Garik Israelian: Hawking was someone who tried to experience everything

Photo: Stamus

Yerevan/Mediamax/. The world is mourning renowned British theoretical physicist, cosmologist Stephen Hawking, his loved ones and friends, recalling the episodes from the life of 76-year-old visionary.

Stephen Hawking was friends with Garik Israelian and supported Starmus Festival of Science and Arts that the Armenian scientist founded.

Garik Israelian has told Mediamax that he “lost a good friend, great individual, warrior and visionary. He was a person who inspired modern generation.”

“Stephen Hawking died on March 14, Albert Einstein’s date of birth, at the same age as him. So many coincidences...I understand that I am among the lucky people, who had the opportunity to meet him in person.

We created Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication in 2015. We were happy to have received Hawking’s approval for holding Starmus Festival in his honor. People were asking me how we could pay tribute to a person who was still alive. And I always answered that we should honor people like Hawking while they were with us, so that they could feel our respect and support for them. Today I am very proud of the 3rd edition of Starmus under the theme “Beyond the Horizon – Tribute to Stephen Hawking”. I have never understood why we should wait until great people die and then only start paying tribute to them? Why wouldn’t we do it when they are among us?

I think that Canary Islands (where Starmus festivals were held-Mediamax) were very lucky to have hosted Stephen Hawking for three times. Now we are working on a documentary on those amazing stories.

Stephen Hawking is no longer with us, but his soul is here, with me, participants of Starmus, Brian May, Alexei Leonov. He will always be present. Few people know that Hawking nominated Starmus for Princess of Asturias Award. I still keep Stephen’s letter, it inspires me to move the festival forward.

I will remember Stephen as a person who wanted to live, try and see everything, hear what people had to say (he was observing and listening attentively to what was going on around him). He was a visionary who could get angry and joke with a smile in only a few minutes. This was Stephen, a great friend of mine and Starmus,” Garik Israelian told Mediamax.


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