“Angelika Neuwirth, a winner of the German Order of Merit, is being honored for her commitment as a mediator between Arab and European culture,” was given as the reason. “As head of the internationally networked research project ‘Corpus Coranicum’ Neuwirth and her team are tracing the origins of the Quran, and they wish to make the annotated text available to a wider readership.”
In addition to the Quran and Quranic exegesis, Neuwirth’s research focuses on modern Arabic literature of the Levant, Palestinian poetry, and the literature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Neuwirth studied Arabic studies, Semitic studies, and classical philology in Berlin, Teheran, Göttingen, Jerusalem, and Munich. She completed her doctorate in 1972 and her habilitation in 1977. After holding teaching positions at the universities of Munich and Bamberg, the University of Jordan, and Ayn Shams University in Cairo, she was appointed a professor of Arabic studies at Freie Universität Berlin in 1991. In addition, from 1994 to 1999 Neuwirth was the director of the Oriental Institute of the German Oriental Society in Beirut and Istanbul. Since 2008 she has been a member of Leopoldina, the German National Academy of Sciences. In 2009 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Bamberg.
The Fritz Behrens Foundation is a nonprofit foundation based in Hannover. It was founded in 1923 after the death of the industrialist Fritz Behrens as his testamentary wish. Today it is engaged in the fields of charity, art, science, education, and conservation. Upon receiving donations and bequests, the foundation also contributes its own funds to charitable projects of the donors.