An Indian-origin man in South Africa, has been awarded the prestigious Global Citizen Award for his “innovative and visionary” contribution to the global community. Imtiaz Sooliman was honoured at the end of the 10th annual Global Residence and Citizenship Conference in London. The award consists a specially-made commemorative medal, an award certificate signed by the president of the independent Award Committee and a USD 50,000 monetary prize, of which USD 25,000 is donated to the UN HighCommissioner for Refugees.
Since his foundation’s beginnings in August 1992, Sooliman has grown the Gift of the Givers into Africa’s largest disaster relief organisation, raising more than ZAR 2 billion (USD 150 million) in life-saving aid for 42 countries around the world, including war-ravaged states such as Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, and Bosnia.
Dr Imtiaz Sooliman was born in Potchefstroom, in the North West. He started his schooling in Potchefstroom, but moved to Sastri College in Durban in 1978. He qualified as a medical doctor at the then University of Natal Medical School in 1984.
Sooliman gave up his career as a medical doctor to pursue the field of humanitarian aid, which for him transcends the boundaries of race, religion, culture, class and geography. Alongside his studies and his medical work and throughout his life, Sooliman has been involved in several associations, religious organisations and school-governing bodies progressively as a student, medical doctor and an active member of civil society.