Niagara Peace and Dialog Awards Ceremony 2012


Niagara Foundation’s Peace and Dialogue Awards Ceremony is an annual event dedicated to celebrating professional excellence in the Greater Nebraska Area. The Awards Ceremony is Niagara Foundation’s premier event of the year and honors individuals and organizations whose contributions to peace, community service, dialogue, and civic engagement are legendary.

2012 Niagara Peace and Dialogue Awards Ceremony was held at Lincoln Station Grand Hall in Lincoln, NE with many distinguished guests from NE State Government, City of Lincoln, University of Nebraska, Union College, St Paul United Methodist Church, FBI, Interchurch Ministry, Sabah Foundation, Nebraska Humanities Council, Project Interfaith, ARYA, Turkish-American Society of Nebraska (TASON), Friendship Force, YWCA, Air Force, AISSC, Southeast Community College, and First Presbyterian Church.

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December 13th, 2012
6:00 – 9:00 pm

Lincoln Station Great Hall
201 N. 7th St.
Lincoln, NE 68508

Niagara Lifetime Leadership Award: John A. Gale
Nebraska Secretary of State

Niagara Commitment Award: Chris Beutler
Mayor, City of Lincoln

Niagara Community & Public Service Award: Thomas Farrell
Vice Provost for Global Engagement, University of Nebraska

Niagara Fethullah Gulen Award: St. Paul United Methodist Church
Received by Rev. Stephen Griffith, Minister to the Community

M. Fethullah Gulen
Honorary President, Niagara Foundation

M. Fethullah Gulen was born in the small village of Korucuk, in Erzurum Province, Eastern Turkey, in November 1938. Known by his simple and austere life style, Mr. Gulen has been from his earliest years a gifted Islamic scholar and thinker, and a creative writer and poet. His father taught him Arabic, and initiated in him his profound love of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and his Companions. Later he continued his studies under the guidance of some of the most prominent Islamic scholars in Eastern Turkey. He received further training in the religious sciences.

Mr. Gulen, so distinguished himself that he was asked to begin teaching when he was only fifteen. He did so while continuing his studies in the religious sciences. Blessed with extraordinary oratory skills, even at young age, Gulen was recognized as one of the more accomplished Islamic preachers in the early 1950s, mentioned in the same breath with some of the more learned scholars, many years his senior, in Eastern Anatolia.
Gulen devoted his life trying to solve society’s ills and spiritual sufferings, and inspired the establishment of many charitable organizations to serve the welfare of the underprivileged. He published a number of well-known books, most of which remain on the best seller list in Turkey, and have also been translated into English. These include The Infinite Light, Questions, Towards the Lost Paradise, and Truth through Colors.
At a time when humanity is in a desperate need of leaders and role models, we find a true innovator and an inspirational leader as well as a deeply good man in M. Fethullah Gulen.
When he retired from formal teaching studies in 1980 he had inspired a whole generation of young students, many of whom are leaders in their communities today and of course, Niagara Foundation itself, especially they are the purpose of this evening, all based upon the work of this man.

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