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Iraqi Blogger Nominated for BBC Prize
Will the anonymous 'Riverbend' win the £30,000 Samuel Johnson non-fiction award?
Alexander Krabbe (AlexKrabbe)     Email Article  Print Article 
Published 2006-03-30 12:28 (KST)   
At least the award's name is everything but anonymous. Named after one of Great Britain's most honored poets and literature critics, Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), the BBC annually awards the prize for non-fiction writing with £30,000 pounds for its winner.

In 2004, I closely followed the award due to the nomination of Anna Funder for her felicitous book Stasiland in which she draws a very realistic image of the East German citizens' lives during their time under the permanent supervision by the socialist dictatorship. Funder won the award.

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This year, under certain circumstances, it may not be possible to know exactly who will have won the prize. Not only that the BBC prize was founded by an anonymous donor in 1999. The recent longlist also contains of an anonymous nominee: Riverbend

Outstanding Reporting from a Burning Country

In a time when the U.S. mainstream media's controlling functions are lying down embedded with a propaganda fog around the journalists' eyes and cameras, it's an embedded citizen who since August 2003 has opened the world's eyes to her life in the burning country. Not representatively, but exemplary and in a catching way the 24-year-old woman tells her blog's readers about her life as an Iraqi citizen.

Often unsettled by the everyday madness marked by war and terror, Riverbend gives back dignity to Iraq's citizens with her writing. Human stories emerge where before there were only death tolls.

Whether Riverbend intended it or not, the message her blog entries carry bespeaks the reader not to ignore the grief of Iraq's citizens anymore. Her writing subliminally demands global awareness and responsibility in what some name the "global village."

Many Outstanding Contributions Nominated

With Jane Glover's history fact book Mozart's Women -- a long waited for rehabilitation of the image of Constanze Weber as Wolfgang Amadeus' wife and an overdue tribute to his genius sister Maria Anna -- another outstanding work has also been nominated. The choice will be hard.

But whoever eventually will win the award; one winner can already be named: The Iraqi people.

Thank you, Riverbend.
To visit Riverbend's blog, click here.
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Alexander Krabbe

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