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Tue 27 Sep 2011 04:20 PM

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Wael Ghonim in the running for Nobel Peace Prize

Leaders of Arab Spring revolution set to dominate this year's awards, says IPRI

Wael Ghonim in the running for Nobel Peace Prize
Google executive Wael Ghonim is expected to be among the nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize

The so-called Arab Spring, which has displaced regimes in the Middle East and North Africa, will dominate this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, the International Peace Research Institute said.

The top two candidates to get the prize are Egyptians Israa Abdel Fattah together with the April 6th Youth Movement, and Wael Ghonim, Kristian Berg Harpviken, head of the Oslo-based institute which ranks potential winners, said in an interview Tuesday.

The institute doesn’t help pick the winners.

Tunisia’s ouster of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January began the so-called Arab Spring, as an uprising led to the end of Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year reign in Egypt. Protests have also threatened the Assad family’s hold on Syria and President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s rule in Yemen, while Libyan opposition leaders are forming a new government after Muammar Qaddafi has lost control of the country.

“The main direction to look in this year, is the Arab spring,” Berg Harpviken said by phone. “This committee has been very clear about its intention to be in tune with current developments and even use the prize to affect current developments.”

Fattah, an Egyptian internet activist and blogger, co-founded the April 6th Youth Movement group on facebook group in 2008. Ghonim, who has worked for Google Inc, helped set up a website for Egypt opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei. Ghonim’s 11-day detention turned him into a hero for disaffected Egyptian youth.

A record 241 nominations were put forth for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Of the nominees, 53 were organizations and the rest individuals, the Oslo-based Nobel Institute said in March.

The tally surpasses last year’s record of 237. The names of the nominees weren’t disclosed.

Jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo won the prize last year for his work to promote human rights and democracy, an award that was denounced by authorities in Beijing. US President Barack Obama won in 2009.

The winner is picked by the five-member Norwegian Nobel Committee, which keeps its deliberations secret. The decision is announced on Oct 7 and the award is handed out in a ceremony in Oslo on Dec 10, the anniversary of the death in 1896 of Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist, who in his will set up prizes for achievements in peace, physics, medicine, chemistry and literature. The other awards are decided in Sweden.

John The Peaceful 8 years ago

The Nobel Peace Prize is exactly like the FIFA World Cup, the favorites never win.

gulfa 8 years ago

The police woman that slapped Mohammed Al Bu'zizi should get the Nobel Prize. Her alleged slap has resulted in the liberation of over 90 million people so far with another 60 million on the way.
Otherwise, Al Bu'zizi should get it posthumously. It was he who took it upon himself to show his people that there really is nothing more to fight for, and so there is no reason to continue living.

Adnan 8 years ago

No candidate from Tunisia, where the Arab spring originated?

Mariam 8 years ago

I sure hope Wael and Israa never win Nobel Prize. As it turned out, 8 months after the January coup in Egypt, both had their personal agendas and outside influence. Look at the conditions in Egypt now and you'll know that these 2 caused harm to the country and its hardworking people.

musaned 8 years ago

Before Mubarak; Egypt exported doctors, lawyers, teachers, artists, and other professionals.

During Mubarak; Egypt exported shisha workers, mechanics, construction labourers, and other menial labourers.

After Mubarak; who knows, but can it be as bad as Mubarak?

To blame Wael and Israa is to be a coward. They did something you and people like you did not do for 32 years. No, sorry, they did something no Egyptian has done in several thousand years. No popular revolt ever took place in Egypt, until Wael and Israa showed up. They risked their lives to give YOU dignity, you should at least thank them.

Mariam 8 years ago

Musaned,
During Mubarak's era infrastructure improved. I'm 42 yrs old and I recall during Sadat's period infrastructure was non-existent! As for education, again during mubarak's era egyptian doctors and engineers were making their marks in the whole world. Look @ data and you'll find many egyptian publications & professors all over the world. Cairo university is one of the top 500 schools, one of the handful of public schools. Rich gulf schools "steal" egyptian scholars publications' to earn their rankings. Rather than stating your personal views as if they were facts look at the #s which do not lie.

Wael and Israa's conspiracy against egypt is clear. Now, thnx to them, the country will be ruled by Muslim brotherhood, who will limit women rights & get us into wars.

As for the Nobel, I really lost all respect 4 it since Yasser Arafat got it. The whole world knows he was a terrorist who kidnapped, killed people and smuggled money 4 himself when his people were in slums.

procan 8 years ago

Just having your name and nationality mentioned is a great honor for that person and their country in their field of knowledge, expertise or deeds.