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Meridian Global Leadership Awards Honoring
Sean O'Keefe and Shafik Gabr
Four Seasons Hotel
Washington, DC
June 10, 2014

Written by Wendy R Williams
Photo Credits: Kaveh Sardari

Opposite Photo:
Shafik Gabr

Shafik Gabr and Sean O'Keefe

The Meridian Global Leadership Awards honors global leaders "who exemplify the positive impact individuals can have in their communities and in the world. These individuals are champions of Meridian’s belief that all citizens can be global leaders and share Meridian’s commitment to promote international understanding through the exchange of ideas, people, and culture." (quote from Meridian website)

Secretary Ray LaHood

Ambassador Stuart Holiday

The 2014 honorees were the Honorable Sean O'Keefe, who received the Meridian Corporate Leader Award, and M. Shafik Gabr, recipient of the Meridian Global Citizen Award. The room was filled with both Washington insiders and dignitaries from all over the world. Meridian Secretary and Dinner Chairman Congressman Ray LaHood welcomed the guests. LaHood was followed to the podium by Ambassador Stuart W Holiday (President and CEO, Meridian International Center) and Governor James J. Blanchard (Chairman, Meridian International Center).

The room was filled with elected officials from the Democrat and Republican Parties who seemingly left their ideologies at the door in support of Meridian's global outreach.

Awardee Sean O'Keefe has lived a life of accomplishment in the air, at sea and on land. He is the former Chairman and CEO of Airbus Group LLC, the Secretary of the Navy, the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Chancellor of Louisiana State University and this is only a partial description of Mr. O'Keefe's lifetime of service.

Shafik Gabr is the Chairman and Managing Director of ARTOC Group, an Egyptian based multi-disciplined investment holding company. Mr. Gabr is also the collector of an extensive collection of Orientalist art, 19th century paintings created by Western artists who traveled to the Orient to depict the beauty and exoticism of the East. Gabr has said that he was inspired by the artist's attempts to see and understand a foreign culture when he founded The Shafik Gabr Foundation and launched its East-West: The Art of Dialogue Initiative. The Foundation creates opportunities for fellowship exchanges between the US and Egypt with the knowledge that for anyone to understand a foreign world, first they must see it and then they must talk. Gabr has stated that he wishes to be a bridge builder between cultures.

Gehan, Shafik and Malak Gabr

Mr. Gabr also knows how to work a global room. Gabr's friends had flown in from
all around the world to attend the event. The Foundation's fellows were also in attendance as were Mr. Gabr's lovely wife Jehan and daughter Malak.

Notable guests included: President Andreas Pastrana (former President of Columbia); President Václav Klaus (former President of the Czech Republic); Mohamed Tawfik, Egyptian Ambassador to the United States; Congressman Howard Berman; Congressman Jim Moran; Judge Willim H Webster, Chairman of the Homeland Security Advisory Council; Selwa Showker “Lucky” Roosevelt (former Chief of Protocol of the United States); author Alexandrade Borchgrave and journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave; journalist Judy Miller; Shafik Gabr's sister Shahdan Gabr; Jehane and Spiros Voyadzis, President of PFD LLC; entertainment deal maker Sandy Climan; famed architect Leo Daly; famed hostess and decorator Susan Gutfreund; John Negreponte, former United States Deputy Secretary of State and former Director of National Intelligence; Shafik Gabr's lifetime friends the O'Callaghans; Stuart E. Eizenstat, former United States Ambassador to the European Union and United States Deputy Secretary of the Treasury; banker Aly Shalaby; Arabian journalist Hussein Shobokshy; General Tom Costentino; Judge Webster; Admiral Bill and Mary Fallon; author Dan Yergin; Congressman Jim Moran; Pulitzer Prize winning author Dan Yergin and his wife; Gabr family friend Jehane Alfi; Dr. Susan Blumenthal, former Assistant Surgeon General of the United States; and George Selim, Director for Community Partnerships, Place of Employment at the National Security Council.

Meridian International Center

East-West: The Art of Dialogue

Past event for The Shafik Gabr Foundation.

Shafik Gabr, Stuart Holiday and Sean O'Keefe

Leo Daley and President Andreas Pastrana

Congressman Howard Berman, Malak and Shafik Gab

Daniel Pinto, Shafik Gabr, Mary El and Tony O'Callaghan, Gehan Gabr
and Susan Gutfriend

Sandy Climan, Shafik Gabr and President Pastrana

Gehan Gabr and President Klaus

Lucky Roosvelet, Gehan Gabr, Alexandra and Arnaud de Borchgrave
and Shafik Gabr

Judy Miller and Shafik Gabr

Shahdan Gabr, Shafik Gabr, Fabiola, Jehane and Spiros Voyadziz

Gehan and Shafik Gabr

Shafik Gabr and Ambassador Mohamed Tawfik

President Vaclav Klaus and Shafik Gabr

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