celebration and True Family Award Banquet
for Chechen orphans in Azerbaijan
On December 16th 2006 the Universal Peace
Federation in Austria
invited their guests for a Christmas Celebration and the True Family Award
Banquet 2006 organized by the Family Federation. Such a banquet was the first
of its kind in Austria and also Europe, following a 10 year long tradition in
the United States.
The Viennese Peace Choir created a beautiful Christmas
atmosphere through their Christmas songs. An Ambassador for Peace from the
Aramaic Syrian-Orthodox tradition gave an insight how Christians who speak the
original language of Jesus prepare themselves through a special time of fasting
for the birth of the Lord. Then a Catholic lady from the Caribbean Island of
Trinidad convinced the audience that the happy people in her part of the world
know best how to celebrate the joy of Jesus` birth.
UPF Secretary General in Austria
gave a report about the activities of UPF-Austria in 2006. The colourful
Power-Point Presentation demonstrated the variety of programs which had taken
place: A monthly “Jour Fixe” promoting the dialogue
among the different religious traditions, lectures relating to the peace and
the understanding among cultures, 1-day seminars on the “Philosophy of Peace”,
an exchange program inviting Palestinian youths etc., all together more than 30
events also in the cities of Linz and Innsbruck. At
the end he asked for a donation in support for Chechen orphans in Azerbaijan.
1000 Euros were handed over to the representatives of the “European-Chechen
Among the 200 attending guests were the former
Ambassador of Libya to Austria,
the cultural attaché of the Egyptian embassy, the president of Vienna Integrationskonferenz, the head of the Alevitic
Community in Austria and the
president of the Coptic Community in Austria. Dr. Hassan
Mousa, founding director of the “Islamic Academy in Vienna” and now head of the “Al-Azhar”
School in Vienna
was appointed as a new Ambassador for Peace.
The Christmas program was closed by the choir and led
to the True Family Award Banquet. Mr. Josef Gundacker,
the director of Family Forum Austria
gave a PowerPoint presentation, which was a profound explanation of True
Family Values in its relevance to the Austrian society. Its title was: "From
a Culture of Singles towards a Culture of Marriage and Family".
Mag. Maria Neuberger-Schmidt, the director of “Parents-Workshop”
gave an eloquent presentation on the necessity of partnership and parentship training.
After a festive banquet meal, Rev. Dr. Pak, the president
of the European region including Italy,
Switzerland and Austria gave a
short but very inspiring speech about the history and meaning of the “True
Family Award” to the participants.
The couples who received the True Family Award were
Ambassadors for Peace who have exemplary families and some Unificationist
families who have been campaigning for family values since many years.
Rev. Peter Zöhrer, president
of FFWPU–Austria, announced that from now on every year around Christmas time,
the True Family Award Banquet will be held in order to strengthen the families
and family oriented NGOs. “We wish you a merry Christmas” by the Vienna Peace
Choir concluded the program.