Ibn Rushd Prize

العربية Deutsch

Since 1999, the Ibn Rushd Fund has annually awarded the Prize for Freedom and Democracy to distinguish people or organisations who have made a significant contribution to free thinking in the Arab World and thus the values and aims of the association.

The awarding ceremony takes place at the end of November/early December in Berlin.

The prize giving ceremony as well as the prize money consisting of €2500 is exclusively funded by donations and the membership fees of the Ibn Rushd Fund.

Past topics for the Ibn Rushd Prize include amongst others:

Journalism (1,2), Women’s Rights, Human Rights, Parliamentary Work, Engaged Literature, Reformation of Islam (1,2), Film Director, Arabic Enlightenment, Economic Development, Internet Forum, Philosophy in Music, Islam and Civil Society, Prison Literature, Fighting Corruption, Political Caricature.

Ibn Rushd Prize Laureates

2019 Sara Qaed: Caricature

Sara Qaid, winner of the Ibn Rushd Prize 2019
Sara Qaid, winner of the Ibn Rushd Prize 2019

The Ibn Rushd Prize 2019 was awarded to a caricaturist who currently criticizes or ridicules political, religious or social leaders and authorities, focusing on their repressive, authoritarian, sectarian, and/or discriminatory stances, thoughts and/or behaviour.

2017 The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (AMAN)

Logo of AMAN, courtesy of AMAN, Transparency Palestine

The Ibn Rushd Prize 2017 was awarded to a person (natural or legal) or an institution that has rendered outstanding services in the fight against corruption The success of this commitment must be noticeable for the society concerned and generally evaluable.

2015 Aisha Odeh

Aisha Odeh, winner of the Ibn Rushd Prize 2015

The Ibn Rushd Prize 2015 was awarded to an author of a work of prison literature (novels, poetry, non-fiction or autobiography) which stimulates a broad public debate on the situation of political prisoners, showing oppression and violation of human rights and demanding the right for liberty and human dignity in the Arab world.

2014 Rachid Ghannouchi

The Ibn Rushd Prize 2014 was awarded to a person who considers a modern Islam a pillar of civil society and at the same time, be it through theoretical work or political practice, fosters the establishment of a modern Arabic state.

2013 Rim Banna

The Ibn Rushd Prize 2013 was awarded to a singer, songwriter, or band whose songs deal with the quest for freedom, civil rights, and democracy, and call for implementing these.

2012 Razan Zaitouneh

Picture Razan Zeitouneh
Razan Zeitouneh, courtesy of Razan Zeitouneh.

The Ibn Rushd Prize 2012 was awarded to a young activist of the Arab Spring, who peacefully fights for a democratic state.

2011 Sihem Bensedrine

The Ibn Rushd Prize 2011 was awarded to a woman journalist who actively and courageously contributes to fostering Freedom of Thought in the Arab world.

2010 Al-Hewar al-Mutamaddin

The Ibn Rushd Prize 2010 was awarded to a webblogger, a person (natural or juristic, a real person or an entity/group), who distributes his or her own content or provides an internet-platform for the purpose of freedom of thought by using the internet and thus fundamentally enriches the open discussion of socio-political topics and contributes to advancing public discourse.

2009 Samir Amin

The Ibn Rushd Prize 2009 was awarded to an Arab expert of economy who has – either in theory or in practice – tackled in his/her work the problems of economical development in the Arab World.

2008 Mohammed Abed al-Jabri


The Ibn Rushd Prize 2008 The prize was awarded to an Arab author of a study analyzing the failure of Arab enlightenment.

2007 Nouri Bouzid

Nouri Bouzid in Radio Interview
Nouri Bouzid in Radio Interview, thanks to Haroun Sweiss

The Ibn Rushd Prize 2007 was awarded to an Arab film maker (cinema or TV), who has dedicated himself/herself to freedom and democracy and has tackled the problems of social and political taboos through his/her works, critically investigating related phenomena and practices from a new perspective.

2006 Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim

Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim during the 2006 Ibn Rushd Prize ceremony

The Ibn Rushd Prize 2006 The prize was awarded to a politically committed Arab woman who has rendered outstanding services to freedom of thought, equal rights and democracy in the Arab world.

2005 Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd

Nasr Hamid Abu Zeid Portrait
Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd during the Ibn Rushd Prize awarding ceremony 2005

The Ibn Rushd Prize 2005 was awarded to an Arab scholar of Islam who strives for a fundamental reform of Islamic thought, and who works towards a reapprochement between Islamic tradition and modernity.

2004 Sonallah Ibrahim

Sonallah Ibrahim during the 2004 Ibn Rushd Prize awarding ceremony

The Ibn Rushd Prize 2004 was awarded to an Arab author who has enriched modern engaged literature with outstanding writing by recognising the mood of the times he compels his Arab readers to have a critical look at the problems of their time, heightening their awareness and encouraging them to shape their environment actively.

2003 Mohammed Arkoun

Arkoun for Prize overview
Arkoun giving speach at the Ibn Rushd Prize awarding ceremony 2003

The Ibn Rushd Prize 2003 was awarded to an Arab thinker and professor who has rendered outstanding services in the field of enlightenment, who has offered through his theoretical work a genuinely Arab guide to reason finding new perspectives for the present and future whilst preserving the dialogue between tradition and modernity.

2002 Azmi Bishara

Picture of Azmi Bishara, special thanks to official Facebook page
Azmi Bishara, thanks to the official Azmi Bishare Facebook page.

The Ibn Rushd Prize 2002 The prize was awarded to an Arab parliamentarian who struggled to consolidate democracy and the system of political pluralism in Arab society.

2001 Mahmoud Amin El Alem

picture of El-Alem
Mahmoud Amin El Alem during the 2001 Ibn Rushd Prize awarding ceremony.

The Ibn Rushd Prize 2001 was awarded to a man/women who contributes to critical thought in the Arab world.

2000 Issam Abdulhadi

Issam Abdulhadi giving speach during the 2000 Ibn Rushd Prize awarding ceremony.

The Ibn Rushd Prize 2000 was awarded to the emancipation of women and struggle for equal rights in the Arab World.

1999 Al-Jazeera TV Channel

Logo of Al-Jazeera. Special thanks to Aljazeera Satelite TV

The Ibn Rushd Prize 1999 was awarded for journalism: For candidates who had brought about a transformation in the quality of news. AL Jazeera, the first satellite broadcaster in the Arab world, revolutionized the local media landscape and received the prize for its services to freedom of expression and democracy in the Arab world.

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