The Arab-British Centre recently announced Zaytoun CIC (Community Interest Company) as winner of the 2009 Arab-British Culture and Society Award. The annual award of £5000 is made to an individual or organisation which in the opinion of the judges has made an outstanding contribution to the British public’s knowledge and understanding of the life, society and culture of the Arab people. The judges unanimously chose Zaytoun CIC ‘for the inspirational way it has marketed Palestinian olive oil and olives in the UK. Through the background briefings, informative promotions and exchange visits it has organised, it has very effectively raised awareness in the UK of the life, problems and potential of Palestinian farmers. Its success in gaining Fairtrade certification – a first for a Palestinian product and a world first for olive oil – has created new opportunities for extending the British public’s knowledge of an important aspect of the life of Arab people.’
Zaytoun CIC was one of eleven candidates shortlisted for the award. The judges were impressed with the high quality and range of the nominations received and specially commended the following candidates for their notable contributions:
* IB Tauris: Publisher of a large and varied list of academic books on the Arab and Islamic worlds.
* Professor Tim Niblock: Writer on the Arab world, and teacher of generations of UK and foreign students specialising in the region.
* Raja Shehadeh: Palestinian author of engaging and accessible books on life in the West Bank.
The judging panel for the 2009 Arab-British Culture and Society Award comprised: Sir Marrack Goulding (Chair), Dr Shelagh Weir (Acting Chair), HE Khalid Al Duwaisan, André Gaspard, Robert Irwin, Dr Ghada Karmi, Margaret Obank.
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