Mrs Heba Al Kharafi was chosen amongst 500 leading women in the Middle East to receive an exquisite award for her achievements in humanitarian activities and effective contribution in arts and culture charities. Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Wife of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, handed out ten awards to influential leading women in the region on the opening night of the Women In Leadership Forum on October 25th at Burj Al Arab in Dubai. The Humanitarian Achievement Award was granted to Mrs Heba Al Kharafi in recognition of her extensive work over the past ten years in promoting arts and culture as well as the preservation of its roots ands origins. Heba’s work has been mainly in coordination with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales for the Prince’s Charitable Foundation in the UK and the Middle East.
“I am honoured to receive the Humanitarian Achievement Award. Studying our roots and traditions through the comprehension of Traditional Arts is essential. I believe that creating awareness of this approach will bridge the gap between cultures and religions and will generate more tolerance amongst various cultures of the world. This can only be achieved by sharing ideas and efforts with other leaders. The WIL Forum represents the ideal platform to achieve that goal.” Commented Mrs Heba Al Kharafi.
In this context, Heba granted the HAK Award for Women and Arts to the Dubai First Ladies Club. The Club was rewarded for its unique concept combining modern, world-class facilities and services and for hosting varied events and activities that suit the requirements of every woman.
“With the HAK Award for Women and Arts, my ultimate goal is to generate awareness of Traditional Arts projects and initiatives in order to reach a better understanding between cultures and religions. Exposing art-related activities to leading women in the region is the perfect way to find synergies and common ground to be able to do more.” explained Heba.
This award aimed at rewarding any woman or organization which has contributed in teaching Traditional Arts around the world or participated in a leading project related to Traditional Arts heritage and preservation. The judges based their decision on the number of years spent in helping the cause, the endorsement or recommendations in the field, the size and diversity of activities as well as any governmental support.
About Mrs Heba Al Kharafi
Mrs Heba Al Kharafi has recently been appointed as the Ambassador to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales to represent the Prince’s Charities Foundation in the Middle East. Her role includes: preserving the environment through conscience planning and building, enhancing core values and traditions, as well as creating bridges between cultures to achieve a better understanding and tolerance between the East and the West. As an Ambassador she represents the six core charities of the Prince’s Charitable Foundation (The Prince’s Charities): The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, The Prince’s Drawing School, The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts, The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health and The Prince’s Teaching Institute.
In recognition of her efforts with the Prince’s Charities, the Prince of Wales granted Mrs Heba Al Kharafi a lapel pin of his personal Royal Feathers as a token of appreciation in Clarence House, his private residence in Saint James Palace in June 2009 in London. Mrs Heba Al Kharafi is also the first Arab woman and the youngest worldwide ever to be granted the personal Royal Feathers in appreciation of her efforts in arts. This lapel pin is rarely granted and is considered as a personal decoration from HRH the Prince of Wales.
As Chairman of the International Board of Advisors to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, Mrs Heba Al Kharafi is also in charge of appointing patrons in each of the Middle Eastern countries to coordinate efforts, generate new ideas, and organize annual events.
Mrs Heba Al Kharafi has highly been involved in art-related charities such as:
The organization of the Arts Exhibition in Clarence House at Saint James Palace in London, the refurbishment of Sultan Taz Palace in Old Cairo, the initiative for preserving the Green Mountains in Lybia, the refurbishing of Minbar Salah El Din in Jordan, the opening of the Jameel Gallery in the Victoria and Albert museum in London, the opening of the Museum of Islamic Arts in Qatar and has organized as well several arts and culture workshops for student of the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in the United Kingdom, Jordan, Egypt, Emirates and Kuwait.
Mrs Heba Al Kharafi also contributed in the establishment of Traditional Arts Schools in Egypt, Jordan and Abu Dhabi. She succeeded in leading many students through their start-up careers in working with renowned multi-national brands to gain commercial experience through the application of basic Traditional Arts design guidelines. Her work considerably helped them produce valuable and commercially viable objects while reflecting cultural roots and heritage.
The objectives of the events were to introduce the work of the Charities to the Arab World and highlight its contribution to Arts, Business, Health and Education.
Mrs Heba Al Kharafi is born in Kuwait and mother to five children; she has graduated from Business School in Kuwait and holds a master degree in Business from Cairo University.
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