Dubai, March 12, 2016: Mohammed Bin Hadher, renowned Emirati poet, diplomat and UAE businessman was today awarded the Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Lifetime Achievement Award at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2016. This marks the first time the award has been presented posthumously. The award follows a moving tribute event hosted by the Festival on the opening night.
Born in Dubai in 1948, Mohammed Khalifa Bin Hadher joined the diplomatic services immediately after completing his education. He served in Beirut, Lebanon and Karachi, Pakistan before becoming a member of the Federal National Council, the UAE’s legislature.
Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, who was a close family friend of Bin Hadher shared an emotional tribute to his old friend, ‘It gives me great pleasure to honour Mohammed Bin Hadher with this Lifetime Achievement Award. Mohammed’s commitment and dedication to literature during his lifetime have greatly benefitted both literature and culture in the UAE. His contributions to Emirati poetry and the country that he so loved continues to live on through his family and his work.’
Speaking at the event, Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Festival Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature said, ‘We were lucky to have hosted Mohammed Bin Hadher at the 2010 Festival. His sessions were insightful and full of history. We felt his loss deeply but writers are immortal and he is alive to us through his poetry. This year we wanted to celebrate his legacy and this award is a most fitting way to do so.’
Bin Hadher left an indelible impression on his beloved country through the establishment, with Mohammed Al Murr, of Al Nadwa: The UAE Cultural and Scientific Association. Dedicated to improving the scientific state of the nation, Al Nadwa has branched out into a number of programmes benefiting the next generation of scientists.
He also founded the Rashid Prize for Higher Education, which aims to improve the educational prospects for promising students by providing them with scholarships to pursue degrees and doctorates.
The Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2014 to recognize individual contributions to UAE literature. 2015’s awardee for Abdul Ghaffar Hussain, noted Emirati businessman, philanthropist and one of the first published writers of Dubai. The inaugural award was given to Dr. Rafia Ghubash, Professor of Psychology, Founder of the Women’s Museum and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation.
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