THE FULL STORY
The Wajih Ajouz Award (WAA) honors excellence in Lebanese online activism. The Samir Kassir Foundation (SKF) would like to reward outstanding individuals and organizations that use online platforms to defend human rights and protect freedom of expression. The winning campaign will receive a 2,000 USD prize.
In addition to being a pillar for a progressive society, the freedom of thought and expression is needed by all, despite attempts by various repression systems to convince otherwise
Because our basic rights are often treated as conditional privileges in place of primordial human needs, the WAA aims to bring forward Lebanese individuals and organizations who make the best use of the web to fight for a better life on the ground, in Lebanon and everywhere else in the world.
Wajih Ajouz was a SKeyes researcher at the Samir Kassir Foundation and the producer of the political show entitled ‘Studio Beirut’ aired on Al Arabiya channel. His job consisted in monitoring all forms of violations against cultural and media freedom in Syria. He maintained contacts with correspondents there and provided support to Syrian journalists who sought refuge in Lebanon.
Wajih studied Philosophy at the American University of Beirut and was vigorously engaged in student activism. His elaborate thoughts and his authentic ways of reaching out to the community were some of his growing qualities. He participated in pertinent developments that happened in the region from year 2005 onwards. Wajih helped organize a number of demonstrations, participated in regular meetings, and initiated multiple community efforts.
Yet the WAA is also based upon the man behind the digital screen. Wajih perfected a staggering online activist style. It is about the satirical and straightforward web persona that he created and that happened to complete his genuine and infinitely giving character. It is about the provocative ideas that incited both intellectual challenge and curiosity in what he had to share. He acted as a vector to crucial articles and blogs and never missed the chance to criticize wrong-doings eloquently.
Even though he left us at the very early age of 24, Wajih Ajouz was able to impregnate in the collective memory of those around him the figure of a free thinker, a determined activist and a dear friend.
If you are an individual working on your own or if you are representing an organization, and you consider your campaign eligible for the competition, please participate in the contest by submitting your application only once.
a) Conditions of Participation:
- It must be your own campaign.
- Participants can be individuals or organizations.
- The campaign must be accessible to the public.
- Languages allowed in the competition are Arabic, English and French.
- Members of the Samir Kassir Foundation, the Maharat Foundation, MARCH, and the Thomson Foundation are not allowed in the competition.
- Campaigns for which jury members are closely and directly involved are not allowed in the competition.
- All participating campaigns will be subjected to screening and will be eliminated if obscene or discriminatory content is found.
b) Preliminary Nominations:
All participant campaigns will be screened for eligibility by the WAA team (members of the Samir Kassir Foundation).
c) The Jury:
- The jury’s score will account for 100% of the final decision.
- Ties are broken by the jury members’ decision.
d) Selection Criteria:
- Authenticity and transparency
- Originality of the concept
- Skills in execution
- Tools of execution
- Visual originality
- Accessibility to the public
- Timeline planning