CAIR-Chicago Executive Director, Ahmed Rehab received the Lincolnland Legend Award in Springfield this past Saturday, April 4th.
The program administered by Scolarship America’s Illinois affiliate, the nation’s largest non-profit, private-sector scholarship and educational support organization, honors individuals from each congressional district based on winning essays submitted by local students who nominate them. Zaina Zayyad from Al Aqsa school in Bridgeview submitted the winning essay from the 3rd Congressional district.
The program is designed to highlight role models and their influence in society in order to encourage positive social activism within students while helping them with their college education. Zaina’s essay was rewarded with a $4,000 scolarship.
The award gala was held at a fitting venue, the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, in Springfield, IL. Abraham Lincoln whose life included a series of failures before it was a success epitomizes tenacity and positivism and his spirit was felt throughout the evening.
“This recognition is an honor, but for me, the real hope are the youth like Zaina who seek and find inspiration and who take the initiative to do something concrete once inspired,” said Rehab.
Rehab praised Al Aqsa school and noted that Zaina was the only student at the gala whose principal, Ms Khalida Baste, made the long trip. “It shows the real commitment Al Aqsa’s educators have to their students,” Rehab said.
Previous Lincolnland Legend include President Barack Obama, who received the award in 2005.