Amideast education hero award
The AMIDEAST Education Hero Award is a celebration of achievement, of nourishing young minds, and of bridging the Lebanese diaspora and their homeland. The award trophy, designed by Lebanese-Armenian designer Vrouyr Joubanian and produced onsite in Beirut, is a testament to the Hero Award and its many pursuits. A sturdy cedar base supports a transparent block that houses pieces of zhourat as they dangle, caught, suspended mid-motion.
The very qualities that have made the cedar tree a point of Lebanese pride for over a millennium—its sturdiness and steadfastness—also make it the perfect anchor for the Education Hero Award. As Gibran Khalil Gibran once wrote of the magnificent Lebanese cedar, “If the tree loses one strong branch it will suffer, but it does not die. It will pour all of its vitality in the next branch, so that it will grow and fill the empty space.” There is no more fit a metaphor for the global Lebanese community’s commitment to support education in the country, ensuring further generations of greatness. The zhourat that softly dances over the hardwood base, meanwhile, signals nourishment of the mind. No suitcase leaving Lebanon would be complete without a bag of zhourat tucked away in a corner—a chance to bring a piece of Lebanon to a faraway place, to attend to the body and to the soul, and to remember the nighttime rituals of home.
Carefully playing with the tension between light and dark, the Education Hero Award trophy brings the material and tactile experiences of Lebanon to its recipients and honors their commitment to education with a piece of home to carry with them forever.