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DW veteran Bettina Marx wins Middle East award

The president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, has received the Middle East Award for his commitment to the peace process. DW's longstanding political correspondent, Bettina Marx, won the journalism prize.

The Middle East Award, an initiative of the German government, was given to Martin Schulz for his "persistent engagement" with the crisis in the Middle East and his efforts on behalf of peace and reconciliation in the conflict-marred region. Schulz, a German Social Democrat born near the Netherlands border town of Aachen, has been president of the European Parliament since 2012; he lost out to center-right politician Jean-Claude Juncker in his bid to win the post as European Commission president during the 2014 European elections.

Bettina Marx received the prize in the journalism category. Marx has worked as a correspondent for Deutsche Welle and others since the 1990s - usually with a focus on the Middle East, the German parliament, and the connections between the two. She spent years as a radio and TV correspondent for Israel and Palestine in Tel Aviv, reporting for DW and other state broadcasters like ARD. She published a book in 2009, whose title translates as "Gaza - Reports from a country without hope."

A special prize was given to the German sports club TuS Makkabi Köln for its efforts to support athletes of different nationalities and religions. The Cologne club was first formed with support of a local synagogue, but welcomes players and members of all backgrounds.

The German Initiative for the Middle East (DINO, to use its German acronym) was established in 2006 in the city of Münster. It provides information on the situation in the Middle East and supports peace efforts in the region. Its members include Former President of the Bundestag Rita Süssmuth, the German ambassador to Israel, Rudolf Dressler, and Pastor Mitri Raheb.

shs/msh (epd)