THE number of applications received for the Sir Stelios Hadji-Ioannou 2017 Bi-Communal Awards in Cyprus has hit a record high, it was announced on Wednesday.
At the close of applications, 424 teams made up of 848 people 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 in cash from the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation (www.Stelios.org).
This is the ninth 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 October 20, 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 is 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 will be the winners of the awards.
“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,” Sir Stelios said. “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…”