Salah Ahmad, founder of the Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights, received the Order of Merit on Neck Ribbon of the Federal Republic of Germany from the Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Dr. Gerd Müller for his humanitarian work in Germany and Iraq on February 26, 2015.
The Order of Merit acknowledges his many years of humanitarian work for survivors of grave human rights abuses, and especially his achievements in establishing a network of treatment centers in Northern Iraq over the past ten years.
More than 50 persons attended the award ceremony in the Marie-Schlei Hall of the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development in Berlin. In his acceptance speech, Mr. Ahmad thanked his family for the ongoing support of his work, the teams in Kurdistan and Berlin for their efforts, as well as the Federal Republic of Germany and other donor organisations for their contributions which make the work of the Jiyan Foundation possible. He also paid special thanks to his late brother, who since the opening of the first center almost ten years ago in the city of Kirkuk has been an ardent supporter, both ideally and materially.
In light of the great progress the Kurdistan Region has made over the past years, Mr. Ahmad stressed the need for continuous international support for the Kurdish government and civil society in fighting back the terrorists of the IS and preserving this unique example of a prosperous, democratic society in the Middle East. "We must protect this young flower so it can grow and prosper, otherwise it will be a great loss not only to the region, but to Germany and Europe as well", Mr. Ahmad said.
The Order of Merit on Neck Ribbon is awarded by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany to persons who have made outstanding contributions to society.