Aurora “transforms our pain” -


Aurora “transforms our pain”

Photo: Aurora

Yerevan /Mediamax/. Co-Founder of Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Vartan Gregorian said at the news conference following the prize ceremony on May 28 that Aurora Prize was of international, rather than nationalistic nature.

“Armenians throughout the world have invested immense resources since 1950ies on making the history of the Armenian Genocide public. Nevertheless, Aurora Prize attracted more attention on the Armenian Genocide, as an international human rights issue. We always nationalize similar issues, instead of making them international, yet Armenians have always participated in creating human values,” Vartan Gregorian said.


He remarked that there would always be criticizers of the initiative, but “what can they actually propose instead?”


“Ruben and Noubar invested personal resources in creating this prize. They could have spent that money on buying diamonds or wasted them in Armenian casinos. I have never encountered anyone criticizing casinos. There will always be people to say that those resources should have been spent on food. Surely, we could buy some food for two-three months, but that would not solve the problem,” Vartan Gregorian said.


Co-Founder of Aurora Initiative Noubar Afeyan said that the initiative was not so much about the Armenian Genocide, but about people who went through similar ordeals.


“I was discussing with Ruben and Vartan how we could possibly contribute to awakening the feeling of responsibility, gratitude and giving back in the whole world, in particular, among Armenians. The mindset of victimhood, that we had for generations, has overwhelmed us in the fight for justice, taking into consideration the fact that the Armenian Genocide has never been acknowledged by the successors of perpetrators and by major Western powers. We were not able to convert our pain into others gain by passing our example and everything we have learned to those who need it,” he said.


“We are convinced that the success of Aurora Initiative is conditioned by the fact that it is an international, independent, transparent and professional initiative,” Ruber Vardanyan noted.


He said that Aurora Prize is neutral with no dependence on the government. “We do not stand for good or bad side. If someone saves lives, it does not matter which party he/she follows. Marguerite Barankitse does not have a passport, as President of Burundi decided that she was a criminal. Nevertheless, she is a real hero for us,” Ruben Vardanyan said.


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