Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought

Call for Nomination

The Ibn Rushd Fund is seeking nominations
for the 2011 Ibn Rushd Award:

A woman journalist
who actively and courageously fosters freedom of thought in the Arab world

The Arab world has set out in search of freedom, and the Arab people are proving adamant in demanding autonomy and self-determination from those who have ruled them for the past decades. Those rulers have been taken by surprise by the insistence and the courage of the people, as have governments and people around the world. 'Arab spring' is the name that has been attached to this upheaval resulting in tremendous change – how can those not involved and possibly far removed from the scene, and maybe the Arab world in general, comprehend what is  happening on the street and in people's minds without someone competently and responsibly recounting these events? Journalists who have their finger on the pulse of the Arab streets are putting into words people's longing for freedom.

Women are in the front rows of the movements for freedom of thought, freedom of speech and democracy in Arab countries, bursting with hope and expectations for the future. We have come to rely on women journalists in these turbulent days, on their articles, comments and analyses: their words. Words possess a twofold power; they change the world they are explaining. Women's words have a distinct and authoritative power to explain the sorrows and needs of their society which far too often assigns them an inferior position.

In many Arab countries women journalists risk political persecution, injury, imprisonment and sometimes worse in their efforts for freedom of thought; as women writing their mind, they are often exposed to additional persecution since society does not expect them, as women, to be actively taking part in public discourse. It is time to appreciate the hard work and courage of women in journalism instead of being oblivious to or wilfully ignoring it.

It is the aim of the Ibn Rushd Fund to showcase the individuality and special responsibility women journalists bring to their work; what they do outweighs mere reporting. The female perspectives in their analyses and critiques of the political, economical, and sociological situation have contributed actively to the current change in Arab countries.

The Ibn Rushd Award 2011 calls for a woman journalist who actively and courageously contributes to fostering Freedom of Thought in the Arab world.

Any member of the public can suggest a candidate; please note that self-nominations are not accepted. Candidates must be full-time, part-time or freelance women journalists currently working in print, broadcast or online media. The candidate's immediate sphere of activity should be in the Arab world.

An independent jury of experts will be choosing the winner of the Ibn Rushd Prize 2011 from the nominations submitted.

Because of the increasing importance of women's participation in the development of the Arab world, the Ibn Rushd Fund has decided to stay abreast of this change by increasing the number of women winning its yearly award.

Please submit your nomination in writing by mail, e-mail or fax to the below-stated address, including a justification for nomination and, if known, a short vita of the candidate. Candidates may be nominated until May 22nd, 2011. Nominations may be written in Arabic, German, French or English.

The prize money of the mainly symbolic award is 2500 Euro. The award is financed exclusively by the Ibn Rushd Fund member's fees and donations. For former winners of the award see: awards

The winner of the award is expected to be presented to the public in a ceremony at the end of November in Berlin, Germany.

Please use the nomination form.