Top EU award for Aijaz Zaka Syed
By a staff reporter
7 May 2007
DUBAI — European Union Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Louis Michel on Thursday presented the Lorenzo Natali Journalism Prize for the Middle East to Khaleej Times journalist and columnist Aijaz Zaka Syed at a grand ceremony at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
Syed, originally from India, had been selected for the prestigious European media award for his article on the humanitarian situation in Sudan’s Darfur region that had appeared in Khaleej Times’ Opinion section (Disgrace of Darfur, Oct 31).
Presenting the prize to Syed, Commissioner Michel said that democracy and the freedom of the Press are essential to development and progress.
Speaking on the occasion, Syed called for the Arab and Muslim world to play a more effective role in ending the conflict in Darfur.
He cautioned that reckless interference by big powers would only exacerbate the situation. Only conciliatory efforts by the Arab and Muslim nations can bring peace to Darfur, he stressed. The Natali prize commemorates Lorenzo Natali, a former European Commissioner for Development and a fervent defender of human rights and democracy.