News & Events
- On September 12, 2011, UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassadors Meeting was held at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. H.R.H. Princess Firyal served as President and moderator of the meetings. The topics of discussion focused on education, environment, health, and post-conflict aid. Each ambassador presented a brief presentation of their activities and future plans starting with the First Lady of Azerbaijan, Mrs. Aliyeva. The ambassadors listened to presentations by the head of the different sectors and had a very constructive exchange on planning and future cooperation going forward. Mrs. Bokova concluded the day’s meeting with a message of appreciation for the ambassadors continuous support, and for setting goals for the future.
- As member of the Board, H.R.H Princess Firyal attended the Venetian Heritage Biennale Gala Weekend in Venice, from June 1-4, 2011. The Princess gave the key note speech at the Gala, emphasizing the importance of the Heritage sites in the Venito area (north-eastern, Italy), as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and co-sponsor. Venetian Heritage Inc. is a non-profit organization, part of the UNESCO Private Committees Program. Their mission is to facilitate cultural exchanges between Italy and the world, and safeguard the Venetian cultural heritage in the arts.
- HRH Princess Firyal serves on the International Rescue Committee's Board of Directors, who were featured in the May 23, 2011 Edition of Fortune 500 magazine and voted one of the seven most photogenic boards in the U.S. The article explains the fundamental function of the organization, describing its history as "Founded in 1933 with the encouragement of Albert Einstein, this agency responded to every major humanitarian emergency since World War II." The hard work and the outreach of the IRC earned its place among the most distinguished boards such as Berkshire Hathaway and Procter & Gamble.
- On April 19, 2011, H.R.H. Princess Firyal attended the UNESCO Cultural Evening "Azerbaijan" hosted by Mrs. Mehriban Alieva, Azerbaijan's First Lady and UNESCO goodwill Ambassador. The event was held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris and it marked the 20th anniversary of the restoration of the Independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The evening included an exhibition of unique old and new Azerbaijani rugs and a concert of music and singing by Azerbaijani musicians, followed by a dinner given by First Lady, Mrs. Mehriban Alieva, in honor of the occasion.
- In March of 2011, following the earthquake in Japan, H.R.H. Princess Firyal recorded a Public Service Announcement at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Her message, along with others from UN Goodwill Ambassadors and Messengers of Peace, will be distributed to the evacuation centers and elsewhere through podcasts, radio, the UN YouTube channel, Facebook and other social media. The hope is that these morale boosting messages will reach the citizens of Japan and show support and solidarity in their time of great need.
- In January of 2011, H.R.H. Princess Firyal spent three weeks traveling throughout India. She explored the rich culture and history of the country and many of its unique landmarks, including the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Taj Mahal, Humayun’s Tomb, Qutb Minar, Fatehpur Sikri, and the Khajurraho Group of Monuments. While in Delhi, Princess Firyal visited the UNESCO office and met with Mr. Armoogum Parsuramen (Director and UNESCO Representative to India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka) and members of the New Delhi UNESCO council to discuss their flagship programs, ongoing initiatives and their World Heritage Sites. Princess Firyal encouraged the UNESCO staff to assist and work closely with their governments in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
During her trip, Princess Firyal was inspired to create a program with the UNESCO office in Delhi through which notable Indians from the entertainment and social arenas would adopt and give visibility to historical sites within the country, in addition to being advocates for the maintenance and upkeep of these sites. The Princess also met with T.R.H. Asha Raje and Praggyashree Gaekwad, Princesses of the Royal Family of Baroda, to discuss this endeavor, as well as talks with H.H.Priyadarshini Raje Scindia, the Maharani of Gwalior. The Princess hopes that these ladies and their peers will be pioneers for this new program.
- The 2010 UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors Annual Meeting will be held at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on June 24th. H.R.H. Princess Firyal and Mr. Jean Michel Jarre will serve as moderators of the meetings all day, which includes hosting a discussion between the new Director-General, Ms. Irina Bokova, and UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassadors. This year’s annual meeting will be the first time D.G. Bokova will address UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassadors as a group.
Following the working lunch, Princess Firyal, along with Mr. Jarre, will moderate the Goodwill Ambassadors' discussion on their various activities during the past year. Princess Firyal will conclude the Annual Meeting by attending a celebration dinner hosted by His Excellency Sheikh Ghassan I. Shaker, given in honor of the Director General, Ms. Irina Bokova, UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassadors, and Ms. Zaha Hadid, the newly appointed Artist for Peace.
- On May 13, 2010, H.R.H. Princess Firyal served as a presenter at the third annual Aga Khan Foundation Partnerships In Action Reception in NYC, where she introduced the foundation's CEO, Mirza Jahani. Princess Firyal also presented the film entitled "Milk and Hope" which highlighted the Aga Khan Foundation's Education Dairy and Nutrition Program, a program that has helped over 80,000 children in Tajikistan and Afghanistan, receive a serving of fortified milk daily at school amidst a region emerging from war, poverty, and economic hardship. All proceeds from the benefit went to the Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A., a non-profit international development organization founded by His Highness The Aga Khan.
- The January earthquake in Haiti destroyed nine out of ten schools around Port-au-Prince. It killed hundreds of teachers and student teachers.
UNESCO is working with the Haitian people to get kids back into class, with teachers who can give them the right tools to put their lives back together.
We need your support.
Please give generously.
Haiti’s children are Haiti’s future.
- On November 11, 2009, H.R.H. Princess Firyal attended the 2009 International Rescue Committee Freedom Award Dinner held at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC. The theme for the evening was New Visions, New Voices which focused on exploring the ways in which women and girls are boldly and bravely reimagining their lives and making a better world a reality in the many places where the IRC works worldwide. Tom Brokaw served as the Master of Ceremonies. Two million dollars were raised that evening, plus many pledged more continual support for the IRC.
- On September 23, 2009, H.R.H. Princess Firyal attended the Fourth Important Dinner for Women at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City to discuss the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The evening was hosted by H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, as well as by Wendi Murdoch and Indra Nooyi. The guest speaker for the evening was British First Lady Sarah Brown.
The dinner, which followed workshops and meetings at the United Nations, highlighted the goal of reducing death from childbirth by 75 percent by 2015, which would saves 10 million lives, and with only six years until the deadline, served as a part of the UN’s larger discussions and efforts to reach all of the Millennium targets by 2015.
- On September 8, 2009, H.R.H. Princess Firyal attended the UNESCO International Literacy Day Conference and Private Luncheon hosted by Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura in honour of former First Lady Laura Bush, UNESCO Honorary Ambassador to the UN Literacy Decade. The event took place at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris and focused on putting the spotlight on the empowering role of literacy and its importance for participation, citizenship and social development. Literacy and Empowerment is the theme for the 2009-2010 biennium of the United Nations Literacy Decade.
- On June 10, 2009, H.R.H. Princess Firyal attended the IRC event "StudentRescue: NYC Students Rebuilding Liberia." The IRC sent a group of young people to live in the village of Karnplay, Liberia for ten days. The teens were so moved by the experience that they pledged to help the village by giving it the necessary amenities through a fundraiser in NYC which could provide the people of Karnplay with a better life and hope.
This event took place at the restaurant Butter, spearheaded by Eugenie Iseman and emceed by Uma Thurman. The evening was an astonishing success by the first time philanthropists, young IRC recruits. An auction was held raising funds for the following: support for women survivors centers, the rebuilding of destroyed schools, equipping a school with books and supplies, and the rebuilding of Radio Karn. Princess Firyal has pledged to rebuild an entire destroyed school. The StudentRescue additionally raised $50,000 which they gave to the IRC.
|Actress Uma Thurman (right) introduces Eugenie Iseman (left), 17, the head of StudentRescue, a group that raised $300,000 to help citizens in Liberia. Read more in the Daily News.
- H.R.H. Princess Firyal attended the 2009 Annual Meeting of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on May 14, 2009. Princess Firyal served as moderator of the meetings all day, along with Mr. Cheick Modibo Diarra of Mali. The Princess conducted discussions on the various activities of the colleagues during the past year, and also conducted discussions on UNESCO’s efforts in disaster and conflict areas, humanitarian and early recovery activities, as well as in post conflict, reconciliation, and peace building activities. In addition, Princess Firyal solely adopted the program to help non UNRWA secondary schools in the Gaza region.