Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought

Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought

Fostering Freedom of Thought and Democracy in the Arab World

The Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought was founded on December 10th, 1998, in commemoration of the 800th anniversary of Ibn Rushd's (Averroes’) death, and on the 50th anniversary of the declaration of Universal Human Rights. It is an independent organization registered in Germany. Its founding members are mainly of Arab origin who live in Germany. Meanwhile, the fund’s members and sponsors are spread all over Europe, the Arab countries and North America. The sphere of activity, however, is the Arab world.

The fund’s goals

The fund’s goal consists in fostering freedom of thought, democracy and the courage to stand up for one’s beliefs in the Arab world. The Ibn Rushd Fund wants Arab culture to strive for rationalism and tolerance. Supporting the ideas of freedom of thought and democracy is an important starting point to catch up with the process of world civilization. To this end, the fund collects money to honour people who have rendered outstanding services to these goals. In this way, endeavours for freedom and democracy in the Arab World will be supported.

The fund also launches campaigns in favour of persons who because of their political or social activities and beliefs come into conflict with their governments.


All the fund’s activities are achieved on honorary basis. All expences of the fund including the annual awards are financed exclusively by donations and fees, which has preserved ist independence.

Who supports us?

The Ibn Rushd Fund has received positive feedback from many Arab intellectuals, among others Aziz al-Azmeh, Adonis, Muhammad Abid al-Gabiri, Sadiq Galal al-Azm, Shawkat al-Kailani, Ahmad Sidqi ad-Dagani, and Haidar Abd al-Shafi.

Much support is given by members of the independent Jury, which is annually created anew and made up of personalities from the Arab World and Europe. The co-operation with the laudatory speakers, who are invited to speak in honour of the prize winners – most of them German academics with a specialization on the prize subject –, too, is an invaluable profit.

Magazine (Minbar Ibn Rushd)

On the website of the Ibn Rushd Fund a forum is offered to Arab and non-Arab intellectuals where ideas can be exchanged on transformation processes in der Arab World between tradition and modernity. Academic analyses, conference papers and reports to be published in the fund’s magazine Minbar Ibn Rushd can be sent to the fund’s adress below (preferably by eMail).


Join the Ibn Rushd Fund and help supporting freedom of thought and the protection of human rights in the Arab world!
These values are a reliable basis for establishing a free democratic society.


Year Name Country Subject
2015 Aisha Odeh Palestine Prison literature
2015 M. Khalifa Syria Prison literature
2015 A. Marzouki Morocco Prison literature
2014 Rachid Ghannouchi Tunisia Modern Islam
2013 Rim Banna Palestine Music
2012 Razan Zaitouneh Syria Arab Spring
2011 Sihem Bensedrine Tunisia Journalism
2010 al-Hewar al-Mutamaddin   Internet-platform/Blog
2009 Samir Amin Egypt Economy
2008 Mohammed Abed al-Jabri Morocco Arab Renaissance
2007 Nouri Bouzid Tunisia Film
2006 Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim Sudan Human Rights
2005 Nasr Hamid Abu Zaid Egypt Reform of Islam
2004 Sonallah Ibrahim Egypt Litterature engagé
2003 Mohammed Arkoun Algeria Philosophy
2002 Azmi Bishara Palestine Politics
2001 Mahmoud Amin El Alem Egypt Criticism
2000 Issam Abdulhadi Palestine Women's Rights
1999 al-Jazeera TV Satelite Channel Qatar Journalism