Good Evening. I am delighted to join you in honoring someone whose commitment to democracy and human rights has helped chart a new course for Egypt and throughout the Middle East.
When you look back at the last 300 years of history, you can see a pattern. In the 19th century, the great human rights struggle was against organized slavery; in the 20th century, the great struggle was against totalitarianism. Today, the struggle is to ensure that women are fully afforded the rights they deserve as human beings -- in their families, in their societies, and in their countries.
Three years before the Arab Awakening, Esraa Abdel Fattah started a social movement that helped an entire region move forward on women's rights. Her actions helped lay the foundation for this year's Arab Awakening, inspiring thousands of young people -- men and women -- yearning for political change and demanding greater accountability, human rights and freedoms.
Today, Esraa is a reminder of all that has been accomplished, and the work that remains.
Congratulations, my friend, on this special honor and thank you for all that you do. You are helping to write a new chapter in our history books and blaze a new path for generations to come. God bless.