by Miceál O’Hurley
DUBLIN – Diplomacy in Ireland – The European Diplomat is pleased to announce another award of the Diplomatic Service Medal to members of the diplomatic corps serving in Ireland. The Medals, which are awarded annually to individuals and/or organisations, are conferred in recocognition of their contributions to diplomacy, bilateral and multilateral relations, the promotion of peace and prosperity as well as other core values of diplomatic efforts.
The latest award is made in recognition of excellence in the use of social media in support of diplomatic efforts. The Diplomatic Service Medal will be awarded to the Mission of the Palestinian State in Ireland and shared by Her Excellency Dr. Jilan Wahba Abadalmajid and Ms. Sarah Holland. Dr. Wahba Abadalmajid is the Palestinian Ambassador to Ireland and Ms. Holland serves as the Media & Communications Officer at the Mission of the Palestinian State in Ireland.
Dr. Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid has a long career in the Palestinian diplomatic service. She began her diplomatic service at the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1995 as Assistant Chief of Protocol. She was then posted in Cyprus where she completed her doctorate in Political Marketing, and she came to Ireland seven years ago as deputy to the former Ambassador. She presented her credentials as Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Ireland to President Higgins in January 2020. Dr. Wahba Abdalmajid is a mother of three children.
Ms. Sarah Holland serves as the Media & Communications Officer of the Mission of the Palestinian State in Ireland. A graduate of St. Dominic’s High School (Belfast), Sarah has earned a strong reputation as an experienced professional in both public service and the private sector. A former County Councillor (elected in 2014-2019), Sarah’s reputation for delivering for her community brought her to the attention of the island of Ireland. Skilled in Communications as well as Reputation and Relationship Management, Sarah Holland’s work with Dr. Wahba Abdalmajid to use media and communications effectively in the service of their diplomatic mission is worthy of praise.
Thanks to the generous patronage of husband-and-wife entrepreneurs, Izz and Eman Alkarajeh, owners of the famed, award-winning Cork bistro ‘Izz Cafe’, their sponsorship of the award has been made possible.
About the Diplomatic Service Medal
The Diplomatic Service Medal is struck as a medallion suspended from a bar and ribbon of blue and yellow reflecting the colours adopted by the European Union of which Ireland is an integral member. Burnished silver in colour, the medal depicts Nike, the goddess of victory surrounded by the eleven of the twelve stars of the European Union signifying that the work of the European Union and diplomats everywhere is never complete. Tradition holds that Nike represents the mythic gods as the embodiment of victory in both war and peaceful competition. As uniquely depicted on the Diplomatic Service Medal, the goddess Nike, faithful to the foundational commission of diplomats, is rendered without her sword associated with military might and instead holds aloft the torch of truth, knowledge and service lit with the flame of wisdom in her left hand while in her right she embraces the laurel wreath of peace.
The Diplomatic Service Awards are an annual event hosted by Diplomacy in Ireland – The European Diplomat. The Certificate and Medal are of exceptional design depicting the victory of diplomacy over conflict. The awards are conferred by the Editor and the Awards Chairperson each December.
Two Types of Awards for Diplomacy, International Relations, Research, Teaching & Service
The Diplomatic Service Award is a certificate that can be awarded to individuals who merit special recognition owing to their exceptional contributions of service in the fields of diplomacy, foreign affairs or international relations, in research or teaching in the academy, or in distinguished service rendered to diplomats. When the Diplomatic Service Award is conferred it is done so by means of a certificate describing the acts that merit the award.
The Diplomatic Service Medal is a medal struck in metal suspended from a clasp and ribbon. It may be conferred upon those who serve in the domestic or foreign services, holding diplomatic rank, or those who have rendered exceptional service to diplomats and the cause of diplomacy. When the Diplomatic Service Medal is conferred it is accompanied by a certificate describing the reason for the award of the medal.
Medal Conferral Categories
Diplomatic Service Medal with Honours – This category is deferred solely upon those holding the dignity of Ambassadorial or Ministerial rank, or by those who discharged the rank of Chargé d’Affaires. It appears with a silver oak leaf device attached to the ribbon to denote the special dignity for which the medal was awarded. The medal is accompanied by a Certificate describing the reasons for the medal being conferred.
Diplomatic Service Medal – The medal suspended from the ribbon is awarded to all other recipients of the medal accompanied by a Certificate describing the reasons for the medal being conferred.
Diplomatic Service Medal with Valour Device – If any recipient is presented with the award for having exhibited exceptional valour in diplomatic service for the betterment of humanity, or the safety of civilians, which merits the award of the Diplomatic Service Medal with Valour. In this instance, a ‘V’ device surrounded by a laurel wreath is attached to the ribbon to denote this rare and special distinction. The medal is accompanied by a Certificate describing the reasons for the medal being conferred.
Diplomatic Service Award – Those whose contributions are deserving of recognition may be awarded the Diplomatic Service Award – Certificate of Recognition.
Conferral of Medals and Awards
Annual December Awards – The Diplomatic Service Medals and Awards are generally presented annually in December. However, the medal or award may be awarded at any time by a decision of the Editor and Awards Chairperson.
Comments from Editor-in-Chief Miceál O’Hurley
“It is our editorial and awards policy to recognise excellency in the disciplines, tools and actions of those in the diplomatic community. The Palestinian Mission’s use of social media and communications has been adjudged to be not only excellent, but effective in furthering their diplomatic mission,” said O’Hurley. “Since the promulgation of the Balfour Declaration in 1917, the Palestinian people have endured a more than century-long struggle for their independence and existence. As observers, reporters and analysts of news and events surrounding the diplomatic corps we do so without endorsement or agreement or personal condemnation” O’Hurley continued. “This does not keep us from recognising excellence in the performance of diplomatic service when we find it, even if such recognition proves controversial,”.
“The Irish-American President, John F. Kennedy, highlighted in his ‘A Strategy for Peace’ address at American University in 1963 that even if Americans were at odds with the Soviet Union, ‘… we can still hail the Russian people for their many achievements–in science and space, in economic and industrial growth, in culture and in acts of courage.'” O’Hurley recalled. “Whatever side of the Palestinian-Israel conflict one stands, Diplomacy in Ireland – The European Diplomat will recognise achievement and excellence where we find it. I’m pleased to say that in the discipline of communications and use of social media, the Palestinian Mission in Ireland is worthy of recognition for use of these vital communication tools,” said O’Hurley.
Comments from Awards Chairperson Oksana Shadrina
“It is with honour that we recognise Dr. Wahba Abdalmajid and Ms. Holland,” said Shadrina. “As the number of women serving in the diplomatic corps from around the world serve here in Ireland I’m certain we will have more opportunities to recognise their accomplishments and achievements, not because they are women, but because they finally have a seat at the table,” Shadrina added.
For More Information Contact:
Miceál O’Hurley, Editor-in-Chief
Diplomacy in Ireland – The European Diplomat
Telephone: (086) 107 0017 or (01) 254 4747