CAIRO: Prominent Egyptian journalist Salama Ahmed Salama was awarded a badge of honor by the German embassy for his role as a journalist in enhancing Egyptian-German relations.
“Salama is an important intellectual and journalist with very high credibility, said Bernd Erbel, German ambassador in Egypt during the ceremony at the embassy in Zamalek last Monday.
The event was attended by Minister of Communications and Information Technology Tarek Kamel and Minister of Religious Endowments Hamdy Zakzouk.
The German ambassador described Salama as one of the best managing editors and a “professional journalist who meets international professional standards in all the posts he occupied.
Salama, who has been practicing journalism for over 50 years, is currently the head of the editorial board at independent daily Al-Shorouk.
Erbel lauded Salama’s high code of ethics and journalistic integrity that show in his reports about Germany in the Egyptian press.
“Salama writes to make a difference and he never [crossed the line] with neither the people who support his views nor those who disagree with them, the ambassador said.
Erbel further lauded Salama’s credibility, especially when reporting on Germany during times of war.
“Salama has accurately portrayed Germany to the Egyptian community during the Cold War, Erbel said.
In 1964, Salama worked as a correspondent in Germany for Al-Akhbar Al-Youm and Al-Akhbar daily newspapers and later moved to state-run Al-Ahram where he authored a daily column. He retired as managing editor of Al-Ahram a few years ago.
On his part, Salama thanked Germany and the public for the award.
The badge of honor was issued by a decree by the German president two months ago, but was put off due to Salama’s health problems.
Salama expressed his gratitude that the honor came from Germany, “one of the best European countries in freedom of expression.
“Germany is a country I can love as much as I want and criticize as much as I want, like I do with Egypt, he said.
The Journalists’ Syndicate lauded Salama for receiving the badge.
Gamal Fahmy, high board member of the Journalists’ Syndicate, said Salama did not stop reporting on German affairs when he returned to Egypt. “During his work in Al-Ahram newspaper, Salama wrote a series of articles on Germany and the Egyptian-German relationships.
Fahmy added that Salama is a very deserving recipient of the badge.
He refuted allegations that there might be a hidden political agenda, because Salama is “a journalist and not a politician.