By M M Special Correspondent
New Delhi: Recognizing his “tremendous and unparalleled” services for promoting better ties and understanding between India and the Arab world, the Arab League, the largest organization of 22 Arab nations, conferred its prestigious Arab League Award on Mr. Syed Vicaruddin Alig who heads the Indo-Arab League Hyderabad and edits Hyderabad’s oldest and well-known Urdu daily Rahnuma-e-Deccan .
The award was presented by Minister of State for External Affairs Mr. M.J. Akbar to Mr. Vicaruddin in the presence of galaxy of Arab and other diplomats at a glittering ceremony organized to mark the 73rd Foundation Day of the Arab League at the Embassy of Oman here. While congratulating him, Arab diplomats personally thanked him and hailed his organization Indo-Arab League Hyderabad’s contribution in promoting the cause of Palestine and friendship with the Arab world.
It is to be noted that Mr. Vicaruddin is the first Indian who was bestowed with this prestigious Award by the 22-member strong Arab League.
Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to India Dr. Saud Mohammed Al-Sati described Indo-Arab relations as “historic”. Hailing the contributions of Mr. Vicaruddin which strengthened Indo-Arab relations at various levels, the Saudi envoy termed his efforts as “exemplary and unparallel”. He also lauded the Indo Arab League Hyderabad saying under the leadership of Mr. Vicaruddin it has been playing an important role in promoting peace among Arab states and striving for their unity since its inception in 1967 on people to people level.
Echoing Saudi diplomat views, Arab League Ambassador Dr. Alia Ghannam lauded the services rendered by Mr. Vicaruddin in enhancing the friendship. “There is no parallel to Mr. Vicaruddin’s contributions and the prestigious Indo Arab League Award is a very humble acknowledgement of his relentless noble efforts for the cause of better relationship,” she said.
Ambassadors of Arab countries including Palestine, Jordan, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia and other African nations congratulated Mr. Syed Vicaruddin in person and appreciated his services. Religious leaders, intellectuals, scholars, political leaders including Vice Chairman of Indo Arab League Hyderabad Dr. Mir Akbar Ali Khan, Jameel Ahmed Khan, Dr. Moinuddin Habeebi, TRS MP K.Keshav Rao and Chief Editor of Gawah Dr. Syed Fazil Hussain Parvez were also present on this occasion.
Expressing his gratitude for choosing him for this honour, Mr. Syed Vicaruddin said “although the “Arab League award” is a rare honour, it will always remind him of “the blood of Palestinians martyrs and atrocities and pain of Palestinians, their women and children.”
He said the Indo Arab League was established to strengthen Indo-Arab relations and support the Palestinian cause of peace and freedom in 1967.
“Two Presidents of India and seven Prime Ministers including Mrs. Indira Gandhi, P.V.Narsimha Rao, I.K.Gujaral, V.P.Singh, Shankar Dayal Sharma and Gyani Zail Singh had participated in Indo Arab League Hyderabad’s events.” Palestinian President Yaser Arafat visited Hyderabad twice on his personal invitation to attend Indo Arab League seminars.
“Indo Arab League Hyderabad is building Arafat Complex at a cost of Rs. 80 crores at Banjara Hills. The complex will be a tribute to the former Palestinian President Yaser Arafat and will house a research centre, reading hall, gallery showcasing Palestinian martyrs among other things,” he added.
He also called upon Arab envoys to open their consulates in Hyderabad at the Arafat Complex, which will be ready by 2019.
The Indo-Arab league, since its inception, has followed the policy of Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. He recollected Jawaharlal Nehru’s words from his speech at Shahpur Hall, New Delhi where the then if the world wants to solve the Palestinian dispute with dialogue and diplomacy, it should handover
Jerusalem to Palestinians as Israeli was formed on the basis of religion, and India stands for democracy.”
He also proposed Arab League to setup an Indo-Arab University in India. The university, according to him, can provide an excellent platform for higher education.
He appreciated the visit of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi to Palestine and expressed hope that his visit will open a new chapter for healthier India Palestine relations. India and Arab world share historic relations, and need each other. He concluded by congratulating the Arab League on its 73rd inception day.
Syed Vicaruddin was earlier awarded by the Morocco President King Mohammed VI of at Rashtrapathi Bhavan in New Delhi for promoting Indo-Arab relations. Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahmed also conferred Syed Vicaruddin at UAE Embassy in New Delhi. Syed Vicaruddin is the only Indian to be conferred with ‘The Star of Jerusalem’ — the highest Palestinian civilian award for his continuous support for the Palestinian cause.