Press Release

ADL Honors Journalist, Filmmaker and Human Rights Activist Maziar Bahari with Daniel Pearl Award

New York, NY, November 5, 2018 …  Maziar Bahari, was honored today at ADL’s National Commission Meeting in Houston, TX, with the prestigious ADL Daniel Pearl Award. Bahari, an Iranian-Canadian journalist, filmmaker and human rights activist was honored for his work to educate about the Holocaust and its relevance today, to foster action for democratic values and human rights and promote intergroup understanding.

The ADL Daniel Pearl Award was established by long-time ADL leaders, George and Ruth Moss and their son Richard Moss, following the horrific murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002 at the hands of terrorists in Pakistan in honor of his memory and his commitment through his work to build cultural bridges and promote understanding.

In presenting the award to Bahari, Richard Moss, a childhood friend of Daniel Pearl’s said:

In keeping with Danny’s journalistic mission, we resolved to honor those individuals and organizations who find the courage to cross parochial and cultural divides in order to explain and demystify Jews to Muslims and vice versa.  We particularly wished to honor journalists knowing that, like Danny, they often risk their lives in pursuit of this calling.

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said, “Throughout Maziar’s storied career he has demonstrated the same drive for pursuing the truth, defending freedom and helping people understand each other as did Daniel Pearl.”

In accepting the award, Bahari said: “Over the last three decades I have tried to give a better understanding of the Holocaust and Jewish history to Muslims in Iran and around the world. I’ve been trying to understand Jewish history and culture, and have attempted to present different Jewish narratives in articles and films. I believe this is the only way we can build a safer future for our children and grandchildren. I hope in the future this award can be given to many more Muslims, and ‘technically’ Muslims like me.” 

Born in Iran, Maziar Bahari was on assignment for Newsweek in Tehran in 2009 and was arrested without charge.  His bestselling book about his 118-day imprisonment and torture, Then They Came for Me, was adapted by John Stewart into the film Rosewater.

In 2014 Maziar founded, whose mission is to “empower Iranian citizen journalists by creating a forum in which young Iranians can discuss national and local news, providing training modules and putting Iranian citizen journalists inside the country in touch with professional Iranian journalists.”

He has made two films on the Holocaust: one about the Jewish refugees aboard the St. Louis ship and the second about Iranian diplomat Abdol Hossein Sardari, who saved Jews in occupied France.  Most recently he partnered with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum for the film 82 Names, which tells the story of Mansour Omari, a survivor of torture by the Assad regime in Syria, and his journey to understand the Holocaust. 

Previous recipients of the ADL Daniel Pearl Award, include: The Aladdin Project, a Paris-based organization promoting intercultural understanding between the Muslim world and Jews,  Henrique Cymerman, veteran Middle East correspondent; Pilar Rahola Spanish journalist and former Parliament Member; Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis, founder of Jewish World Watch; Robert Satloff, executive director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy; Jeffrey Goldberg, national correspondent for The Atlantic; and Thomas L. Friedman, columnist for The New York Times.