Lebanese news presenter turns down award from minister of culture

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Nabila Awad

LEBANON, Jan 13: Lebanese news presenter Nabila Awad has made a bold decision to decline an award from the minister of culture, citing objections to his political stances and ministerial decisions. The award, offered by the Ard Almobdein (Land of Creatives) Association for Awad’s outstanding achievements in the media sector, is part of an annual ceremony held at Beirut’s UNESCO Palace in collaboration with Lebanon’s culture ministry.

Awad, employed by the Lebanese channel MTV, expressed her gratitude for the recognition but chose to reject the award upon learning that it would be presented by Culture Minister Mohammad Mortada. She conveyed her opposition to many of the minister’s decisions, which, in her view, have had detrimental effects on the cultural industries in Lebanon.

In an interview with Annahar newspaper, Awad stated, “I am also known for being against the minister’s political line and stances, as well as his performance in the Ministry of Culture. For all these reasons, I refuse to receive the award from the Minister of Culture. I have explained this to the association’s leaders, and they seemed understanding.”

As a journalist, Awad emphasized her commitment to defending freedoms, a fundamental aspect of her profession. She clarified, “Therefore, I refuse to receive any recognition from those who oppose freedoms and have harmed the cultural scene in Lebanon.”

Mohammad Mortada, appointed as minister of culture in 2021 by Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government, has faced criticism for various decisions. Notably, he banned the screening of the “Barbie” movie in Lebanon last year, alleging that it “promoted homosexuality” and challenged moral values. Awad’s refusal to accept the award underscores her principled stand against what she perceives as threats to freedom and the cultural landscape in Lebanon.

This news has been read 806 times!

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