Lebanon: Lebanese, Syrian, Egyptian, win 2013 Kassir Awards

EU journalism prize in honor of slain Lebanese reporter

03 June, 17:41

    (ANSAmed) - BEIRUT, JUNE 3 - Lebanese journalist Luna Safwan, 23, Syrian-Palestinian Doha Hassan, 28, and their Egyptian collegue Ahmed Abu Draa, 38, are the winners of the 8th Samir Kassir Award for Freedom of the Press.

    The EU Delegation to Lebanon and the Kassir Foundation instituted the award in honor of the reporter from An Nahar newspaper, an outspoken critic of Syria who was killed in Beirut on June 2, 2005. Safwan won the best audiovisual award with a reportage on the struggles of Syrian refugees in the Arsal region of Lebanon, broadcast on Orient TV. Hassan, who now lives in Beirut, won the opinion article category with her piece 'Militarized Youth', based on her experiences as a student growing up in Syrian schools. ''You learn to keep silent at a time when students in other countries learn how to deal with adulthood'', Hassan wrote in her winning article.

    Draa won best investigative reporter for his piece published in Al Masry Al Youm newspaper on the odyssey of African migrants trying to reach Israel through the Sinai, many of whom fall prey to human traffickers or end up under arrest in Egyptian or Israeli jails.

    ''This year's enthusiastic response to the competition shows that journalism continues to be a dynamic and flourishing profession in the Middle East'', EU Delegation to Lebanon chief, Angelina Eichhorst, said at the awards ceremony. ''We received 150 applications by 1,200 journalists from 17 countries. Most encouragingly, 70% of candidates were women and 60% were under 30''.

    The contest is open to journalists from North Africa, the Middle East, and the Gulf, the award in each of the three categories carrying 10,000 euros.

    This year's independent jury was made up of Kassir Foundation co-founder Shirine Abdallah; Ghazanfar Ali Khan, from the Gulf's biggest English-language daily The Arab News; international justice reporter Geraldine Coughlan; TV5 Monde international affairs editor, Philippe Dessaint; Sami Moubayed from the Carnegie Endowment Centre; Diana Moukalled, web editor from Future Lebanese TV; and Reuters Middle East editor, Sami Nakhoul. (ANSAmed).

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