Oslo, Oct 05 (AP/UNB) — An Iraqi woman who became a global advocate for victims after being raped and tortured by Islamic State militants and a Congolese surgeon who has treated countless rape victims in his war-torn nation won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for fighting to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.
Dr. Denis Mukwege was in surgery — his second operation of the day — at the hospital that he founded in 1999 in Congo's eastern Bukavu region when the announcement came Friday that he and Nadia Murad had won the prestigious prize. He learned of it because he heard colleagues and patients crying.
"I can see in the faces of many women how they are happy to be recognized. This is really so touching," the 63-year-old gynecological surgeon told the Nobel Prize organization.
"Dr. Mukwege brings smiles and helps repair women from the barbaric acts of men in Congo," said Solange Furaha Lwashiga, a Congolese women's activist.
Murad was one of an estimated 3,000 Yazidi girls and women kidnapped in 2014 by IS militants in Iraq and sold into sex slavery. At 19, she was raped, beaten and tortured before managing to escape after three months. After getting treatment in Germany, she chose to speak to the world about the horrors faced by Yazidi women, regardless of the stigma in her culture surrounding rape.
At 23, she was named the U.N.'s first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.
This year's peace prize announcement comes amid a heightened attention to the sexual abuse of women — in war, in the workplace and in society — that has been highlighted by the "#MeToo" movement.
"We want to send a message that women who constitute half the population in those communities actually are used as weapons and that they need protection, and that the perpetrators have to be prosecuted and held responsible," said Berit Reiss-Andersen, chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
"#MeToo and war crimes is not quite the same thing, but they do, however, have in common that it is important to see the suffering of women," she said.
Many of the women treated by Mukwege were victims of gang rape in the central African nation that has been wracked by conflict for decades. Armed men tried to kill him in 2012, forcing him to temporarily leave the country.
"This particular type of war crime has been more invisible, because the victims have such a stigma and no one is willing to speak up on their behalf," Reiss-Andersen told The Associated Press.
Both honorees are the first from their countries to receive a Nobel Prize and will split the award, which is worth 9 million Swedish kronor ($1.01 million).
After the announcement, mobile phone footage showed a smiling Mukwege jostled by dancing, ululating medical colleagues in scrubs in the hospital's courtyard.
Eastern Congo has seen more than two decades of conflict among armed groups that either sought to unseat presidents or simply grab control of some the central African nation's vast mineral wealth.
"The importance of Dr. Mukwege's enduring, dedicated and selfless efforts in this field cannot be overstated. He has repeatedly condemned impunity for mass rape and criticized the Congolese government and other countries for not doing enough to stop the use of sexual violence against women as a strategy and weapon of war," the Nobel committee said.
Murad's book, "The Last Girl," tells of her captivity, the loss of her family and her eventual escape.
The Yazidis are an ancient religious minority, falsely branded as devil-worshippers by Sunni Muslim extremists. IS, adopting a radical interpretation of ancient Islamic texts, declared that Yazidi women and even young girls could be taken as sex slaves.
Iraqi President Bahram Saleh praised the award for Murad, saying on Twitter that it was an "honor for all Iraqis who fought terrorism and bigotry."
Congo's government congratulated Mukwege while acknowledging that their relations with him have been strained. Government spokesman Lambert Mende told The Associated Press that Mukwege did "remarkable" work, though he claimed the laureate tended to politicize it.
"(Still) we salute that a colleague is recognized," he said.
"I am proud to be Congolese," said the country's top opposition leader, Felix Tshisekedi, in a Twitter post. "Good done for others always ends up being rewarded."
In the United States, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg tweeted a link to the Nobel announcement, commenting that "the timing of this topic is extraordinary as we fight for the end of #ViolenceAgainstWomen."
Last year's Peace Prize winner was the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
In other Nobel prizes this year, the medicine prize went Monday to James Allison of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University, whose discoveries helped cancer doctors fight many advanced-stage tumors and save an "untold" numbers of lives.
Scientists from the United States, Canada and France shared the physics prize Tuesday for revolutionizing the use of lasers in research.
On Wednesday, three researchers who "harnessed the power of evolution" to produce enzymes and antibodies that have led to a new best-selling drug won the Nobel Prize in chemistry.
The winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, honoring Alfred Nobel, the founder of the five Nobel Prizes, will be revealed on Monday.
No Nobel literature prize will be awarded this year due to a sex abuse scandal at the Swedish Academy, which chooses the winner. The academy plans to announce both the 2018 and the 2019 winner next year — although the head of the Nobel Foundation has said the body must fix its tarnished reputation first.
The man at the center of the Swedish Academy scandal, Jean-Claude Arnault, a major cultural figure in Sweden, was sentenced Monday to two years in prison for rape.
Dhaka, Oct 4 (UNB) - A five-day film festival titled 'Dhaka Korean Film Festival 2018' will begin here on October 12.
The opening ceremony of the film festival, to be hosted by South Korean Embassy in Dhaka, will be held at 4pm at Bangladesh National Museum in the city.
South Korean Ambassador-designate in Dhaka Hu Kang-il will attend the opening ceremony which will be followed by the premier of opening film ‘The Admiral’.
This year’s opening film ‘The Admiral’ is the most watched and highest grossing domestic film of all time in Korea.
Including the opening film, four of eight movies presented for this year’s film festival are ranked among 10 highest-grossing films in Korea.
The eight films are - The Admiral (opening film), A Taxi Driver, Train to Busan, Veteran, I Can Speak, Finding Mr. Destiny, Midnight Runners, The King of Jokgu and The Tower.
Genres ranging from comedy and drama to crime and action, the movies well represent Korea’s history, society and culture, said the South Korean Embassy in Dhaka.
The film festival is open to all and is free of charge.
Dhaka, Sept 28 (UNB) – The three-day 7th Asian Tourism Fair-2018 (ATF) began in the city on Friday to promote tourism industry of the country.
Parjatan Bichitra in collaboration with Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation and Bangladesh Tourism Board arranged the fair at International Convention City, Bashundhara (ICCB) as part of celebrating the World Tourism Day 2018.
Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister AKM Shahjahan Kamal inaugurated the fair as the chief guest. The fair will remain open for all from 10am to 8pm till Sunday.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry Muhammad Faruk Khan attended the function as a special guest.
BPC Chairman Akhtaruzzaman Khan Kabir, BTB CEO Jahangir Hossain, Ambassador of the Philippines Vicente Vivencio T Bandello and Ambassador of Indonesia Rina P Soemarno and convener of the Asian Tourism Fair and Editor of Parjatan Bichitra Mohiuddin Helal were also present.
Around 120 stalls of different countries like India, Nepal, China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore apart from Bangladesh are taking part in the fair.
Travel-loving people of Bangladesh are offered to buy many interesting packages to visit home and abroad.
Dhaka, Sept 28 (UNB) - A 10-day long solo art exhibition of artist Proshanta Karmakar Buddha titled 'Peace' began at Gallery Cosmos in the city’s Mohakhali DOHS area on Friday.
French Ambassador to Bangladesh Marie-Annick Bourdin inaugurated the exhibition as the chief guest.
A total of 42 artworks of Proshanta will remain on display at the exhibition from 12pm to 8pm every day until October 7.
Speaking on the occasion, the French envoy said Proshanta is engaged in a quest for peace through art. “And that’s the thing we are always trying to find," she said.
Chairperson of Gulshan Literary Program Foundation Nazneen Azim, Managing Director of Totaltel Engineer Iftikhar Kajol, Adviser of the English Department of Independent University, Bangladesh Dr Niaz Zaman and Gallery Cosmos Director Tehmina Enayet also addressed the inaugural ceremony.
Proshanta said he always dreams of a world devoid of chaos, brutality and hopelessness and he has depicted the hopes and aspirations for peace in his artworks. "I want people to live together amid joy and happiness, not violence," he added.
Proshanta Karmakar Buddha is known for having created his own original style within the modern genre. His paintings have been exhibited in at least 29 solo and 96 group exhibitions, both nationally and internationally.
He is the recipient of several national and international awards, including the 1991 Okamoto Prize by Asian Cultural Center for Unesco in Japan, and the Best in Printmaking award at the 9th National Young Artists’ Exhibition at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in 1990.
Beloit, Sep 26 (AP/UNB) — The Wisconsin museum that holds the record for the world's largest collection of angels is closing.
Joyce Berg, who helped start The Angel Museum 20 years ago with her personal collection, says it is shutting down due to lack of funds, membership, corporate sponsors and volunteers.
Berg and her late husband, Lowell, started collecting in 1976 and now hold the record for 13,165 angels. The museum also has 600 African-American angels donated by Oprah Winfrey.
Berg estimates that at least 180,000 people have made it through the museum in Beloit, which was a former church.
The last day is Saturday. The 87-year-old Berg says the closing is "bittersweet."
She plans to keep some angels but has hired an auction company to sell most of them. She says she hopes the angels can stay together.