Austria: Peace Heroes Awards for UPF Leaders

Prepared by UPF Austria

The Vienna Peace Museum celebrated its 5th Anniversary on June 18, 2019. On this occasion the founder of the museum, Mrs. Liska Blodgett, gave the award of a “Peace Hero” to five outstanding persons, three of them being UPF leaders: Umberto & Marilyn Angelucci and Peter Haider.

At the beginning of the celebration which took place in a meeting room of the Catholic St. Stephen’s parish, close to the Peace Museum, Mrs. Liska Blodgett was given a present of 5 framed photographs taken at last years’ “Peace Starts with Me” event in Vienna Stadthalle, which she happily received, reminding everybody of the peace event in the Stadthalle. The photographer was one of the many UPF Peace Ambassadors who were present on that evening.

After receiving the award, Mr. Umberto Angelucci said in his short speech that in order to work for peace, one has to have a vision. The common vision kept him and his wife going. Secondly, he stated that in order to make peace we need to be active and we need to work together. Often we can’t choose the people who we work with. We need to find a way to bridge differences in opinions and work for a common goal. Thirdly, he couldn’t work for peace without his family. He often promised his wife and children that he would work for a better world, and they motivated him to work even harder for this goal.

The next receiver of the “Peace Hero” award was Mrs. Marilyn Angelucci. She shared some of her experiences of her work for peace which took her to many countries, such as Afghanistan, India, Lebanon and Turkey. What has always been important for her was to serve the people with what they needed. When they moved to India because they couldn’t stay in Afghanistan anymore, they initiated schools for the Afghan refugees living in India, because that was what people asked them to help with.

She concluded that good world will come quicker if we are active and we do something for peace every day.

The next Peace Hero, Mr. Peter Haider, was introduced by Dr. Ali Ahmad, peace activist and part of the Peace Museum team since its beginning in 2014. “I learned from him to become a better person”, Dr. Ahmad stated, and “he is recognized by hundreds of Peace Ambassadors”. He then acknowledged that Mr. Haider supported the Peace Museum since its beginning, always encouraging them to continue their work for peace.

Mr. Peter Haider expressed his gratitude to Mrs. Liska Blodgett for founding the peace Museum. He explained that since 2018 UPF is renting one room in the Peace Museum for smaller regular UPF gatherings, such as the “Africa Initiative”, “Peace through Culture” and YSP (Youth and Students for Peace).

Two more persons received the “peace hero” award, namely Mrs. Anne Synnove Simensen from Norway, who recently published a book “The woman behind the Noble Price” in which she shares her research about Bertha von Suttner’s efforts to convince Alfred Nobel of creating an award for peace.

Mrs. Simensen had walked the streets of Vienna the day before the event, specially the places where Bertha von Suttner used to live, and she was very disappointed that she couldn’t find any sign of this great woman of peace anywhere – no statue, no plaque, something which the city of Vienna still has to catch up on.

The fifth person to receive the Peace Hero’s award was Mr. Abdulrab Habibyar, an artist painter from Afghanistan. Some of his impressive paintings were exhibited at the back of the room.

Musical contributions from Austria, Afghanistan and Romania made the event even more precious.

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