The Hollywood Reporter refers to George Clooney’s upcomng viti to Armenia, where he will present a $1 million humanitarian prize designed to highlight – and help – the cause of people challenging genocide worldwide.
Clooney, who will travel to Armenian capital Yerevan next month to make the award accompanied by his wife, prominent British-Lebanese human rights lawyer, Amal Clooney, is a co-chair of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity. The main prize – which will also give $100,000 to one of four finalists chosen for their courage in saving lives in the face of human hatred – will be awarded to the charity of organization that inspired the struggle against genocide.
Clooney, known for his Not On Our Watch project to eliminate genocide – and a highly publicized visit to Sudan in 2014 – has teamed up with 100 Lives, an initiative set up by Armenian businessmen and philanthropists Vartan Gregorian, Rubebn Vardanyan and Noubar Afeyan to commemorate those who helped Armenians during the Armenian Genocide that began in 1915 and to “continue in their spirit by supporting people and organizations that keep the legacy of gratitude alive.”
Amal Clooney is also separately involved as patron of a scholarship in her name that will each year send one female student from Lebanon to an international baccalaureate program at a college in Armenia.
The Yerevan visit – which includes a global forum on genocide, a visit to Yerevan’s Armenian Genocide Museum and lunch with the Armenian prime minister – concludes with the prize award ceremony on Sunday April 24.
The four finalists for the prize are an orphanage founder in the central African state of Burundi who stood up against a bloodthirsty mob; the only doctor serving 500,000 people in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains; a Pakistani champion for indentured laborers; and a Roman Catholic priest who saved more than 1,000 Muslims from fatal persecution in the Central African Republic.
Clooney will be joined by other members of the prize selection committee that include Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor, Eli Wiesel; former Irish president and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson and former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans.