Awwad and Barenboim Win 2023 Indira Gandhi Peace Prize

Barenboim, born in Argentina, is a distinguished classical pianist and conductor recognized for his collaborations with leading orchestras worldwide….reports Asian Lite News

Renowned music conductor Daniel Barenboim and peace activist Ali Abu Awwad have been jointly awarded the prestigious Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament, and Development for 2023. The announcement was made by the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust, with an international jury chaired by former Chief Justice of India, TS Thakur, selecting the recipients.

Barenboim, born in Argentina, is a distinguished classical pianist and conductor recognized for his collaborations with leading orchestras worldwide. Beyond his musical contributions, he is celebrated for promoting harmony in the Middle East. His close association with Palestinian literary scholar Edward Said influenced his vision for a peaceful resolution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict through respectful discourse and dialogue.

Recognizing the role of music in fostering unity, Barenboim established the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and the Barenboim-Said Akademie. These initiatives bring together young musicians from Israel, Palestine, and other Arab and North African nations, creating spaces for understanding and unity.

Ali Abu Awwad, a prominent Palestinian peace activist, has dedicated his efforts to achieving a peaceful resolution to the West Asian conflict. Raised in a politically active refugee family, Awwad underwent a transformative experience during a hunger strike with his mother. This event strengthened his belief in non-violent action, aligning with Gandhian principles.

In 2014, Awwad co-founded the Roots initiative, fostering understanding, nonviolence, and transformation between Palestinians and Israelis. His peace-building endeavors led to the establishment of Taghyeer, a Palestinian non-violence movement launched by over 3,000 Palestinians across the West Bank in September 2016. Taghyeer focuses on social development and seeks a non-violent path to end the Israeli occupation.

Awwad emphasizes building coalitions for social change and pursuing a non-violent solution to the conflict. He asserts that non-violence is an art of practicing humanity and envisions peace as a place where people can coexist by respecting differences and rights.

The joint award recognizes Barenboim and Awwad for their outstanding efforts in fostering non-violent dialogue, cultural understanding, and cooperation between the youth and peoples of Israel and the Arab world, contributing to a peaceful resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

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