A special ceremony dedicated to the cancellation of a new international postage stamp by HayPost, featuring 2018 Aurora Prize Laureate Kyaw Hla Aung, was held on October 16, 2019, during the inaugural Aurora Forum, in the Kamar Business Center in Yerevan. The new stamp was released in cooperation of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative with Haypost, the National Postal Operator of Armenia, and the Ministry of High-Tech Industry of Armenia. This collaboration started in 2017.
“Every year Aurora discovers people who do their work not expecting any praise or recognition. They put their lives at risk to save others, and yet we rarely know anything about them. They are the real heroes to be recognized and they should be the role models for people across the world. Releasing stamps featuring the Aurora Humanitarians is our way of spreading the word about these outstanding heroes and joining the Gratitude in Action movement,” said Hayk Avagyan, Chief Executive Officer of Haypost CJSC.
The Aurora stamp is also a fundraising stamp issued in 12,000 copies. Attached to the first-class stamp, valued at 350 AMD, is a donation coupon for 150 AMD. HayPost will transfer the 150 AMD donation value to the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, which supports humanitarian projects in 15 countries – from Africa to South America and Near East. The main beneficiaries of Aurora’s projects are children and young people, victims of conflicts and violence and refugees from remote areas of the world.
“I was alone with my community’s issues for decades. Unfortunately, human rights violations and crimes against humanity are still happening in the 21st century, too, in front of the world, and almost nobody says a word to prevent disasters. And now it’s for the first time that me and our people, the Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State, feel strong support from the Aurora side. The stamp with my image is very touching, and it is an important step to tell our story across the world,” noted 2018 Aurora Prize Laureate Kyaw Hla Aung.
After the ceremony its participants got a chance to attend the opening of the temporary exhibition titled “This is My Story: Aurora Mardiganian and Women Stories that Inspire and Empower the World.” The exhibition, held both in the same building and on the adjacent Shahumyan square, showcases the story of the Armenian Genocide survivor Aurora Mardiganian. Mardiganian’s story will be the central one in a larger narrative, describing the extraordinary struggle and humanity of women of different ethnic and confessional backgrounds.
This new Aurora stamp was created by designer Alla Mingalyova, a team member of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative. She has also designed the stamps released by HayPost in the last two years featuring 2016 Aurora Prize Laureate Marguerite Barankitse and 2017 Aurora Prize Laureate and Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Chair Tom Catena.