Iraqi intellectual and writer, Kamel Shiaa, was assassinated in Baghdad on 23 August, 2008. To commemorate his role in promoting such values as freedom of the press, tolerance, gender equality, and diversity, and to the request of Shiaa’s friends and family, the Kamel Shiaa Foundation established a national prize bearing his name. In 2010, the EJC offered to support the first Kamel Shiaa Prize award.
The prize rewards a published article or a radio/TV broadcast related to intercultural dialogue. Young Iraqi journalists between 20 and 35 years of age, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or religious background, are eligible to apply. Applicants must be based in Iraq and work for the written press, TV, radio, or online media.
In May 2011, the EJC and the Kamel Shiaa Foundation announced that Iraqi journalist Maryam Mohammed Jaafar was awarded the first Kamel Shiaa Prize for Iraqi press freedom for her article “Violence is spreading among the Iraqi children”.
A jury composed of six international journalists unanimously chose Jaafar’s article over those of the other 33 candidates, based on her treatment of children’s rights and intercultural dialogue. Jaafar was awarded a three-month sponsored fellowship in Brussels, which included continued journalism training.
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