Dr. Billy Chan, Director of the Center of Excellence for Medical Professional Development and Executive Assistant to the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST), was on hand to welcome the first laureates in Manila last night.
Dr. Chan became Vice-President of the Gusi Peace Prize International in 2014 when Prof. Manson Fok, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at MUST, was awarded a Gusi for his medical philanthropy.
At this year’s Gusi Peace Prize International, Prof. Fok will be sworn it as its President. The Gusi Peace Prize traces its roots through the efforts of Capt. Gemeniano Javier Gusi, a World War II guerilla who fought against Japanese oppression. He later became a politician and human rights champion. Today, the Gusi torch is carried forth by his son the Honorable Barry Gusi and his wife Dr. Evelyn Gusi.
In a spirit of medical peace, Prof. Fok and Dr. Chan are hosting the second Sino-Asia Pacific Medical Forum in Manila from November 21 to 23 and in Macau on November 25, 2016. In a welcoming speech in Manila last night, Dr. Chan said, “We’ve all gathered tonight in the spirit of peace. And tomorrow we have our Asia Pacific forum in the name of health. Since last year, we have developed something attached to the Gusi Foundation together. Our little contribution in health and medicine will address problems in health faced here in Asia.”
Dr. Chan continued, “We are trying our very best to make bridges and a nice and harmonious world. Disease knows no borders. When SARS came to Asia, we all suffered. We now have Zika virus, we have two cases in Hong Kong and Macau. There are many things we can do together to address these challenges.”
Renowned architect Mousallam Sakka Amini of Syria, one of the 2016 Gusi Laureates, spoke about the horrors of war that have wrecked his homeland—with bombs destroying many buildings he personally designed.
Mr. Amini said, “I am very honored to get this prize. This event proves to me that we in humanity, we are all children of god. These kinds of efforts strengthen the relationships between people regardless of their religion or their sectarian or their blood. Events like this improve the relationships. I hope that it will be successful.”
Mr. Amini continued, “As an architect I have also tried to design good houses, good buildings to live in and be happy and feel human in, not to feel like they are machines, so that everyone can live together as human beings. We are humans. We have spirit. We have emotional dimensions.” He added, “I am from Syria, many of you know we have a war now. I hope you can make prayer and make a way to try to stop this crazy war, which has broken by country.”
Putting today’s wars into the context of modernity and the hopes of the 20th Century, poet, culture historian and philosopher Prof. Nicholas Hagger of the United Kingdom, also a 2016 Gusi Laureate, commented, “I want to do what I can to stop wars. There have been a 162 wars since 1945. That’s too many. The structure at present, including the U.N., has been unable to stop those 162 wars in my lifetime.”
Prof. Hagger continued, “War creates refugees. We’ve seen what happens in Syria and elsewhere, and if we can just put a stop to the wars then that will make a huge contribution to alleviating poverty. Because an enormous amount of poverty is caused by people on the run, refugees, from wars….I just hope that war can be abolished.”
Dr. Chan added, “Thankfully, we have the internet to string the global village into an even smaller place. With all this advancement with undersea cables and satellites can really bring people together. I urge each one of you to do your very best, and support this wonderful mission and the Gusi family.”