LONDON: Lebanese news presenter Nabila Awad has refused to receive an award from the minister of culture in objection to his political stances and ministerial decisions.
Awad, who works for the Lebanese channel MTV, was offered an award from Ard Almobdein (Land of Creatives) Association for her achievements in the media sector, Annahar newspaper reported on Thursday.
The association, in cooperation with Lebanon’s culture ministry, annually honors creatives who stand out in their fields during a ceremony at Beirut’s UNESCO Palace.
When the broadcaster learned that she would receive her award from Culture Minister Mohammad Mortada, she declined it.
She told Annahar that while grateful for the recognition, she opposed many of the minister’s decisions, which, in her opinion, have harmed the cultural industries in Lebanon.
Awad added: “I am also known for being against the minister’s political line and stances, as well as his performance in the Ministry of Culture.
“For all these reasons, I refuse to receive the award from the minister of culture. I have explained this to the association’s leaders, and they seemed understanding.
“I am a journalist, and among the foundations of my profession is to defend freedoms. This is what I believe in. Therefore, I refuse to receive any recognition from those who oppose freedoms and have harmed the cultural scene in Lebanon.”
Mohammad Mortada, who previously served as the head of Mount Lebanon’s criminal court, was named minister of culture in 2021 by the government of prime minister-designate, Najib Mikati.
Last year, Mortada banned the “Barbie” movie from being screened in Lebanon, saying it “promoted homosexuality” and challenged moral values.