Eliav-Sartawi Awards for Middle East Journalism

Search for Common Ground announces three women as the winners of the awards

Search for Common Ground is pleased to announce Marie Medina, Tala A. Rahmeh, and Barbara Sofer as the winners of the 2008 Eliav-Sartawi Awards for Middle East Journalism. With over 70 articles submitted in Arabic, Hebrew and English, the 2008 Eliav-Sartawi Awards was as competitive as ever. It is inspiring to see so many constructive, solution-oriented articles written about interesting topics occurring in the Middle East. The organisers would like to thank all of those who submitted and to recognize your important journalistic contributions to this region and its people.

Awarded were the following articles:
- 'Rifkah and my mother' by Tala A. Rahmeh. - A Palestinian woman, travelling to Jerusalem for the first time legally, accompanies her ill mother to an Israeli hospital and encounters a surprising response: kindness. (Source: The Electronic Intifada, 9 August 2007)
- 'The human spirit: meeting beyond the comfort zone' by Barbara Sofer. - A religious Jewish woman from Jerusalem describes her experience with her Muslim roommate from Hebron during an interfaith women\'s workshop in Jordan. (Source: The Jerusalem Post, 28 September 2007)
- 'When Arab and Jewish kids go to the same school' by Marie Medina. - Through extensive interviews with principals, teachers, parents and former students, an international author explores the development of the five bilingual schools located within Israel - their challenges and successes. (Source: BabelMed, 29 June 2008)

The Awards are named after two courageous pioneers of the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue. Dr. Issam Sartawi (1936-1983), recognized internationally, culminating in him being awarded the Kreisky Prize in 1979. He was assassinated in April 1983 in a hotel lobby in Lisbon, Portugal while participating in the building of the peace process. The Centre for the Advancement of Peace and Democracy at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem is named after Dr. Sartawi.
Lova Eliav has been active in Israeli politics and diplomacy ever since the founding of the state. A member of the Knesset from 1965-1979 and again from 1988-1992, Eliav served as Secretary-General of the Labor Party in the early 1970s, a position he lost after calling for negotiations with the Palestinians. The main objective of the awards is to celebrate journalism that contributes to better understanding between people in the Middle East. Search for Common Ground honors articles that try to open windows of underrstanding on the people in the region, and the issues that divide them, provide insight into regional issues and debates, contribute to political dialogue, expose readers to new perspectives and help to lay the groundwork for peaceful solutions.