Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain, one of the three Bangladeshi hostages killed in the terrorist attack on the Holey Cafe in Dhaka’s Gulshan diplomatic zone on July 1, was awarded the Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice for 2016.
The award was conferred posthumously by the Harmony Foundation in Mumbai on Sunday. Faraaz’s parents received the award on his behalf at a ceremony from the Foundation’s President Abraham Mathai.
This is the first time the award has been conferred posthumously .
While delivering the award, the Foundation said it “considers it its most humble privilege to posthumously honour Faaraz Ayaaz Hossain, amongst others, the brave Bangladeshi youth who was killed in the Dhaka terror attack on July 1, 2016 for refusing to leave behind his friends who were from other countries, choosing instead to stand against terror and oppression, ultimately paying the highest price and laying his life down for his friends.”
Addressing a press conference in Mumbai on Saturday, Faraaz’s mother Simeen Hossain said, “Those who have killed my son were devils, terrorists. And my son, who stood by his friends defying death, represented true Islam.”
Harmony Foundation president Abraham Mathai said: “Faraaz was a great human, a brave man. We are proud to have honoured him. [Faraaz]”.
The international award in memory of late Mother Teresa was first introduced in 2005 with Medecines Sans Frontieres, the largest volunteer medical organisation worldwide, receiving it that year.
Nobel laureate Malala Yousufzai of Pakistan, who has become a global icon for the education of the girl child, Nobel laureate Dalai Lama, the Tibetan leader, former Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr. Mahathir Mohammed and Baroness Caroline Cox, the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords, are among the other recipients of the award.
Faraaz was a graduate of Oxford College of Emory University and a student at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in Atlanta. He had come to Dhaka to spend his summer holidays and was scheduled to return to the U.S. in the end of August.