The Moroccan writer Tahar Ben Jelloun has been awarded the Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize for his work to promote peaceful coexistence between the Christian and Islamic cultures. His French publisher, Gallimard, announced the award today..
The Peace Prize, which will be presented to Ben Jelloun on Sept. 16 in Osnabrück (northwestern Germany), is awarded every two year to the author of the best journalistic essay, or the best text or best novel on the theme of "internal and external peace."
In 2009 he was awarded the Swedish author Henning Mankell.
The jury for this year praised Tahar Ben Jelloun for his work "promoting peaceful coexistence between Christian and Islamic cultures, especially through the last trial of the Arab spring," said Claus Rollinger, jury chairman and president of the University of Osnabrück.
In his essay "The spark, in the Arab Revolt," published June 6 in France, Italy and Germany, the author analyses the revolution in progress in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria..
This essay is accompanied by a short fiction, "By the fire," in which Tahar Ben Jelloun makes a superb tribute to the Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi, the vegetable seller who was slain Dec. 17, 2010, sparking the revolt that ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali a month later.