Willy Brandt International Prize for Barenboim and honorary award for director Laila Soliman
Ahram Online, Wednesday 26 Oct 2011
Egyptian theatre director Laila Soliman is honoured in Germany for her political work

According to the German News Agency DPA, the Argentine-Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim, has received the Willy Brandt International Prize by the German Social Democratic Party (SPD).

The prize is to honour the memory of SPD German politician Willy Brandt, mayor of West Berlin from 1957 to 1966 and Chancellor of West Germany from 1969 until 1974.

The Egyptian theatre director Laila Soliman has also won a special prize as a tribute for her political activities.

Soliman is the daughter of the late visual artist Hassan Soliman. She has directed many shows including Ghorba (Images of Alienation) and Lessons in Revolting.

During the prize-giving ceremony on Tuesday, Barenboim criticised Israeli policies and stated that Israel needs help, yet should not be submitted to blindly.

Barenboim has established the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in 1999 with the late Palestinian-American scholar Edward W. Said. The orchestra brings together Israeli, Arab and international musicians and has recently played in the Gaza strip and the border between North and South Korea.