Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Eliav-Sartawi Awards in Journalism Announced

2007 Middle East Journalism Awards Announced

Search for Common Ground has announced the recipients of this year's annual Eliav-Sartawi Awards for Middle Eastern Journalism.

These Awards are given annually to recognize and encourage journalism that contributes to better understanding between people in the Middle East. The winning articles provide insight into regional issues and debates, contribute to political dialogue, expose readers to new perspectives and help to lay the groundwork for peaceful solutions to Middle Eastern conflict.

The Awards will be presented on the afternoon of November 7th at a special event co-sponsored by Columbia University School of Journalism and School of International Affairs in New York City.

The 2007 recipients are: Akiva Eldar and Salameh Nematt, "Reaching Across the Divide," published simultaneously in Ha'aretz, Al Quds, and The Baltimore SunAkiva Eldar is Chief Political Columnist and an editorial writer at Ha'aretz. The Financial Times named him one of the most influential commentators in the world in 2006. He is the co-author of "Lords of the Land: The War Over Israel's Settlements in the Occupied Territories," recently published by Nation Books. Salameh Nematt is a Jordanian journalist with more than 20 years of experience covering political, security, and human rights issues. He is a frequent guest on TV and radio news and talk shows, and was a political analyst and Washington Bureau Chief for the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper and the LBC Arab satellite channel.

Bassam Aramin, "A Plea for Peace from a Bereaved Palestinian Father," originally published in The Jewish Daily ForwardBassam Aramin is head of the Al Quds Association for Democracy and Dialogue, and is one of the co-founders of Combatants for Peace, a group consisting of former Israeli soldiers and Palestinian fighters now working together to achieve a nonviolent end to the conflict.

Gershon Baskin, "When Will It All End," originally published in the Jerusalem Post Gershon Baskin is the Israeli Co-Director and Founder of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI), a joint public policy think tank. Dr. Baskin's books and articles on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been widely published and he has received numerous awards for his work.

The winning articles can be found on the Common Ground News Service website, here: http://www.commongroundnews.org/awards2007.php?lan=en&sid=0

The Awardees will join international journalists in a symposium on the impact of the media on the conflict in the Middle East.

In speaking about why common ground journalism is relevant and needed in the Middle East, Akiva Eldar said "as a Jew, as a human being, and as a commentator, my job is to protect my children. Peace is too important to leave to the politicians alone: It is everyone's job." Salameh Nematt reflected that "the beginnings of change begin with the media."

The Awards were conceived and are funded by J. Zel Lurie, veteran American journalist, who began reporting on the Middle East during the British Mandate in Palestine before 1948. Mr. Lurie sought to give recognition to journalists whose work promotes greater understanding between Arabs and Israelis.

The Awards are named after two courageous pioneers of the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue. Dr. Issam Sartawi, an advisor to Yassir Arafat, was assassinated in 1983 for his moderate stance. Lova Eliav was active in Israeli politics and diplomacy since the founding of the state. They both received the 1979 Kreisky Prize of Austria for their efforts in exploring a peaceful end to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

For information contact:Rebecca Polivy Search for Common Ground Jerusalem, Israel rpolivy@sfcg.org 972 (0)2-581-2049 Susan Koscis Search for Common Ground Washington DC skoscis@sfcg.org (202) 777-2215 http://www.sfcg.org/