2016 Andrei Sakharov Prize Awarded to Zafra Lerman, Malta Conferences Foundation

Zafra Margolin Lerman

Citation: “For life-long devotion to the scientific freedom and human rights of scientists throughout the world and for compelling leadership in using science as a bridge to peace in the Middle East.

Zafra is co-author with Morton Hoffman of the article “The Malta Conferences, Frontiers of Science: Research and Education in the Middle East” in this issue.

She also sent us a historic picture:

Lerman Sakharov 1988 photo
Taken in Washington in 1988 by an anonymous photographer during an event organized by the Albert Einstein Peace Prize Foundation. Reprinted with permission

Lerman was a member of the Executive Committee of the Albert Einstein Peace Prize Foundation. She explains the background of the foundation and the circumstances in which the picture was taken: "The foundation worked towards normalization between Egypt and Israel after nothing was happening as a result of the 1979 Peace Treaty. One of our projects was to build an agricultural settlement like a Moshav in Israel, called 'Maryut Agroindustrial complex project; a regional project involving Egypt and Israel.'

Our second activity was to give a peace prize every year in a ceremony in Washington. In 1988, we gave it to Sakharov, which is when the picture was taken. Before the ceremony, I had the opportunity to discuss my human rights activities with him through an interpreter. He suggested that I take a crash course in Russian, which I did before going back to the Soviet Union to continue my work with dissidents."