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22/01/2009

People to People International's most prestigious award, the Eisenhower Medallion

Aziz & Rami has accepted (on behalf of the PCFF) the People to People International's most prestigious award, the Eisenhower Medallion, during our 18th Worldwide Conference in Cairo, Egypt September 3-8.

  Four wonderful days filled with new experiences begun with distress and anger when Aziz was arrested by the Egyptians the moment he entered Egypt. Aziz was taken away from his wife and family and was put into the Egyptian prison where he stayed for six hours without his phone and the possibility to let anybody know where he was and what was going on. The P2P representatives who came to escort Aziz and his wife to the hotel raised the roof, the minute they found out what happened. The phones started ringing to and from every possible destination, Rami and PCFF's Israeli G.M. Nir Oren, made a huge commotion and eventually the hero was released from his prison cell by a senior Egyptian security officer. The man was embarrassed and at the end of the four days offered, to make up for the anguish, to escort Aziz and Rami personally to the entrance of the plane in his private car 

The next days were rich with excitement and a great honor which Aziz, Rami and the PCFF received. Between one ceremony and another and from one panel to the next, Rami and his wife Nurit, Aziz and his wife Marie, slipped out from the guarded hotel into the streets of Cairo and joined Azizs parents, his sisters who live in Egypt and their families, to eat the Iftar (the evening meal for breaking the daily fast during the month of Ramadan) together . Together they celebrated in streets of Cairo (where Jews have not been for many, many years) with many Egyptians who went out to the streets to celebrate and feast. . .

The Eisenhower Medallion award represents the dream of Dwight D. Eisenhower, People to Peoples International founder; promoting Peace through understanding.  This special recognition is awarded annually to those who have made an exceptional contribution to world peace. PTPI's Eisenhower Medallion Award signifies PTPI's appreciation for the positive impact Parents Circle Families Forum has made worldwide.

The presence of the PCFF became the highlight of the conference according to the conference attendees.  In the award ceremony, Aziz and Rami were asked to come up on stage and say few words. Aziz spoke about reconciliation, compromise and listening to the other. Rami spoke about the PCFF as a bridge and about the obligation to stop children's bloodshed. Marie, Aziz's wife, read a letter which was written by Basam Aramin, the father of Abir Aramin and a close friend of the Elchanan family, for Smadar Elchanan's 11th year memorial. When Marie finished reading there weren't any dry eyes left in the audience. A long line of congratulates waited to shake Aziz and Rami's hands.


The last evening was celebrated at a gala dinner. Aziz and Rami were invited to dine with Mary Jean Eisenhower - PTPI President/ Chief Executive Officer and Dwight D. Eisenhower's granddaughter.  Ms. Eisenhower went from one table to the other and asked the attendees what was their highlight of the conference. People mentioned Aziz and Rami's presence and the PCFF as a unique and moving organization which is important to help to and promote.

The notable recipients of the Eisenhower Medallion award include (among others): His late Majesty King Hussein of Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (posthumously), the honorable Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (posthumously), Mother Teresa, and President Anwar el Sadat (posthumously).


The PCFF nomination for this award was presented by Board of Director member Ambassador Theodore Britton who heard Rami Elhanan and Aziz Abu Sarah, lecturing last summer.


Read More

Basam's letter
Rami Elchanan - Replacing Pain with Hope
Aziz Abu Sarha - A Conflict Close to Home
Basam Aramin story
P2P







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