BARCELONA — On September 25, AGBU and the Associació Cultural Armenia de Barcelona [Armenian Cultural Association of Barcelona] (ACAB) honored writer José Antonio Gurriarán with the AGBU Garbis Papazian Award in Barcelona. The AGBU Garbis Papazian Award was established in 1986 with the goal of recognizing non-Armenian intellectuals who contribute to an increased awareness of Armenian history and culture. Award recipients have included people of various nationalities, including Baroness Caroline Cox of the United Kingdom, Peter Cowe of the United States, Ahmad Nourizadeh of Iran and Yves Ternon of France, among many others.
This year’s recipient, José Antonio Gurriarán, is a journalist and writer who has published numerous books about the Armenian people. His most famous book, La Bomba [The Bomb], is an account of the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) attack he suffered in Madrid in 1980. His book later became the inspiration for the French Armenian film director Robert Guédiguian’s film, Une histoire de fou [Don’t Tell Me the Boy Was Mad]. Other works include Armenios, el genocidio olvidado [Armenians: The Forgotten Genocide], accounts of the children and grandchildren of genocide survivors, along with Lisboa, ciudad inolvidable [Lisbon: An Unforgettable City] and El rey en Estoril [The King in Estoril]. Gurriarán was also the assistant director of the newspaper Pueblo and has worked in television production in Spain and Belgium.
The award ceremony was attended by Avet Adonts, the ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to Spain, who addressed the audience: “It is not a coincidence that Mr. Gurriarán is being awarded the AGBU Garbis Papazian Award this year on the centenary of the Armenian Genocide. In this symbolic year, I think it is the right time to offer kind words to those people and organizations who today, like 100 years ago, often risking their own lives, tried to help, save and offer hope and the possibility of a new life to others. Crimes against humanity, mutual hatred, racism and intolerance are not limited by nationality, religion or justification. It is only with collective effort that it will be possible to have a more peaceful, comfortable, safe and just world,” said Adonts.
The event was co-sponsored by ACAB, an AGBU partner organization, that operates an Armenian Saturday School and cultural center and organizes educational and cultural activities, events and lectures to cultivate a sense of identity and involvement in the relatively young Armenian community of Spain. “It was a special meeting with Gurriarán. His life turned into to a struggle and found a mission when he started to write and speak about Armenians. It is a struggle for justice, reparation and restitution,” said Datev Soulian, the chairman of ACAB.