Following the tradition, on April 24, 2021, the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, Aurora revealed the Aurora Humanitarians of the year, whose names were inscribed in the Chronicles of Aurora, a unique 21st century manuscript containing the depictions of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative activities, featuring the stories of the Aurora Humanitarians and Laureates, and reflecting the Aurora Prize impact. Later this year, the name of the 2021 Aurora Prize Laureate will be added to the manuscript as well.
A special ceremony took place at the Matenadaran, the national repository of ancient manuscripts, located in Yerevan, Armenia. Among around 23 000 ancient manuscripts preserved, studied and restored in Matenadaran, the Chronicles of Aurora is the only one that was created in the 21st century and crafted according to the ancient Armenian traditions by using only natural materials, as it has been done for centuries.
“This is like creating a new history. When we just presented the manuscript, it seemed to be about modern days, but time passes, and with every year, this becomes history. There is no doubt that the value of this manuscript will only increase with time,” said Vahan Ter-Ghevondyan, Director of the Matenadaran.
“The generational change is symbolic of this unique manuscript and the whole ceremony. And this should remain continuous, manifesting as proof of a prosperous life and not just survival of a nation or a family. Once the connection between generations is interrupted, anything can happen to us,” noted Marine Ales, Chair of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Creative Council.
The Chronicles of Aurora was first presented on April 24, 2018, opening a new page in the written story of universal human values. Three years later, the Matenadaran ceremony was held without Co-Founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative and Aurora Prize Selection Committee member Vartan Gregorian for the first time, as he has recently passed away.
“I was honored to be part of the Aurora Humanitarians’ selection process together with Vartan Gregorian. He studied every nomination very carefully and would always repeat, that everyone deserves to be called an Aurora Humanitarian and deserves the Prize,” recalled Lord Ara Darzi, Chair of the Aurora Prize Selection Committee.
“Today is a historic day for all of us, as the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative transforms the tragic experience with its mission and vision of Gratitude in Action, honoring those who save lives today, like all the humanitarians that saved Armenians a century ago. Today, for the first time, Vartan Gregorian, a friend of ours and Co-Founder of the Aurora, is not present with us. Unfortunately, we have to inscribe this loss in the Chronicles of Aurora, too,” said Ruben Vardanyan, lamenting the loss of the great scholar and philanthropist and an outstanding Armenian-American humanitarian Vartan Gregorian.
The Chronicles of Aurora will be on display and accessible to the public only for a month, till May 24, 2021, at the Old Printed Books’ Hall at the Matenadaran.
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 eight-year commitment (2015 to 2023, in remembrance of the eight years of the Armenian Genocide 1915-1923) 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 (1934-2021), 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).