Four young journalists from Belgium, Egypt, Italy and Israel are the winners of the first “Euro-Mediterranean Journalist Prize for Cultural Diversity.” This prize was established by the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures and the International Federation of Journalists to encourage reporting on citizens in Europe and the Mediterranean space living together in culturally diversified societies. The winners will be sponsored for a reporting tour to four countries during a prize award ceremony in Alexandria on 10 September 2006.
The international jury, meeting in Alexandria on 3 and 4 August, selected the winners from 50 candidates from all over the 35 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean region. The jury members are Amira Hass of Haaretz (Israel), Daoud Kuttab of AmmanNet (Jordan), Jean-Paul Marthoz of Enjeux Internationaux (Belgium) and representing the International Federation of Journalists, Robert Solé of Le Monde (France) and Traugott Schoefthaler, Executive Director of the Anna Lindh Foundation. In addition to journalistic quality, main criteria were promoting respect for diversity and providing insights into the living together of various communities in their societies.
The winners are:
Mahitab Abdel Raouf from Egypt, for her article “Les indésirables” (The Undesired) published in the monthly French magazine La Revue d’Egypte in October 2005. “Les indésirables” explores the situation of Sudanese refugees in Egypt. The article was applauded by the jury for being “a critical and professionally written article fulfilling the criteria of good journalism…courageous, tackling a difficult issue, while still respectful of Egyptian society…tough on a system of discrimination but not on the people involved.”
Yoav Stern from Israel, for his series of articles “All in the Family in Umm Al-Fahm”, published in the daily newspaper Haaretz in February 2006. The series presented three stories from a Palestinian city in Israel. According to the jury, the articles indicate that “Stereotypes are created as a result of ignorance - these stories give readers a fly-on-the-wall picture of a normally ostracised community…these are successful Arab citizens who are not normally portrayed in the news – the articles go beyond politics to humanise them by revealing their multiple identities…living in the community while researching is essential for nuanced reporting.”
Hugues Dorzée from Belgium, for his series of articles “La Turquie d’Ataturk, Sainte république” (Ataturk’s Turkey, Devout Republic), published in the Belgian daily Newspaper Le Soir, February 2006. The articles tackled the ambiguity between official Islam, religious practices and secular ideology in Turkey. The jury highly appreciated the articles for their “well-thought out and well-planned reporting…avoiding moral judgement and giving space to many, diverse voices…portrays Islam in Turkey as a regular institutionalised aspect of life, diffuses the perception that Islam should be feared…sheds light on the presence of Turkish official institutions in Belgium and reveals the impact on the immigrant community.”
Annalisa Monfreda from Italy, for her article “The Free Song of Arbëresh” published in Geo Italia in April 2006. The article portrayed the relatively unknown Albanian minority living in Southern Italy. The jury concluded that “the article contradicts common stereotypes about migration, showing that it can be an enrichment for a country – also while the community still preserves its characteristics…it reveals the multitude of Italian identities…portrays a community which is not ghettoized but has strong links to the past – not a past which is crushing and limiting, but one clearly linked to the present.”
The jury also awarded Honorable Mentions to three other journalists: the Egyptian journalist Amira Doss for her article “L’autre que je ne connais pas” (The other whom I do not know), published in Ahram Hebdo in June 2006; the Danish journalist Helen Hajjaj for her article “Equality in the Name of Islam” published in Dagbladet Information in March 2006; and the Slovakian journalist Maria Husova for her article “Uncovering the Past” published in the ”Transitons online” electronic Newsletter in January 2006.
All winning articles will be published in English, French and Arabic.
The tenth of September is the anniversary of the assassination of the late Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh. Her name was given to the Euro-Mediterranean Foundation in recognition of her advocacy for equal partnership and respect between North and South.
Azza K. Nardini
Tel: +20 3 482 0342 /3
Fax: +20 3 482 0471
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Anna Lindh Foundation:
Pernille Brix, Tel: +203 4831953 or 832 / Fax +203 4820471
International Federation of Journalists:
Bertrand Ginet, Tel: +32 2 235 22 06 / Fax +32 2 235 22 18/9