Abdulaziz Zähter has been helping refugees, women and orphans for more than 40 years. Whether in the morning, in the evening or at night, for Abdulaziz Zähter this makes no difference. Where help is needed, he is there. He once interprets at the immigration office, then spends the night in the hospital to assist underage children as guardian, and the other time he organizes information sessions for refugees.
In the Frankfurt am Main area he is considered the “Kurdish Archive” because he manages thousands of names and contacts of Kurds and is regarded as a central point of contact by the authorities.
Abdulaziz Zähter has also been a member of the Social Democrats (SPD) for many years and is an active member there as well, working for the needs of the weak and marginalized. If need be, he rolls up his sleeves and, together with his party members, moves through the city to clean up the public squares and grounds.
When IS attacked the Yazidi city of Shingal five years ago, slaughtered thousands of innocent people and made hundreds of thousands flee, Abdulaziz Zähter was immediately on the ground to help. He collected tons of clothes and medicines in Germany, transported them via Turkey to Kurdistan and personally distributed them among the many refugees.
Abdulaziz Zähter is also one of the founding members of the Central Council of Kurds in Germany. As treasurer and board member, he is an important pillar of the German-Kurdish umbrella association with more than thirty member communities nationwide.
You could write books about Abdulaziz Zähter. He is a friendly and modest man who deserves the utmost respect for his tireless commitment to integration and human rights. The Committee of the Kurdish-European Society (KES) therefore unanimously decided to award this year’s Dr Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou Prize of the Kurdish-European Society in 2019 to Abdulaziz Zähter. KES President Kahraman Evsen personally handed him the prize at a ceremony in Frankfurt am Main on 29 June 2019. The Prize speech was held by the party friend and head of the SPD Frankfurt am Main Mike Josef. The prize was launched in 2017 and awarded in the same year to the two Yezidis Haydar and Qasim Shesho. In 2018, the prize went to Turkish sociologist Dr Ismail Besikci.