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30.11.2019 Europe

Who won Nobel prizes this year – and last year?

By Susan Owensby - RFI
Who won Nobel prizes this year – and last year?
NOV 30, 2019 EUROPE

This week on The Sound Kitchen, you'll hear the answer to the question about the Nobel prizes. There's “On This Day”, the Sound Kitchen mail bag, listener news, great music – and of course, the new quiz question. Just click on the arrow above and enjoy!

Hello everyone! Welcome to The Sound Kitchen weekly podcast, published every Saturday. You'll hear the winner's names announced and the week's quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you've grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and listen every week.

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This week's quiz: On 12October, the 2019 Nobel Prizes had been announced, and I asked you to send in the names of the people who won the 2019 literature and peace prizes, and the name of the person who won the literature prize for 2018 (it was awarded this year due to some rather serious problems on the literature committee last year). You were also to tell me why the three laureates were chosen.

The answer is: for the Nobel Peace Prize: Abiy Ahmed Ali, “for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.”

Abiy Ahmed Ali is currently the prime minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, a post to which he was elected in 2018.

A former army intelligence officer, since becoming prime minister Abiy has launched a wide programme of political and economic reforms, and worked to broker peace deals in Eritrea, South Sudan, and a transition agreement in the Republic of the Sudan – and of course, the reason for his 2019 Nobel Peace Prize: his work in ending the 20-year post-war territorial stalemate between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Abiy Ahmed Ali is 42 years old.

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature went to the Austrian-born writer Peter Handke “for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience.”

It was a controversial choice, and was received mostly negatively in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Croatia, due to Handke's position on the Yugoslav Wars and his support for Slobodan Milošević.  PEN America also had a negative opinion, expressing "deep regret".

Funny, isn't it? In 2014, Handke called for the Nobel Prize in Literature to be abolished - he called it a "circus", but he did accept the prize, and the prize money. He is 76 years old.

The 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature went to the Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk “for a narrative imagination that with encyclopaedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life.” In 2018 she also won the Man Booker International Prize for her novel Flights; she is particularly noted for the mythical tone of her writing.  Olga Tokarczuk is 57 years old.

The winners are: Muhammad Shamim S - the president of the RFI Golden Eagles Club in Keralam State India, and RFI Listeners Club members Nasyr Muhammad from Katsina State, Nigeria, Arne Timm from Harjumaa, Estonia, and Jayanta Chakrabarty from New Delhi, India. Last but not least: Li Ming from Maanshan City, China.

Congratulations winners!
Listeners, you do know that even if you are NOT a member of an official RFI Club or a member of the general RFI Listeners Club, you can still enter the quizzes and win? So don't be shy! Send in your quiz answers!

Here's the music you heard on this week's program: “Paris, Paris” by Augustin Lara and Georges Tabet, sung by Josephine Baker; “Kasalèfkut Hulu” by Mulatu Astatke, performed by Mulatu Astatke and his ensemble; “The Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov; Piano sonata number 10 in C major, K.330, (allegro moderato) by Mozart, performed by pianist Vladimir Horowitz, and “Mailaika” by Adam Salim, sung by Angelique Kidjo with the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestre conducted by Gast Waltzing.

Do you have a musical request? Send it to [email protected]

This week's question ... You'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 27 January to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 1 February podcast. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Send your answers to:
[email protected]
Susan Owensby
RFI – The Sound Kitchen
80, rue Camille Desmoulins
92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux
By text … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen mobile phone. Dial your country's international access code, or “ + ”, then 33 6 31 12 96 82. Don't forget to include your mailing address in your text – and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

To find out how you can win a special Sound Kitchen prize, click here

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