“We want to instill benevolence across our Arab region,” says Sheikh Mohammed.

A newly announced initiative to celebrate philanthropy and kindness will be open to residents of Arab nations, it has been announced.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, revealed yesterday that he’s on the hunt for regional do-gooders as part of the “Arab Hope Maker” programme.

The scheme, which forms a key part of the ‘Year of Giving’, will see one lucky winner score a Dhs1 million prize – but you have to be a truly outstanding individual to net that award.

Targeting those who go above and beyond in the realms of volunteering, community work and charity, the overall winner will be someone who’s dedicated their lives to helping others.

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“We want to instill benevolence across our Arab region,” said Sheikh Mohammed, adding that the aim is to shine a light on often under-appreciated individuals who shun fame.

“Our objective is to celebrate benevolence and hope makers, and civilisation makers. They are the real stars and the idols for new generations.”

So, what is an Arab Hope Maker, you ask? Well, it’s anyone from the Middle East who has a track record of volunteering and humanitarian work, or has made noted self-sacrificing actions for others.

Nominees should reside in an Arab country, according to the terms and conditions, but doesn’t necessarily have to be a citizen.

According to the website, people can nominate themselves or others, and the age limit for hopefuls is five to 95 years old.

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The programme, launched by Sheikh Mohammed’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives foundation, hopes to highlight stories from a whopping 20,000 kind-hearted individuals.

“Every individual in the Arab world shoulders the responsibility of creating hope. The attribute of giving is entrenched in Arabs, and making hope is a cultural mission,” said the royal, Gulf News reports.

“There is a wave of frustration and pessimism engulfing our region, and we must overcome it. No nation can carry on with its progress if its youth are in despair. Therefore, everyone is responsible for inspiring hope in the region.”

Know someone that’s the perfect fit? Go to arabhopemakers.com to make a submission.

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Image: HH Sheikh Mohammed/Twitter