Olof Palme Prize 2015 to go to Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb
Dr. Mitri Raheb and Israeli Journalist Gideon Levy have been awarded the Olof Palme Prize “for their courageous and indefatigable fight against occupation and violence, and for a future Middle East characterized by peaceful coexistence and equality for all. By their work they both give a ray of hope to a conflict that has plagued and continues to plague millions of people and to endanger world peace.
As preacher and Pastor in the Lutheran church, Mitri Raheb sends a clear message to the young generation of Palestinians:
”We want you to live, not die, for Palestine.”
In a Bethlehem confined on three sides by the walls of the occupying Israeli power, and with Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture that he founded and his innovative artistic education in film, art, and drama, Raheb has made it possible for young people to investigate their Palestinian identity, to nurture beauty, and to invest in a culture of life as tools for a creative resistance against suffocating confinement and towards nation building.
The Olof Palme Award has previously been awarded to eminent people who include the Czech President Vaclav Havel; the former Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Anan, The Burmese Leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Amnesty International, Hanan Ashrawi and the African American Lawyer Bryan Stevenson.
Olof Palme, a two-term Prime Minister leader of the Swedish Social democratic Party and was one of the most prophetic leaders of his time in opposing the Apartheid Regime in South Africa, in reaching out to Cuba and the liberation movements in the global South, and for his non-alignment policy.