Salzburg Academy Guest Lecturer Najib Sharifi Recognized as ‘Peace Hero’

Morris-Eck lecturer at Salzburg Academy receives Peace Hero award on Monday July 28

Najib Sharifi got an unexpected call just moments after giving the 2014 Bailey Morris-Eck Lecture at this year’s Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change, a program on comparative journalism and problem solving held 20 July to August 9 at Schloss Leopoldskron.  

To his surprise, he was informed that he had been awarded the title of Peace Hero by the Peace Museum in Vienna, Austria. 

The Award is an initiative of the newly-opened Peace Museum, and is part of the Windows for Peace project that will feature influential figures in window spaces across the city. Sharifi’s achievements will be showcased alongside other Peace Heroes including Vienna’s own Bertha von Suttner, Nelson Mandela, and Mahatma Gandhi.

Windows for Peace is a groundbreaking initiative designed to educate the public through interactive window displays that will illustrate the work of more than 150 Peace Heroes. The project is unprecedented in scale and runs from June 2014 through June 2016.  

A native of Afghanistan, Najib’s career transcends academe and journalism, politics and medicine. He is president of Afghan Journalists Safety Committee and Afghan Voices and has worked for leading news organizations, including The New York Times, BBC, CNN, and National Public Radio.

He has been a frequent commentator on Afghanistan issues on both Afghan and international media and many of his opinion pieces have been featured in global media outlets including South Asia Global Affairs Journal and Foreign Policy.

Najib has also served as senior political officer for the Office of the Special Representative of the European Union for Afghanistan as well as an active medical practitioner. The connecting thread across his career has been work that supports understanding and peaceful development for those divided by belief or group. 

Whilst attending this year’s Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change, which runs from July 20 to August 9, Sharifi delivered the Morris-Eck lecture on conflict-sensitive journalism.

Program Director, Paul Mihailidis praised Sharifi for his contribution to this year's Academy and said that his experience in the field of media change has been invaluable to students.

"I think he is a living example of how using the media and engaging [with] the media can build stories that are rigorous and credible [and] can influence change and how that change can lead to political reform, civic reform, cultural reform and social reform."


Najib Sharifi attended Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change: Civic Voices - Justice, Rights and Social Change which runs July 20 to August 9. For more information and updates from the session, please see the program page: http://www.salzburgglobal.org/go/sac08 and on Twitter with the hashtag #SAC2014