Ibn Rushd Prize 2006

العربية Deutsch

2006 Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim

Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim

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

  • Call for Nomination
    العربية DeutschCall for Nomination The Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought will award its Prize 2006 to a politically committed Arab woman who has rendered outstanding services to freedom […]
  • CV Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim
    العربية DeutschFatima Ahmed Ibrahim Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim was born in 1933 in Khartoum/Sudan. As a daughter of a school teacher she has had an educated and religious upbringing. Even her […]
  • Members of the Jury 2006
    العربية DeutschMembers of the jury 2006 Ahmad Faez al-Fawwaz Ahmad Faez al-Fawwaz was born in Riqqa in 1934. After studying medicine in the Syrian University in Damascus (1952-1957) he did […]

Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought presents the
Ibn Rushd Prize 2006 to
the Sudanese human rights acvtivist Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim
On December 8th, 2006, Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim received the eigth Ibn Rushd Prize for Freedom of Thought at the Goethe Institute in Berlin. She is honoured for her courage and enduring fight for human rights, equality and democracy in the Sudan 

The celebration opened with a welcome speech given by two representatives of the Ibn Rushd Fund. Fadia Foda spoke in Arabic language, Farouk Beydoun in German.”It is not easy for an Arab woman today and indeed not without danger to engage herself in politics. Nontheless, many candidates were suggested, who have fought courageously and unyieldingly for freedom, human and women’s rights in the Arab world. 13 candidates from Saudi-Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and the Sudan took part in the competition.”
Prof. Dr. Ulrike Freitag (Director of Zentrum Moderner Orient and Professor at the Free University in Berlin) explains a couple of themes which plaz an important role not only in Fatima Ibrahim’s life but also in the difficult relationship between Western and non-Western Women’s organizations. In her laudatory speech she said: “The first political fight in the Sudan – for the rights to participate in elections – was lost because of the resistance of the Muslim Brothers. As mentioned before, they accused women of being westernized and having antiislamic behaviour. The women countered with Coran verses and hadiths as evidence in favour of women. In the following years to come this kind of argumentation will become more and more required.”
Nabil Bushnaq, president of the Ibn Rushd Fund, introducing the speekers.
“During the colonial age women have had no legal status of their own. At the same time, the eductaion of women and their contribution on the labour market  were also locally very controversial. It is no coincidence that westernization and cultural nonconformity – in this case unislamic behaviour –  will become the main type of argument against women’s movements.” 
In the press conference Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim answers the questions of the journalists. Dr. Günther Orth, professional interpreter, translates the discussion and translates Ms. Ibrahim’s speech simultaneously.

“When the Union was founded it began its work with welfare activities and reform. We founded schools for adult women to fight against alalphabetism, offered first-aid-courses and established two girl’s schools for second education.  We selected money and food and distributed it among the poor.

But we soon realized, that we are not able to have a lot of influence with welfare work and will not realy be able  to solve the problems of the poor and that equality between men and women and the emancipation of women from suppression will not be realized unless the government could be moved to change politcal decisions and laws that fix  discrimination of  women in law. 
We studied the Coran intensively and consulted several men of religion until we were able to  bring up striking  arguments to prove that Islam does not favour men over women and that women are not … from euqal rights.
In 1964 women got the active and passive right to vote in elections The Islamic Front, too, participated with female candidates in the elections. Only ten years before women’s demanding  political rights was alone enough to be regarded as something against belief. But when these rights finally were aknowledged the Islamic Front with great pleasure used these rights to take advantage of them for itself! Did the Islamic standards chance since this time?” 
O women of this world, I call on you, unit your energies? Stop injustice, repression and pain! (…) Let us be an influential power in all fields and be influential at all levels! (…)

There is no leader nor president, who makes history alone. One hand is not able to clap on its own, not matter how strong it is. 

May the Women’s Union, our great nation, the people who are yearning for democracy and may all fighters for human right be victorious!!…. 
Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim receives the Ibn Rushd Prize 2006. She is awarded “for rendering outstanding services for human rights, equality and democracy in the Sudan”. 
Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim with John Nasta, Vice-President of the Ibn Rushd Fund.
Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim receiving congratulations from Dr. Farouk Beydoun and Dr. Hamid Fadlalla and communicating with the audience.
Before and after the press conference some journalists took the chance to interview the prize winner from Deutsche Welle, WDR, Radio Berlin Brandenburg, Radio Multikulti/RBB, Radio Montecarlo, al-Hayat and others.

Among the officials who came was the ambassador of the Sudan Baha’a al Din Hanafi and a representative of the Arab Liga, Mr. Abd al-Magid Klai, Mr. Abdalla Hijazi from Cultural attaché of Palestine, Mr. Sven Kohlmeier, Member of Berlin Parliament for SPD as well as many representatives of societies, organizations and akademic institutions  in Berlin.
Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim with guests after the awarding.
Among the guests are academics, journalists, politians, intellectuals, poets and artists of different nationalities. Some guests came from far away, from Munich, Karlsruhe and Hamburg. The hall was crowded with people (about 140), some coudn’t find a seat.

Ms. Fraenkel-Thonet Director of the Goethe Institute, welcomed the guests.

In the end of the festivity Baqlawa and  tea is being served. 

Photos: Sami Ibrahim

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