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Syrian journalist Rima Marrouch wins the Anna Lindh Journalist Award 2012

The Anna Lindh Mediterranean Journalist Award for Reporting Across Cultures this year attributed a special award of recognition to Rima Marrouch, a young Syrian Journalist, for her outstanding courage and commitment to covering the events in Syria. The International Jury, chaired by Edgar Morin, further announced the names of the 5 winners of the different categories.

"This year’s Journalist Award is taking place at a moment when the challenge of living together in peaceful coexistence in the Mediterranean is more critical than ever. We have to continue to support the potential of Media to positively contribute to mutual understanding in the region in face of a clash of ignorance among our societies,” declared André Azoulay, President of the Anna Lindh Foundation at the Awarding Ceremony of the 6th edition of the Mediterranean Journalist Award which took place in the Allianz Forum in Berlin, and which was moderated by the renown German TV anchor Astrid Frohloff.

Cornelia Pieper, Minister of State in the Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs, present at the opening ceremony, congratulated the Anna Lindh Foundation for its role in bringing people together and stated that "the role of journalists and new media, in bringing about transformation, has been widely recognized and cannot be overstated. Yet, this role doesn’t come without a cost. As we speak, journalists are putting their lives in danger in order to report about the bloodshed in Syria".

The 6th edition of the Award gathered more than 200 guests and nominees and was organized in cooperation with Allianz Cultural Foundation, Goethe Institute, ZAK and with the Media cooperation of Deutsche Welle, Reporters Without Borders and COPEAM. The winners chosen by the international jury this year are:

·         Special Award 2012: Rima Marrouch, Syrian journalist for her work. This is an example:

http://monde-arabe.arte.tv/en/category/journal-2-0-en/syria-blog-rima-marrouch/

·         Press Category : Mona Abouissa from Egypt for ''Les Choristes d'Allah'' in Le Monde Diplomatique. A Special Mention was attributed for Witold Szablowski from Poland for ''Let Us In, You Bastards!'' in Gazeta Wyborcza.

·         New Media: Haggai Matar from Israel for ''The Wall: 10 Years On'' in 972mag.com and Sophie Chamas from Lebanon for ''Ani Mi Levanon: Smiling Through Hebrew Class" in Mashallahnews.com

·         Radio Category:  Sakr Al Makhadhi from UK for ''Understanding Syria" in BBC Radio 2

·         TV Category:  Jaume Bartroli, Ramon Valles, and Silvia Paoro from Spain for ''Where Are You From?'' in Televisio De Catalunya 3.A Special Mention was attributed for Karim El Shenaoui from Egypt for‘’Salafi’’ on BBC Arabic.

·         Special Category ‘’The Role of Citizens and Civil Society in Building Democracies and Pluralistic Societies’’Francesca Caferri from Italy for ''The Paradise at Women's Feet'' in La Repubblica and Mondadori.

The Mediterranean Journalist Award this year comes as a response to the provocative film on prophet Mohamed circulating on the internet, by rewarding cross cultural journalism promoting intercultural understanding in the region. "This award will recognize journalists from the North and the South of the Mediterranean who are bridging the two shores by taking the risk of telling the truth. This truth is the roadmap of the Anna Lindh Foundation’s work and commitment" explained Mr. Azoulay.

Edgar Morin, the President of the International jury 2012, who presented himself as a "Mediterranean fundamentalist’’, delivered a manifesto on the centrality of the Mediterranean and called for "the need to create a union on the Mediterranean in order to avoid future disasters, by recognizing the motherhood of the sea which is the mother of all cultures". 

An roundtable of experts coordinated by Goethe institute and ZAK entitled ‘’Spotlight on Migration: Responsible Media Coverage’’ preceded the ceremony  and gather more than 30 experts from the Anna Lindh German Network and renowned journalists from the Euro-Mediterranean region. The Media round table is the  introductory event of the Anna Lindh German Network’s Common Action for 2012.

The Mediterranean Journalist Award is a leading regional Award which aims at rewarding exceptional journalistic productions, contributing to a better understanding of the diversity of cultures in the Euro-Mediterranean region. It promotes the positive role played by journalists in providing balanced and informed coverage of cultural issues in the region.