Renowned Syrian cartoonist Ali Farzat, whose satirical drawings targeting corruption and lampooning dictators have been published worldwide, received the 2012 Gebran Tueni Award Wednesday, an annual prize given jointly by WAN-IFRA and Lebanon’s An-Nahar newspaper that honours an outstanding individual from the news media in the Arab region.
The award recognises Mr Farzat’s unprecedented contribution to freedom of expression and acknowledges his unwavering commitment, despite physical attack, to exposing the excesses of power through his cartoons.
The ceremony took place in Beirut on 11 December on the eve of the seventh anniversary of the murder of Gebran Tueni, the Lebanese publisher and a leading WAN-IFRA Board member who was killed by a car bomb in Beirut in 2005. Mr Farzat was unable to collect the award in person due to security concerns, but joined the ceremony via Skype to give his thanks to An-Nahar and praise the memory of its iconic late publisher.
“His cartoons transcend borders, cultures and political divides: they speak a thousand words on behalf of human indignity,” said Lars Munch, Director of Denmark’s JP/Politikens, accepting the award on Mr Farzat’s behalf. “He has no intention of laying his pen to rest.”