Two Beirut-based writers and activists have been awarded the 2006 Pax Christi International Peace Prize for their efforts to promote justice and reconciliation in the Middle East and around the world - reports the Daily Star newspaper in Beirut, Lebanon.
Ogarit Younan and Rami G. Khouri received their awards in Larnaca, Cyprus, in December 2006 from Pax Christi International president Etienne De Jonghe and Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah.
Pax Christi is an international Catholic peace and justice organistaion which works ecumenically across the world to promoe Gospel values.
Younan is founder and head of the Lebanese Association for Civil Rights and a leader among Arab activists for democracy, human rights and non-violent conflict resolution.
Khouri is editor at large of The Daily Star newspaper and director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut.
Michel Sabbah, who used his Christmas message to the churches to call for an end to Israeli occupation in recognised Palestinian territories, said that the two had been honoured for their exemplary efforts to fight injustice and promote understanding and peace through non-violent means.
The Pax Christi international award has been presented annually since 1988. Other recent recipients include late United Nations envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello.
The award received by the two will be an icon for "reconciliation" as symbolized by the famous biblical story of Jacob and Esau.