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Meet the People Who Were Passed Over for Obama

10:05 AM, Oct 9, 2009 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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Sima Samar, women's rights activist in Afghanistan: "With dogged persistence and at great personal risk, she kept her schools and clinics open in Afghanistan even during the most repressive days of the Taliban regime, whose laws prohibited the education of girls past the age of eight. When the Taliban fell, Samar returned to Kabul and accepted the post of Minister for Women's Affairs."

Ingrid Betancourt: French-Colombian ex-hostage held for six years.

Handicap International and Cluster Munition Coalition: "These organizations are recognized for their consistently serious efforts to clean up cluster bombs, also known as land mines. Innocent civilians are regularly killed worldwide because the unseen bombs explode when stepped upon."

"Hu Jia, a human rights activist and an outspoken critic of the Chinese government, who was sentenced last year to a three-and-a-half-year prison term for 'inciting subversion of state power.'"

"Wei Jingsheng
, who spent 17 years in Chinese prisons for urging reforms of China's communist system. He now lives in the United States."

"Dr. Denis Mukwege: Doctor, founder and head of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. He has dedicated his life to helping Congolese women and girls who are victims of gang rape and brutal sexual violence."

Video of Denis Mukwege:

Update: Flashback to 2007, and you'll find some remarkable people passed over for Al Gore:

Irena Sendlerowa (also known as Irena Sendler): "A Roman Catholic who created a network of rescuers in Poland who smuggled about 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw ghetto in World War II, some of them in coffins." She died in 2008. Read the entire obituary for the extent of her heroism. She smuggled children through underground tunnels, with fake documents, under ambulance floorboards, all at the risk of her own life.

She once said of her work: "Every child saved with my help and the help of all the wonderful secret messengers, who today are no longer living, is the justification of my existence on this earth, and not a title to glory."

In a moment of politically incorrect Nobel dissonance,a Canadian Inuit woman, Sheila Watt-Cloutier, also lost out to Gore despite the fact that she works for the same cause: "to show how climate change is affecting the lives of the Arctic indigenous people."