LOS ANGELES, July 1, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On June 29, Prem Rawat was awarded the honorary title of "Citizen of Palermo," Sicily's capital. At a special ceremony at the Villa Niscemi Town Hall, Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando recognized Mr. Rawat as an "Ambassador of Peace," thanking him for his ongoing advocacy work in Sicily and beyond.
"It's an honor for City Council to confer this honor to a man who has fought and engaged with courage and determination in the pursuit of peace and the assertion of rights," said Mr. Orlando, who was joined at the ceremony by approximately 50 other dignitaries.
In May, Mr. Rawat spoke at six events on the Italian island of Sicily, presenting a message of peace to diverse audiences, from presidents and physicians to patients and prisoners. He delivered keynote addresses to thousands of people at the National Convention of the Blood Donors Association, the Medicine for Peace conference, and a "Commitment to Peace" event in Mazara del Vallo, a city that designated him an honorary citizen in 2011. He also visited a prison and an eating disorder treatment center that have been offering The Prem Rawat Foundation's (TPRF) Peace Education Program, a course that aims to help people discover their own inner resources, such as inner strength and choice.
Founded over 2,700 years ago, Palermo is a melting pot of cultures. Due to its strategic location on the Mediterranean Sea, the city has been called "the most conquered city in the world" and has historically been the site of violent political conflicts. In modern times, leaders have tried to cultivate a sense of harmony among residents and neighbors?an effort that Mayor Orlando said is complemented by the work of Mr. Rawat and TPRF, the international humanitarian charity he founded.
"Peace is necessary for the success of welfare and is central to the dignity of a person," said Mr. Orlando. "Palermo is a multicultural city of peace."
Mr. Rawat said he accepted the honorary citizenship as a challenge to redouble his efforts to cultivate a sense of peace among individuals around the globe.
"I take this challenge that I have been presented with, and I hope that my efforts will make a positive difference, not only in Sicily, not only in Italy, but for Europe and the world," he said. "I know that wherever I go and talk about peace, people are usually very skeptical. But we are making a difference. A forest is not started by trees. It's started by seeds. We're sowing the seeds."
About Prem Rawat:
Designated as an "Ambassador of Peace" by numerous leading organizations, Prem Rawat is an international humanitarian who addresses hundreds of thousands of people each year on the topic of personal peace.
About The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF):
The Prem Rawat Foundation is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that strives to address the fundamental human needs of food, water and peace so that people can live with dignity, peace and prosperity.
SOURCE The Prem Rawat Foundation
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