Posted by on March 20, 2015 in Blog


Lawrence Wright

Anthony Shadid Award for Excellence in Journalism


“Journalism is a flawed profession, but it has a self-correcting mechanism. The rule of journalism is: talk to everybody.”  Lawrence Wright applied this philosophy while writing “The Looming Tower: al-Qaeda and the road to 9/11,” by interviewing 600 people and challenging the typical discourse surrounding the 9/11 terrorist attack. His unique style of reporting and seamless story-telling provided a captivating historical narrative that focused on the relationships and profiles of the individuals who perpetrated the attacks on 9/11, as well as the counterterrorism professionals who pursued them.  

We created the Anthony Shadid award in 2012 with Anthony Shadid's widow, Nada Bakri, as a way of honoring journalists whose coverage of the Arab world or the Arab American community has had groundbreaking impact. It is for his commitment to humanizing and demystifying the Middle East’s most complex people and conflicts that we celebrate Lawrence Wright with the Anthony Shadid Award for Excellence in Journalism at this year’s 2015 Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala, on April 29 in Washington, DC.

Mr. Wright launched his renowned journalism career in 1971 at the Race Relations Reporter in Nashville, Tennessee where he covered the civil rights movement and provided perspective into ethnic politics and ongoing racial tensions that plagued the United States. He has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1992 where he wrote many award-winning articles for the acclaimed weekly magazineIn 2007, Lawrence won the Pulitzer Prize for “The Looming Tower: al-Qaeda and the road to 9/11,” which  provided unparalleled research and broadened the understanding of the context in which the attacks of September 11th occurred. Mr. Wright has worked with different mediums to deliver his critical insight on the human cost of conflict, complex political landscapes and civil rights. He transformed “The Looming Tower” into an HBO documentary called "My Trip to Al-Qaeda," and has written multiple plays exploring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

Across his long career, Lawrence Wright has brought clarity to complicated issues often clouded in fear or misunderstanding. Through his vast body of work he has provided a critical counter narrative facilitating a more nuanced public perception of the Middle East, advancing US-Arab relations, and advocating for more expansive dialogue. Mr. Wright approaches his work with passion and dedication for furthering the public's understanding of the Middle East and exemplifies the intellectual excellence and bravery that Anthony Shadid embodied.  Lawrence Wright will be with us to celebrate our 17th annual Gibran Gala and I hope you will join us too. Please purchase your ticket today.


17th Annual Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Omni Shoreham Hotel
2550 Calvert Street, NW Washington, D.C.
5:30 Reception | 6:30 Gala