(WASHINGTON, DC) — Actress and film director Salma Hayek received the “Spirit of Humanity” Kahlil Gibran Award from the Arab American Institute on Thursday during an annual gala in Washington DC honoring successful Arab-Americans.
Hayek returned from a three-day trip to Lebanon on Tuesday, where she launched her new animated film “The Prophet”, which is based on Gibran’s book.
The animated film, which draws on the 1923 book by Lebanese-born writer Kahlil Gibran, tells the story of Almitra, a headstrong girl who forms a friendship with imprisoned poet Mustafa.
The Washington DC ceremony was held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, where Hayek was awarded in the category of “individual achievement.”
“I’m a citizen of the world, and my country is humanity, kids are poets from the moment they’re born; they get Gibran’s message without thinking about the meaning of individual words,” Hayek said.
The institute highlighted the Salma Hayek Foundation’s work to “end violence against women and attract global attention to humanitarian crises.”
Hayek said her trip to Lebanon was “very emotional” and called her new film a “love letter to my heritage.”
“Through this book I got to know my grandfather, through this book I got to have my grandfather teaching me about life,” she said in Beirut.
Hayek also visited Gibran’s birthplace, Bcharre, on Sunday to pay tribute to the writer and his book, which has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide.