Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has decided to grant Mr. Volkhard Windfuhr, Chairman of the Foreign Press Association (FPA), the Order of Merit (1st class).
The award will be bestowed by head of Egypt Journalists Syndicate Diaa Rashwan, on behalf of President Sisi in an official ceremony set to be held Monday at foreign correspondents club, in Talaat Harb neighborhood.
Who is Volkhard Windfuhr?
Windfuhr was born in 1937 in Essen, Germany.
He was awarded his secondary certificate in Arabic, and studied oriental languages at Ain Shams University in Cairo, specializing in Farsi, Turkish and Hebrew.
In 1967-1969, Windfuhr served as a librarian at the Deutsches Orient Institut (German Orient Institute) in Beirut.
In 1969, he went back to his native country to work for the German radio station ‘Deutsche Welle’ (which literally means German Wave, but it is usually translated as Voice of Germany), where he was responsible for the Arabic language service.
In 1973, he joined the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel (The Mirror). He returned to the Middle East and opened a Beirut branch of the magazine. In 1976, he transferred the office to Cairo.
In 2002 FPA Chairman received the German Cross of Merit, the highest official award, for “services to furthering German Egyptian friendship.”
Windfuhr has interviewed most heads of states in the Arab World, including former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
He has also interviewed many well-known personalities, including the Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz, as well as a galaxy of religious leaders and scholars.