Common Ground Awards 2008

2008 Common Ground Awardees

The architecturally impressive Canadian Embassy in Washington generously hosted our awards this year. Charlayne Hunter-Gault of PBS and NPR, was the master of ceremonies for the second year. Pakistani pop star Salman Ahmad brought the gift of his wonderful music. The awardees were extraordinarily moving. They demonstrate that each of us has the power to make a difference, and indeed they have done so. If there was one over-arching theme this year it was the inherent power of an apology, of forgiveness, and of reconciliation.

  • Government of Canada – for its apology to Canada’s aboriginal population for forcing over 150,000 Indian children to attend government boarding schools
  • Government of Australia – for its apology to Australia’s indigenous peoples for past mistreatment and suffering
  • The Parents Circle–Families Forum – for the promotion of Middle East peace by this group of bereaved Israelis and Palestinians who have suffered the loss of a family member to the conflict
  • Beyond the 11th - an organization working to improve the lives of Afghan war widows founded by Susan Retik and Patti Quigley, whose husbands died on September 11th.
  • U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill – for consistently demonstrating that diplomacy and negotiations are the most important tools in foreign policy.
  • The New York Philharmonic Orchestra - for its ground-breaking concert performances in Pyongyang, North Korea
  • Peaceoholics – for peace-building on the streets of Washington in pursuit of drug-free, violence-free lives for young people

Eliav-Sartawi Media Awards
The 2008 Eliav-Sartawi Awards for Middle East Journalism awards ceremony, took place in Jerusalem, for the first time, on Tuesday, 11 November at the International YMCA. Awardees were , Barbara Sofer, Marie Medina, and Tala Rahmeh. [more]

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Charlayne Hunter Gault


David Stewart, Deputy Chief of Mission, Australia

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Zarin Mehta, President and Executive Director of the New York Philharmonic


Robi Damelin and Ali Abu-Awwad of the Parents Circle- Families Forum

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Patti Quigley of Beyond the 11th, Charlayne Hunter- Gault and Susan Retik of Beyond the 11th

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Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill


Salman Ahmad and Saleem Mohammad of Junoon

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Salman Ahmad of Junoon


Ali Abu-Awwad and Robi Damelin of the Parents Circle-Families Forum

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Jauhar Abraham and Ron Moten of Peaceoholics


Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Caroline Davis, Assistant Deputy Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

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Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, John Marks, President and Founder of SFCG, and Ron Moten of Peaceoholics


Search for Common Ground (Washington DC)
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