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Registration for the Arab Hope Makers initiative closed on Saturday, after receiving more than 87,000 submissions.
The initiative, which falls under the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, MBRGI, is the largest of its kind dedicated to honouring people in the Arab world and beyond, who spend their lives spreading hope. Any individual, group or organisation committed to humanitarian and community work in any field was welcomed to register. Submissions were received from 15 Arab and 20 foreign countries, surpassing last year’s registrations and proving that the initiative’s message of altruism is spreading across the world.
The second round of Arab Hope Makers was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in February to honour and celebrate individuals who dedicate their lives to helping others. The initiative will reward an Arab Hope Maker with AED1 million in recognition of the effort, and to support their mission so they can help as many people as possible.
This year's submissions also saw an increase from young Arabs residing in Western communities, especially in Europe, who have launched projects to help alleviate the suffering of individuals in need, including immigrants and refugees. Those aged up to 35 years tallied a startling 71 percent of all applicants.
Regarding the applications, Mohamed Omran, Arab Hope Makers Project Manager at MBRGI, said, "It was encouraging to see such an enthusiastic participation from a very diverse group of people; it was a true demonstration of what Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum says that every person has goodness inside them, and that every person has the power to contribute positively.
"We received thousands of applications from people who dedicate their lives to humanitarian causes with their own personal investments, without any support from anyone and without any monetary benefit, motivated only by their philanthropic spirit. It was striking to see the overwhelming amount of participation by young Arabs, especially those between 21 and 35 years old. This really showed the social awareness and the spirit of giving and altruism that is growing among the youth."
In terms of country-wide participation, the highest number of submissions came from Saudi Arabia, with more than 18 percent of the total, followed by Egypt with 12 percent, Algeria with ten percent, Morocco with nine percent and the UAE in fifth, with more than eight percent.
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