09, 2020

President Armen Sarkissian congratulated the Aurora Award on its 5th anniversary: the underlying message of Aurora is gratitude and compassion, which comes from Armenia, but in essence it is universal

I convey my congratulations on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the Aurora Humanitarian Award.

The underlying message of Aurora, which relates to gratitude and compassion, and which comes from Armenia, is in its essence universal.

I would like to thank the godfathers of Aurora – Vartan Gregorian, Noubar Afeyan, and Rouben Vardanian who have proved through this humanitarian undertaking that as the French lexicographer Pierre Boiste once said, “One voice of clear conscience is nicer than hundred voices of glory…”

The Aurora Humanitarian Award is bestowed on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide as a token of gratitude to those who saved them. This is gratitude toward a human being regardless of nationality, religion, color of skin, because those who had been saving my compatriots were not thinking at all that those people were of different religion or different nationality.

Aurora testifies to the fact that not only humanity has no borders but also that it recognizes no closed doors. Humanity is able to open doors in the cruelest person and in the cruelest country. That was the mission that Vartan Gregorian, Noubar Afeyan, and Rouben Vardanian had encoded in Aurora. This code is comprehensible in all languages and resonates for all those for whom humanity is a value, for whom compassion is a lifestyle.

Aurora is also a special “business card” representing Armenia and the Armenian nation. It is based on our history, but is aimed into future.

Founders of the Aurora initiative in a sense came from the future, to tell as that just as yesterday, tomorrow too, humanity and compassion will remain the driving force which pushes the human kind forward, which is about the past memories, but is not confined to the past. Because the future is based on the present, as well as on the past. In 2008, the ninety-five year old survivor of the Armenian Genocide, Armenian-American director and author Michael Hakob Hakobian shot his seventieth movie named “When Euphrates Turns Red.” He was born in 1913, in Kharberd but he died thousand miles away from his homeland, in California, US. Michael Hakob Hakobian came to America not at his own will: in 1915 he was saved from Turkish yataghans. Later, as a movie director he received two Emmys for his movie “The Forgotten Genocide”, about the witnesses of the Armenian Genocide, which was the first feature film about Eghern and reflected Hakobian’s hard work of twenty years. In 1979, he established the Foundation of Armenian Movies which is collecting documentaries on the victims of Eghern.

Michael Hakob Hakobian is one of my compatriots who escaped violence and encroachments on human lives and he escaped because of others’ compassion.
Michael Hakob Hakobian was saved from the unspeakable nightmare of the dark because of the aurora, a dawn which followed it. The dawn was compassion, generosity of spirit, and heroism of those people who lend a hand of support and salvation to our compatriots who had miraculously escaped the genocide, those who gave them refuge and shelter, who took care of them.

The world of today needs compassion. The world is populated by people of different nationalities living in a rapidly developing world which is moving ahead with huge technological steps. Along with all that the color of people’s blood remains unchanged, it is the same for all – red.

Let’s keep our will unbending but let’s never make unbending our hearts.



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