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Antiquities Coalition Co-Hosts Event Highlighting Role Models in the Global Campaign against Violent Extremism

October 6, 2016

The Antiquities Coalition is honored to have co-hosted “Heroes of the Global Campaign to Prevent and Overcome Violent Extremism” in New York City on September 22.

Antiquities Coalition Founder and Chairman, Deborah Lehr, joined six other women—all leaders in the arts, business, diplomacy, or philanthropy—at the Metropolitan Museum’s Temple of Dendur to recognize 10 remarkable men and women who have taken a stand for human rights around the globe. These included:

  • Abdihafid Yussef Abdi (Kenya), for his courageous and innovative work as a co-founder of Teachers Against Violent Extremism, a network of educators fighting radicalization in Kenya.
  • Nicholas Kristof (USA), New York Times columnist, for his steady focus on the root causes and cultural and political ramifications of violent extremism.
  • Turki Al-Dakhil (Saudi Arabia), Director General of Al-Arabiya TV, for his outspoken advocacy of tolerance, freedom of the press, the rights of minorities and women in the Gulf region.
  • A team of students at the Rochester Institute of Technology (USA), who won the Peer-to-Peer Challenging Extremism Initiative award organized by the State Department, for their innovative approach to countering hate speech on the internet.
  • Nadia Murad (Iraq), a Yazidi woman who survived the massacre of her family and sexual enslavement by ISIS, for her valorous exposure of atrocities committed by terrorists against her people.
  • Hafsat Mohammed (Nigeria), a former radio journalist turned civil society activist, for her resilient campaign against religious intolerance in Nigerian schools and for leading a grass root multi-faith effort to denounce Boko Haram.
  • Serge and Beate Klarsfeld (France and Germany), for their lifetime dedication to expose and bring to justice Nazi war criminals, and their tireless efforts to use the lessons of history to denounce racism and bigotry.
  • Emanuel Jal (South Sudan), musician, actor, former child soldier, and political activist, for his engagement to bring peace and reconciliation to his people through music and art.
  • Li Yongjun (China), for his innovative leadership in preserving and promoting intangible cultural heritage in China and around the world.

As a not-for-profit dedicated to fighting cultural crimes—including the organized plunder and targeted destruction of cultural sites by terrorists organizations such as Daesh (also known as ISIS)—the Antiquities Coalition welcomed this opportunity to recognize the courage and sacrifice of these individuals.

Each of the individuals recognized represent the next generation in the fight against extremism. As terrorist groups and extremists elevate their translational approach and increasingly turn to technology as a means of influence, it takes creativity and next generation thinking to develop even more effect means of combatting the violent extremism taking place across the globe today.

Given the success of this year’s ceremony, the organizing committee is planning to make it an annual event.