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Journalist Prize Jury Meeting takes place

On the 4th of August 2006, the jury members of the First Euro-Med Journalist Prize for Cultural Diversity meet at the Swedish Institute in Alexandria in order to choose the four winners of the Prize. The jury was composed of Amira Hass of Haaretz (Israel), Daoud Kuttab of AmmanNet (Jordan), Jean-Paul Marthoz of Enjeux Internationaux (Belgium) as representive of the International Federation of Journalists, Robert Solé of Le Monde (France) and Traugott Schoefthaler, Executive Director of the Anna Lindh Foundation. The meeting was held without physical presence of Robert Solé and Amira Hass. Both, however, participated through conference call. On 4 August the jury held a full-day meeting and came to agreement about four winning articles and awards of Honorable Mentions to further three entries.

Two winners were selected from the Mediterranean Partner Countries and two from European Union Countries. The winners are:

Annalisa Monfreda from Italy, for her article “The Free Song of Arbëresh” published in Geo Italia in April 2006.
Hugues Dorzée from Belgium, for his series of articles “La Turquie d’Ataturk, Sainte république” (Ataturk’s Turkey, Devout Republic), published in the daily Newspaper Le Soir, February 2006.
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.
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 three journalists who received the honorable mention of the jury are:

Amira Doss from Egypt for her article “L’autre que je ne connais pas” (The other whom I do not know), published in Ahram Hebdo in June 2006.
Helen Hajjaj from Denmark for her article “Equality in the Name of Islam” published in Dagbladet Information in March 2006.
Maria Husova from the Slovak Republic for her article “Uncovering the Past” published in the “Transitions online” electronic Newsletter ( in January 2006.

The justification of the jury for the selection of the winners included the following:
Annalisa Monfreda “The Free Song of Arbëresh”
The article portrays the relatively unknown Albanian minority living in Southern Italy. The article was commended by the jury, since “it 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.”

Hugues Dorzée “Ataturk’s Turkey, the Holy Republic". Written with the assistance of Murad Daoudov
The articles tackles 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 shouldn't be feared…sheds light on the presence of Turkish official institutions in Belgium and reveals the impact on the immigrant community.”

Mahitab Abdel Raouf “The Undesired"
The article explores the situation of Sudanese refugees in Egypt. It 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 “All in the Family in Umm Al-Fahm”
The series presents three stories from an Arab city in Israel. The jury praised the articles, saying “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.”

The jury decided to award honorable mentions to three articles, which were appreciated for the following reasons:

Amira Doss “The Other, whom I do not know"
The jury qualified the article as follows: ‘courageous and brave journalism tackling a difficult theme’…’conveys popular feelings not often heard in the media’…’includes multiple voices from both sides’.

Helen Hajjaj “Equality in the name of Islam”
The jury qualified the article as follows: ‘challenges standard European perceptions of Islam’…’diversifies the picture of actors interpreting Islam and lends recognition to women who promote an alternative image of the religion’.

Maria Husova “Uncovering the Past”
The jury qualified the article as follows: ‘Understanding the history of the Roma might help others appreciate contemporary problems the community faces’…’the article could help break stereotypes’.