26.09.2017 - ODG

The joint ISESCO-Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Prize for Educators 2017 awarded to UNESCO

© UNESCO/Christelle ALIX

On 26 September 2017, at a ceremony held at its Headquarters in Paris, UNESCO was awarded the joint ISESCO-Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Prize for Educators 2017 in recognition of the Organization’s seminal six-volume publication “The Different Aspects of Islamic Culture” which contributes towards better understanding of Islam and its contribution to the development of humanity as a whole.

"The joint ISESCO-Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Prize for Educators 2017 represents a recognition of the unerring work of UNESCO in its fields of competence, as the cultural conscience of the world”, said the Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO), Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri.

“In our turbulent times, when all societies are facing pressures of different kinds, we do need more culture, more understanding, more peace and security”, said the Director General of ISESCO.

“I am delighted that the international jury decided to award this year’s prize to UNESCO, for its tireless efforts to promote peace and coexistence”, said the Director of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS), Dr Farhan Ahmad Nizami.

“Times and technologies may have changed since 1945 and the birth of UNESCO, but the founding principles of its Charter remain as valid, and their attainment as urgent”, added Dr Nizami.

“This Award has special significance for UNESCO, at a time when promoting intercultural and interreligious dialogue has never been so important,” declared the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova upon receiving the Award highlighting that this Collection “sends a vital message at a time of rising violent extremism.”

“When violent extremists seek to distort religion and spread hatred -- we must respond with more knowledge, with more science, with more culture,” declared Irina Bokova. “This is the meaning of the Collection.”

This will be the second award of the Prize for Educators, instituted jointly in 2014 by ISESCO and the OCIS in the context of a wider programme of cooperation to promote dialogue and understanding between peoples, cultures and civilisations. The objective of the award is to promote these shared values and objectives by shedding light on, and paying tribute to, major institutions, leading figures and sponsors active in the promotion of values of peace and coexistence. For this award, the jury considered in particular achievements in this field by individuals and institutions in the international arena.

"The Different Aspects of Islamic Culture" is the latest collection of UNESCO's General and Regional Histories Project, a project that introduces another way of writing the history of populations by decompartmentalizing historical narratives and by putting an emphasis on the values and links between populations on a regional and global scale. It is a collection of six thematic volumes that gathers the contributions of around 150 scholars, Muslims and non-Muslims, from all over the world. It reflects profound academic exchanges among members of the Scientific Committee of the project, editors and authors, in order to present a comprehensive historical and geographical overview of Islamic culture.

UNESCO Collection “The Different Aspects of Islamic Culture”


Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS)



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