Aurora to honor the spirit of humanity in Venice
YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 23, ARMENPRESS. The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative has prepared a unique program for the 2021 Aurora Prize Ceremony and accompanying events that will take place in Venice, Italy, on October 8–10, IDeA Foundation said in a statement.
In accordance with the tradition established over the years, every Ceremony features carefully curated cultural impressions honoring the spirit of our shared humanity, and the events in Venice will include some outstanding performances to celebrate modern-day heroes.
On October 9, a “Prayer for Solidarity” will be held in the Church of the Armenian Catholic congregation of Mekhitarists on the San Lazzaro Island, with religious and state leaders and representatives of the international humanitarian community in attendance. The service will be accompanied by live performances.
The 2021 Aurora Prize Ceremony, titled “Reviving Together,” will be hosted by Dalia Atallah, Aurora’s Amal Clooney Scholarship Fellow and UWC Dilijan alumna from Lebanon, and David Ignatius, Associate Editor and Columnist for The Washington Post and long-time friend of Aurora. The title of the event was chosen to reflect the Initiative’s commitment to putting into action the gratitude to those who saved Armenians more than a hundred years ago and helped them revive, as well as to highlight the eternal values of empathy, unity and cooperation that allow us to address the world’s most pressing issues, including the fight against the global pandemic of COVID-19 and its consequences, together.
The Ceremony will feature performances by Aram Ipekdjian and Jivan Gasparyan Jr. playing duduk, a traditional Armenian instrument, as well as by the Hover State Chamber Choir, conducted by Sona Hovhannisyan and famous for its experimental choral performances and promoting the Armenian choral heritage throughout the world.
On behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors, the 2021 Aurora Prize Laureate, whose name is to be announced during the Ceremony, will be honored with a US $1,000,000 award and a unique opportunity to continue the cycle of giving by supporting the organizations that help people in need. The event will culminate in a performance by Maestro Andrea Bocelli, a world-famous Italian opera tenor and philanthropist.
After the Ceremony, according to tradition, the name of the 2021 Aurora Prize Laureate will be added to the Chronicles of Aurora, a unique modern hand-written tome that contains the depictions of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative’s activities. The first manuscript of its kind created using ancient Armenian techniques and materials, it was crafted in 2018 in the Matenadaran, the national repository of ancient manuscripts in Yerevan, Armenia.
In 2021, for the first time since its creation, the Chronicles of Aurora tome will leave the walls of the Matenadaran to be brought to the San Lazzaro Island, one of the world's most prominent centers of Armenian culture, where the first Armenian book was printed in 1512.
The program also includes two Aurora Dialogues events aimed at advancing insightful discussions about some of today’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. The first discussion, titled “Conversation with the 2021 Aurora Humanitarians,” will take place on October 8 and give the humanitarians an opportunity to introduce their work and the causes that motivate them. The second one, “Humanitarian Dimensions of Health Security,” is scheduled for October 10 and dedicated to the lessons learned from COVID-19 and necessary to prevent the future pandemics.
In the meantime, nominations are still open for the 2022 Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity. Until October 31, 2021, any person can submit a nomination for the candidates they believe have overcome great personal challenges to help others.
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About the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative
The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is a foundation that seeks to address on-the-ground humanitarian challenges around the world with the focus on helping the most destitute. Its mission is rooted in the Armenian history as the Initiative was founded on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors and strives to transform this experience into a global movement.
All Aurora’s activities are based on the universal concept of Gratitude in Action. It implies that countless people around the world who have received aid in time of crisis can best express their gratitude by offering similar assistance to someone else. By involving Aurora supporters around the world, this will become a global endeavor that will snowball to expand the circle of saviors and most importantly – the number of those saved.
Addressing urgent humanitarian challenges, the Initiative provides a second chance to those who need it the most. True to its vision – “We believe that even in the darkest times, a brighter future is in the hands of those who are committed to giving others help and hope” – Aurora welcomes all who embrace this philosophy.
This commitment aims to promote action-based philanthropy focused on tangible results. This is achieved through the Initiative’s various programs: Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, Aurora for Artsakh, #AraratChallenge movement, Aurora Dialogues, Aurora Grants, Aurora Community, Aurora Index, and the 100 LIVES Initiative.
The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is the vision of philanthropists Vartan Gregorian, Noubar Afeyan and Ruben Vardanyan who have been joined by thousands of supporters and partners. Aurora’s Chair, Dr. Tom Catena, draws on his experience as a surgeon, veteran, humanitarian and the 2017 Aurora Prize laureate to spread the message of Gratitude in Action to a global audience.
The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is represented by three organizations – the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Foundation, Inc. (New York, USA), the 100 Lives Foundation (Geneva, Switzerland) and the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Charitable Foundation (Yerevan, Armenia).
About the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity
The Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity is a global humanitarian award. Its mission is to recognize and support those who risk their own lives, health or freedom to save the lives, health or freedom of others suffering as a result of violent conflict, atrocity crimes or other major human rights violations. The Aurora Prize Laureate is selected based on the nominee’s demonstration of courage, commitment and impact.
On behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors, an Aurora Prize Laureate is honored with a US $1,000,000 award, which gives the Laureate a unique opportunity to continue the cycle of giving by supporting the organizations that help people in need.
The Aurora Prize Selection Committee is comprised of Nobel Laureates Shirin Ebadi and Leymah Gbowee; former president of Ireland Mary Robinson; human rights activist Hina Jilani; former president of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo; Médecins Sans Frontières Co-founder and former foreign minister of France Bernard Kouchner; journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Dele Olojede, former CEO of Unilever and Co-founder and Chair of IMAGINE Paul Polman; human rights activist and Co-founder of The Sentry John Prendergast and President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York Vartan Gregorian. The Committee is chaired by the Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London Lord Ara Darzi.
World famous peace and human rights activist Benjamin Ferencz and Academy Award-winning actor and humanitarian George Clooney are the Committee’s Honorary Co-Chairs, and its honorary members include two-time President of Costa Rica and Nobel Laureate Oscar Arias; Artistic and General Director of Mariinsky Theatre and Principal Conductor of the Munich Philharmoniker Valery Gergiev and former foreign minister of Australia and President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group Gareth Evans.
We honor the memory of Elie Wiesel (1928-2016), inaugural Selection Committee Co-Chair, President of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity; Nobel Laureate.