Middle East

TAKREEM AMERICA Honors Anthony R. Abraham Foundation with 2024 Special Distinction Award at Annual Awards Night

During an emotionally charged ceremony at its 2024 Annual Awards Night in Boston, TAKREEM AMERICA honored the Anthony R. Abraham Foundation with the prestigious Special Distinction Award in recognition of its unwavering humanitarian efforts and commitment to supporting global communities.

TAKREEM AMERICA stated, “Every year, we recognize the outstanding journeys of Arab individuals and institutions who have nurtured the fields that make up the core mosaic of any thriving society. The selection mechanism leading to this moment is strict and meticulous, seeking to honor great accomplishments in young entrepreneurship, corporate leadership, cultural excellence, scientific and technological achievement, environmental development and sustainability. TAKREEM AMERICA also shines a spotlight on inspiring individuals who have had a significant impact on society by offering Lifetime Awards and Special Distinctions.”

“We are thrilled to recognize the Anthony R. Abraham Foundation for their exemplary dedication to fostering progress and empowerment. Through their support of institutions like the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, University of Miami, and more, they’re shaping a brighter future for all. Going beyond borders, their commitment to making a difference by partnering and supporting organizations in areas of need such as Lebanon and Haiti knows no bounds. We honor your philanthropy. This Special Distinction Award goes out to you.”

The Master of Ceremony, Journalist Ghida Fakhry, highlighted the significance of the award by stating, “Our next and final laureate is the perfect embodiment of TAKREEM in America and what it strives to achieve. In fact, it is a perfect reminder of why TAKREEM AMERICA exists.” 

Thomas A. Abraham, Chairman of the Anthony R Abraham Foundation, received the award on behalf of the board of the foundation, acknowledging their collective commitment and significant contributions to societal betterment through various initiatives.

Dr. Joseph Jabbra, Lebanese American University President Emeritus, who introduced Thomas A. Abraham, stated, “we recognize in him the person with unparalleled and inspiring leadership... A person who is really consumed with philanthropism. A caring person. A humble servant of those who are in need. A guardian angel.”

Thomas A. Abraham captivated attendees with his entrance, donning a long black coat symbolic of the dark times faced by Lebanon. In his remarks, Mr. Abraham stated that the black coat represents the shadow over Lebanon, concealing aspirations to voice concerns, aid the nation, and preserve the Lebanese heritage and future. In a powerful display symbolizing the intention to shed the dark shadow over Lebanon, he discarded his coat to the ground, revealing a tuxedo jacket adorned with the images of the 241+ lives lost in the Beirut explosion on August 4, 2020, as a visual tribute to those affected by the tragedy, and a reiteration of the Anthony R. Abraham Foundation’s dedication to rebuilding and healing.

Mr. Abraham declared, “I stand before you, as a torchbearer to the unforgotten lives, embodying our collective resolve to honor their memory. We remember the lost souls of the August 4, 2020 horrific blast in Beirut, ensuring their memories are never forgotten. We also acknowledge the current suffering of our beloved Lebanon with civilian casualties mounting every day since October 2023. In this moment, let us honor those we've lost and those today who feel marginalized and forgotten. Let us pay respect and acknowledge those with disabilities and the important role of women in shaping our societies and contributing to progress and prosperity of our communities.”

Reaffirming his commitment, Mr. Abraham urged attendees to unite for Lebanon, emphasizing the necessity of overcoming sectarian and external influences to redefine a better future for all. “Tonight I extend an urgent call to all of us to act for Lebanon. Let us unite in purpose. Unity transcends division. And our shared identity is our strength. Together we can make changes. To the Lebanese both at home and across the diaspora, it's time to rise above sectarian and external influences in our country. It is time to redefine our future based on what benefits us all.” He added, “Join us in a movement of solidarity where every voice contributes to shaping a thriving and inclusive future for our beloved Lebanon. Stand with us beyond divisions, for the Lebanon we all deserve.”

During the ceremony, Mr. Abraham also called for a 60-second moment of silence, during which a video was shown depicting the transformation from the current, disaster-stricken port in Beirut, into the proposed Beirut Memorial Park and Museum. This serene sanctuary, situated in the heart of Beirut Port marred by the explosion, aims to honor resilience, and promote peace, ensuring that memories of the tragedy serve as a symbol of unity and renewal. The Beirut Memorial Park and Museum “promises peace and remembrance for generations, transforming our collective scars into symbols of unity and hope for Lebanon, ensuring the world will never forget,” explained Mr. Abraham. 

In his address, Mr. Abraham expressed his gratitude for the award and outlined the foundation's vision for the future. He said, “I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Ricardo Karam, the visionary behind this extraordinary adventure tonight... Through your dedication, and tireless efforts, you have provided a platform for Arab Americans to shine brightly and to showcase their achievements.” He continued, “To you Mr. Karam, and the board of directors, thank you for bestowing this award on our foundation. In pursuing our mission, we seek out and support organizations that uphold and enrich our nation’s moral fiber.”

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