Author Salman Rushdie has been awarded this year’s PEN/Pinter Prize in recognition of his support for freedom of speech and generosity towards other writers, the prize judges said on Friday. The prize, awarded by the British branch of the worldwide writers’ association, is named for the late playwright Harold Pinter, …Read More »
‘Burka Avenger’, a Pakistani children’s cartoon series about a female superhero who dons a burka to tackle a range of issues from discrimination against women to environmental protection, has won a prestigious Peabody Award, the organisation has said. The 13-episode series was launched in Pakistan in August last year and …Read More »
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s sports biopic “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” was the big winner at the so-called ‘Bollywood Oscars’ on Saturday night, taking home five of the top honours including best picture and best director as the Indian International Film Festival (IIFA) came to the US for the first time. Hollywood legends …Read More »
Reuters has been awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for international reporting for the agency’s reporting on the violent persecution of a Muslim minority in Myanmar, the Pulitzer Prize Board at Columbia University announced Monday. The board commended Jason Szep and Andrew R.C. Marshall of Reuters for their “courageous reports” on …Read More »
Infosys, India’s second largest IT outsourcing company, said on Monday it has won a multi-year contract from Sweden’s Volvo Cars to provide application development services for its global operations. Infosys will provide applications to support multiple operations, including marketing and sales, customer service, manufacturing, product development and corporate functions, it …Read More »
A Marathi-language film about the immigrant experience has won the prestigious Cyrstal Bear award for children’s cinema at the Berlin Film Festival. ‘Killa’ (The Fort), directed by Avinash Arun, tells the story of a young Marathi boy and his mother who move to a big city from the countryside in …Read More »
A Sikh guru from Leeds has become just the seventh person to win the £250,000 top prize in the Channel 4 game show ‘Deal or No Deal’. The 54-year-old didn’t flinch until the very end, opening the right box and becoming a quarter millionaire. His remaining four boxes consisted of …Read More »
The southern Indian tourist hotspot of Kerala has won the United Nations prestigious Excellence in Innovation in Tourism for promoting sustainable tourism, the first time the award has been awarded to India. Kerala Tourism, the state’s tourism governing body, was recognized at the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) awards …Read More »
The High Court in London today granted a British man permission to sue India’s Taj Hotels group in Britain for injuries sustained during the Mumbai terror attacks of 2008. Judges dismissed claims by the the company – owned by Tata Group – that the lawsuit should be heard in India …Read More »
A harrowing documentary of a brutal, real-life honour killing, directed by a Pakistani-Norwegian filmmaker has won the Emmy Award for Best International Documentary Film.
"Banaz - A Love Story", by musician-turned-activist Deeyah tells the story of 17-year-old Banaz Mahmod, a Kurdish-British girl who was killed at the behest of her own family after she was found having an affair.
The film has received widespread praise from critics and audiences alike; the International Emmy is the latest high-profile honour bestowed on the film after the Peabody Award and the Royal Television Society Award for Best Current Affairs Documentary 2013.
After her win, an emotional Deeyah - real name Deepika Thathaal - posted on her Facebook page: “An unforgettable and very special moment – as well as feelings of joy there is an overwhelming sadness about Banaz and what she went through in her very short life. I could not help but cry both on and off stage.
I am grateful for my best friend and inspiring brother Adil being there with me and always standing by me through thick and thin.”
Banaz was born in Iraqi Kurdistan in 1985 but raised in South London since the age of 10.
At 17 she was forced into marrying a man ten years her senior and when the marriage turned violent, she filed for a divorce. She had also fallen in love with a young man named Rahmat.
In January 2006 Rahmat reported Banaz missing. Days later her strangled body was found in the garden of a house in Birmingham.
Banaz had feared that she was being constantly followed by members of her Iraqi-Kurdish community and paid five visits to the local police station, at one point, chillingly predicting her own death.
Her father and uncle were both jailed for life in 2007 for their roles in her murder and two cousins were eventually extradited from Iraq and jailed for carrying out her killing.
Oslo-born Deeyah is herself a victim of honour-based abuse and is an outspoken campaigner for women's rights and reportedly took four years to complete her documentary.
Speaking soon after the completion of the film in 2010, Deeyah said one of her intentions was to "uncover some of the ignorance surrounding the idea of ‘honour’ within the British establishment, despite 3000 honour crimes of varying degrees of severity being recorded in the UK in 2010.
Banaz had been failed, not just by her family and her community, but by society at large: a society that did not understand her circumstances and seemed reluctant to engage with her reality."
The documentary is now used by police forces up and down Britain to help educate officers and communities about the scourge of honour killings.
Her activism, however, has been frequently met with hostility from conservative segments within the Pakistani community in Norway: "It is not racism to protest against honour killings. I would rather hurt somebody's feelings than see women die because of our fears", Deeyah is quoted as saying.
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