Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought

Members of the Jury 2011


Toujan al-Faisal

Toujan al-Faisal is a human rights activist, born in Jordan in 1948.  She was a TV journalist and Jordan's first female Member of Parliament, serving from 1993 to 1997 in the first parliament after martial law was lifted.

Al-Faisal has a Baccalaureate and MA in English Literature from the University of Jordan. She was facilitator and programme manager of talk shows in Jordan TV and director of media development. She was head of the cultural programmes of Noor al-Husain Foundation from 1993-1997 and also taught English at al-Ahliyya Amman University and the University of Philadelphia.

She is the author of several books and a political analysis, including "The School we want", 1984; abuse of children in "Doing Damage/Harming Children", 1985; towards the change of Laws concerning marital/civilian status, on so-called honor killings, 1989.  Al-Faisal is very generous with her time, helping in several fields, such as the development of pedagogical process.  She currently lives in Amman, Jordan.

Subhi Hadidi

Critic, political commentator, and translator. Born in 1951, in Kamichli, Syria. Graduated from Damascus University, continued higher studies in France and the UK. He published several studies on poetry and fiction, as well as theories of literature and literary criticism (Postmodernism, Postcolonial Discourse, Theories of Reception & Reading, the Lyric Theme, Neo-Historicist Criticism, the Prose Poem...). Hadidi translated into Arabic several works in history, philosophy, literary theory, fiction, and poetry; including: Montgomery Watt, Islamic Political Thought;  Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest; Yasunary Kawabata, The Sound of the Mountain; S. H. Hooke, Middle Eastern Mythology; Michel Ziraffa, Myth and the Novel; Edward Said, Afterwards to Orientalism. He judged major Arab prizes, including Sultan al Owais, Sheikh Zayed (UAE), Argana (Morocco), Mahmoud Darwish (Palestine), Arab Novel (Egypt).  A regular contributor to  Al-Quds Al-Arabi daily, London; he lives and works in Paris, France.

Hamdy Kandil

Hamdy Kandil was born in Monofia, Egypt in 1939. He is a TV presenter, journalist and activist.
After three years of studying medicine, Qandeel decided to become a journalist. The prominent journalist Mustafa Amin invited him to join the magazine Akhir Sa3a (last hour), which he did in 1951.  He became an editor of the publication responsible for, among other things, the readers’ Letters to the Editor.

He was the on-air personality and helped create numerous programs such as With Hamdy Kandil radio show and Television el Arab, Kalam Rassas (pencil) on Dubai Channel and Libyan Satellite channel. He also worked as an editor on the Egyptian Satellite Channel and Dream TV.

Hamdy Kandil is a political activist and was part of numerous movements such as National Association for Change (NAC), which includes numerous prominent activists such as George Ishak.  NAC is a major supporter of Dr. Mohamed Elbaradei presidential bid.

Nadia Lamhaidi

Nadia Lamhaidi is a professor at the 'Institute Supérieur de l'Information et de la Communication' at the University Mohammed V in Rabat, Morocco and works as a consultant for numerous international organizations. Lamhaidi studied at the Institute of Journalism in Rabat, Morocco and continued her studies in Paris, France, where she received her PhD from the Université de Droit, d'Économie et de Sciences Sociales, Paris II Panthéon.

Her research today is focused on the position of women in Journalism and the image of women in the media.  She is an active member of the UNESCO project 'Med media' for the education/training of women journalists and advices the Acdi (Agence Canadienne pour le Développement International) for their project on 'Institutionalisation of Equal Opportunities of the Sexes in the sector of communication in Morocco. She is also the co-author of the Unesco-study on the profile of female jounalists in the Maghreb.

Dr. Lamhaidi also works with a number of Moroccan journals, such as Le Matin, Finances News Hebdo, La Vie Eco, Al Ahdat Al Maghribia, etc.

Laila Al-Shaikhli

Laila Al-Shaikhli was born in Baghdad, Iraq, and raised in Saudi Arabia. She has been working for Al Jazeera Television since 2006. Her shows include Dialogue with the West (MBC), Agenda (MBC), Dunnia (ADTV), Panorama (ADTV), and Behind the News (Al Jazeera).

Laila studied in England and received her college degree from the University of Pittsburgh in the USA. Her TV career began at ANA, a local TV station in the USA, in 1991. After joining the BBC World Service in London in 1994 she became the first female to anchor a political show on Arab Satellite TV.  She went on to anchor several political and social programs in some of the major Arab stations including the Middle East Broadcasting Center, which she joined in 1996 and Abu Dhabi TV in 1999, before starting her present work at Al Jazeera.
Her field experience includes the coverage of the Israeli withdrawal from Southern Lebanon, the US war on Afghanistan, September 11 in Washington and the coverage of various international events. Laila has received several awards of excellence in TV journalism and was appointed good will ambassador to Comoros Islands.