The Barakat Trust is proud to announce that Ms Hamida Alireza, one its founding trustees, received the Rawabi Holding Award from the Saudi-British Society, on Wednesday February 20th, at the Institute of Directors, London.

The Rawabi Holding Awards are made annually to one Saudi and one British citizen for making an outstanding contribution to promoting Saudi-British relations and are generously donated by Mr. Abdulaziz al Turki. Recipients are chosen from a wide range of fields in which they have made a contribution, including education, literature, journalism, sport, women’s affairs, welfare and medicine.

Upon receiving the reward, Ms Alireza noted that the award coincided in many ways with the purpose and mandate of The Barakat Trust.

She wrote: “We both recognise the importance of cross cultural bonds and understanding in a region whose history has been and continues to be, volatile on all fronts, religious, political and geographic. The West in particular has a poor understanding of the region and as a result perceives it quite negatively. So understanding those limitations and eliminating them through education is ever important.

The Barakat Trust was set up for the preservation of, architecture, archeology, art and the material culture of the Muslim world through funding students, academic research, publications, conservation, archiving and digitizing. Projects have included the conservation of buildings, works of art and manuscripts throughout the Islamic world, from Morocco to China. The grantees are students, academics and scholars, artists and builders with a common goal, to preserve and share the incredibly rich legacy of the Islamic world. Projects are chosen on merit and urgency. A lot of the heritage is being destroyed and needs to be preserved before it is gone forever. Barakat has close ties with Oxford University and other major museums and institutions through out the UK in particular, and has contributed financially to scholarships, fellowships and research projects to promote understanding.

The Barakat Trust has survived these last 32 years on generous individual and corporate sponsors. We have helped over 500 individuals, scholars and students alike, with grants to complete their projects. All of our grantees have in some way contributed to the preservation and understanding of the cultural heritage of the Islamic world. They have been able to complete their theses, research projects, preservation projects, and archiving projects on the funds received from Barakat. The prize we are receiving will go to help many scholars, preservationists and conservators to continue to contribute to the essence of the prize to further understanding of our region. I would like to accept the prize on behalf of all our sponsors since our inception. Without them and our tireless Academic Advisory Committee, we would not be where we are today. ”

The other recipient of this year’s award was Mr. Mark Evans MBE, an explorer and educationalist, and founder of Connecting Cultures.