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Stelios Bi-Communal Awards: Record Number of Applications Received

Stelios Bi-Communal Awards: Record Number of Applications Received

The number of applications received for the 2017 Bi-Communal Awards in Cyprus has hit an all time high. At the close of applications - 424 teams - made up of 848 people from the island, who have applied with a partner from the other community (either Greek-Cypriot or Turkish-Cypriot), could win one of 75 prizes of 10,000 euro in cash from the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation (www.Stelios.org).  This is the 9th consecutive year that the Awards are taking place in Cyprus.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Nicosia at the Filoxenia Conference Centre http://www.fcc.com.cy/   on Friday the 20th October, 2017 at 10am. All 848 applicants will be invited to participate at a special conference and discussion to explore solutions to the Cyprus problem. This year’s ceremony will be designed to give some of the winners “air time” to express their views about the division of the island and how they could see a solution working between the two communities.

Sir Stelios will extend invitations to all political leaders and dignitaries from both communities to attend as a matter of courtesy but the main speakers at the conference to be the winners of the Awards. The discussion will be moderated by professional facilitators. Later the same day the 150 winners (plus partners) will be invited to a buffet dinner reception at the Hotel Merit in Nicosia www.merithotels.com .

Sir Stelios said: “It is now clear to me that the attitude of all Cypriots on the island towards the other community is changing in a positive and favourable direction. This positive change comes despite the recent breakdown of the talks at Crans Montana in Switzerland . Our objective as a charity remains for the last nine years to continue to encourage positive co-operation between the “real people” of the two communities in Cyprus in order to ensure lasting peace on the island. I hope the politicians will follow the attitude of the “real people” in due course…”

Applicant numbers for 2017  is about double the number in 2016 and about  20 times the number that the Awards used to attract  4-5 years ago.

About 30% of the applicants that applied this year have applied in prior years and about 15% have actually won in the past. This is a very encouraging trend as it shows that the cooperation between the two communities has a lasting nature. Also it should be noted that 70% of this year’s applicants are new to the Awards, showing the changing attitude of the “real people” on the island.

When the Awards started nine years ago only business “joint ventures” were eligible for consideration but more recently it has been broadened to include any form of cooperation between the two communities.

For instance, “Art” has now  overtaken “Business” as the leading form of bi-communal cooperation. Another notable fact is that 14 “husband and wife” teams have applied this year, another record for the Awards! They will follow the first such application received in 2015 by  Michalis Michael, a Greek Cypriot man with Şükran Özerdem a Turkish Cypriot woman,  who since then have been blessed with two bi-communal babies of their own and have applied again for the Award for the third year!

Although the actual winners will only be announced on the 20th of October at the event itself, the policy of the judging committee will be to give 50 prizes to new applicants whilst reserving 25 prizes  for past applicants and winners. The awards will aim to have a fair proportion of each of the “Types of Cooperation” represented above. End.

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