Speaking on behalf of the HCEF Board of Directors, in announcing the award the HCEF President Rateb Rabie stated “we applaud your tireless personal engagement and visionary role in promoting peaceful reconciliation between Arabs and Israelis and amongst Christians, Muslims and Jews. As an Arab American your contributions to your Arab heritage and to American society are outstanding. HCEF is gratified that you will be the first Palestinian American Christian to receive this award.”
The Path of Peace Award is the highest recognition established by HCEF to honor an individual who throughout his/her life has vigorously championed the cause of Peace in the Middle East. It is conferred on an individual who, through tireless personal efforts, has promoted the peaceful reconciliation between Arabs and Israelis, and amongst Muslims, Christians and Jews. The honoree is an eminent statesman, clergyman or citizen of any country who is locally or internationally recognized as a visionary and humanist for this role.
Mr. George R. Salem, Esq. is a prominent attorney, recognized nationally and internationally. For many years he has unstintingly championed the cause of peace in the Middle East. His vast knowledge of the region and extensive network of contacts there led him to be named to the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy in the Arab and Muslim world. This high level advisory group formed at the request of Congress assists the U.S. State Department’s Public Diplomacy efforts. He has served as an official U.S. observer to the Palestinian elections in 2005 and was President Bush’s representative at the funeral of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat.
Mr. Salem’s legal career spans three decades. Currently he heads the Law Offices of George R. Salem, PLLC. He is a Strategic Advisor with DLA Piper US LLP assisting that firm in the Middle East and with U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) practices. From 1990-2004, Mr. Salem was a partner of the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP, heading the firm’s Middle East and U.S. DOL practices. During the course of his long career, Mr. Salem has negotiated some of the most significant settlements in the field of labor law. From 1985 to 1989, he served as the Solicitor of Labor in the U.S. DOL.
Mr. Salem received a B.A. in 1975 and a J.D. in 1977 from Emory University. He received a LL.M. in labor law in 1984 from the Georgetown University Law Center. He is a member of the Bars of Georgia, Florida and the District of Columbia. In 1992 Mr. Salem received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, an award presented annually to Americans of diverse origins for their singular contributions to their own ethnic group and to American society at large.
In receiving this award, Mr. George Salem joins these esteemed individuals:
- H.E. Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States (2009),
- H.E. Theodore Cardinal MCCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington (2008) and
- Dr. Marwan Muasher, Senior Vice President, World Bank (2007)
The 2010 Path of Peace Award will be presented at the Awards Banquet on Friday evening, November 5, 2010 at the Bethesda Marriott Hotel, Bethesda, MD held in conjunction with the 12th International Conference on the Holy Land on Friday and Saturday, November 5-6, 2010 at The Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, DC.