ArmInfo.The Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity's Selection Committee has named three outstanding 2019 Aurora Humanitarians, recognized for performing acts of exceptional courage and their commitment to saving human life.
The 2019 Aurora Prize Laureate will be announced at a ceremony in Armenia on October 20, 2019. With a $1 million award the Laureate will get an opportunity to continue the cycle of giving and support the organizations that have inspired their work. As the founders of the humanitarian mission Ruben Vardanyan and Noubar Afeyan told at today's meeting with journalists, this year's laureates for the award are:
Mr. Mirza Dinnayi, Co-Founder and Director of Luftbrucke Irak (Airbridge Iraq), a humanitarian organization that flies Yazidi victims from Iraq to Germany for medical treatment. Mirza Dinnayi has helped several hundred women escape from the territories controlled by ISIS, personally taking part in missions to bring them back to safety, and delivered food and water to the Yazidis in isolated areas. Driven by his passion to save lives, he has found a way to overcome numerous bureaucratic and logistic obstacles to help the most vulnerable. Mr. Dinnayi has nominated three organizations that provide educational opportunities to underserved students and disaster relief: Air Bridge Iraq, SEED Foundation and Shai Fund.
Mr. Zannah Bukar Mustapha, lawyer, Director and Founder of Future Prowess Islamic Foundation - a school that provides education to some of the most deprived children in Maiduguri, Nigeria. In October 2016, he secretly traveled to meet with Boko Haram rebels in their Sambisa forest hideout during a media blackout and left with 21 children. Thirteen months later, supported by ICRC, the Swiss government and the Nigerian authorities, he negotiated the additional release of 82 girls. Zannah Bukar Mustapha has nominated three organizations that aim to reduce conflict through strong community effort and good governance: Future Prowess Islamic Foundation, Adab Community Renewal Foundation and Herwa Community Development Initiative.
Ms. Huda Al-Sarari, lawyer and activist. Huda Al-Sarari is a brave and inspiring Yemeni human rights activist, who singlehandedly investigates, exposes and challenges a clandestine network of secret prisons run by foreign governments in Yemen, where thousands of men and boys have faced arbitrary detention. She has amassed incontrovertible evidence of the abuse that takes place within the prisons and succeeded in convincing Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to take up the cause. She has nominated an international organization that defends victims of extreme human rights abuse and two organizations that combat discrimination and promote equality: Reprieve, Equal Rights Trust and Wethaq Foundation for Civil Orientation.
As Noubar Afeyan noted, the commission selected three finalist characters from 719 applications received from 72 countries, and a total of 523 unique candidates were nominated.
In turn, Ruben Vardanyan announced that the winner of the Aurora Award- 2019 will be named at the ceremony to be held in Armenia on October 20, 2019, and a reward of $ 1 million will allow the laureate to continue the relay of good and support organizations that inspired his activities. The Aurora Award Ceremony - 2019 will be held during the first Aurora Forum, a unique weekly conference with a rich program dedicated to the exchange of experience in the field of global social, scientific, technological, educational and humanitarian innovations. The Aurora Forum will be held from 14 to October 21, 2019 in Yerevan, "said Vardanyan, adding that October was not chosen by chance, and guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the warm autumn days, to participate in wine and cinema festivals.
"These are awe-inspiring humanitarians, fighting the good fight for our common humanity. The Aurora Prize acknowledges the immense humanitarian impact that can be made by the persistence and commitment of single individuals and deserves the world's gratitude for the way in which it highlights their achievement and maximizes their capacity. This Prize, like no other, gives these heroes the recognition they deserve and empowers them to continue their work," noted Gareth Evans, Aurora Prize Selection Committee member and President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group.
To clarify the journalists, what is the success of this humanitarian initiative, Vardanyan, in particular, said: "For the first time in history we give to the world, but not demand." According to him, for all the years of the initiative, more than 850 thousand people around the world have received help.
In turn, Noubar Afeyan noted that during the Armenian Genocide, representatives of many countries helped the Armenians, and with this initiative they express gratitude for that help. "It seems to me that we should adhere to the new strategy and resist the past. That is, if the enemy destroyed us then we must save lives, if we died of starvation, now we need to feed those in need, and so on. And this is ours the activity will further raise international awareness of the events of 100 years ago, "he said, adding that everyone whom the humanitarian initiative helped, they know about Armenia and the Genocide, many of them write poems about Armenians, they learn Armenian.
In conclusion, Vardanyan stated that the deliberate devaluation of the term "genocide" is taking place in the world today. "We should not prove to anyone or wait for someone to recognize the Armenian Genocide. We know that it was. Therefore, we should help those who once helped our ancestors to escape. Through my activities, 28 family members touched upon this tragedy. I didn't see my paternal relatives. At one time, 5 to 10% of our brothers and sisters were rescued by representatives of other countries, and now we have to take this baton, "Vardanyan concluded.