Nobel Prize for Peace for 2009 was awarded to US President Barack Obama. The award was a surprise for not only people in US and rest of the world, but even for Obama himself.

Check the rest of the contenders –

Colombian senator Sen. Piedad Cordoba

For her efforts to find a negotiated solution to the conflict between Government of Colombia and FARC guerrilla group.

Piedad Cordoba

During 2007, Córdoba participated as an official government mediator in the Humanitarian exchange discussions between the Government of Colombia and the FARC guerrilla group, along with Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. After the end of the mediation in November, FARC announced that it would release the hostages Clara Rojas and Consuelo González as a result of Cordóba’s and Chávez’s previous work. Her efforts to find a negotiated solution to the conflict led to her being nominated as one of the contenders for the 2009 Nobel Peace Price.

Córdoba has been judicially denounced for treason under Colombian law after making controversial declarations against the Colombian government and its president during a political event in Mexico in March 2007, a charge which is currently under investigation by the Supreme Court. She will be investigated for relations with the FARC, as part of the farcpolitics scandal.

Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan

For initiating peaceful dialogue between cultures and religions

Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan with Pope

Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan (born October 15, 1966 in Amman, Jordan) is a Jordanian prince, professor of philosophy, and claims to be a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad.

He is the author of the interfaith dialogue manifesto “A Common Word Between Us And You.” That document, initially signed by 138 Muslim scholars and addressed to the leaders of all main Christian churches around the world, marked a fresh approach in interfaith dialogue by stressing two common core principles in Islam and Christianity. As the group says on its website: “Simply put, it is about the Two Golden Commandments: Love of God and Love of Neighbor, and it is an invitation to join hands with Christians on such a basis, for the sake of God and for the sake of world peace and harmony.” In an unusual departure, the document based its argument on quotes from both the Bible and the Koran, opening a new path for the world’s two largest faiths to communicate with each other. (from here)

Sima Samar (Head of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission)

For her work as a women’s rights activist in Afghanistan

Sima Samar

Dr. Sima Samar is the Chairperson of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) and, since 2005, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Sudan.

She obtained her degree in medicine in February 1982 from Kabul University, the first Hazara woman to do so. She practiced medicine at a government hospital in Kabul, but after a few months was forced to flee for her safety to her native Jaghoori, where she provided medical treatment to patients throughout the remote areas of central Afghanistan.

In 1984, the communist regime arrested her husband, and Samar and her young son fled to the safety of nearby Pakistan. She then worked as a doctor at the refugee branch of the Mission Hospital. Distressed by the total lack of health care facilities for Afghan refugee women, she established in 1989 the Shuhada Organization and Shuhada Clinic in Quetta, Pakistan. The Shuhada Organization was dedicated to the provision of health care to Afghan women and girls, training of medical staff and to education. In the following years further branches of the clinic/hospital were opened throughout Afghanistan.

After living in refuge for over a decade, Samar returned to Afghanistan in 2002 to assume a cabinet post in the Afghan Transitional Administration led by Hamid Karzai. In the interim government, she served as Deputy President and then as Minister for Women’s Affairs. She was forced into resignation from her post after she was threatened with death and harassed for questioning conservative Islamic laws, especially sharia law, during an interview in Canada with a Persian-language newspaper. During the 2003 Loya Jirga, several religious conservatives took out an ad in a local newspaper calling Samar the Salman Rushdie of Afghanistan.

She currently heads the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC).

She is one of the 4 main subjects in Sally Armstrong’s 2004 documentary [Daughters of Afghanistan]. In the documentary, Sima Samar’s work as the Minister of Women’s Affairs and her subsequent fall from power is shown.

Dr. Samar publicly refuses to accept that women must be kept in purdah (secluded from the public) and speaks out against the wearing of the burqa (head-to-foot wrap), which was enforced first by the fundamentalist mujahideen and then by the Taliban. She also has drawn attention to the fact that many women in Afghanistan suffer from osteomalacia, a softening of the bones, due to an inadequate diet. Wearing the burqa reduces exposure to sunlight and aggravates the situation for women suffering from osteomalacia.

Quang Do

For his political values and efficient methods of non-violence as the best way of promoting democracy and human rights

Thich Quang Do

Thích Quảng Độ is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, religious leader, and critic of the Vietnamese government. Following the death of Thich Huyen Quang, he is the current Patriarch of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, a currently banned religious body in Vietnam.

In March 1992, after more than ten years of internal exile, Thich Quang Do took it upon himself to return to Saigon. In August 1994, he wrote a 44-page document addressed to Party General-Secretary Do Muoi detailing the persecution against the UBCV since the communists came to power in Vietnam. For writing this document, he was arrested on January 4, 1995.

On August 15, 1995, Thich Quảng Độ and five other monks and laity were trialed by the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City and convicted of “sabotaging government policies and damaging the interests of the state.” The chief evidence was the defendants’ attempt to organize an emergency food convoy to flood victims in the Mekong delta and the distribution of letters written by Thich Huyen Quang, the patriarch of the UBCV, who was under house arrest until his death in 2008. Thich Quảng Độ received a prison term of five years.

He was released from prison on August 30, 1998. Periodically detained and interrogated, he decried human rights abuses in interviews with the foreign media and letters to world leaders. Widely respected internationally, he was nominated for the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize by 200 parliamentarians from the US, Canada, Australia, France and Belgium.

On March 23, 1999, he was detained and interrogated for six hours after travelling to Quang Ngai province to meet with the 80-year old patriarch of the UBCV. He was then forcibly escorted back to Ho Chi Minh City.

In June 2001, authorities formally placed Venerable Thich Quang Do under house arrest after he announced his intention to escort back to Saigon the 82-year old patriarch of the UBCV living under house arrest for the last 19 years. Security police currently maintain a 24-hour cordon around the pagoda of Venerable Thich Quang Do.

In January 2008, the Europe-based magazine A Different View chose Ven. Thích Quảng Độ as one of the 15 Champions of World Democracy. Others in the list include Nelson Mandela, Lech Wałęsa, Corazon Aquino, and Aung San Suu Kyi.

Quảng Độ broke house arrest in July 2008 to stay at the bedside of his colleague, Thích Huyền Quang, who died in house arrest at his monastery.

Malahat Nasibova

For her courageous and unwavering struggle for a free and independent press

Malahat Nasibova

She is an Azerbaijanian journalist and human rights activist. Risking her own safety, she reports on abuse of power, human rights violations and corruption in the isolated autonomous republic Nakhchivan, which is part of Azerbaijan. She was awarded the the Thorolf Rafto Memorial Prize 2009 for her courageous and unwavering struggle for a free and independent press.

Denis Mukwege

For his treatment of women who were gang raped by Congo Militia

Denis Mukwege

Denis Mukwege  is a Congolese gynecologist. Working in Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, where he specializes in the treatment of women who have been gang-raped by Congolese militia, Mukwege has probably become the world’s leading expert on how to repair the internal physical damage caused by gang rape.He has treated 21,000 women during the Congo’s 12-year war, some of them more than once, performing up to 10 surgeries a day during his 18-hour working days. He has described how his patients arrive at the hospital sometimes naked, usually bleeding and leaking urine and faeces from torn vaginas


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