Ibn Rushd Prize for Freedom of Thought
awarded to Internet Platform al-Hewar al-Mutamaddin
Award Ceremony on November 26th 2010 in Museum for Islamic Art, Pergamon, Berlin
Berlin, November 2010. Freedom of Thought is having a hard time at present in a world shaped by confrontations between systems. Making or maintaining peace between nations and cultures is the major challenge of the 21st century. Dialogue is the only way for contrary viewpoints to approach and to explain oneself and one’s understanding of the world to each other.
It is not least for these reasons that the Ibn Rushd Fund, which wants to foster freedom of thought in the Arab World, has made it its primary goal in 2010 to support explicitly those developing their own viewpoints and daring to voice them and those who facilitate spreading these free thoughts against all the odds. The Ibn Rushd Prize 2010 called for an “Internet Activist/Weblogger who fundamentally enriches and advances public discourse.”
An independent jury constituted of members from four different Arab countries (CVs of the jury) elected the internet platform al-Hewar al-Mutamaddin (www.ahewar.org) as the winner of the 12th Ibn Rushd Prize.
The forum al-Hewar al-Mutamaddin was founded 2001 by the Iraqi internet activist Rezgar Akrawi. Articles published here are being read by around 550 million people. Al-Hewar al-Mutamaddin is therefore one of the most active platforms in the Arab World, with more hits every day than those of well-known Arab newspapers.
Al-Hewar al-Mutamaddin’s editors live in various countries. They all work without payment, as do the overall 15.000 authors (amongst them Nawal El Saadawi, Bourhan Ghalioune, Tarek Heggy , Kadhim Habib oder Amel Grami).
As the name ‘al-Hewar al-Mutamaddin’ indicates, it is a forum for modern dialogue, a civilised way to discuss topics relevant to today’s society. Al-Hewar strives to promote modern secular forces, and to facilitate networking and collaboration between groups who share the aim of establishing civil, secular, and democratic societies in the Arab World. It is al-Hewar’s chief concern to support and promote women’s rights, and to fight injustice in general, as well as any kind of radicalism.
The forum has set as a ground rule that everything may and indeed should be discussed, and that taboos are not applicable. Even the forum’s own political orientation towards the left is open to debate, as it is only in this way that a change for the better is possible. As may be expected, this degree of openness will meet with opposition, and as a consequence al-Hewar is not accessible in a considerable number of countries due to state censorship of the internet, and its authors also often have to contend with restrictions to their personal freedom.
The founder of al-Hewar al-Mutamaddin Rezgar Akrawi will personally travel from Denmark to Berlin to receive the award for al-Hewar al-Mutamaddin on 26th November 2010 at 7 PM in Museum for Islamic Art. The award ceremony is open to the public. The attendance is free, registration is recommended (see attachment), as seats will be given to registered guests first; if available, remaining free seats will be given to unregistered guests. There will be a reception with tea and bakhlave following the formal part of the award ceremony.
For further information see:
Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought
Tel. +49 (0) 30 2960685
Fax +49 (0) 30 44650219
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