Mario Kaiser is a reporter at large for the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel and lives in Berlin. He studied American Literature, Political Science, and Economics at the University of Bonn, Germany. After graduating from New York University’s Graduate School of Journalism, he lived in New York for seven years as a contributing writer for the German weekly Die Zeit and Geo Magazine. In 2004 he returned to Germany. He is a co-author of the books “The Beslan File” and “Tsunami: Story of a Global Quake”, and a recipient of the Henri Nannen Award, the Axel Springer Award and the German Award for Social Issues Reporting.
The article is the story of a group of illegal Mexican immigrants on their way to New York. Mario Kaiser joined the group for the whole journey, from their village in the south of Mexico, across the border and to New York. The result is a first-hand account of a dangerous odyssey that thousands of Mexicans embark on every day, a journey that has become ever more difficult and dangerous since the sealing of the border after September 11, 2001.
Andrej Dynko is the chief-editor of Nasha Niva weekly, Belarus, since 2000. He is Laureate of the Russian TV-Channel 1 Award “For journalistic courage and professionalism” (Russia, 2006) and “Oxfam Novib / PEN Freedom of Expression Award” (Netherlands, 2006). Born in 1974, he was a teacher at Minsk University and decided to move to journalism as a reaction to freedom of speech violations under the established authoritarian regime. Andrej is Vice-President of the Belarusian PEN-Center in 2002-2004 and a member of the Belarusian Association of Journalists council.
Andrej Dynko was arrested during the protests following the elections in Belarus. He was sentenced to prison allegedly for “hooliganism”. During his time in jail, Dynko wrote a letter reporting the situation in prisons, and managed to pass it to liberty. It informed about human rights abuses trying at the same time to figure out for himself as much as for the outside world the impact of recent events in Belarus. It was afterwards translated into 8 European languages, raising awareness and increasing solidarity with the Belarusian movement for democracy.
Michael Tierney works for the The Herald newspaper, in Glasgow, Scotland, where he has been a staff writer for the past seven years. He is currently Feature Writer of the Year at both the British and Scottish Press Awards. It is the third year in succession he has won the Scottish title. In April he was named joint winner of the prestigious Martha Gellhorn prize.
The article is an investigation into the plight of exploited immigrant workers building a “paradise” for the wealthy in Dubai. Behind the glitter of the Emirate are thousands of poorly paid and discriminated workers from across the Middle East, India, Pakistan and the Far East, exploited on a daily basis while remaining powerless to do anything about their situation. Driven by a desire for self-improvement and to support their families at home these workers are the backbone of Dubai’s multi-billion pound dream.