Noubar Afeyan is a business leader, entrepreneur and philanthropist. In 2015, along with other decedents of survivors of the 1915 Armenian genocide, he co-founded the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative. This initiative, as Afeyan explains, seeks to empower modern day survivors of genocide and mass atrocities through a variety of projects. The most high profile of these programs, the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, is a $1 million prize for individuals who are saving lives and promoting humanitarian values in the face of extreme adversity.
Noubar’s own family history and life story is one of survival. He was born in Beirut in the early 1960s, but his family took a circuitous route to get there, escaping the genocide and then subsequent persecution. Much of this history was relayed to him by his great aunt,with whom he lived growing up in Beirut.
This is a very interesting conversation not only about Noubar’s life journey and that of his family, but also how communities remember and honor historic atrocities visited upon them. We discuss his family’s experience during the Armenian genocide and how learning about that experience compelled him to become a philanthropist and civic leader.