2013 Shortlist


The Lifetime Achievement Award

BENJAMIN POGRUND is a South African born in the anti-apartheid movement who immigrated to Israel. He is very active in the peace movement (Yakar) and bringing Israelis and Palestinians together. He contributes to the Guardian and many other papers. He was previously chief sub-editor on the Independent’s foreign desk.

DAVID HIRST was the former Middle East correspondent for the Guardian from 1963 until1997. He has authored several books on the region including ‘The Gun and the Olive Branch’, ‘Oil and Public Opinion in the Middle East’ and ‘Beware of Small States: Lebanon, Battleground of the Middle East’. He has been kidnapped twice and was banned at various times from visiting six Arab countries, including Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. He continues to contribute to the Guardian and to other newspapers around the world.

PAT LANCASTER is the editor of Middle East Magazine. Pat joined a Fleet Street news agency specialising in the Middle East in the late 1970s. She has also worked for a Gulf government news agency, travelled extensively in the region conducting interviews for a selection of British and Arab daily newspapers and magazines, and is the author of three books. She was the deputy editor of Gulf States Newsletter before joining The Middle East Magazine in the late 1980s, becoming editor in 1995. Pat purchased the magazine in 2011 to save it from closing down, and is now the magazine’s editor-proprietor.

The Peace Through Media Awards

ABDEL LATIF EL-MENAWY is an author, columnist and multimedia journalist who has covered war zones around the world. He is also the author of ‘Tahrir- the last 18 days of Mubarak.’ He is a member of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate. He was the former news chief at Egypt’s state broadcaster before and during the Egyptian revolution (from 2005-2011). He further established Radio Misr which is the first thematic radio station that produces news in different light forms for radio listeners inside Egypt.

ALEX THOMSON is the Chief Correspondent of Channel Four News. In his 22 years on the programme he has covered 20 wars, across the Gulf, the Balkans, Africa and Afghanistan – and he regularly presents the programme. Before joining Channel Four News, he worked for the BBC in Northern Ireland. He has written books about India and the Gulf War and writes a regular column for Press Gazette. In June 2012, Thomson’s vehicle, in which he and his Channel Four News colleagues were travelling while covering the Syrian uprising, came under fire with his team his and was forced to take evasive action. According to Thomson, this was the result of a small group from the Free Syrian Army that actively and intentionally attempted to have the team killed on no-man’s land by the government forces as a propagandistic stunt against Damascus.

DONALD MACINTYRE has been The Independent’s Jerusalem correspondent since 2004. Before moving to Jerusalem, he was the paper’s Political Editor and then Chief Political Commentator for eight years and. He has also written for the Daily Express, Sunday Times, The Times and The Sunday Telegraph.

GERSHON BASKIN is a columnist as well as the founder of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information, an NGO and think tank established in 1988 to pursue a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Baskin’s efforts as a negotiator helped lead to the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held by Hamas in Gaza from 2006 to 2011. Gershon is also an occasional columnist for the Jerusalem Post.

JONATHAN FREEDLAND is a British journalist who writes a weekly column for the Guardian and a monthly piece for the Jewish Chronicle. He is also a presenter of BBC Radio 4’s contemporary history series, The Long View. In 2008, he broadcast a two-part series for BBC Radio 4 – ‘British Jews and the Dream of Zion’ – as well as two TV documentaries for BBC Four: ‘How to be a Good President’ and ‘President Hollywood.’Democracy Now!, NPR, RTE and CBS.

LYSE DOUCET is a BBC News special correspondent and is presenter and correspondent for both BBC World Service radio and BBC World News television. She has interviewed many of the most influential figures in the Middle East, including Bashar al Assad, Kofi Annan, King Abdullah of Jordan, the Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi. She played a key role in BBC coverage of the “Arab spring”, reporting from Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

MARWAN BISHARA is Al Jazeera English’s senior political analyst and the editor and host of the program ‘Empire’, which examines global powers and their agendas. He was previously a professor of International Relations at the American University of Paris and a fellow at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes et Sciences Sociales. Bishara’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, The Guardian, Le Monde and The Nation, among other outlets. Bishara is the author of the book ‘Palestine/Israel: Peace or Apartheid’ and has just published his second book, ‘The Invisible Arab’, about the recent uprisings around the Arab world.

SAYED KASHUA is the creator and scriptwriter of the first bi-lingual Arabic-Hebrew prime-time TV series, aired on commercial Channel 2, “Arab Labour”. Kashua has created a biting satire focusing on a Palestinian Israeli citizen who lives in a Jewish neighbourhood in West Jerusalem. Through humour the series creates great empathy for the Palestinian-Israeli protagonist and his family, and manages to courageously touch on many of the central issues that dominate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Kashua, who writes primarily in Hebrew, contributes a weekly satirical column to the weekend magazine section of Haaretz, and is also a prize winning author of three books.

SMADAR PERRY is the Middle East editor at Yediot Aharonot, Israel’s largest daily newspaper. Smadar has been reporting on the peace process since the historic visit of the late President Anwar Sadat of Egypt to Jerusalem in November 1977. She has conducted numerous exclusive interviews with major players, including Hosni Mubarak, King Hussein and King Abdullah II of Jordan, Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas.

TIM MARSHALL, is the Foreign Affairs Editor for Sky News. He has reported from Europe, the USA and Asia. His most notable work for the channel is considered to be a six hour unbroken broadcast during the first Gulf War. He spent most of the 1999 Kosovo War reporting from Belgrade, being one of very few western journalists allowed to report from one of the main targets of NATO bombing raids. More recently, he reported from the front line during the invasion of Afghanistan and has spent a considerable amount of time in Iraq, reporting on the country’s transition to democracy. In August 2005 he covered Israel’s Gaza disengagement. He has also been Middle East Correspondent and Europe Correspondent for the channel, and regularly contributes to the channel’s World News Tonight international news bulletin.

IGAL SARNA is a columnist for mass circulation daily Yediot Ahronot. As a feature story writer, he frequently visited the West Bank and Gaza, telling human stories about Palestinians living under the occupation. As an IDF veteran who fought in the Yom Kippur War in 1973/74, he also has written harsh critiques of Israeli military policies and about the tragedies of war. Today he writes a weekly column in the widely read weekend edition of the newspaper devoted to commentary on various aspects of Israeli life. He began his journalistic career as a writer for the now-defunct cutting edge daily Hadashot. He is also a successful prize-winning author of a number of books.

YOSRI FOUDA is an Egyptian journalist working for the independent Cairo-based ONTV (Egypt). He formerly worked for the BBC’s short-lived Arabic-subsidiary covering of the struggle in Bosnia with veteran reporter Martin Bell. He is co-author of Masterminds of Terror: The Truth Behind the Most Devastating Attack the World Has Ever Seen (2003). Fouda extensively covered post-revolution issues in Egypt and got greeted with a special cartoon posted in Egypt’s Al-Shorouk newspaper.

The Cutting Edge Awards

ABDULAELAH HAIDER SHAEA is a prominent Yemeni journalist who gained notoriety for his reporting of the December 17, 2009 al-Majalah bombing in Yemen, his interviews with al-Qaeda leaders, and the controversial nature of his arrest and imprisonment in 2011. After the al-Majalah bombing, he reported that the site was littered with remnants of U.S. Tomahawk missile, contradicting claims by the government of Yemen that the bombing was their own. U.S. Pentagon officials denied this but Amnesty International and The Telegraph newspaper later verified his claims. In January 2011, Shaye was arrested, convicted of “terrorism-related charges” in a what was regarded as a sham trial and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. After a public outcry from tribal leaders in Yemen, Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh was prepared to release him, but he was swayed otherwise by a call from U.S. president Barack Obama.

HARRIET SHERWOOD is the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent. She was previously foreign editor and home editor. Along with covering stories on developments in Israel and in the region, she runs a blog called “Views from Jerusalem” on everyday life in the Israeli capital city.

IONA CRAIG is currently the Yemen correspondent of The Times. She first moved to Yemen in 2010 and worked as an editor and then managing editor for the Yemen Times. Due to growing demand during Yemen’s uprising she left the Yemen Times in March 2011 to concentrate on freelance work. During her time in Yemen she has contributed to: The Times, The Sunday Times, The Irish Times, USA Today, Foreign Policy, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, The National (UAE), The Yemen Times, The Gulf, Global Post, Index on Censorship, Esquire Magazine (Middle East), Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, Jane’s Intelligence Weekly, Jane’s Terrorism & Insurgency Monitor and IHS Global Insight. Her footage has been used on CNN and her pictures have been seen in The Times, The National (UAE), USA Today, on Global Post and Al Jazeera. She has also appeared on Al Jazeera, the BBC (TV and radio), Sky News, Channel 4 News, France24, CTV, CBC.

LINA SINJAB is a journalist for the BBC and has been the Damascus correspondent since 2008. She has reported from all over the county since the start of the regime’s crackdown, including from the flashpoint city of Homs. She has an MSc in International Politics from SOAS.

LISA GOLDMAN is an Israeli-Canadian journalist and blogger for +927 Magazine. She has had articles published in Haaretz, Time Out Tel Aviv, NY Times, Forward Jewish Quaterly,and The Guardian, amongst others. She is also the co-founder and editor of +972 Magazine, a blog-based web magazine jointly owned by journalists, bloggers and photographers. Their aim is to provide authentic reporting and analysis of events in Israel and Palestine.

MARTIN FLETCHER for his daring reports from inside Syria and his coverage of stories from the Middle East in the Times. He is currently the associate editor and was previously the foreign editor between 2002 and 2006. He is the author of ‘The Good Caff Guide’, ‘Almost Heaven: Travels Through the Backwoods of America’ and ‘Silver Linings: Travels around Northern Ireland.’

MUSTAFA BALBAY of Cumhuriyet newspaper is Turkey’s most prominent imprisoned journalist. He has been held on remand since April 2009, charged with “stealing secret information linked to state security” as part of a vast alleged conspiracy to overthrow the AK Party government. Balbay’s notebooks were seized as evidence by the prosecutor, who has demanded life imprisonment without parole for Balbay and 24 other defendants. These include three former university rectors, the former Chief of the General Staff and Turkey’s leading transplant surgeon. There are some 275 accused in total.

NABIL AL HAIDARI is an Iraqi freelance writer, journalist, researcher and Islamic scholar. He is a strong advocate for Iraqi Jews and has conducted many lectures and seminars on the topic. He is a writer, lecturer and researcher in Theological ideologies, their development, renovation. Al-Haidari seeks to establish peace and harmony between different faiths, especially between Islam and Judaism, through a process of dialogue and discussion. He has written as a columnist for Sharq Al Awsat and Elaf.

NABILA RAMDANI, is a French freelance journalist of Algerian descent, currently based in London. She is a columnist for many publications including the Guardian, the Independent, the Observer, the London Evening Standard and the New Statesman. She is also a commentator for a wide range of TV programs including for the BBC and Al Jazeera. Her reports included exposing the Blair-Gaddafi meeting, and the assets of the Al Assad family overseas.

RACHEL SHABI is a journalist who has written extensively on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Middle East. Her award-winning book, ‘Not the Enemy: Israel’s Jews from Arab Lands’, was published in 2009. She has also written for the Guardian, the Sunday Times, the New Statesman, the Independent on Sunday and Al-Jazeera English online.

RANIA ALATTAR is an Iraqi journalist for the BBC Arabic service. During Saddam’s rule, her father and brother were executed for political reasons. In 2003, she began her career in journalism and broadcasting with BBC Radio in Baghdad. She later moved to another Iraqi TV station, Nahrain TV where she worked as a presenter and correspondent; her fields included politics culture and entertainment. During this time she presented shows such as the daily newscast, Baghdad Today, the weekly musical programme, Bayuna, and the cinema show, Nejoom. Tragically, her sister was accidently killed by American forces in Iraq. Alattar later joined Al-Hurrah TV in the US. She later joined BBC Arabic TV London for the launch of the station and remains its only Iraqi presenter. Her life and work were the subject of a two part CNN documentary subtitled an Iraqi woman leading a life plagued by tragedy.

TIM WHEWELL of the BBC’s Newsnight has written extensively on the Middle East. Tim began his BBC career as a “talk writer” at Bush House specialising in Russian affairs. From 1990-1993 he was the BBC World Service Moscow Correspondent. Tim also presented and produced for BBC Radio Five Live’s morning programme, ‘the Magazine’. He also made a four part radio documentary series, ‘The Windy Sea’ on the oil boom in the ex-soviet nations bordering the Caspian Sea; and films for the BBC’s Correspondent programme on the new scourges of drug addiction in the Ukraine, and corruption in Kalmykia. He has visited Yemen to examine its claim it was successfully using “Islamic dialogue” to fight terror and more recently he visited Turkey to ask if the rise of a new social class threatens Turkey’s secular elite which has run the country for 80 years.

WAEL DAHDOUH is the Al-Jazeera correspondent in Gaza. He was formerly the correspondent for Al Arabeya channel – Dubai, in the Gaza Strip. Prior to that Wael worked for Iranian Arab Television (Sahar TV channel), Al Amal TV – West Bank -Correspondent, for Al-Quds Newspaper – Jerusalem, and for Al Etehad newspaper – Nasrah, and Al Watan Voice magazine – West Bank, as a Correspondent in the Gaza Strip. He is one of Gaza’s most senior and respected journalists.

The Breakaway Award

ABIGAIL FIELDING-SMITH is Beirut Correspondent at the Financial Times and a freelance writer on Middle East issues She has been covering the uprisings in Syria and Yemen and written longer pieces on Yemen and the Arab spring for the FT Weekend magazine and the London Review of Books blog. She also writes regularly for The New Statesman, and the National.

GHAITH ABDUL-AHAD is an Iraqi journalist who began working for Getty Images after the 2003 U.S invasion of Iraq. He has also written for the Guardian and Washington post and has published photographs in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian and the Times. In October 2010 Abdul-Ahad was imprisoned for five days by the Taliban fighters he had gone to interview.

HARRY FEAR is a documentary maker and activist, currently working in the Gaza Strip. He is producing films and video reports from Gaza, which can be accessed on his blog:(http://www.harryfear.co.uk/blog/). He has also worked as a correspondent for Russia Today.

KAMAL CHOMANI is a Kurdish journalist based in Northern Iraq. He writes for Awene, South Kurdistan’s major independent newspaper, sits on the editorial board of Lvin Magazine and works with Reporters without Borders.

OLA ZAANOUN is the Chief Website Editor of the Doha Centre for Media Freedom, Gaza. She also works as a human rights activist recording incidents of violence against journalists. She writes as a freelance for a number of local publications in Gaza and has been nominated for this award by fellow journalists in Gaza City.

RUTH SHERLOCK is a foreign correspondent for the Telegraph, based in Beirut. She has covered the Arab Spring for the Daily Telegraph from Egypt, Libya and Syria. After living in Libya with rebel fighters, covering the whole war from the nascent revolution in Benghazi to the final capture of Col. Muammer Gaddafi, Ruth moved to report on Syria. She has made several trips into the country, both undercover in government-held areas and being smuggled into the country with rebel fighters. She is also a regular contributor to Al Jazeera.

The New Media Award

AMI KAUFMAN is a veteran left-wing blogger for +972 Magazine, a blog-based web magazine jointly owned by journalists, bloggers and photographers which has quickly garnered a reputation for being fresh, thoughtful and insightful. Kaufman was previously the chief night editor for Haaretz, and for the prominent Israeli financial daily Calcalist as well as correspondent on Israeli affairs for 93.6 RAM FM, a joint Palestinian-Israeli radio station.

MAHMOOD AL-YOUSIF is known to many as the ‘Blogfather’ and is considered to be the “father of Bahraini bloggers”. He specialises in new media and is known for his liberal and non-sectarian approach. His blog is dedicated to critiquing the Bahrain government, discussing local and world politics, religion , society as well as his day-to-day life. (http://mahmood.tv/)

NIKAHANG KOWSAR is an Iranian-Canadian cartoonist, journalist and blogger currently living in Washington DC. In 1991 he joined Gol-Agha, an Iranian political satire magazine as a cartoonist. He was writing for different Iranian newspapers, most of them banned by Saeed Mutazavi, an Iranian prosecutor known as ‘butcher of the press’. Kowsar was arrested in 2000 and spent 6 days in a Teheran prison for a drawing a cartoon.

PHILLIP WEISS, an American journalist who co-authors Mondoweiss a news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East, chiefly from a progressive Jewish perspective. Weiss has written for the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s Magazine, Esquire, and the New York Observer. In 2006 he began writing a daily blog called Mondoweiss on The New York Observer website which began to focus on “Jewish issues” like “the Iraq disaster and my Jewishness, Zionism, neo-conservatism, Israel, Palestine.” In the spring of 2007 he started Mondoweiss as an independent blog. (http://mondoweiss.net/)

The Photography & Visual Media Award

ALEX LEVAC has been defined as a ‘photojournalist and street photographer’, whose artistic eye captures the essence of Israeli life and the Israeli-Palestinian dilemma via photos images filled with dramatic irony and contrast in daily life. His most well-known and influential photograph, which also features in nominee Dror Moreh’s film “The Gatekeepers”, shows that two Palestinians who hijacked a bus in 1984, were captured alive, and later killed by the Israeli security forces, which contradicted the official version of events. The censor ordered the daily Hadashot to be closed down for four days because of the publication of the controversial photo. Levac also regularly accompanies Gideon Levy when he writes stories in the West Bank to powerfully create a photographic record of images of the occupation. He also publishes a regular photo in the weekly magazine section of Haaretz.

AYMAN OGHANNA is an Iraqi British freelance photographer. Born and raised in London, Ayman has worked in Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Afghanistan. His photography, writing and video reportage have been published by The New York Times, The Economist, Liberation, Polka, TIME and Al Jazeera. He is based in Istanbul, but always moving. (http://www.aymanoghanna.com/)

DON MCCULLIN is an internationally known British photojournalist, particularly recognized for his war photography and images of urban strife. His career, which began in 1959, has specialised in examining the underside of society, and his photographs have depicted the unemployed, downtrodden and the impoverished. He is the author of a number of books, including The Palestinians (with Jonathan Dimbleby, 1980), Beirut: A City in Crisis (1983), and Don McCullin in Africa (2005). His book, Shaped by War (2010), was published to accompany a major retrospective exhibition at the Imperial War Museum North, Salford, England in 2010 and then at the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath and the Imperial War Museum, London. His most recent publication is Southern Frontiers: A Journey Across the Roman Empire, a poetic and contemplative study of selected Roman and pre-Roman ruins in North Africa and the Middle East.

DROR MOREH, is an Israeli cinematographer and director. His film ‘The Gatekeepers’ (2012) was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 85th Academy Awards. His first film as director was ‘Sharon’, an investigation into the appeal of Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon.

GEORGE BUTLER is a British war artist observing the situation in Syria on the ground. He studied Illustration at Kingston University until 2007 before he started his first project as a guest of the British Army in Afghanistan. Drawing has led him around the world and his work has been exhibited in the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours in 2008, 2009 & 2010. (http://www.georgebutler.org/about.)

MANI is a French photojournalist who has been working in Syria. Mani, a freelance who does not use his surname in order to protect his identity, travelled to Syria without a commission and was contacted by Le Monde while there. His work appears there and in Paris Match, as well as the Guardian. His pictures, taken undercover in the Homs area, show rebel fighters of the Free Syrian Army, night-time demonstrations, the funerals of victims and the anger and defiance of ordinary Syrians facing violent state repression. Mani had to take extraordinary steps to avoid being caught by the Assad regime’s security forces.

MARCEL METTELSIEFEN is a renowned photographer for Das Spiegel. He has spent a lot of time photographing crisis zones such as Haiti in 2004 and Misrata, Libya where he came under fire more than once and whilst there was the only photographer in the city. More recently he made a film for Channel 4 entitled ‘Syria’s Descent: the agony of Aleppo’s Children’ that aired in March 2013.

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