Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought

IBN RUSHD Fund for Freedom of Thought presents the IBN RUSHD Prize 2004 to the Egyptian author Sonallah Ibrahim

On November 26th, 2004 Sonallah Ibrahim received the sixth IBN RUSHD Prize for Freedom of Thought at the Goethe Institute in Berlin. He is honoured for his enduring fight for freedom of speech and democracy in the Arab World.

 

John Nasta and Heidewig el Hadidi (members of the board of the IBN RUSHD Fund for Freedom of Thought) give a welcome speech. "Our aim is to arouse with the little means we have the hidden energies that exist and turn the feeling of stagnating impotence and standing by watching doing nothing into fruitful movement." 

 

Dr. Ulrike Stehli-Werbeck holds a laudatory speech on Sonallah Ibrahim. She introduced the audience to the life and work of Mr. Ibrahim and explains how deeply connected they are to Egyptian history. "Sonallah Ibrahim's name" she says, "stands for freedom of thought and human dignity." 

 

 

"It is not easy for authors living in Arab countries to express themselves freely. Any criticism can become a dangerous adventure (...). But the greatest obstacle to writing is rather the subliminal influence of modern way of conveying information. Those who do not actively try to understand what is going on are at the mercy of a manipulation of consciuousness that serves political and economical interests." 

 

 

Sonallah Ibrahim receives the IBN RUSHD Prize 2004. The President of the Fund reads, for what Sonallah Ibrahim won the prize: "(...) for your corageaous work and your enduring fight for freedom and democracy in the Arab world."

The photo from left to right: Said Alameddine, Farouk Beydoun, Sonallah Ibrahim, John Nasta, Nabil Bushnaq and Zuhair Shunnar. 

 

 

 

Sonallah Ibrahim after receiving the  

IBN RUSHD Prize

 

Sonallah Ibrahim speaks about the changes leftist authors went through during the last couple of decades and about the developments he notices in himself. The question about the role of an writer and his engagement has always been a central issue in his writings. 

 

 

 

Sonallah Ibrahim gives his autopgraph and talks with people in the audience. 

 

Baqlawa, Tea and Coffee is being served. Most guests stayed until the end. Before and after the press conference some journalists took the chance to interview the prize winner.

 

Among the guests are academics, journalists, politians, intellectuals, poets and artists of different nationalities. Some guests came from far away, from Bonn, Munich, Frankfurt am Main or Hannover. The hall was crowded with people (about 140), some coudn't find a seat.

Afterwards there is a press conference, in which Sonallah Ibrahim answers questions from the audience. Dr. Günther Orth, professional interpreter, translates the discussion, after having translated before Mr. Sonallah Ibrahim's speech simultaneously.  Afterwards there is a press conference, in which Sonallah Ibrahim answers questions from the audience. Dr. Günther Orth, professional interpreter, translates the discussion, after having translated before Mr. Sonallah Ibrahim's speech simultaneously."