The Hebrew Writers Association awarded the Golden Inkwell Word prize to Kadima
MK Akram Hasson in Tel Aviv on Thursday, for his contribution to preserving the
Hasson, who is Druse and served as mayor of Daliat
al-Carmel, is the first non- Jew to receive a prize of this kind.
myself as an Israeli for all intents and purposes,” Hasson said. “Israeli
society must be one family, free from racism or bigotry. We need everyone
to be equal.”
The Hebrew Writers Association in Israel was established in
1921 in Tel Aviv, with Nahum Sokolow as its honorary president. Ahad Ha’am and
Haim Nahman Bialik also served as honorary presidents of the association, which
today represents 450 writers, poets, directors and playwrights.
saw himself as an emissary of the association within the Knesset and worked
tirelessly on its behalf.
“It’s a great honor for me to receive this
prize. It’s a great feeling,” he said.
The Kadima MK worked to promote a
bill on the preservation of the Hebrew language, which includes ensuring that
all signage in Israel is first and foremost in Hebrew. The bill further
stipulates that all speeches that take place overseas be conducted in
“This is our national language,” he said. “How come
representatives from other countries speak in Italian and Spanish, with
simultaneous translation, and we don’t? We don’t need to be embarrassed of our
language. You hear kids today who are putting English words all the time
into their speech. The language is losing its prestige.”
with the help of his aide Marina Naomi Smolyanov (who also received a prize),
managed to prevent the association from closing when bureaucratic problems arose
relating to its budget.
A member of the association commented that Hasson
“carries a torch in his struggle to preserve the purity of the Hebrew language.”
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