An op-ed written by Syrian journalist Samer Mokhtar and published in Mada Masr in March of this year was shortlisted for a 2018 Samir Kassir journalism prize.
The opinion piece award was ultimately handed to Algerian journalist Miloud Yabrir in a Thursday ceremony, for his article on the Algerian political system, explained through the metaphor of a movie theater.
In his nominated op-ed, titled “Some Aspects of life in Damascus and Ghouta” and written in Arabic, Mokhtar offers a look at everyday life in Syria before the civil war, through his experiences growing up witnessing the practices of the Assad regime.
One hundred and ninety articles from a number of Arab countries applied for the prize. Besides Mokhtar and Yabrir, Iraqi writer Khaled Soliman was also nominated for the op-ed award.
Since 2006, the European Union and the Lebanon-based Samir Kassir Foundation have awarded Samir Kassir Award for the Freedom of the Press prizes for best opinion piece, best investigative article and best audiovisual news report to writers from the Middle East and Mediterranean region. The prizes are handed to pieces that cover governance, corruption and the freedom of expression.
The awards were inaugurated one year after Lebanese journalist Samir Kassir was assassinated in Beirut in 2005.