Still, the United Nations, its Agencies especially its humanitarian arms, and its principal judicial organ, the International Court of Justice remains a beacon for mankind. Therefore, its abandonment, or its weakening, is not an option. Rather the option is to undergo its reform, especially of its crucial key body , the Security Council, and to strengthen the Organisation as a whole and its effectiveness as an  instrument  of  world  peace,  for  the  respect  of  human  rights  and  the international rule of law. Multilateralism is key to peace in the world – nowhere  has  this  been  more  vividly  illustrated  than  in  the  formation  and experience of the European Union, a shared sovereignty organisation that, to date, has ensured uninterrupted peace for all its members.

          The second tool is Diplomacy. To quote the famous British statesman “To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war”[1]. Diplomacy requires the quality to create frameworks for peace and justice, to find a meeting point for seemingly competing interests,  to  reconcile  conflict  and  to  provide for  peaceful  co- existence in mutual respect.  At the end, even where conflict has already taken root, no military victory can be consolidated without diplomatic engagement around the table of negotiations. Diplomacy remains a must if one seeks to ensure the achievement of a future peace.

          The third tool is Development for there can be no peace without justice, and sustainable development is essential for the achievement of social justice. Extreme poverty is a breeding ground for conflict, terrorism, and despair. Wealth needs to be shared in an increasingly unequal world. This is not only a moral imperative but also a necessary element for the building of peace.

          The fourth tool is Education, in particular Education for Peace.  This is essential for development and essential for the formation of future generations where peace becomes a fundamental value to their lives and to their way of thinking. Our beloved and greatly missed friend, Abdulaziz Saud Al Babtain, dedicated so much of his life and sustained efforts to foster education for peace globally. He leaves an honourable legacy reflecting a truly noble heart. We are here today also to salute his memory.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

          The threads of Peace, Justice and Development are intricately woven together in one uniform cloth which represents a better world for us all.

          Let us all engage in weaving these threads with the yarn of international law, diplomacy, development, and education to achieve a lasting Just Peace for the sake of all humankind.

Thank you.




Dr. Nabil Ayad - the United Kingdom

Good morning,

distinguished guests,

esteemed colleagues,

ladies and gentlemen,

Today, we gather to explore a concept that is both timeless and urgently relevant: ‘Just Peace.’ In a world where conflict seems ever-present, the pursuit of peace in not merely desirably – it is imperative. However, not all peace is created equal. A ‘Just Peace’ transcends the mere absence of conflict, embedding itself in the fabric of justice, equity, and mutual respect among communities and nations.

The concept of ‘just peace’ constitutes a holistic approach that seeks to address the root causes of conflict, rather than merely its symptoms. It recognizes that true peace cannot be achieved through the suppression of dissent or the imposition of silence. Instead, it requires the active participation of all stakeholders in international society – governments, civil society, communities and individuals – to foster understanding, heal divisions, and build bridges where walls once stood.

This concept is grounded in the principle that peace and justice are inseparable. A ‘Just Peace’ demands that we confront inequities and strive for a world where human rights are upheld, and every individual has the opportunity to thrive. It compels us to work towards economic and social structures that ensure the fair distribution of resources, opportunities, and access to justice for all.

Achieving Just Peace is not the responsibility of the few but the mandate of the many. It calls for a collective effort to cultivate empathy, foster dialogue, and promote reconciliation. It challenges us to look beyond our differences and recognize our shared humanity. In this journey, the voices of the marginalized and oppressed are not only heard but are central to the creation of solutions that reflect the diversity of human experience.

As we navigate the complexities of the 21st century, ‘Just Peace’ offers us a beacon of hope. It inspires us to envision a world where cooperation triumphs over confrontation, where diversity is celebrated, and where the dignity of every individual is respected. Just Peace embodies peace intertwined with justice, fairness, and equality – it offers a path forward in a world rife with conflict and division. “Just Peace’ is not merely a philosophical idea but a practical framework that has been championed by visionary leaders across the globe.

Consider the enduring legacy of Nelson Mandela, who, after 27 years in prison, emerged not with thoughts of vengeance but with a vision for reconciliation and ‘Just Peace’ in South Africa. Mandela’s leadership exemplified the belief that true peace requires justice and forgiveness, showing the world that even the deepest divides can be bridged through empathy and dialogue. Mandela’s legacy is a testament to the power of enduring hope and the unyielding pursuit of justice. It was Mandela’s deep belief in the principles of Just Peace that guided his actions to foster a society where former enemies could coexist in democracy and equality.

Mandela’s approach to achieving peace was grounded in the conviction that true peace cannot be achieved without justice – without acknowledging and addressing past wrongs. His presidency and the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission were pivotal in this regard. This commission was not merely about uncovering the atrocities of the past; it was about crafting a future where those once divided by hatred and fear could find common ground in their shared humanity. Mandela knew that for peace to be just and enduring, it had to be built on the pillars of transparency, forgiveness, and inclusivity.

Mandela’s life reminds us that Just Peace is more than a theoretical ideal; it is a practical reality that can be achieved through empathy, understanding, and the courage to forgive.

In the international arena, the leadership of Kofi Annan as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations stands out. Annan’s tireless efforts to promote human rights and mediate conflicts across the globe exemplify the potential of international diplomacy in fostering ‘Just Peace.’ His work, particularly in establishing the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine, has had a lasting impact on international norms regarding peace and security.

The Responsibility to Protect doctrine, constitutes a groundbreaking international commitment that has reshaped the way nations think about sovereignty and human rights. The R2P doctrine emerged from the international community’s introspection following the tragedies of the Rwandan Genocide and the Srebrenica massacre, where the world failed to act decisively to prevent the loss of innocent lives.

The essence of the Responsibility to Protect is simple yet revolutionary: it posits that sovereign states have a primary responsibility to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. However, when a state is unwilling or unable to fulfill this responsibility, the principle asserts that the international community has a duty to intervene – diplomatically, humanitarianly, and, as a last resort, through military means. This doctrine represents a significant shift towards a ‘Just Peace’ framework, acknowledging that true peace cannot exist without a foundation of justice and the protection of the most vulnerable.

Annan’s advocacy for R2P was a testament to his belief in a world where international solidarity and cooperation could avert the worst atrocities. By championing this doctrine, Annan contributed to a more proactive and responsible international system, one where the collective action for the sake of preventing suffering is prioritized over the outdated notions of absolute national sovereignty.

Parallel to the efforts of these remarkable individuals, the late poet and philanthropist Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, founded the Al Babtain Cultural Foundation – to play a pivotal role in promoting peace through cultural exchange, literature and education.

Through its myriad initiatives, the foundation seeks to bridge gaps and build understanding across diverse communities. One of its notable contributions is the relentless pursuit of promoting Arabic language and literature. By celebrating the rich tapestry of Arabic poetry and prose, the foundation not only preserves cultural heritage but also opens doors to mutual respect and appreciation among different cultures. It is through this celebration of our shared humanity, expressing in the universal language of art and literature, that the foundation contributes to the broader dialogue of peace.

The foundation embodies the principle that cultural exchange and education are indispensable tools in the journey towards Just Peace. By nurturing a global community that values dialogue, respects cultural diversity, and seeks common ground, the foundation contributes significantly to the noble cause of building a just and peaceful world.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As we draw inspiration from Mandela’s moral fortitude, Annan’s diplomatic achievements, and the cultural diplomacy of the Al Babtain Cultural Foundation, let us recommit ourselves to the pursuit of Just Peace. Let their legacies motivate us to break down barriers, embrace our shared humanity, and work tirelessly toward a world where peace is grounded in justice, respect, and mutual understanding.

Thank you.














Dr. Barbara Michalak-Pikulska - Poland

          I am very honored to be able to say a few words about an outstanding man whom I had the opportunity to meet in my life, a poet, a philanthropist, a man who throughout his life guarded the Arabic language, literature and culture, i.e. ‘Abd al-’Aziz Saud Al-Babtain.

          He was a born orator and put this talent to great use for Arabic literature. I have experienced this many times during conferences and poetry evenings in Kuwait and other countries around the world organized by the ‘Abd al-’Aziz Saud Al-Babtain Foundation, which he founded in 1989. The purpose of Al-Babtain Foundation was to combat hatred and inequality between people or societies and intercultural dialogue.

          The foundation played a huge role in spreading of Arab thought and the development of the Arab poetry movement. ‘Abd al-Aziz promoted this poetic movement, encouraging and supporting outstanding poets and literary critics with awards. He was a great poet himself and loved poetry, which he lived in from his early youth. Creating was a joy for him and he developed new worlds and new realities, having absolute power over them, because true poets do not define poetry. His poems full of life, hope, love and truth were published in the poetry collections: Imitations of Deserts, 1995 (Bauh Al-Bawadi) and Wastefarer, 2004 (Musafir fi-l-Qifar), which clearly shows what an extremely sensitive person he was.

          In 2002 ‘Abd al-’Aziz Saud al-Babtain began to build the Library of Arabic Poetry. The initiative was undertaken on the occasion of the declaration of Kuwait as the capital of Arab culture in 2001 and was the fulfillment of one of his great dreams. The library building, which is located in the center of Kuwait, attracts attention due to its architectural form of an open book. I was very impressed when I saw it.

          The building contains many features of Kuwaiti and Arab heritage. It is accessed by a huge wooden door referring to the cultural heritage of Kuwaiti houses. It is equipped in accordance with the latest global trends and is the first library in the world specializing in Arabic poetry. The library began its operations in 2006.

          Al-Babtain used pen, tongue and money to support the Arabic language and Arabic poetry. He was aware of the enormous value and role of poetry in the past and present, as well as in building the future of Arab society, because poetry is an inherent element of the history of Arabs, describing their deeds and a deep sense of pride.

          The library became the center of cultural life in Kuwait. It is a place where the heritage of Arabic poetry in all possible forms is collected, as well as a center for activating poets on the international arena and developing the spirit of poetry in the young generation of Arabs. Literary meetings, conferences, symposia, lectures and poetry evenings are organized there, which contributes to strengthening the Arab national identity. ‘Abd Al-’Aziz Saud Al-Babtain wanted to instill poetic sensitivity and love for the Arabic language, especially in young people. Myself, I had the opportunity to meet and talk with poets and intellectuals from all over the world there.

          One of the most important projects of the al-Babtain Foundation is the publishing of dictionaries and lexicons, an example of which is Al-Babtain Dictionary of Contemporary Arab Poets (Mu’jam Al-Babtain li-sh-shu’ara al­ arab al-mu’asirin), in which discussed the works of outstanding contemporary Arab poets of the 19th and 20th centuries. It is a source of knowledge for everyone interested in poetry. Outstanding scientists and poets supported the project with their commitment and work. Each living poet wrote his own biography, which was later edited according to common standards. The dictionary includes not only famous names but also the names of young poets who appeared in the arena of contemporary Arabic literature.

          The dictionary has become an invaluable source of information for scholars, students and all people interested in poetry, what is of great importance for world literature. Thanks to its translation into English, it has become an extremely valuable source of knowledge, beyond the borders of the Arab world, for anyone who would like to learn about contemporary Arabic poetry. At the library of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, there are both Arabic and English versions often in use by researchers and students. The dictionary consists of six volumes, where the works of 1,645 poets from 29 countries are collected on 4,476 pages, showing the richness of contemporary Arabic poetry. Many conferences and seminars were organized during which scientists and poets discussed the wealth of material collected after its publication.

          One of the most important ideas of ‘Abd Al-’Aziz Al-Babtain was the civilizational dialogue - a discourse between the East and the West, what was main theme of many international conferences, which he organized. Scholars from all over the world could discussed the importance of intercultural and interreligious dialogue in the most prestigious academic centers in Europe: in Oxford, Paris or Granada.

          I would like to mention here that I could participate in a conference on the Arab - European Dialogue, organized in Brussels, in cooperation with the European Parliament, and it is my great pleasure that I can praise the historic role that the European Parliament has played in honoring Kuwait’s name in the field of dialogue between civilizations. This was undoubtedly ‘Abd Al-’Aziz Al-Babtain’s achievement.

          I had the great honor of being appointed to be Member Board of Trustees of’ Abd Al-’Aziz Al-Babtain Foundation in the years 2013-2016. During the meetings, I could observe that Abd Al-Aziz was a modest, kind, warm and patient man. He was a good listener and was always interested in what others thought. These features earned him the respect of the entire community. He was an example of unquestionable authority based on vast knowledge, experience, integrity and respect for people.

          With his excellent communication skills, he connected people, poets, writers, scientists, uniting generations. He cared about intercultural dialogue generously supporting all cultural initiatives in Kuwait and abroad.

          Every day he used to create the history of Arabic poetry. Thanks to him, Arab culture and literature, especially poetry, became known all over the world. For this he was honored with many decorations, medals and honorary doctorates, including: Baku, Yarmuk, Fez, Cordoba, Algeria, Sudan, Kazakhstan and many others.

          It is impossible to overestimate the enormous influence of ‘Abd al-’Aziz Saud al­ Babtain on shaping the cultural life of Kuwait and the Arab world. We notice and experience his greatness as a man and poet and we pay him well-deserved honor. ‘Abd al-’Aziz Saud al-Babtain will live on in our memories and in the traces of his achievements. With such a great input he is many men in one.

          My humble contribution to the description of the achievements of ‘Abd al-’Aziz Saud Al-Babtain was an article in the Polish academic journal; “Rocznik Orientalistyczny” (vol. LXIII, Z. 2, Warsaw 2010, pp. 49-56) entitled: The Winds of Passion - Love Poetry by ‘Abd al-’Aziz Saud al-Babtain. My students read and translate Al-Babtain’s poetry and learn with interest about his work for Arabic poetry.

          As an academic professor, I greatly appreciate the merits of Abd al-Aziz Saud Al­ Babtain for supporting the Arabic language and founding many Chairs of Arabic Studies in a number of European Universities serving those interested in learning Arabic Language and engaging with its literature, especially poetry.

          When I learned about the passing away of Abd al-Aziz Saud Al-Babtain, I began to recall the time I spent discussing Arabic literature at conferences he organized. While looking through his volumes of poems and books about him, I came across the memory of Dr. Haris Silajdzic, who said so beautifully about him: Abd al-Aziz Saud Al-Babtain is a prominent cultural phenomenon in the world today; he is a man who has devoted his time, effort and money to promote good words, disseminate culture and knowledge and bring people and nations together without discrimination.

          I would like to extend congratulation to the State of Kuwait on having given birth to such a pioneering Man of Letters who believed in the importance of knowledge. I do hope that the ‘Abd Al-’Aziz Saud Al-Babtain Foundation will continue to grow for the benefit of all poetry-loving people in the world.








Dr. Ersat Hurmuzlu  - Turkey

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,

First and foremost, I extend my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation, which has inspired numerous generations in matters of peace, literature, and knowledge. I commend these efforts and firmly believe that his successors and brethren will continue along the same path.

We must, above all, address the remarkable achievements of the late great figure, especially in this final session of this forum. I first became acquainted with Abdulaziz Albabtain nearly two decades ago. At that time, as a senior advisor to the President of the Republic, I received an invitation from the Cultural Foundation in Kuwait. I believe its Secretary-General was my esteemed friend, Dr. Mouhammad Al-Rumaihi, who invited me to the Qurain Conference.

Dr. Rumaihi approached me after one of the forum sessions to inform me that Mr. Abdulaziz Albabtain wished to meet me, and that we will visit him at his residence this afternoon. I responded, "Do you know how I feel right now? I feel like a junior staffer at the United Nations and Ban Ki-moon, who was then the Secretary-General of the UN, wants to see me." We proceeded to meet him, and it was remarkable how humble and courteous he was, embracing everyone. Aware of my passion for the Arabic language and literature, he inquired through Dr. Rumaihi about the attendees of the Qurain Cultural Forum in Kuwait and how many foreigners, other than Arabs, were present at the conference. I replied, "Sir, all attendees are from Arab countries except for myself. I am the black sheep in the white flock." At that moment, the late great figure smiled and said, "We will distribute electronic copies of Albabtain's Encyclopedia of Arab Poets on CDs to all members or visitors of the forum. As for the black sheep, we will gift him all volumes of the encyclopedia in its paper version." And so it was, I recall it comprised seven volumes.

The late figure received an invitation from the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey to visit Ankara, graciously accepting the invitation and visiting Ankara. During this visit, an important topic was raised: the great Arab poet Imru' al-Qais was known to be buried in Ankara. You may be familiar with the story of Imru' al-Qais. When his enemies killed his father in one of the wars, he sought help from the Roman Emperor in Constantinople, which is formerly known, thank God, as Istanbul. Upon his return, the Emperor had gifted him a golden robe adorned with pearls, but it was poisoned due to a discord between him and his family. When Imru' al-Qais arrived in Ankara, he passed away there. Seeing his attire, people thought he was a nobleman, so they built a large mausoleum for him on one of the castles in Ankara, and the traces of this mausoleum still exist.

The late great figure requested that we undertake a project to re-establish the mausoleum in the Ankara Castle. Additionally, he proposed the construction of a cultural hall where Arab and Turkish cultural forums could be held annually. At that time, we had established the International Forum for Turkish-Arab Dialogue. We took upon ourselves this project, and there was a memorandum of understanding between the International Forum for Dialogue and the Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation. The Late Abdulaziz Albabtain assured us that it would oversee all aspects of the project and would dispatch some engineers to work on its completion. Unfortunately, the area mentioned in Ankara was in a precarious situation due to the presence of some informal settlements. The Greater Ankara Municipality aimed to remove these settlements to create a suitable space for such a tomb atop the hill in Ankara. However, fate did not favor us in this endeavor, and the late figure did not witness the realization of this dream.

I also call upon his sons and brethren from this platform to take charge of this matter and to initiate the same approach. We at the International Forum for Turkish-Arab Dialogue are ready to contribute earnestly to this endeavor.

There is the International Cooperation Forum, of which I have the honor to serve as its co-chair. It has been holding its sessions in Istanbul for the past 15 years. Several years ago, we unanimously decided in the forum to award the Humanitarian Service Prize to the late Abdulaziz Albabtain. He was supposed to come to Ankara and participate in the forum sessions and the Bosphorus Summit. Unfortunately, he was afflicted by a health condition that prevented him from attending.

I must inform you that the prize was only awarded to one organization, the Red Crescent, and to another individual. The third recipient intended to receive this award was the late great figure, Abdulaziz Albabtain. We still wish to present the Humanitarian Service Prize to him as well. Perhaps one of his sons or brethren could accept the award as a token of appreciation for the late figure.

One of the important focal points Abdulaziz Albabtain cared deeply about was the culture of dialogue. He believed that genuine and sought-after peace could only stem from earnest dialogue. He always emphasized that the culture of dialogue should prevail over any disputes that may arise between nations or peoples. He likened these disputes to passing summer clouds, while brotherhood and friendship should endure. He believed that dialogue should foster lasting peace and friendship.

Therefore, in the International Forum for Turkish-Arab Dialogue, which I have the honor to preside over, and which includes a large group of activists from Arab countries, Turkey, and Turkish-speaking republics in Central Asia, we are committed to promoting this logic in respect for the memory of our dear departed and also for the many activists who wish to see dialogue as the primary platform for maximizing positives and forgetting negatives, doubts, or the hatred and animosity that some elements outside our Arab and Turkish communities may have sown among us. We are committed to fostering an environment where sentiments of love, affection, friendship, and brotherhood prevail.

Based on this premise, I invite all activists in Arab countries as well to embrace this approach. Dialogue is not solely Arab or Turkish; our group works to strengthen the foundations of dialogue whether it be Arab-Arab, Turkish-Turkish, or Arab-Turkish alike.

I specifically address Arab female activists and urge them not to remain on the sidelines but to take a leading role in this matter. The International Forum for Turkish-Arab Dialogue has only a few female activists, most of whom are our sisters from Arab countries, including various Gulf states, North Africa, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Palestine. Therefore, I also call upon them to engage in this field, as they have a long history of contributions in the fields of literature, culture, and science.

I do not wish to prolong or delve into any other topic because my primary duty is to address the achievements of the late Abdulaziz Albabtain. I also appreciate the efforts of his brothers, sons, and grandchildren in continuing on this path, and I hope that all their endeavors will be successful.

Thank you.



Dr. Abdulhaq Azzouzi - Morocco

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,

I kindly ask all of you to stand and recite Surat Al-Fatiha or observe a moment of silence for the pure soul of Uncle Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain.

Thank you.

I sincerely tell you that I cannot find the words to express my feelings. Uncle Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain entered my home, and I entered his. I knew him well, and he knew me well. May Allah have mercy on him. His character will remain an enduring legacy, inspiring many and offering much because he was a source of boundless virtues. He was an inexhaustible wellspring of inspiration and knowledge, no matter how much we drew from it or sought to quench our thirst.

The late Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain was a beacon, a light upon light, who equally delighted in his personal and public radiance.

Uncle Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain was a man whom I enjoyed his brotherhood and fatherly love. There is an aspect of the late figure that has not been mentioned yet; he was a visionary and a strategist who understood people. When you stood before him, he knew who you were and where you came from, always treating you like a father. We Moroccans, along with all Arabs and non-Arabs, felt deep sorrow on the day we received the news of his passing. Kuwait, the Gulf states, the Arab world, and the Islamic world lost one of their noble sons who gave his best and most valuable contributions to his nation. He made a significant impact on history, shaping its course with his influential actions, leading to transformation and change. Death has taken him from us, yet we hold onto the hope that his legacy will continue. Our nation still urgently needs his wise counsel, his insightful opinions, his admirable conduct, and his noble endeavors. Indeed, we belong to Allah, and to Him we shall return.

Uncle Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain gained great fame, and everyone sought refuge in him, much like the remnants of the Andalusians sought solace during their tragic ordeal.

Uncle Abdulaziz, truly, was among those who fought for the authenticity of his country and nation, and for the unity of Arabism and Islam. He defended the Arabic language with unmatched fervor. I do not know of anyone in the past century who defended it with such dedication, using his wealth, intelligence, natural talent, Arab identity, and love, among other qualities.

I had nominated Uncle Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain for the Mediterranean Foundation Award, which brings together all the countries of the Euro-Mediterranean space. I cannot divulge the details of the deliberations above and below the surface for this award, but he received it unanimously from Westerners who had heard about this exceptional man, the likes of whom are rare. They believed that although he championed the Arabic language, he also had a strategic vision for the shared societal home and the unified human family. Such was his life. When he received this award, he delighted us with a poem about peace that brought everyone to tears. He envisioned how the Abrahamic family could live and remain loving and united. This alliance extended beyond the three religions, addressing future issues both private and public, such as the migration crisis, the militarization of borders in Europe, the brain drain, educational challenges, and so forth.

May Allah have mercy on him, for he had this visionary and strategic foresight. With his passing, we lost an exceptional man who was a pillar of the alliance of civilizations, cultural diversity, and coexistence. He was also a beacon of literature and poetry, a patron of writers and poets. When he was compiling those grand encyclopedias on Arab poets, he would call me weekly, daily, inquiring about everyone: "Did he go? Did he? Did he?" May Allah have mercy on him. When he visited Fez, a city he adored and where he held the key to the city and an honorary doctorate from the University of Fez, he always checked on Morocco's great scholars. Once, when he had only a few hours left before returning, he said to me, "You must accompany me to Rabat to visit a sick person"—Abdulhadi Al-Tazi, may Allah have mercy on him, who was ill at the time. So, we went together by car, visited, and returned. He said, "This is the least I can do for such great men who have rendered invaluable services to the Arabic language."

Uncle Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain was indeed a very generous man. I shared many stories with him during this time. Not once did we mention a widow or a project to him without him being the first to act in charity. May Allah have mercy on him and grant him a place in His vast gardens. He dedicated a large part of his wealth to supporting writers and organizing activities. Even in Morocco, when we spoke to him about partners, he would say, "No, this is an ongoing charity that I will handle alone."

I was delighted to accompany him in Morocco and abroad, and I had the honor of learning about his family secrets that he shared with me. May Allah have mercy on him. He dedicated his life to the pursuit of knowledge, poetry, and generosity, serving culture and literature and nurturing poetic creativity in the Arab world. He was one of the most prominent figures in culture and poetry on the Kuwaiti, Arab, and global cultural scene. He published several poetry collections and established the Albabtain Foundation.

He used to tell me that in his early days, he looked at international institutions that had established themselves in the culture of innovation and creativity, "So I wanted," as he used to say, "to establish an institution that brings together Arab thinkers and writers, as well as others from all corners of the earth, to defend the Arabic language, to gather what poets and writers have recorded throughout history, and thirdly, as a work sought for the sake of Allah." So, this was his aim, always aiming for this trilogy that he established in this Foundation.

Uncle Abdulaziz was also a self-made man for those who know his career in the field of economics. Just a while ago, there was a session on economics and finance, making him a model of Gulf Arab visionary leadership. Specifically, in the sister state of Kuwait where his family lived, moving from the heart of the Arabian Peninsula, from the region of Rawdat Sudair, he built himself within a milieu that loved both trade and poetry. In fact, he had leadership qualities and a giving nature in various fields aimed at serving humanity in general. While most of his scientific, charitable, and literary projects were focused in the Arab Islamic countries, he was part of the generation of the 1960s who built a wide commercial reputation for the state of Kuwait, leveraging the intelligence and foresight of its men, making it a trading hub in the region.

In the Euro-Mediterranean Institution in Italy, and within the framework of the Chair of the Alliance of Civilizations, which I had the honor to chair and was established in collaboration with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, we decided, with the assistance of the late Abdulaziz's children, to gather all the verses he collected about peace and publish them. These verses will be compiled into encyclopedias and dedicated to the soul of the deceased, and God willing, they will be translated. Additionally, we will dedicate a special hall in the Euro-Mediterranean Institution bearing the name of the deceased, Allah willing. I am confident that his brothers, children, and grandchildren will fulfill this trust with the best approach, as they are all from a noble tree whose roots are firmly grounded and whose branches reach the sky, bearing fruit at all times by the permission of our Lord.

Thank you.

[1] Winston Churchill in his Speech at White House, 26 June 1954

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