In mid November, the Middle East Institute (MEI), Washington’s oldest policy institute established in 1946 and devoted to promoting understanding of the Middle East, honored Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel with their ‘Visionary Award’ at the Annual Banquet in Washington DC. The Institute has chosen to recognise Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel’s outstanding work toward poverty alleviation and job creation around the world and particularly in the Middle East, including the Bab Rizq Jameel program, which has contributed to the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs. The award covers Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel’s efforts to improve lives and promote cross-cultural understanding through the Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT, Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives, and his many other local and global cultural projects.

The Middle East Institute Visionary Award recognizes an Arab individual or institution for their exceptional work in the region. Previous recipients of this award include former Deputy Prime Minister of Lebanon and philanthropist Issam M. Fares, Gaza physician and peace activist Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, and Egyptian social media activist Esraa Abdel Fattah.

David Rubenstein, co-chairman of the Carlyle Group, will present Mr. Jameel with the MEI Visionary Award and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who has served as ambassador to six countries, will give the keynote address. The banquet will be attended by more than 400 top policymakers, diplomats, and members of the media.

Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel is an MIT graduate and the President of Abdul Latif Jameel, one of the largest independent Toyota distributer in the world. Abdul Latif Jameel has more than 14,000 associates and operations in markets such as Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Turkey, Germany, France, China and Japan. Previously, Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel was awarded First Class King Abdul Aziz Medal by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. During the 29th session of the GCC Ministers of Labor held in Riyadh, Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel was honored for his work in job creation in the region. Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel sits on the Board of Trustees for MIT and KAUST as well as several other organizations.

Founded in 1946 by George Camp, the Middle East Institute has operated as one of the preeminent centers for Middle East research in Washington, DC. The Institute is seeking to increase knowledge of the Middle East among citizens of the United States and to promote a better understanding between the peoples of these two areas.

Bab Rizq Jameel creates job opportunities for young people through its diverisifed programs, including the direct employment, training ending with employment, small projects finance, productive household, taxi and truck ownership programs. More than 695 job creators are working through Bab Rizq Jameel’s 39 branches distributed in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Morocco and Turkey.

In Saudi Arabia, Bab Rizq Jameel successfully helped to create 49,957 job opportunities during 2011 in different fields, ranging from catering, providing medical care and administration. Bab Rizq Jameel helps fill the gap between university education and needs of the private sector, providing microfinance, encouraging young people to start their own projects, and helps housewives to move from being aid receivers to producers.