02/28/2008, 00.00
JAPAN – JORDAN
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Niwano Prize awarded to Jordan’s Prince Hassan

The award ceremony is scheduled for 8 May in Tokyo. The prince is being recognised for his actions as a “bridge builder” between civilisations and religions in the Middle East.

Tokyo (AsiaNews) – His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan is this year’s recipient of the  Niwano Peace Prize, now in its 25th edition. The prince will be presented with the award, a medal and 20 million yen (US$ 220,000) at a ceremony that will take place on 8 May in Tokyo, Japan.

Born in Jordan in 1947 Prince Hassan studied at Christ Church College, Oxford, graduating with a degree in Oriental studies. Until 1999, he served as the closest political adviser for his brother, the late King Hussein of Jordan.

He has also devoted his life to building peace with justice in the Middle East based on his understanding of human dignity, informed and inspired by his faith.

He is a leading member of several international committees and organizations, president of the Club of Rome and co-chair of the Independent Commission on Humanitarian Issues.

The Niwano Peace Foundation was created in 1978 to contribute to a peaceful world in fields like religion, philosophy, culture and science.

Thanks to billions of yen in donations the foundation is in a position to organise cultural activities and international exchanges; each year, it also awards the Niwano Peace Prize to individuals or organisations that promote peace and inter-faith dialogue.

In the nomination process, some 800 people and organisations, representing 125 countries, are asked to propose candidates who are then screened by the Niwano Peace Prize Committee which is composed of 12 religious leaders from around the world, 11 of whom are involved in movements for peace and inter-faith co-operation.

The foundation is named after Nikkyo Niwano, who in 1938 founded the lay Buddhist organisation Rissho Kosei-kai.

Through this movement he sought to renew the teachings of Amitābha Buddhism by uniting a deep sense of spirituality to a commitment to social issues as well as the promotion of peace and inter-faith dialogue.

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