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Pilar Rahola

Pilar Rahola
Journalist and Writer

Pilar Rahola is a Catalan journalist, writer, and former politician and Member of Parliament.  Rahola studied Spanish and Catalan Philology at the Universitat de Barcelona. She has published several books in Spanish and Catalan, and she is a columnist at La Vanguardia in Spain; La Nación in Argentina; and Diario de América in the United States. She appears frequently on television and has taken part in several university lectures.

Born in Barcelona in 1958, Rahola comes from a republican and anti-fascist family, and several of her relatives have been politicians or writers: Pere Rahola, minister of the navy of the republic; Frederic Rahola, first Síndic de Greuges (public defender) in the Generalitat de Catalunya; and Carles Rahola, a writer executed by Francoists. Rahola is married and has three children, two of them adopted: one from Barcelona, the other from Siberia.

From 1987 to 1990, Rahola was director of the Catalan publishing house Pòrtic, and as a journalist, she was involved in covering the Eritrean-Ethiopian War, the Balkan Wars, the Gulf War, and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

As a politician, she was the only member of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya in Spanish Congress of Deputies representing Barcelona Province in the 5th and 6th Spanish legislatures from 1993 to 2000, as well as serving as vice-mayor of Barcelona city. She also participated in several committees of investigation, especially those related to political corruption such as the comisión Roldán.

In 1996, Rahola left Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya to join Àngel Colom and Joan Laporta in a new political group, the "Partit per la Independència," but after this failed she decided to concentrate on journalism and writing.

Her areas of interest include women's rights, international human rights, and animal rights. In recent years she has spoken out about what she considers to be the hypocrisy of left wing politicians with regards to Israel and Zionism.

Rahola has received numerous awards for her work, including Doctor honoris causa in Universidad de Artes y Ciencias de la Comunicación de Santiago de Chile, 2004, for her fight in favour of human rights; Premio Javer Olam (2004), given by Jewish Chilean Community for her fight against anti-Semitism; Cicla Price (2005), given for her fight against anti-Semitism; Honour Member of University of Tel Aviv, 2006; Golden Menora Price 2006, with Simone Weil, given by French Bnai Brith; Scopus Award laureate 2007, given by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; APEI Prize for her articles, given by Asociación Profesional Española de Informadores de Prensa, Radio y Televisión; Honoured guest at the AIPAC's Policy Conference, 2008; Senador Angel Pulido, 2009, given by Federación de Comunidades Judías de España; Mass Media Award, 2009, given by American Jewish Committee, for her fight against bias to Human Rights; Daniel Pearl Award, 2010, given by Anti-Defamation League, "for her dedicated commitment to an honest and accountable journalistic code of ethics and for speaking honestly to the public"; and the Morris Abram Human Rights Award, given by UN Watch for her defense of Human Rights, Geneva, 2011.

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