The student from Rousse will present Bulgaria at an international forum in Israel
“We can change the world!”. This was stated by the laureates of the Fourth Student Literary Competition “Who saves one human life, saves a whole universe” from the platform provided by Center for Jewish-Bulgarian Cooperation “Alef”., The participants, whose works the jury was most impressed by, took part in the competition at the official awarding ceremony at the Puppet Theatre in Bourgas.
This year’s theme of the traditional contest was: “Shimon Peres and his Contribution to the Dimensions of Universal Humanism.” 161 students from 41 settlements in Bulgaria follow the advice of the great politician and peacemaker: “Dream of the big things”. In their essays, they “drew” the real world, which they want to create and extremely complicated the jury’s decision. The jury is formed by Mihaylina Pavlova – Editor-in-Chief of the Hebrew Vests newspaper and journalist at the Bulgarian National Radio, Rumen Leonidov – poet and publisher and Asen Yordanov – Director of the site Bivol.bg. They had the hardest task of reading 165 essays / some of the students had written more than 1 / and distinguished the best among them.
The young authors, distinguished by the jury, whose essays claim that they have big dreams and intend to achieve them, took part on the stage of the Puppet Theatre in Burgas in April 27. The competition continued as an open lesson called “Class for dreams”. The actor Valeriy Elichov entered the role of a teacher, and the audience joined the so-called “External appraisal” -its applause was a sign of approval and a signal to the jury to whom to tilt the prize awards.
Among the audience in the puppet theatre were representatives of local authorities, politicians, businessmen, public figures, teachers and pupils. Maxim Benvenisti, chairman of the Cedaka Foundation at OEB Shalom and Moritz Machihach, Chairman of the Board of Emil Shekerdjiiski Cultural Center Sofia, come from Sofia especially to congratulate the winners. The Embassy of the State of Israel in Bulgaria, the Municipality of Burgas, the Ronald Lauder Foundation, OEB Shalom, BMF Port Bourgas, SK Ltd., Hotel Bulgaria and the Castle “In Love in the Wind” also contributed to the ceremony.
“The pupils have created very profound analyses of the complex personality of a world-wide politician like Shimon Peres. Impressive is the voluminous bibliography they used. But even more impressive is their way of thinking and their value system”, said the chairman of the jury Mihailina Pavlova.
“You are all honoured. And I’m sure you will go ahead because this competition is a wonderful starting point for your dreams”, added Rumen Leonidov.
“In these young people we see a huge chance for Bulgaria. They talk about dreams, think about the real world, based on eternal values. “They have the courage and will to do that”, said Assen Yordanov In the difficulty of choose the best works, the jury awarded more awards than usual.
The Manuil Kasabov’s essay from the Rousse’s school “St. Konstantin – Kiril Philosopher”- was ranked first. He was awarded the grand prize – a trip to Israel and participation in a week-long international seminar for young leaders in Herzliya. Manuel will present Bulgaria at a one-week international forum for young leaders in August this year at the expense of the organizers.
Two second awards of 200 leva and three third prizes of 150 leva were awarded. All honours received books and certificates / full list of winners see below /.
“For four years now, the jury in this figuration, has evaluated the participants in the competition professionally and fairly impartially. Began as a family charity initiative, the literary race today is truly of national significance. Every year the interest in the competition increases. In just 4 years, 400 young people from all over Bulgaria have been thinking and writing on the topics we set. Over 500 other youngsters have been involved in other initiatives of the Alef Center”, said the initiator of the competition and chairman of the Center Alef, Albert Alkalai.
On behalf of OEB “Shalom”, Maxim Benvenisti defined the competition as “the most meaningful competition held in Bulgaria on the topic of Bulgarians and Jews and conveyed greetings to Dr Alexander Oscar, chairman of the organization. A greeting address to the organizers sent the Embassy to Israel, and council Burgas gave a basket of flowers from the name of Mayor Dimitar Nikolov. The participants in the contest proved that they can make their ideals a reality, if they can define the word “goal” as “dream + date”.
Each of their answers or statements was accompanied with wild applause. The audience saw fragments of Lindley’s “Mr. Israel” and excerpts from interviews with inspirer of school essays Shimon Peres. The vocal group of Milena Dobreva – Vesselina, Ina, Stefan and Malomir and Maria Bakardjieva from the choir “Milka Stoeva”, who specially for this day learned the song “Eucalyptus forest”, also took part in the ceremony with their musical performances. The participation in the ceremony will become an indelible memory and an incentive for future creativity for the young artists and guests of Center Alef. The finale of the fourth literary contest gave them the opportunity to participate in a real story. A day after the awards, they visited the Castle “In love with the wind” near Ravadinovo, where with maps and other aids, went in search of treasure. Later in the chapel of the Castle they were included also in the inscription of “History of Slavic- Bulgarian people”.
First place – Manuil Kasabov, Rousse
Second place – Martin Mihalev – Burgas, Vladimir Iliev – Karnobat
Third place – Diana Mihaylova – Montana, Melissa Mehmedali – Chernoochene, Kardzhali, Angelina Alexandrova – Plovdiv
Borislava Pangalova – Sofia
Georgi Minchev – Sofia
Gabriela Mankova – Kardzhali
Alexandra Mileva – Sofia
Nia Stoencheva – Sevlievo
Daria Dimova – Kardzhali
Gergana Ivanova – Bourgas
Marinella Getova – Plovdiv
Vesela Agorasteva – Pomorie
Dorothea Koleva – Encouragement for Research Contribution