After the Daniel Pearl Award in 2017, author and Washington Post correspondent Souad Mekhennet won the Ludwig Borne Foundation’s Literary prize which honors outstanding achievements in essay, becoming the first Arab and Muslim personality to receive such a distinction.
At the award ceremony, jury president and well-known TV journalist Maybrit Illner highlighted the meticulous work of Souad Mekhennet, both as a journalist in Iraq, Afghanistan, Algeria and Libya, but also as a writer through her investigations in radical circles.
Souad Mekhennet is famous for her reports on terrorism and more particularly for her international bestseller “I was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad”. The mayor of Frankfort, present at the ceremony, said he was proud that the award was given to a typical girl from the city “who embodies, by her plural identity, the multicultural diversity that characterizes Frankfurt.”
Souad Mekhennet was born in Frankfurt of a Moroccan father and a Turkish mother. Her origins are of great importance to her because, as she says, “those who do not know the story of others or do not want to know it, will not know how to understand the behavior of others, nor establish bridges of the humanity”. She also wanted to share some lessons learned from her grandparents. Truths “not necessarily recorded in history books”, giving as an example “the common struggle of Moroccan Muslims and Jews against colonialism”.