Aayat Alqormozi receives the Student Peace Prize for her strenuously battle for democracy and human rights in Bahrain, according to the leader of the Peace Committee, Jørn Wichne Pedersen.
In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Alqormozi was arrested and imprisoned after she publicly preformed a poem of freedom on the Pearle Square in Manama. The poem criticized the governance to the regime in Bahrain, and demanded that the King, Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, should give equal rights to both Shi´ites and Sunnis. After the poetry reading, Aayat Alqormozi was expelled from the university, mistreated and imprisoned. The strength to fight against oppression and violence – withouth using the same methods – shows an admirable devotion to the road of peace. The committee wrote in their justification; “By raising her voice again, even after being imprisoned, tortured, assaulted, threatened and expelled from her university, Aayat has shown exceptional courage that should inspire students from all over the world.”
The protests in Bahrain is the forgotten Arab Spring. The demonstrators demanded political reform, social justice and respect for human rights. The Shi´ites represents about 70 per cent of the population, but are still discriminated against by the ruling Sunnis elite and the Royal family al-Khalifa, according to Wichne Pedersen. The 23-year-old woman has, through peaceful and non-violent demonstrations, become a symbol for the resistance movement to the regime. She has become a voice for women and students who work for democracy and human rights in Bahrain. Her voice inspires hundreds of young people to make a stand against injustice in her home country.
The Peace Committee has, on behalf of all Norwegian students, decided that the Student Peace Prize 2015 will be awarded Aayat Alqormozi for her non-violent battle for democracy and fundamental human rights in Bahrain. After performing poems at the Pearl Square in Manama, in February and March 2011 – during the prelude of the uprising in Bahrain – Alqormozi became a symbol for the ongoing battle for freedom in the country. However, Aayat´s peaceful protests had some major consequences for her. She was expelled from the university, arrested, imprisoned, tortured and harassed. Despite this, on January 24th 2014, she once again read a poem about injustice at a public gathering. Ten days later, Alqormozi was indicted for “insulting the King, and encouraged to hate the ruling regime.” The strength to fight against oppression and violence – without using the same method – shows, just like the committee wrote in their justification, an admirable devotion to the road of peace, that should inspire students all over the world.