Δύο ομογενείς τιμούνται με Βραβείο Ειρήνης - Greek text
Human rights advocates, philanthropists and ambassadors of friendship and goodwill from all five continents gathered recently in a country of East Asia to honor individuals who contributed to the cause of world peace in the year that will soon come to a close. A total of 15 personalities received the 2007 Gusi Peace Prize, which Asians consider as their equivalent to the European Nobel Peace Prize.
The Gusi Awards Presentation was held in Manila Philippines, a country comprised of more than seven thousand islands of exquisite natural beauty. Many of the 88 million people who call the Philippines home aspire to turn this unique archipelago into a significant forum for the promotion of the rule of law, the respect of human rights and freedoms as well as the uprooting of poverty from our planet.
The honorable Barry S. Gusi serves as Chairman of the Board at the Foundation that has instituted the coveted Peace Prize in memory of his late father, a legendary humanitarian. In an interview to VOA Ambassador Gusi said: “The Gusi Peace Prize Foundation, based here in Manila, honors every year distinguished people from all over, achievers and peacemakers who are involved in great human endeavors and work to promote peace and all that is best for the world.”
His spouse, Dr. Evelyn Tantamco Gusi, the Foundation’s representative to the world peace organizations, is a medical doctor who devotes a part of her life to providing health care for poor and underprivileged children and adults. We asked her to sum up her philosophy. She responded: “I support my husband in all his endeavors. He works for universal peace. We are all leaders in our own right. As a mother I start by setting a model within our own family. After we build a peaceful and harmonious family we can then extend to the society, of which I am now a civic leader.”
Some of Asia’s and the world’s best musical groups accepted special invitations and came to Manila to perform at the impressive Meralco Theatre in honor of the 2007 Gusi Peace Prize laureates.
The talented young singers and dancers with their energy and colorful costumes helped transform the gala event into a festive and spectacular salute to world peace. A couple of the groups had earlier performed at Nobel Awards ceremonies.
One of the Gusi laureates, University of Oklahoma’s Professor Farland Stanley, who was recognized for his archaeological excavations, suggested that we should always remember these words: “Seek peace in your heart, then you can bring peace to the hearts of others.”
Others honored included Elias Camsik Chin, Vice President of the Republic of Palau, Philanthropist Yu Pang Lin from China, Senator Ney Robinson Suassuna from Brazil and American epidemiologist Peter Schantz, who urged the world to accept that “Health is a human right and the lack of it is a major barrier to further progress in human rights.”
Constantine Michalos, President of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, received a Gusi Peace Prize in recognition for his job creating activities in Greece. Accepting the award he said: “Since my tenure as a Secretary General of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, in 2005, my main duty has been to combat illegal trade in an effort to alleviate the unemployment problem and to ensure fair and competitive practices for all.”
Following another round of world class musical performances two distinguished Philippine ladies, Atty. Persida Acosta and Anti-graft Commission Chair Constancia De Gusman, were awarded the Gusi Peace Prize for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption, respectively. Others honored included Chinese Kung Fu star athlete Thomas Cheng Wei Yu from Hong Kong; Dr. Shigeru Suganami from Japan, President of the Association of Medical Doctors of Asia; and Leutinent Governor Johnson Elmo from the Federated States of Micronesia.
The 2007 Gusi Peace Prize for Broadcast Journalism was awarded to George Bistis, Head of the Voice of America radio and television programs in Greek. He shared it with his VOA colleagues “who daily search for the truth, occasionally risking their lives, in a collective effort to provide an accurate and balanced account of the developments around the world.”
Mr. Bistis dedicated the award “to the Greek-American community that consistently upholds and defends the principles of Hellenism, freedom, democracy and compassion on which the United States has been founded”.
The VOA journalist then paid tribute to several Greek-Americans who have inspired his work over the years, including Archbishop Demetrios, U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe and Paul Sarbanes, Florida Governor Charlie Crist, former Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis and Congressmen Zack Space, Gus Bilirakis and John Sarbanes.
Before the evening was over, three more individuals were awarded the Gusi Peace Prize. They are Dr. Tae-Sup Lee from South Korea, Dr. Thep Phongparnich from Thailand and Senator Heherson Alvarez from the Philippines.
During their stay in Manila, the 2007 laureates participated in a lengthy and substantive discussion on how to promote peace and human rights, which was moderated by Gusi Foundation President and popular television host Manuel Morato. The discussion was carried live as part of Mr. Morato’s “Dial M” weekly television program.
Supreme Master Television carried the 2007 Gusi Peace Prize ceremony to millions of viewers in North and South America, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and Europe.