*1944 in Fès The city of Osnabrück honors the writer TAHAR BEN JELLOUN with the Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize 2011 for his work, which promotes peaceful coexistence between Christian and Islamic cultures.
Tahar Ben Jelloun's work is dedicated to the theme of integration. The Moroccan author with a French passport writes from the perspective of a migrant about the problems of people from different cultures living together. In addition, he is committed in his essayistic work to an understanding of a peaceful Islam and against racism. His work for understanding and tolerance and his commitment to the concerns of migrants in Europe connect him in a special way with the work of Erich Maria Remarque. With the collection of essays "Arab Spring - On Recovering Arab Dignity" (2011), Tahar Ben Jelloun has dealt with the democracy movements in North Africa and the Middle East in a literarily unique way, contributed to their understanding by the general public, and highlighted the consequences of these political and social upheavals for Europe as well.
His work and his actions correspond in an outstanding way to the words of the writer Erich Maria Remarque: "My subject is the human being of this century - the question of humanity".
Osnabrück, September 16, 2011
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