National Centennial Committee to Commemorate the Armenian Genocide
Contact: PR Committee (100th Anniversary Commemoration DC)
July 23, 2014
COMMEMORATION OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE CENTENNIAL PLANNED IN THE NATION'S CAPITAL
Leaders of the Armenian Church in the United States have joined to plan a
special remembrance of the Armenian Genocide next year. Commemorating the
passage of 100 years since the start of the first genocide of the 20th
century, a schedule of events including an ecumenical prayer service at the
National Cathedral, a memorial concert, public exhibitions and a Pontifical
Divine Liturgy will take place from May 7 to 10, 2015, in Washington, D.C.
His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians,
and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, will both
journey to the United States to lead and participate in the commemorative
A National Centennial Committee has been formed under the auspices of the
Diocese and the Prelacy to oversee and guide the commemorative activities.
The Committee, chaired by Dr. Noubar Afeyan, Boston-based entrepreneur and
philanthropist, includes leaders from Armenian religious, political, and
civic organizations from across the United States. The Committee includes
Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian
Church of America; Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western
Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America; Archbishop Oshagan
Choloyan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of
America; Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate of the Western Prelacy of
the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, and Archbishop Vicken Aykazian,
Legate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America.
"We are organizing these events in the nation's capital in order to involve
the country's political leaders, raise awareness in the non-Armenian
community, and honor countries and individuals that have helped Armenians
during and after the Genocide," said committee chair Dr. Afeyan. "We are
honored that Catholicos Karekin II and Catholicos Aram I will be among us,
blessing the occasion, as together we stand up for the Armenian presence in
America and in the world," he added.
The National Centennial Committee has met several times and is working
together with Washington D.C.-based sub-committees to plan the various
events and activities. The Committee is working closely with the Central
Commemorative Committees for the United States and Armenia to coordinate the
Armenian Genocide Commemorations List and related articles
Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:48 AM
- MosJan likes this
Posted 18 September 2014 - 10:08 AM
REFLECTING ON THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE, 100 YEARS LATER
Sept 16 2014
Next April will mark the 100th anniversary of one of the great
atrocities of the 20th Century: the genocide of up to a million and
half Armenians by the Ottoman Empire.
Scholars have acknowledged this to be one of the first modern
The beginning of the genocide is considered to be April 24, 1915,
the day 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Istanbul
Men were conscripted or killed. Women, children and elderly went on
the death march toward deserts in Syria.
Kathryn Babyan is a professor and director of the Armenian Studies
Program at the University of Michigan. She says history repeats
itself but never in the same manner, and there are genocides going
on in front of eyes in the present day.
The University of Michigan's Armenian Studies Program is launching
a yearlong series of events reflecting on the Armenian massacre and
how the actions of 100 years ago are being felt in 2014.
The commemoration begins tomorrow. Actor, playwright and novelist
Eric Bogosian will speak about his life as an Armenian American and
- MosJan likes this
Posted 26 December 2014 - 11:44 AM
IT HAS BEGUN
Editorial, 24 December 2014
What will be Ankara's response to the commemorations of the Genocide
of Armenians? Earlier this year several official Turkish spokesmen
announced that the government had allocated a multi-million dollar
budget in an orchestrated campaign to combat the Armenian assertions
re the Ottoman Turkey/Republic of Turkey planned annihilation of
Armenians from 1915 to 1923. The Turkish denialist campaign will
be probably monolithic, unlike the Armenian effort which will be
multi-pronged because of the Armenia and Armenian Diaspora duality,
in addition to the Diaspora's far-flung status.
The Turkish government campaign has begun with soft lobs.
In the past month it has been announced in Turkey that...
A street in the Buykere district of Istanbul will be named after
Turkish-Armenian film actor Nubar Terziyan.
Armenian chef Grigori K. Antinyan was invited to Turkey in a "food for
diplomacy" project where he taught culinary students the mysteries of
Armenian cuisine. Never mind that this sounds like carrying coal to
Coventry since it's universally recognized that every Armenian dish,
sauce, condiment and dessert is of echt Turkish origin.
Mayor Mehmed Sayit Dagoglu of Balu would restore an 800-year-old
Armenian church in that city. Apparently, the church has been finally
pensioned off after years of serving as target for stone-throwing boys.
Etyen Mahcupyan, former editor of "Agos" (2007-2010) and contributor
to "Taraf" daily and pro-government "AK" has been appointed senior
advisor to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. He will work
in the "areas of democracy, government and public relations, and
minorities," according to government sources. It's the first time that
a non-Muslim has been hired for such a position. Mahcupyan promptly
and unsurprisingly denied that his sinecure had anything to do with
the Armenians. Right.
MP Mustafa Balbay announced that the 8-volume "Archival Documents on
the Armenian activities in 1914-1918", which denies the Genocide,
were recently removed from the Turkish General Staff website. But
what's to stop their reinstallation on January 1, 2016?
The Aghtamar Holy Cross Church in Lake Van has been identified as
Armenian by a government-posted sign. For years Turkey has insisted
that the island's name derives from "Akdamar" and a Turkish folk tale.
"Tale" is right, as in fairy tale.
Lo and behold: a tourist billboard in Ani now says King Kakig was
Armenian. But who were the Armenians? A long-disappeared nomadic
Turkic Anatolian tribe?
Ankara returned some real estate to the Armenian Patriarchate in
Istanbul. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a photo-op with a senior
By no means is the above list comprehensive.
Some would argue that these developments have nothing to do with
the centennial of the Genocide and that they are positive signals
and an aspect of Turkish liberalization. Even more optimistic souls
would naively assume that Turkey is edging closer to admitting its
horrendous crime against the Armenian nation. However, the timing and
their volume, in such a short span of time, would indicate otherwise.
A recent statement from Erdogan also underlines that these "happy
news" blips are part of the incipient Turkish campaign. During his
speech at the French Institution of International Relations, Erdogan
chided that Turkey had manifested goodwill and extended its hand in
peace to Armenians, but the Armenians had rejected it. "Despite all
our constructive approach, Armenia and Armenians in Diaspora have
not manifested a reasonable demeanor," Erdogan bleated.
Despite his predictable and ennui-inducing harangue in France,
it's inconceivable that Erdogan would think the above feints would
persuade Armenians to give up their efforts this year, next year or
the year after. However, the fact is Armenians are irrelevant to
the Turkish government strategy. These PR volleys are largely for
the benefit of the mostly ignorant third-party media which would be
eager to consider them as genuine peace-making efforts on Ankara's
part. The Ankara gestures are meant to portray Armenians are obdurate,
vengeful, unrealistic, etc. etc. They are also intended to provide an
"out" to governments which don't recognize the Genocide.
Finally, the most telling proof that the above goodwill gestures are
feints to mislead Armenians is the Turkish government's announcement
(according to the "Pusalhaber" website) that Ankara has established
5,000 overseas Turkish community organizations to strengthen its
lobbying efforts and to combat the Armenian Diaspora. In addition to
helping fund these civil society groups, Turkey has staffed some of
them with foreign ministry officials.
What should be the Diaspora Armenian reaction to Ankara's continued
policy of mythinformation and denialism?
Anger, contempt, and jeering are lazy and don't advance our cause.
Here are some of the steps the Armenian Diaspora must take:
Expose the foreign government's intrusion into the domestic affairs
of the countries where Armenians are citizens.
Intensify and expand efforts to spread the word.
Concentrate on external communication and commemorations rather
than keep them inside Armenian community "walls": Armenians know
what happened; it's the non-Armenians who should be informed and
convinced of the justness of Hye Tadd. A good example of reaching
to the "outside" world is the Toronto Armenian community blood bank
campaign next April. Blood donated from Armenians, in memory of the
Genocide, will be distributed to the Canadian Red Cross.
Time is running out. The Armenian Diaspora should devise ASAP as many
as possible DRAMATIC, NOVEL, and GLOBAL events to draw the attention
of the media and the public to the ONE-HUNDRED YEARS OF LIES.
Unflinching steadfastness, especially when Ankara brings out its big
propaganda guns to promote its Genocide-denying enterprise, is key.
Ankara has the money. We have the truth. Let's deploy the facts in
an effective manner to combat Ankara's expensively-bought untruths.
Posted 03 January 2015 - 01:44 PM
Glendale News Press, CA
Dec 31 2014
Looking Ahead: Ongoing stories may crest in 2015
Changes to the political landscape, Sagebrush negotiations and
remembering the Armenian Genocide will likely make headlines this
The 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide will be commemorated on
April 24, and memorials and vigils are planned throughout the
Southland to remember the 1.5 million Armenians who lost their lives.
Locally, the city of Glendale will hold its annual commemoration event
-- in collaboration with the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee.
The event, featuring guest speakers, is still being planned and could
take place indoors or outdoors, possibly at the desired location for a
proposed genocide museum and memorial.
In November, the Glendale City Council gave the committee permission
to look into the feasibility of constructing such a project on a
parking lot next to the Glendale Civic Auditorium.
Recently, the committee began looking for an architect to design the museum.
Talin Yacoubian, committee co-chair, said it's possible the
commemoration event could be held in conjunction with a groundbreaking
for the memorial monument.
Posted 03 January 2015 - 01:49 PM
Dec 29 2014
Encyclical Letter for the centennial of the Armenian genocide
by Karekine II
Armenian Patriarch Karekin II announces the canonisation on 23 April
of all of Turkey's victims. The next day will become a memorial day
for the nation's "holy martyrs". According to unconfirmed reports,
Pope Francis will celebrate a Mass on 12 April in memory of the
terrible event. AsiaNews publishes below the patriarch's full message.
Etchmiadzin (AsiaNews) - Armenian Orthodox Patriarch Karekin II issued
a solemn encyclical letter to launch a year of official events to
remember the Armenian Genocide
The massacre of 1.5 million Armenians took place in the twilight years
of the Ottoman Empire, first under Sultan Abdul Hamid II, then under
the 'Young Turks' government, and finally under Kemal Ataturk, the
father of the modern Turkish Republic.
Armenians were targeted because they were Christian, educated and
middle-class. In 1915, their schools, churches, and organisations were
especially singled out and forced to shut down. That year, they were
hunted down, killed, raped, forced to endure all kinds of acts of
violence and humiliation. This was followed by deportations into the
desert, mass burials, and the torching of trains carrying fleeing
refugees. Some survivors managed to reach today's Armenia (at the time
under Russian imperial, then Soviet rule), Syria and Lebanon.
The Paris Conference of 1920 recognised the Armenian Genocide. Since
then, at least 20 countries have recognised it, except Turkey, which
continues to claim that the massacres were the consequence of the
fight against pro-independence groups.
In Turkey itself, writers and historians who have published books on
the genocide have been prosecuted. Only last year, then Prime Minister
Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his condolences for the massacre to the
descendants of Armenians.
In his letter, Patriarch Karekin II announces that he will lead a
liturgy on 23 April 23 2015 to proclaim saints all the victims of the
genocide, killed "for faith and for Homeland" and that he will make 24
April a Day of Remembrance for all the "holy martyrs of genocide".
According to unconfirmed reports, Pope Francis Pope will also
celebrate a Mass in St Peter's Square on 12 April 2015 in memory of
the Armenian genocide.
The full text of patriarch's encyclical letter follows below.
"The path of the righteous is as the dawning light that shines brighter
and brighter unto the perfect day."
The centennial of the Armenian Genocide is before us and our souls
resound with a powerful call for justice and truth that will not be
Each day of 2015 is a day of remembrance and devotion for our people,
a spiritual journey to the memorials of our martyrs in the Homeland
and the Diaspora, before which we humbly kneel in prayer with
offerings of incense for the souls of our innocent victims, who abide
in unmarked graves, having accepted death rather than rejecting their
faith and nation. Indeed, "the path of the righteous is as the dawning
light that shines brighter and brighter unto the perfect day."
In 1915, and for years following, Ottoman Turkey committed genocide
against our people. In Western Armenia - on our native soil - in the
Armenian homeland and in Armenian communities throughout Turkey, one
and one half million sons and daughters of our nation were subjected
to slaughter, famine and disease, as they were deported and forced to
march to their deaths. Centuries of honest accomplishments and
creativity were swiftly plundered. Thousands of monasteries and
churches were desecrated and destroyed. National institutions and
schools were razed and ruined. Our spiritual and cultural treasures
were uprooted and obliterated. Western Armenia, where for millennia -
from the time of Noah - our people lived, created and built their
history and culture, had been wrested from its native population.
A century ago - when the fragments of the Armenian nation, having lost
their patrimony, were scattered all over the world, and while Eastern
Armenia was waging a life-and-death struggle for survival against
Turkish invaders - it was hard to believe in the future of the
Armenian people. Nevertheless a new dawn came. By the grace of the
Lord, our people rose up from death. On a small, salvaged part of the
homeland, our people re-established statehood, recreated a country out
of the ruins and vestiges, and built a "homeland of light and hope,"
of science, education and culture. The Armenians exiled throughout the
world built homes and hearths, and flourished in countries near and
far, carrying on their traditions and spiritual life. Wherever the
children of our nation lived, they achieved success, earned respect
and trust, and gained recognition for their conscientious work and
their contributions to science, the arts and the common welfare. This
is the history of our people for the last century - a history of
adversity and resurrection. Today, hardships notwithstanding, our
nation strengthens its independent statehood, creates its new life of
freedom, and looks hopefully to the future, embracing national
reawakening, optimism and faith.
Glory to you, O Lord, boundless glory, "Like a shield you protect us
with your good favour." (Psalms 5:12). By placing our hope in You, O
Lord, our people were enlightened and strengthened. Your light kindled
the ingenuity of our spirit. Your might propelled us to our victories.
We created though others destroyed our creations. We continued to live
though others wanted us dead. You, O Lord, willed that our people -
condemned to death by a genocidal plan - should live and rise again,
so that we might raise this just cause before the conscience of
humanity and the law of nations, to free the world of the callous
indifference of Pilate and the criminal denial of Turkey.
For the sake of justice - until the triumph of our cause, we will
continue our struggle without retreat - Church, Nation and State
together. The blood of our innocent martyrs and the suffering of our
people cry out for justice. Our destroyed shrines, the violation of
our national rights, the falsification and distortion of our history
all cry out for justice. Having survived genocide, our people believed
and continue to believe that the multitude of righteous countries,
national and civic organizations, and individuals who have recognized
and condemned the Armenian Genocide will be joined by others who
believe that the affirmation of truth and justice are the prerequisite
and guarantor of a peaceful world free of enmity and violence.
In memory of our one and a half million martyrs of the Genocide, we
express our gratitude to the nations, organizations and individuals
who have had the courage and conviction to recognize and condemn the
Armenian Genocide. We express gratitude to those countries and kind
peoples who accepted the children of our nation as brothers and
sisters. These examples of justice and humanitarianism are luminous
pages in the history of mankind. They shall always be remembered and
appreciated for generations, and benefit the peaceful, secure and
congenial life of the world.
As Pontiff of the Armenians, it is spiritually consoling to announce
to our people that on April 23, 2015, during the Divine Liturgy, our
Holy Church will offer a special service canonizing its sons and
daughters who accepted martyrdom as saints "for faith and for
Homeland", and will proclaim April 24 as the day of remembrance for
the Holy Martyrs of the Genocide.
O, Armenian people, graced from on high - a nation martyred; a nation
resurrected - live boldly, advance surely, with your gaze toward
Ark-bearing Ararat, and with an unwavering heart, keep your hope
great. The Lord's encouragement and message are addressed to you:
"Though you are not mighty, you were faithful to my word and you did
not betray my name... Hold fast what you have so that no one will take
away your crown of victory." (Revelations 3:8-11). Thus, let us stay
on course before God, righteous and true, on the steadfast paths of
faith, which like the morning light dispels the darkness and makes the
horizons of hope visible. Our way is with God; and the life of faith
is our victory. Let us make fruitful the centennial anniversary by
valuing our peoples' 100-year-long path of travails and rebirth, so
that our children, recognizing the heroic will of their grandparents
and parents to live and create, and their commissions undertaken for
the sake of nation and homeland, create the bright day of our native
land and our people dispersed throughout the world. Let us transform
the remembrance of our martyrs into energy and strength in our
spiritual and national life, and before God and all people, illuminate
the path by our righteous course to guide our way toward the
realization of justice and our sacred aspirations.
>From our nation's Christ-built and cherished spiritual centre, before
the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin's Holy Altar of Descent of the Only
Begotten, let us pray to God for peace, safety and the welfare of our
Homeland, our beloved people throughout the world, and especially, for
everlasting light and peace for the innocent souls of the holy martyrs
of genocide. May love and brotherhood, justice and truth reign over
humankind, and may the ways of the righteous radiate, guide and spread
the light until the dawn of a new day brings peace and happiness to
all the world.
May the grace, love and peace of our Lord Jesus the Christ be with you
and with us all. Amen.
*Armenian Orthodox patriarch
Posted 04 January 2015 - 12:09 PM
150 pines will be planted in Bochum ahead of Genocide centennial
YEREVAN. - One hundred and fifty pines will be planted in the city of
Bochum in Germany ahead of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide,
chairman on "The Union of Armenians Academicians of Germany - 1860"
Azat Ordukhanyan said.
"In connection with the150th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of
the Armenian Genocide we want to bring to Armenia 150 pine trees and
plant them in the city of Bochum to create an Armenian park where
different events will be organized," he told reporters on Tuesday.
Ordukhanyan said the international community must be aware of the
Armenian Genocide and the Armenian people through science and books.
Armenia News - NEWS.am
Posted 06 January 2015 - 09:12 AM
K.M. Greg Sarkissian, President, Zoryan Institute
January 5, 2015
It is 2015. Soon, we will start commemorating the centennial of the Armenian Genocide and pay tribute to the memory of some 1.5 million victims of the Young Turk regime of the Ottoman Empire. We will also pay tribute to the memory of those few Turks, Kurds, Arabs and others who risked their own lives to help Armenians escape certain death.
There are several reasons why we should remember especially those courageous Turks who, first and foremost, objected to the mass deportation and murder of their Armenian neighbors by their own government and countrymen. Second, they did not become by-standers, and swayed by religious piety and their respect for human life and dignity saved some of the Armenians, with compassion and care. Third, it gives a more positive basis for Turks and Armenians to look together at 1915 as part of their shared history.
No one knows how many individual acts of courage and humanity occurred during that period of horror and death. One such person, Haji Khalil, a devoted Muslim and a righteous Turk, was my grandfather's business partner. He had promised my grandfather he would care for his family in case of misfortune. When the disaster greater than anything either of them could have imagined struck, my grandfather, Krikor, was hung just for being an Armenian. But Haji Khalil kept his promise. He hid my grandmother, her sister and their seven children in the attic of his house in Urfa for almost a year. He fed and cared for them and saw them to safety to Aleppo. He did this knowing well that whoever saved Armenians could have shared their fate of death and destruction.
Some twenty years ago, in April of 1995, I shared the story of Haji Khalil from the podium at an International conference entitled, "Problems of Genocide" in Yerevan, which the Zoryan Institute had co-sponsored with the Armenian government. I concluded my speech by saying,
I want to extend my hand to the people of Turkey, to ask them to remember that though at one time their state was led by mass murderers, they also had their Haji Khalils, and that it would honor the memory of the latter to acknowledge the overwhelming truth of the Genocide, to express regrets, so that the healing process may begin between our two peoples.
As a result of my speech, one of the scholars participating in the conference, Taner Akçam, approached me with tears in his eyes, hugged me and started telling me things in Turkish that I could not understand. But, I could feel his warmth and his sincerity in trying to tell me that he acknowledged and shared the trauma and the pain that I was experiencing at that moment. The next day we attended a memorial service in Etchmiadzin, the Holy See of Armenian Church. There, I took him by the hand and asked him to join me in lighting two candles, one in memory of my grandfather lit by him, and another, which I lit in memory of Haji Khalil. Then we embraced and promised each other that we would do everything possible to bring our peoples together by preserving the legacy and the memory of that righteous human being, Haji Khalil, and through him, undermine denial and promote truth and justice.
Since that encounter in 1995, Dr. Akçam has written many well respected and influential books and articles, published in several languages, about the Armenian Genocide and the violence perpetrated by the Ottoman Turks. His works demonstrate how the Ottoman Government, led by the Union and Progress Party, inspired by the ideology of pan-Turanism and dreams of imperial expansion, carried out the planned destruction of their own fellow citizens, the entire Armenian population in its ancestral homeland for three millennia.
During the next ten years, from 1995 to 2005, numerous tentative contacts were made between Turks and Armenians. Some on an individual basis, some in academic forums, where research and scholarship was shared and exchanged between Turkish and Armenian scholars. Some, such as the Workshop on Armenian-Turkish Studies or WATS, used virtual communication to facilitate dialogue between Armenians and Turks. Some Turkish scholars visited various research centres, such as the Zoryan Institute and the Armenian Studies Chairs, to learn about the research conducted and/or to view oral history testimonies of the survivors of the Genocide. Some 15 Turkish students have attended the Comparative Genocide Course run by the Zoryan Institute with the University of Toronto some continued their studies to become recognized specialists of the Armenian Genocide.
Some businessmen organized official forums, such as the Turkish Armenian Business Development Council, to promote trade between the two countries, hoping that trade would be the best way to bring these two peoples together. Attempts were made even by the Armenian government a few years ago, through the so called “football diplomacy” for rapprochement with the Turkish government. This was followed by the signing of the as yet unratified "Protocols."
All of these efforts were attempts to bring about a change in the attitudes of these two peoples, who continued to see each other through the prism of the events 1915 as unchanging and monolithic enemies. Unfortunately, more work is needed by both Turkish and Armenian civil societies to raise awareness about the events of 1915, to encourage the Turkish state to change its narrative.
There were strong voices that wanted to reclaim history as a legacy that needed to be recognized, and thus pressed their government to abolish all obstacles to this process. For example, the series of events since 1995, described above, led to the first public conference on Armenian issues which was organized by Turkish academics and intellectuals and took place in Istanbul on May 25, 2005, entitled "Ottoman Armenians during the Decline of the Empire: Issues of Scientific Reasonability and Democracy." Some of the participants at this conference were scholars and intellectuals who were in continuous contact with their Armenian counterparts. The conference was condemned and criticized by the Turkish authorities. Just one day before the conference, then Turkish Justice Minister Cemil Cicek accused those who organized and participated in the conference of treason, calling them traitors to their country, condemning the initiative as a blow to the government's attempts to counter a mounting Armenian campaign to have the killings recognized internationally as genocide. He went as far as stating, "This is a stab in the back to Turkish nation..." As a result, some of these Turkish scholars, intellectuals and media representatives were charged, persecuted and even jailed by Turkish authorities.
Since 2005, the Turkish government has continued its unrelenting denial policy in spite of civil society wanting to know more about their own history. The denial policies of the deep state, continued by the current Turkish government, have led to hatred, discrimination and incitement of violence towards the remaining Armenians in Turkey. This policy culminated in the killing of Hrant Dink, the editor of AGOS newspaper, who had openly challenged the narrative of the government as an obstacle to democracy in Turkey. Hrant Dink's murder by a Turkish ultranationalist impacted not only the Armenian community in Turkey, but also the Kurdish, Yezidi, Alevi and other minorities, who saw the assassination as a major blow to freedom of thought and speech and to their aspiration for cultural and religious freedom.
Those who fear that Turkey will succeed "to neutralize the effect of the Armenian side's preparations for the centennial of the Armenian Genocide," do not sufficiently believe in the power of historical truth. No matter what Turkey does through its policy of denial, it cannot avoid the facts of history. Fear of Turkish "penetration" of Armenian society, in the Diaspora and/or in Armenia, concern about causing "domestic disagreements" to "take control of society" reduces Armenians and Armenia to hapless victims rather than aware, independent adults who are able to articulate and defend their national interest.
All denial attempts, whether that be by distorting history or cajoling certain members of Armenian society to cooperate with them, have not helped Turkey in controlling Armenian society. On the contrary, they have only strengthened the resolve of Armenians worldwide to mobilize for acknowledgement and restorative justice because Armenians collectively are fully aware of their history and the profoundly devastating effects of genocide on their nation.
"To speak well of the Turks that saved Armenians" actually helps contextualize and bring home for Turks what the Armenian Genocide was all about. One cannot talk about Turks who saved Armenians without explaining what it is they saved the Armenians from. This can only help promote shared knowledge of history and a past that both societies can talk about to each other, on a common basis of understanding and without any fear of persecution. Hopefully this can lead to dialogue and eventually reconciliation.
We must have hope that the human values, fortified with the knowledge of historical truth, will eventually empower Turkish civil society to demand its government more effectively to embrace the facts of history. Without that, there will be no true democracy and therefore no security for any individual or collective in that country.
Such empowerment is already evident by the fact that currently, two Turkish human rights organizations are partnering with the International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, (A Division of the Zoryan Institute) to jointly submit a brief to the European Court of Human Rights in the Perinçek case – a matter of genocide denial – documenting his discriminatory and racist activities and statements against Armenians in Turkey and Switzerland. Such instances of co-operation strengthen contacts between the two societies and serve as evidence of the power of shared universal human values.
We cannot be oblivious to the changes happening in Turkey. Armenians have a role in helping Turkish society learn and understand the indisputable facts of the Armenian Genocide through education, dialogue and contacts on all levels of Turkish society. This is a critical process in order to emancipate both societies from this problem of enmity, prejudice and hatred.
Posted 06 January 2015 - 09:59 AM
California State University to hot Armenian Genocide Conference
10:15, 05 Jan 2015
The Armenian Studies Program at the California State University,
Northridge (CSUN) on Saturday, January 31, 2015 will host a one-day
conference from 9:30 am-4:30 pm on the theme of "The Armenian
Genocide: Accounting and Accountability." Held at CSUN's Grand Salon,
it will constitute a part of the United Armenian Council of Los
Angeles' Armenian Genocide Centennial events, and will be dedicated to
the generations of 1915 and 2015, Massis Post reports.
The morning session will include two panels. Entitled "Language as a
Victim," the first panel will be moderated by Dr. Hagop Gulludjian and
will feature the following speakers and topics: Dr. Vartan Matiossian,
"Pleading no Context: On Uses and Abuses of the Word Yeghern"; Prof.
Barlow Der Mugrdechian, "Western Armenian Language and Literature in
Exile: Genocide and Its Consequences"; Dr. Shushan Karapetian, "The
Burden of Language as a Moral Obligation."
The second morning panel will deal with "Teaching Genocide," with Dr.
Rubina Peroomian moderating. Dr. Hasmig Baran will talk about "Content
and Pedagogy of Genocide Education in the 21st Century: The Armenian
Case"; Ms. Roxanne Makasjian about "Armenian Genocide Education in
Secondary Schools Today"; Dr. Kori Street about "Educating for Change:
Using Testimonies in Teaching about Genocide."
The third and fourth panels will be held in the afternoon session. Dr.
Levon Marashlian will moderate the third panel, entitled "Those Who
Were Forced to Assimilate." It will feature the following speakers and
subjects: Prof. Khatchig Mouradian, "Un-Hiding the Past: Myth-Making
and the 'Hidden Armenians' of Turkey"; Dr. Elyse Semerdjian, "'The
Girl with the Cross Tattoo': Field Notes on Crypto-Armenians"; Dr.
Vahram Shemmassian, "The Fate of Captive Armenian Genocide Survivors
The fourth panel, entitled "Legal Responses to Genocide-Related
Liabilities," will be conducted by the Armenian Bar Association (ABA).
Garo Ghazarian, Esq., will introduce the ABA and its panelists, and
Armen K. Hovannisian, Esq., will moderate the panel. The speakers and
their topics will be: Saro Kerkonian, Esq., "Justice for Genocide and
Challenges in United States Courts"; Edvin Minassian, Esq., "Justice
for Genocide and Challenges in Turkey's Courts"; and Karnig Kerkonian,
Esq., "Justice for Genocide: Opportunities and Challenges in
International Courts." The conference will conclude with a commentary
by Dr. Richard G. Hovannisian.
The conference is generously co-sponsored by the United Armenian
Council of Los Angeles, the National Association of Armenian Studies
and Research, the Knights of Vartan - Los Angeles County Chapters, the
Armenian Bar Association, the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the
Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures at CSUN,
and the Mousa Ler Association of California. Near East Relief posters
will be exhibited during the conference by the Ararat-Eskijian Museum
of Mission Hills, CA.
Posted 07 January 2015 - 10:22 AM
Turkey to Lebanon walk to remember Armenian Genocide
Vartan Melkonian is one of the conductors of Britain’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. A century ago, his ancestors lived in Mus, eastern Turkey, until the day Ottoman rulers made a decision to “deport” Armenians.
Melkonian and his daughter Veronica will be in Turkey in February for their “Walking for Armenia” project — a 1,000-kilometer (621-mile) march they plan to start in Van, eastern Turkey, and complete at the Birds’ Nest Orphanage in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. The Syrian stretch of the route poses a serious risk for the Melkonians, but they are determined to walk it despite the threat of war and the Islamic State (IS), Al-Monitor reports.
In an interview with Radikal Vartan Melkonian speaks about the march he and his daughter will make from Turkey to Lebanon to commemorate ancestors who perished in the Armenian genocide.
Radikal: How did you come up with the “Walking for Armenia” project? Was it your or your daughter’s idea?
Melkonian: It was my daughter’s idea. She suggested we walk the same distance in the footsteps of our ancestors to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. Just as our ancestors did.
Radikal: Don’t you have security concerns? Don’t you feel any anxiety over the assassination of Agos editor-in-chief Hrant Dink in Istanbul in 2007 and the 2008 murder of [Italian activist] Pippa Bacca who had come to Turkey with her “Peace Bride” project?
Melkonian: I’m aware of the murders of both Hrant Dink and Pippa Bacca. Those are very sad incidents. But when my daughter first proposed this idea a year ago, she had no security concern. Being a university student, she is aware she is leaving a safe life behind in Britain for this project.
Radikal: But the danger today is not limited to Turkey. The war in Syria is going on and there is the threat of IS.
Melkonian: The circumstances were different when she first came up with the project. Naturally, the reports of people being kidnapped, beheaded and raped are not part of her daily life. Today the region has become polarized.
Radikal: Are you going to stick to this route in February?
Melkonian: That’s our plan.
Radikal: According to your road map, you will enter Syria from Kobani. Are you going to change your plan in line with the latest situation?
Melkonian: When we started the project IS was not there. We are not planning to change our route at this stage.
Radikal: What reactions do you think a project evoking the genocide on its 100th anniversary will generate in Turkey?
Melkonian: I think that all peoples, everybody, should be prepared for such projects. This project will be a modest and graceful way to remember our loved ones. My daughter and I will be only remembering our ancestors.
Radikal: What are the initial reactions? Have people contacted you through your website?
Melkonian: All in all this is an individual effort. Our sole purpose is to commemorate family members who died 100 years ago without leaving a trace. We have been flooded with messages of support from all over the world. And we are grateful to all of them.
Radikal: The Catholicos of Cilicia, Aram I, also lent support to your project.
Melkonian: Yes, he did. But he is worried about the security conditions of our march. Still, he conveyed a message to the world in the letter he wrote us. We have posted it on our website, www.walkingforarmenia.com. He says in his message that our project is an important initiative that will remind the world that the genocide perpetrated against the Armenians by the Ottoman-Turkish government must never ever happen again.
Radikal: Are you going to make any statements or convey any messages during the march?
Melkonian: I won’t have any political, religious or philosophical messages to convey. I will be only walking with questions still burning inside me. What happened to my ancestors 100 years ago? Why did my parents lose their family at a very early age and live in an orphanage away from their homeland, away from home?
Radikal: Why did you choose Van as the starting point for the march? Why not Erzurum, Harput or Diyarbakir, which is closer to the border? Where were you ancestors from?
Melkonian: We chose Van for practical reasons. My family members were not born in Van. They were born in Mus, the hometown of Vartan Mamigonian, an important historical figure for Armenians. Anyway, our purpose is to trace the route of 100 years ago.
Radikal: What stories are left for you from 1915?
Melkonian: I know nothing about my grandmothers and grandfathers, neither their names nor their ages in 1915, nothing. … I’ve listened to very few memories from my father about his parents. He remembered large gardens and houses. He was only 6 at the time, though he was the family’s eldest child. His only memory of his parents was the last time he saw them, surrounded by soldiers.
Radikal: Your route ends at the Birds’ Nest orphanage in Beirut where you grew up.
Melkonian: My parents got married in a refugee camp in Beirut. My mother died when I was 4. That’s why I was sent to the Birds’ Nest orphanage [run by] Danish missionaries. One of the people in the orphanage, Maria Jacobsen, had witnessed the aftermath of the massacres in 1915. That’s the reason why we’ll end the march at the orphanage, my home, the only home I’ve known.
Radikal: What does Turkey and Eastern Anatolia mean to you today?
Melkonian: For me, Eastern Anatolia is a mournful land. I am moved at any mention of it. After all, Mus, a part of Greater Armenia, was the homeland of my ancestors.
Radikal: Lastly, what is your message to Turkey and its people?
Melkonian: Just as the good things your family could have done in the past doesn’t make you a good person, the bad things they could have done doesn’t make you a bad one. But the denial of historic facts is something to have a negative impact on you and torment your soul.
Posted 07 January 2015 - 12:02 PM
Թագավորական նվագախմբի դիրիժորը ոտքով 1000 կմ կանցնի ի հիշատակ Հայոց ցեղասպանության զոհերի
Թագավորական նվագախմբի դիրիժորը ոտքով 1000 կմ կանցնի ի հիշատակ Հայոց ցեղասպանության զոհերի
7 հունվարի 2015 - 13:36 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Բրիտանիայի Թագավորական ֆիլհարմոնիկ նվագախմբի դիրիժոր Վարդան Մելքոնյանը դստեր՝ Վերոնիկայի հետ, 1000 կմ կանցնի ոտքով Թուրքիայից մինչև Լիբանան ի հիշատակ Հայոց ցեղասպանության զոհերի:
Մելքոնյանը, որի նախնիները Մուշից են, մտադիր է սկսել արշավը Վանում և ավարտել Բեյրութի հայտնի հայկական «Թռչնյաց բույն» որբանոցում: Ամբողջ ճանապարհը մոտ 621 մղոն կամ 1000 կմ է: Մելքոնյանը պատմել է, որ ցեղասպանությունն անդրադարձել է իր ընտանիքի մի քանի սերունդների վրա: Նրա ծնողներն ամուսնացել են փախստականների ճամբարում, իսկ մայրը մահացել, երբ ապագա դիրիժորը 4 տարեկան էր, որից հետո նրան որբանոց են տարել: Նրա հայրը, որը ցեղասպանության ժամանակ երեխա էր, գրեթե ոչինչ չէր հիշում ոչ տան, ոչ ընտանիքի մասին, իսկ ծնողները մնացել էին հիշողության մեջ շրջապատված թուրք զինվորներով:
Երթուղին, որը նախանշել է դիրիժողորը, անցնում է Սիրիայի տարածքով և շատ վտանգավոր է «Իսլամական պետության» իսլամիստների գործողությունների պատճառով: Թուրքական «Ռադիկալ» թերթին տված հարցազրույցում Մելքոնյանը հայտնել է, որ Սիրիա կմտնի Կոբանիի կողմից, որտեղ քրդերի ու իսլամիստների միջև մարտեր են ընթանում: Երթուղին կազմվել էր դեռ մինչև տարածաշրջանում բռնության բռնկումը, սակայն դիրիժորը մտադիր չէ փոխել այն: Նա նշել է, որ վտանգավոր կարող է լինել նաև Թուրքիայի տարածքով անցնելը՝ հիշատակելով Հրանտ Դինքի և իտալացի նկարչուհի Պիպա Բաքքայի սպանությունը, սակայն ընդգծել է, որ մտադիր չէ հրաժարվել քայլարշավից:
Posted 07 January 2015 - 12:03 PM
The Race for Recognition
Stop World Genocide
by Recognizing Past Genocides
- See more at: http://la2dc.org
We believe that an extraordinary and newsworthy event has the power to shake the world into awareness.
In 2015 it will be the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and yet genocides are still affecting countless lives and communities. Some massacres have gained worldwide notoriety but many have been swept aside leaving survivors to suffer in silence.
- See more at: http://la2dc.org/#sthash.K9G1Kx6R.dpuf
A 2,800 Mile Journey
Delivering the message to STOP World Genocide by Recognizing Past Genocides.
Beginning April 24, 2015, cyclists and runners will set out from Los Angeles to kick-off the marathon, each carrying the relay baton symbolizing the countless voices of the silenced, asking that all nations including the United States unite to STOP WORLD GENOCIDE BY RECOGNIZING PAST GENOCIDES, INCLUDING THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE.
Posted 08 January 2015 - 09:56 AM
Entering the Centennial Year on the Wrong Foot
By Edmond Y. Azadian
As if the scourge of our failures in the Diaspora was not enough on
this very auspicious moment of history, now dissonances and discord
have also surfaced in Armenia, when cooperation and harmony are most
needed to face the challenge of the century.
The centennial activities thus far are confined to ceremonial affairs,
symbolic gatherings and heart-wrenching memorials, which all serve as
necessary catharsis for the pain built up during the last century. But
if those activities are not combined with political activism, we will
be condemned to live in an illusory world.
The most significant political statement would have been the
completion and the inauguration of the Armenian Genocide Museum, an
earshot from the White House, in the nation's capital. That would have
served as a symbol of our collective will to survive and to pursue
justice. It would also have served as a reminder to the world about a
century of injustice, as well as an educational forum for all to learn
about the Armenian Genocide.
The failure to deliver the museum on schedule to provide substance to
our memorials is one catastrophe, while yet another is the
indifference regarding this failure. Where is the outrage?
Failing to build the museum by 2015 is tantamount to delivering a
victory to the Turks on a silver platter.
The indignity goes to all the parties who contributed to this
monumental failure, but above all, it goes to the entire community for
its lackadaisical indifference for accountability.
This much is the Diaspora's share of responsibility.
Turning to Armenia, we have more disheartening news. The scholars who
were supposed to lay the foundations of our centennial activities,
especially by developing a solid body of scholarly Genocide
literature, are at each others' throats at this moment.
While there was overall concern that scholars in Armenia and the
Diaspora were working at cross-purposes, labeling each other with
unsavory epithets, now the disease has reached Armenia to pit
prominent local scholars against each other, as well.
Some scholars in Armenia used to accuse their diasporan colleagues as
agents of Turkey or the US State Department. The counter charge was
that scholars in Armenia were mired in nationalistic narratives, which
cannot win currency on the international market. Now, these latter
accusations have also been thrown at prominent scholars living and
publishing in Armenia.
During a recent press conference, Hayk Demoyan, the director of the
Genocide Memorial and Museum, and the official coordinator of the
centennial programs in Armenia, accused some scholars in Armenia of
being agents of Turkey's special services. He said, "During the
organization of centennial commemorative events, there is a tendency
to speak about righteous Turks who have saved Armenian lives,
forgetting the fate of 1.5 million victims of genocide. Those who
promote those tendencies are cooperating with the special services of
the Turkish government. Nine out of 10 functions that they organize
favor Turkey." He added: "We are not talking only about the Diaspora.
Those are high-level officials in the Republic of Armenia, who are
undermining my activities as the secretary of the official centennial
Then he named another prominent scholar, Ashot Melkonian, saying the
latter has tried to destroy his dissertation.
This is not the place to pass judgment on the academic merits or
demerits of Hayk Demoyan or Ashot Melkonian, as the scenario is very
ugly at a period when all efforts should be coordinated and directed
towards organizing a successful centennial commemoration, especially
when many foreign dignitaries will be converging on Yerevan on April
24. This kind of exchange of cheap shots does not augur well for a
Demoyan was a rising star in the academic circles when he was tapped
by the government as the director of the museum. Before even beginning
to deliver on his new job, he was accused of plagiarism and was
severely criticized for presenting his doctoral dissertation in
Russian rather than Armenian. Enter another scholar, Turkologist Ruben
Melkonian, who has said that "both Ashot Melkonian and Hayk Demoyan
are talented scholars, but their differences of opinion should not
have moved to the public forum; they should have been confined to
within the four walls of our academic institution."
However, he went further to elaborate that there is some truth in the
fact that the "grants offered by foreign sources in the organization
of centennial activities mostly serve the interests of the Turkish
side; let's engage in dialogue, let's forget the past, let's talk
about mutual pain, etc."
Indeed, in certain quarters honoring righteous Turks has gained
prominence. There has to come a time to pay due respect to Turkish
individuals -- who contrary to the Turkish masses and certainly risking
their own lives -- demonstrated humanity in saving Armenian lives. But
those people were exceptions and not the rule. At this point, going
after righteous Turks means to divert and dilute the issue. It is
putting the cart before the horse.
The Jews have been honoring righteous gentiles but after what? After
recovering their homeland and after benefitting from unprecedented
compensation. Certainly they can rightfully honor the righteous
individuals from a position of strength.
Ruben Melkonian further dwelt on the origins and the purposes of
foreign grants by adding: "If we dig deep in the origins of those
foreign grants, we may discover that they have been hatched in Turkey.
I caution all Armenian organizations to refrain from receiving foreign
grants, at least during this centennial year."
One would have wished to begin the year with a salvo of positive news,
but we are far from being in that kind of salutary disposition.
Speaking of righteous Turks, it is very appropriate to quote and then
emulate Turkish columnist Cengiz Aktar, who has written a piece in
Today's Zaman newspaper under the title "Entering 1915." He concludes
his piece with the following: "The Armenian Genocide is the Great
Catastrophe of Anatolia, and the mother of all taboos in this land.
Its curse will continue to haunt us as along as well fail to talk
about, to recognize, understand and reckon with it. Its centennial
anniversary actually offers us a historic opportunity to disperse with
our habits, understand the Other and start with the collective
Posted 08 January 2015 - 10:00 AM
Turkey to counter Armenian Genocide recognition campaign, Erdogan says
17:38 07/01/2015 » IN THE WORLD
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday Ankara would "actively"
challenge a campaign pressuring Turkey to recognize the Armenian
Genocide, on the 100th anniversary of the tragedy this year, AFP
"I believe that both the foreign ministry and the relevant
institutions will actively counter those allegations," Erdogan told
Turkey's ambassadors in a keynote speech, adding that discussions were
already under way to detail an action plan.
Also, Erdogan accused Armenia of expending its energy on genocide
claims and politicising the issue by imposing its own "biased" view
Posted 09 January 2015 - 10:07 AM
If Turkey is honest, first they need to clean the lies about Armenians in the history books which poisons the young minds of their own children. This is nothing but a fake front that they are doing something positive and the bad Armenians are not responding in kind.
Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism to launch Cultural Diplomacy project
Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism plans to carry out Cultural Diplomacy project on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Ermenihaber.am reported, citing Aksam website.
The project is expected to raise awareness of the 1915 events among Turkish and Armenian youth, help establish closer ties between the young people, raise the level of mutual understanding and respect, and reduce the tension. Implementation of cultural exchange projects and restoration of historical Armenian structures are also planned.
The project will be administered by a special secretariat comprising diplomats, scientists, historians, cultural figures, and officials. International NGOs are expected to support the project.
Posted 10 January 2015 - 11:18 AM
'We should get rid of the complex. Armenian Genocide centennial not
the end' - Hayk Demoyan
14:50 * 09.01.15
Hayk Demoyan, Director of the Armenian Genocide Museum Institute and
Secretary of the Coordinating Council for the Centennial of the
Armenian Genocide, believes that many people both in Armenia and in
the Armenian Diaspora are raising the following question: what is
going to follow the centennial of the Armenian Genocide?
Turkey is waiting for "a wave to come and go."
However, the events marking the centennial of the Armenian Genocide
will be followed by other events, until the ultimate aim has been
Mr Demoyan, large-scale events are expected to mark the centennial of
the Armenian Genocide. Many people inquire about what is going to
follow April 24.
Of course, we can observe such sentiments, but we have repeatedly
noted that this year should not be viewed as the limit. I can tell you
about events we are planning for 2016. Turks are actually expecting
that as well. In his latest statement Etyen Mahçupyan (Senior Advisor
to the Turkish Prime Minister) said that the opening of the
Armenian-Turkish border and other issues will be discussed after
situation has calmed down in 2015. That is, they are waiting a wave to
come and go and they will take steps. We should get rid of the complex
that something will take place in 2015. Our mood should not be that
the centennial is the end. One more problem is that the Armenian
Genocide is a common topic, but talks have to be followed by deeds,
serious work needs to be done, which is expected to produce results.
And we are now marking the centennial of the Armenian Genocide with
only one museum, whereas we should have had at least five or six
museums in big centers of the world. Such museums are not cultural
centers. Rather, they are instruments for us to provide on-site
educational information. But we are speaking of one-day marches,
demonstrations and so on. As far as I know around US $1m is needed to
organize a march, convention or lecture in New York. We need to
specify what we are working for, what we are directing funds to and
what the results are.
What do you mean by results? Is it a higher number of countries that
recognize the Armenian Genocide and make Turkey admit the greatest
evil against humanity?
The result is that school textbooks contain at least one line about
the fact of the Armenian Genocide. No textbook does it now in America
or Russia or Europe. I think it is a serious fault. It can be said to
be a fault of the Armenian Diaspora structures as well, which are
seeking international recognition, but have forgotten the most
important. If an MP is expected to press a button for recognition of
the Armenian Genocide, but he is not informed of it, it is kind of
mechanical voting. One more important factor is that when the Armenian
Genocide is spoken of somewhere in an article or two, but if you have
a Genocide Museum, which is a research institute, where you organize
exhibitions and invite people, it is a serious bid. We failed to
establish a museum in Washington, and we are speaking of other museums
without having capital or human resources. We are now presenting only
one museum, with numerous expectations about it.
Don't you think that our Genocide recognition policies are not
sufficiently targeted given that nobody ever learns any lesson from
that. Genocides continue to be committed around the world, even in the
same regions where the Armenians experienced that. Why don't we make
the Yezidis' massacres, for instances, an occasion to remind the world
that it stems from a disregard of the Armenian Genocide at the
beginning of last century?
Armenia does initiate certain things in European organizations, and we
managed to have a couple of resolutions passed, but in the general
perspective - as we look upon it as a mere policy - it is fixed in the
declaration of our Constitution that we will pursue the matter. And it
is also fixed in our national security strategy, but you know, we are
at times hesitatnt as to what we really want and what we seek in the
diaspora. That's the simplest question which poses the biggest hazard.
So what do we ultimately want? It's an end in itself. You know we are
becoming a little like a sportsman who has to train not to let his
muscles weaken, but what is our end goal after all? This is what I
would like the Genocide centennial coordination committee to
formulate. The committee is going to adopt a declaration in January,
and I am hopeful that declaration will not remain on paper but rather
become a plan of actions for the Republic of Armenia and the diaspora.
And what does a plan of actions mean? Does it imply a switchover from
the recognition to a process of claiming rights?
You know, different wordings come into circulation all the times, and
they are a little controversial. As we pass from one stage to another,
[we see] the [previous] stage wasn't good as we had committed errors.
Well, why then weren't we that smart before? Have we just arrived at
the idea that that we had been heading in the wrong direction now that
we are at the centenary's threshold? All the measures of the kind are
very important, but it is also important in what direction human and
financial resources go. We haven't simply specified the trends.
Have you yourself - as a coordinator of the council coordinating the
Genocide centenary events and the director of the Armenian Genocide
Museum Institute, -clarified what should be a priority for us to
attain an outcome?
One doesn't have to be the Museum's director to attain an outcome; it
is just necessary to be an Armenian. If you have an Armenian's
identity and know what you want, you have to first of all think of
your home country. For me personally, the first problem is the
internal one. Small though we are as a country, we must try to first
of all solve our internal problems. If you are vulnerable on the
internal front, you are tenfold and a hundredfold more so on the
external one. For me, the question of all the questions begins from
the internal front. If on the internal front we have phenomena not
compatible with a strong state, it is already a problem for me.
Posted 13 January 2015 - 10:26 AM
TWO MAJOR CONCERTS TO HIT LOS ANGELES STAGES
Monday, January 12th, 2015
Lark Musical Society presents two concert events in Los Angeles
Lark Musical Society Continues its Centennial Commemorative Program
LOS ANGELES--The voices and symphonic melodies from Lark Musical
Society of Los Angeles will echo throughout Los Angeles County as they
prepare to commemorate the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. In
Lark's effort to honor the cultural impact the Armenian Genocide
has taken on music, Lark ensembles will perform at various venues
throughout Los Angeles, two of these performances have already been
released for ticket sales.
Two new concerts top the slate of activities Lark plans for its 2015
season. With 30 events presented since May of 2014, the Southern
California mainstay continues its program to produce 100 cultural
events to mark the 100th Anniversary of the tragic events of 1915.
January begins with Dilijan. Grammy Award winning violist
Kim Kashkashian and remarkable Armenian composer and pianist
ArturAvanesov, return for a blockbuster program of two World Premieres
(by Avanesov and Tigran Mansurian), alongside works by Enescuand
Mendelssohn. Violinists Varty Manouelian and Movses Pogossian,
violists Juan Miguel Hernandez and Andrew McIntosh, and cellist Karen
Ouzounian also bring their considerable talents to Zipper Concert
Hall on Jan. 18 at 3 pm.
January 24, 2015, 8:00 pm - AEUNA, AMAA, and Lark Join in
Commemoration: "Our Light, Our Hope" The Armenian Genocide Centennial
Committee, formed in joint effort by the Armenian Evangelical Union
of North America and the Armenian Missionary Association of America,
brings the collective artistic force of the Lark Musical Society
to the majestic Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena on Jan. 24 at 8
pm. Under the direction of Vatsche Barsoumian, "Our Light, Our Hope"
weaves music, speech, and dance into a three-part look at the Armenian
story through time.
Donations towards this event can be made payable to AEUNA (memo:
Centennial Concert) and mailed to 411 E. Acacia Ave #200; Glendale,
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit online at
www.Lark2015.org or call the Lark Musical Society at (818) 500-9997
Lark Musical Society is a not-for-profit organization and welcomes
the community's generous donations in support of its program of 100
for the 100th. Any checks can be made payable to The Lark Musical
Society and mailed to 543 Arden Avenue, Glendale, California 91203.
The mission of LARK is to serve as the musical and cultural brain
trust for the Armenian community in Los Angeles - at LARK, music is
studied, researched, created, published, felt, and performed by young
and old. In so doing, LARK instills the beauty of Armenian heritage,
history and culture in the hearts and minds of our next generation
and ensures that our collective voice will reverberate in the Diaspora
for years to come. Through the beauty of music we will win the hearts
and minds of our youth and our community and this will strengthen
our roots and preserve the Armenian identity in Los Angeles.
Posted 16 January 2015 - 11:48 AM
DISCUSSIONS DEDICATED TO THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE HELD IN SWEDEN
10:30, 16 Jan 2015
On January 14, Stockholm's "ABF" Centre, cultural- educational
institution of Social-Democratic ruling party of Sweden, organized
seminar-discussion on the Armenian Genocide.
Among the Speakers at the seminar, that raised public interest and
attracted large number of participants, were Ingmar Karlsson, former
Consul General of Sweden in Istanbul, his daughter Andrea Karlsson,
Human Rights Studies, Lund University, and Thomas Hammarberg, former
Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe.
The Speakers touched upon the history of the Armenian Genocide,
the legal aspects of the issue, as well as current situation in Turkey.
Ingmar Karlsson presented the situation in the Ottoman Empire in the
days of Genocide, sounding the reasons behind it. Andrea Karlsson
in her turn mentioned the denial policy pursued by the Government of
Turkey and as a result, the lack of information in society, stressing
that nevertheless, the number of people accepting that fact among
the academic and public circles in Turkey rises.
In his speech, Thomas Hammarberg raised legal aspects of the Genocide,
explaining how the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of
the Crime of Genocide, December 9, 1948, could have retroactive effect.
Last two Speakers especially stressed the inevitability of compensation
for the Genocide.
Posted 16 January 2015 - 11:55 AM
WESTERN US ARMENIAN GENOCIDE CENTENNIAL COMMITTEE OUTLINES UPCOMING PROGRAMS
10:53, 16 Jan 2015
The Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of the Western United States
(AGCC-WUSA) during a press conference it hosted on Wednesday announced
five major events its body is organizing in Los Angeles to commemorate
the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and published a list
of events that will take place throughout the Western United States,
During a press conference held at Phoenicia Restaurant, Co-Chairs
Garo Ghazarian, Esq., and Taline Yacoubian, Esq., announced the
committee's active preparations to commemorate the souls of the
1.5 million massacred Armenians and to duly honor the lives of both
Genocide survivors and heroes who facilitated the sacred mission of
rescue and relief.
With the motto of "We Remember. We Demand," Ghazarian kicked
off the press conference and in a moving presentation pledged the
Armenian-American community's commitment to commemorate the Armenian
Genocide centennial in a dignified manner befitting the memory of
He also highlighted the community's commitment to the pursuit of
the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, as well as
the necessary territorial and monetary reparations and restitution
that have been the cornerstone of the struggle for justice for the
"It is an honor to work with 19 organizations and religious leaders
in a joint effort to honor the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide,"
remarks Co-chair Ghazarian. "A Century later, we continue to prove
our people's resilience and strength as evidenced across our Diasporan
communities worldwide. Through our collaborative and dynamic events we
will feature the robust and thriving spirit of our Armenian-American
communities in the Western United States."
In her remarks, Yacoubian focused on the committee's plans to
establish an Armenian-American museum in Glendale, explaining that a
sub-committee under the auspices of the AGCC has been hard at work in
realizing this effort. She added that the parcel of land has already
been allocated by the City of Glendale and requests for proposal on
architectural bids have already been publicized.
Yacoubian also announced that the committee has been consultation with
the New York-based Lord Cultural Resource Inc. for the curatorial
aspect of the museum. The company, she said, is a renowned entity
that has worked with several well-known museums in the country.
"This not a pipe dream as some people may say," said Ghazarian about
the plans for the museum. "It is a reality and it will be a great
On April 14, 23, 24 and 26, 2015, tens of thousands will gather in Los
Angeles to commemorate the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. While
honoring the lives of martyred ancestors, communities will also give
thanks for the creation of a new Armenia and for the flourishing
Armenian communities around the world forged by the will and heroism
of Genocide survivors.
Five major events will carry these themes forward: On April 14,
a special ecumenical service at the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of
Los Angeles, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, will take place
with the participation of representatives and interfaith leaders from
various churches and religious denominations.
Civic officials from the City of Los Angeles will also be in
attendance. Prayers of remembrance, respect, and unity will signal
a powerful message of solidarity to mark the commencement of the
commemorative events taking place in the following weeks.
On April 23, His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the
Western Diocese of the Armenian Church and His Eminence Archbishop
Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian
Apostolic Church of America will host a solemn celebration of the
Divine Liturgy at St. Leon Armenian Cathedral with the participation
of all Armenian churches.
On April 24, The March for Justice is the largest in the series of
AGCC-WUSA hosted events. Participants will gather at 10AM in Little
Armenia and will march in solidarity for 6 miles to the Turkish
Consulate in the Wilshire District to protest the Turkish government's
continued denial of the Armenian Genocide. This Pan-Armenian March
will unite, without exception, the Armenian community in its quest for
justice while demonstrating collective strength and spirit. Protesters
will thank those who have helped to spread awareness of the Armenian
Genocide, and those who work tirelessly to prevent genocide elsewhere
in the world.
On April 25, mourners will gather at the Armenian Genocide Monument
at Bicknell Park, 910 Via San Clemente in Montebello for a solemn
gathering to honor the lives of the 1.5 million Armenians massacred
in the Armenian Genocide. This annual commemoration includes a candle
light vigil at the helm of the Martyrs monument.
On April 26, the City of Glendale hosts an annual commemoration of the
Armenian Genocide. This year they will partner with the AGCC to host
a joint event commemorating the 100th anniversary at the Alex Theater.
This event will include screening of documentaries, musical
performances, and a key note speaker. Further details will be
"Our goal is to bring the entire Armenian-American community together
on the solemn occasion of the Genocide's Centennial," commented
Co-Chair Yacoubian. "As we gather in remembrance to honor the lives
and memories of our martyred grandparents, great-grandparents and
great-great grandparents, we will pay tribute to those individuals
and organizations who rescued and rehabilitated the survivors of the
Genocide for whom we are, and will remain, eternally grateful."
The AGCC-WUSA was established to steer and coordinate the
multifaceted commemorative activities in the Western United States
and is composed of nineteen (19) Armenian organizations, including
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