Esquire awards for Dubai Cares and ‘War Child’ writer Chaker Khazaal

Dubai Cares CEO Tariq Al Gurg and author Chaker Khazaal

Dubai Cares has reached millions of children through its work to provide quality education in developing countries.

Chaker Khazaal has moved people across the world with his Confessions of a War Child trilogy of novels.

Both were honoured at the Man at his Best Awards 2015, which recognise the achievements of men in the region and were hosted by Esquire Middle East in Dubai on November 6.

The philanthropic organisation Dubai Cares – and its CEO Tariq Al Gurg – were recognised for their incredible work in helping children get into school and stay there.



Our second award of the evening! Sponsored by: @alfreddunhill #esquireme #esquireawards #mahb

A photo posted by Esquire Middle East (@esquiremiddleeast) on


The organisation has supported primary education programmes in 41 countries. With the support of the United Arab Emirates community, it has reached 14 million beneficiaries. Here are some of the amazing numbers that tell the story of Dubai Cares’ work:

  • 2100 classrooms and schools built or renovated
  • 505,000 children provided with nutritious food in school each day
  • 42,000 teachers trained
  • 2.2 million books in local languages distributed

And here are just some of the children helped by Dubai Cares in Sierra Leone.

On its Facebook page, Dubai Cares said: “Our CEO Tariq Al Gurg has just received the Esquire Humanitarian Award on behalf of Dubai Cares. We feel privileged to receive this award and to have our achievements in providing education to underprivileged children around the world recognised.”

Appointed in 2009, he is responsible for the leadership and strategy of Dubai Cares, which uses integrated programmes such as feeding, deworming and sanitation to ensure children are in school and learning.

Here is the moment Mr Al Gurg took to the stage to accept the award.

Dubai Cares said later: “We are honoured and privileged to receive the Humanitarian Award and to be recognised … for our efforts to provide quality education to millions of underprivileged children around the world. It’s been eight years since our launch and we are as committed as ever to our mandate which is to eradicate poverty through education.”

The culmination of the evening was the presentation of the Man of the Year 2015 award to Chaker Khazaal.



The son of Palestinian parents, he grew up in Bourj el-Barajneh refugee camp in Beirut during the Lebanese civil war before moving to Canada and becoming a writer, reporter and strong advocate for refugees.

Chaker’s Confessions of a War Child books tell of the human stories that unfold amidst the horror of war and the plight of refugees. A believer in expanding awareness through education, he tweeted this from the event:

He has been mentored by Tom Fletcher, former British Ambassador to Lebanon and now Director of Global Strategy for the Global Business Coalition for Education.

Tom, who was at the awards ceremony, said: “Chaker’s recognition should give hope to anyone fleeing oppression, or finding ways to explain the triumph of the human spirit in even the darkest moments.

“He is a talismanic example of creativity, humanity and optimism and I was delighted to be with him and his family on the night.”

Here is Tom with Chaker at the awards in Dubai.

Congratulations to Dubai Cares, Tariq Al Gurg and Chaker Khazaal for your fantastic achievements.

You can read more about the Man at his Best awards here.