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President Pahor held talks with young people and the Nobel Prize Winner, Dr Shirin Ebadi: “You are the face of the future.”

Ljubljana, 17. 4. 2018 | press release

Today, for the fourth consecutive year, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, held a discussion with secondary school students participating in the Faces of the Future (Obrazi prihodnosti) project. This year's meeting was quite exceptional, as the students talked to Dr Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize recipient. The discussion was led by secondary school student Tamara Čuk, who is attending Ljubljana Secondary School for Preschool Education and Gimnazija. Before the discussion, the President met Dr Ebadi at the Golden Salon.

“The most important thing is that young people have their dream,” said the Nobel Peace Prize winner, who shared valuable life experience and wisdom with secondary school students. In her inspiring talk, Dr Ebadi mentioned important social and political topics, mainly topics related to human rights and issues of peace, and she finally also answered the students’ questions. “We must accept and respect our differences,” stressed Dr Ebadi many times, and added that, as individuals, we are exceptional, but when we stand together in our differences, these differences can only enrich us and complement us, so that we may grow and progress as a society. She emphasised that democracy and peace are mainly a state of mind and spirit, as they must come from individuals as the essential building blocks of humanity and community. “We must learn both, while still accepting each other, even if we don’t agree with everything,” she added. Dr Ebadi, who told the students not to be afraid of falling, as this can only be a starting point for growth and success, ended her talk with an important message about respecting human rights – all people are equal and should have equal rights, but we must also ensure that there are equal opportunities everywhere in the world, she said.

In his speech, President Pahor thanked Dr Shirin Ebadi and the secondary school students, who completely filled the Crystal Hall of the Presidential Palace. He stressed that he was glad and honoured to have been able to meet the Nobel Peace Prize Winner, but he was even prouder that young people had the opportunity to listen to her speak. “You are the face of the future,” the President of the Republic of Slovenia told Dr Ebadi in conclusion.

Dr Ebadi visited Slovenia as the guest of honour of the 50th Anniversary of the International Meeting of Writers held by the Slovenian PEN Centre; the President is the honorary patron of the event. As a pioneer on behalf of democracy and human rights, especially the rights of women, children, and refugees, Shirin Ebadi was the first Iranian, and the first Muslim woman, to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.

This year, three hundred and nine (309) secondary school students from thirty-one (31) secondary schools participated in the Faces of the Future project; they prepared written contributions focusing on selected topics concerning the most complex issues of modern society. For the fourth consecutive year, the Faces of the Future project was prepared by the Dnevnik newspaper publishing house.

Predsednik republike v pogovoru z nobelovko Shirin Ebadi, osrednjo gostjo letošnjega 50. mednarodnega srečanja pisateljev
Photo: Daniel Novakovič

Predsednik republike v pogovoru dijakov z nobelovko Shirin Ebadi, osrednjo gostjo letošnjega 50. mednarodnega srečanja pisateljev
Photo: Daniel Novakovič