The fourth annual Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity was awarded today to Mirza Dinnayi, Co-Founder and Director of Luftbrücke Iraq (Air Bridge Iraq)
Driven by his passion to save lives, the Yazidi activist has found a way to overcome numerous bureaucratic and logistic obstacles to help the most vulnerable members of the Yazidi community during numerous conflicts in Syria and Iraq. He was named the 2019 Aurora Laureate at the Ceremony in Yerevan that was held during the Aurora Forum. The Aurora Prize is granted by the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors.
Tom Catena, Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Chair and 2017 Aurora Prize Laureate, praised the 2019 Aurora Prize Laureate Mirza Dinnayi by saying: “What makes Mirza Dinnayi an outstanding human being is the fact he couldn’t live in good conscience knowing that good people are left behind, that the innocent are suffering. Trying to help others while facing an unspeakable evil can be challenging and frustrating, but he never wavered. I am delighted to congratulate Mirza Dinnayi with being awarded with the Prize and welcome him to the Aurora family.”
As the 2019 Aurora Prize Laureate, Mirza Dinnayi will receive a $1,000,000 grant.
Working on behalf of the Yazidi community, Mirza Dinnayi has dedicated his whole life to saving the victims of the Iraq war, evacuating women and children from territories controlled by ISIS and providing those tortured and violated with rehabilitation and support. It was Dinnayi who brought to Germany the future Sakharov Prize Laureate Lamya Haji Bashar. Today, she is a renowned human rights activist and has one of Aurora’s scholarships named after her.
The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative also honored the contributions of the other two 2019 Aurora Humanitarians who received a $50,000 grant each: Zannah Bukar Mustapha, Director and Founder of Future Prowess Islamic Foundation in Nigeria, and Huda Al-Sarari, Yemeni lawyer and activist.
Founded on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative seeks to empower modern-day saviors to offer life and hope to those in urgent need of basic humanitarian aid anywhere in the world and thus continue the cycle of giving internationally.