Though the certificate bears his name, Associate Professor Mohamad Abdalla says a recently endowed international peace award is a shared honour.

The Director of Islamic Studies in Griffith University’s School of Humanities, Associate Professor Abdalla has received the Universal Peace Federation’s Ambassador for Peace Award.

The UPF is a global network of individuals and organisations dedicated to ‘building a world of peace in which everyone can live in freedom, harmony, cooperation and prosperity’. Part of its mission statement is to encourage all religions to engage in dialogue and cooperate for peace.

A leading voice within Australia’s Muslim community and the Founding Director of the Griffith Islamic Research Unit, Associate Professor Abdalla said the award was acknowledgment for the tireless work by many people committed to the cause of peace.

“We do not go out and actively seek awards such as this, but they are a motivating factor and they do allow a greater appreciation of all that is being done to nurture and encourage peace in our communities, in society and throughout the world,” he said.

“My focus has always been to build bridges of understanding and when the parties on either side of the bridge come together and embrace cooperation and co-existence, you feel your work is not going to waste.”

In May last year, Associate Professor Abdalla received the 2013 Hajee Ebrahim Patel/Crescents of Brisbane Special Achievement Award for his long-standing contribution and service to the community.

Formed in 2004,Crescents of Brisbaneis a community-based, not-for-profit group fostering a healthy lifestyle through sport, entertainment, education and culture, particularly among Muslims in Queensland.

Associate Professor Abdalla said he was optimistic about the Muslim community’s place and purpose within Australian society.

“There is tremendous positive energy among the people I meet and there is so much good work that goes unreported,” he said.

“This is happening in many communities and across all religions and ethnic backgrounds and it demonstrates a real desire for understanding, acceptance and peaceful co-existence.”