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December 4, 2002
Search for Common Ground Presents Awards for Peacemaking

Honorees Include Archbishop Tutu, Ted Koppel, Pearl Foundation, Seeds of Peace

Washington, DC - Search for Common Ground, one of the world's leading non-governmental organization involved in conflict resolution, will present its Fifth Annual Common Ground Awards on December 12. The Common Ground Awards are presented annually to recognize outstanding achievements in conflict resolution internationally and in the United States. Each recipient has made an important contribution toward bridging the divides between people, finding solutions to seemingly intractable problems, and providing hope where there often seemed to be none.

This year's awardee for a Lifetime of Peacebuilding is Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate and hero of South Africa's struggle for democracy and justice. His profound moral authority made him the obvious choice to lead the effort to heal the deep wounds of apartheid through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Archbishop Tutu is being honored for his absolute commitment to finding the common humanity in all people, all the time.

Pioneering journalist Ted Koppel is the recipient of the Award for Bridging Differences Through Television for his Nightline "town meetings," which have sought to foster authentic dialogue, under the most trying conditions, between Israelis and Palestinians, South African blacks and whites, and representatives of the Catholic Church and the gay community.

Others being recognized with this year's awards are:

Award For Promoting Cross-Cultural Understanding to the Daniel Pearl Foundation, founded by the family of journalist Daniel Pearl, who was murdered in Pakistan while pursuing a story about extremist groups sympathetic to Al-Qaeda. The foundation is recognized for nurturing the truth seeking and cross-cultural respect personified by Daniel's life and work.
The Award for Creating New Generations of Peacemakers is being presented posthumously to John Wallach, for his formation, through Seeds of Peace, of a cadre of young Arabs and Israelis who have come to know each other as human beings and friends, rather than as dehumanized enemies. When peace is eventually achieved in the Middle East, Seeds' alumni are sure to lead the way.
The Award for Building Peaceful Communities to Azim Khamisa and Ples Felix. When Mr. Khamisa's young son was murdered, he reached out to the killer's grandfather, Mr. Felix, in an amazing act of forgiveness. Through the Tariq Khamisa Foundation, they now work together in San Diego to stop children from killing children.

The ceremony will take place at 8:00 pm at the Austrian Embassy, 3254 International Drive in Washington, preceded by a dinner reception at 6:30 pm. Journalists interested in attending and covering the event should contact Gil Kulick at (202) 777-2227.

For further information, call:
Gil Kulick, (202) 777-2227

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