From the Editors
[The following press release was issued by the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development on 6 September 2012.]
The Prince Claus Awards
The Prince Claus Awards honour outstanding achievements in the field of culture and development. The awards are presented annually to eleven individuals or organisations whose cultural actions have a positive impact on the development of their societies.
In keeping with the Prince Claus Fund’s guiding principle that culture is a basic need, the awards highlight significant achievements in areas where resources and opportunities for cultural expression, creative production and research are limited and cultural heritage is threatened.
The Principal Laureate receives the sum of €100,000. The awards’ presentation will take place on 12 December 2012 during an official ceremony at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, in the presence of the Fund’s Honorary Chairman, HRH Prince Constantijn, along with other members of the Royal Family.
The remaining ten laureates will be presented with their awards of €25,000 by the Dutch ambassadors in the countries where they reside. The laureates are selected by an independent, international committee.
Four 2012 Prince Claus Awards from the Middle East
Sami Ben Gharbia, Tunisia
Sami Ben Gharbia (1967, Tunis) is an innovative cyber-activist who works mainly through social media. He is the co-founder of the popular web portal Nawaat.org, a Tunisian blog collective on news and politics that played an important role in the Tunisian revolution. He is dedicated to the freedom of information, which is essential for both culture and development.
Habiba Djahnine, Algeria
Habiba Djahnine (1968, Béjaia) is a respected writer and filmmaker whose main focus is documentary cinema directed to an accurate portrayal of Algerian realities. Returned to her country to transmit her knowledge and skills, Djahnine is an educator, mentor, and a dynamic force in the Algerian cultural scene.
Yassin al Haj Saleh, Syria
Yassin al Haj Saleh (1961, Raqqa) is a writer, public intellectual, and voice of reasoned analysis in the midst of the current Syrian crisis. He provides crucial insight on a wide range of political, social, and cultural subjects relating to Syria, the Arab world, and their international geo-political relations.
Widad Kawar, Jordan
The passion and commitment of collector Widad Kawar (1931, Tulkarem) rescued and preserved important cultural heritage that otherwise would have been lost forever. Her superb collection consists of more than 2,000 examples of the textile artistry of Palestinian, Jordanian, Syrian, Bedouin and other Arab cultures.
[Click here to download the jury report from the Prince Claus Awards Committee.]
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