Letter to the Editor: Aurora Prize Winner Should Have Spoken About Armenian Genocide in Turkey

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Letter to the Editor

Aurora Prize Winner Should Have Spoken About Armenian Genocide in Turkey

June 2016

Armenian Mirror-Spectator

AMS Editor's Note: The following letter by Lucine Kasbarian is addressed to Marguerite Barankitse, the inaugural winner of the Aurora Prize in Armenia. Shortly after winning the honor, she attended the World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey.

Disappointed in Aurora Award Winner

June 2016


Keghart Editor's Note: Lucine Kasbarian, New Jersey-based writer and cartoonist, sent the below letter to Aurora Award-winning Marguerite Barankitse on May 26. As of publishing date, Kasbarian hasn't received a reply. The Aurora Award is the brainchild of Vartan Gregoryan, Noubar Afeyan, and Ruben Vardanian. Barankitse was awarded for her humanitarian aid during the civil war in Burundi.

Dear Madame Barankitse:

I was so pleased to learn that you had deservedly received the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, an award given to humanitarians in memory of the Armenian Genocide. Congratulations!

Your tremendous work on behalf of children and their inalienable rights -- regardless of their ethnic or religious backgrounds -- is very moving and inspiring!

I was extremely touched to see photos of you posing in front of Mount Ararat. As you know, it is the symbol of Armenia to all Armenians, even as it sits beyond Armenia's present borders.

From viewing the U.N. session at the recent World Humanitarian Summit as well as reading press reports, I learned that you did not mention the Armenian Genocide in your remarks there.

One would think that you would have taken the opportunity to "Awaken Humanity" about the still unpunished Armenian Genocide by discussing it while at a conference which, coincidentally, took place in Turkey, the perpetrating state that, to this day, continues to enjoy the fruits of that genocide and persecutes its remaining indigenous Armenians.

Mentioning the Armenian Genocide would have sent a very strong message and been an appropriate way to acknowledge your benefactors and the Armenian people who, after 100 years, still await justice for the planned elimination of their ancestors and confiscation of their indigenous homeland.

I am filled with disappointment.

Sincerely yours,

Lucine Kasbarian