KOLKATA: Dr Shihab Ghanem, UAE poet, translator of poetry and writer, is the first Arab national to be awarded the prestigious international Tagore Peace Award by the Asiatic Society at an award ceremony held on the occasion of the 230th Annual General Meeting of the Asiatic Society in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, on Monday.
A dinner party was hosted later to honour Dr Ghanem at the Saturday Club. The dinner was attended by the former Speaker of the West Bengal State Assembly Hashim Abdul Halim, the former Vice-Chancellor of Vishwa Bharti Dr Sujit Basu, the Society's General Secretary KC Chakravarty, and number of prominent personalities, intellectuals and guests.
The Asiatic Society was founded in 1784, and is an Institution of National Importance declared by an Act of Indian Parliament.
The Tagore Peace award has been given to Dr Shihab Ghanem in recognition of his significant contribution to the development of Human Understanding towards peace based on lofty ideals of humanism and pacifism of Rabindra Nath Tagore.
This award is given once every two years to one person only, and has been received so far by nine prominent persons, namely Dr Daisaku Ikeda Japanese Buddhist philosopher, peace builder, recipient of World Peace Poet Award, Dr Krishna Srinivas, Indian President of the World Poetry Society, Chennai, Nelson Mandela ex-President of South Africa, Nobel Peace Laureate 1993 along with Megawati Sukarnaputri ex-President of Indonesia.
Moreover, it was given to Dr Amartya Sen, Indian professor at Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard and Nobel Economics Laureate in 1998, Prof. Kabir Chowdhury, Bengali academician and peace activist, Dr Joseph Stigliz, American professor at Columbia and Nobel Economics Laureate, 2001 and Prof Arun Kumar Sharma, Indian Professor of Botany, Kolkata University.