ANCA-WR Summer 2020 Internship Program: Week 3

Derick Ambarsoomzadeh

UCLA, Economy

ANCA-WR 2020 Summer Intern

Our third week of the 2020 ANCA-WR summer internship program began on Monday, June 22 with a virtual meeting with Sevag Belian and Aram Balian, the executive directors of the Armenian National Committee of Canada and the ANCA Eastern Region respectively. Both speakers discussed their experiences working in the respective regions, giving the interns an insight on the different challenges and opportunities in advocating for the Armenian Cause. While Armenian National Committees worldwide essentially have the same set of goals, political and demographic factors can influence the means utilized to reach them. We learned about the efforts of how each office engages members of the community as well as how their methods of advocacy differ due to a number of circumstances. Both the ANCC and ANCA-ER are successful in advancing the Armenian Cause, and it was valuable to get a broader perspective on the political power of the ANCs in North America.

Later that day, we briefly met with the ANCA-WR Board of Directors. All the interns had a chance to introduce themselves. Each intern spoke on their academic and professional ambitions, why we chose to participate in the internship, and the project they have undertaken during the internship.  It was inspiring to see how long many board members have been working with this organization, as well as how accomplished they were in their lives outside of the organization.

On Tuesday, William Bairamian spoke with our internship class regarding his experience working with the Armenian community. After working at the ANCA Western Region and founding The Armenite, he decided to move to Armenia to continue his efforts there. During his time there, he witnessed the Electric Yerevan Protests and the Velvet Revolution, two major political developments in the country. He advised us to examine the sources we get news from and be mindful of the potential biases the outlets may have, and shared with us his self-proclaimed unorthodox views on Armenian politics. This lecture helped provide a differing perspective on Armenian politics and living in Armenia that many of us otherwise would not have heard.

On Wednesday, rather than hear from a guest lecturer, we had a trivia game testing our knowledge on American politics and civics. This was Moss’ opportunity to redeem himself from last week’s Armenian trivia, and he seized it unequivocally, soaring to the top of the leaderboard right off the bat and staying there for the entire game.

On Thursday, we met with Roxanne Makasdjian, co-founder and executive director of the Genocide Education Project and produier of the 1991 documentary film Charles Garry: Streetfighter in the Courtroom. Her discussions on the Genocide Education Project provided us with an understanding of the efforts to include the Armenian Genocide in public school curricula, and the steps being taken to ensure teacher training and capacity development. The bulk of our discussion, however, pertained to her documentary. Interns had a chance to watch the film prior to this meeting, which outlined the career of an Armenian-American civil rights attorney Garabed Garabedian, better known as Charles Garry. She created the documentary with the intent of outlining parallels between the issues faced by Armenians and other minorities in America, while also telling the story of a unique lawyer who resonated with the public and brought political questions into the courtroom. The documentary is particularly significant right now, with the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests calling for similar reform that Garry was fighting for in the courtroom decades ago. 

On Friday, I was invited to visit the ANCA-Glendale office and work from there. My project for this internship involves working alongside ANCA’s Glendale chapter to keep up to date on the activities of our local institutions, and this week I received an assignment to organize a virtual town hall forum. In the Glendale office, I worked alongside my mentor, Hasmik Burushyan, to decide on a topic for the forum and establish a groundwork to execute the project. Being located in the Glendale Youth Center, a number of other Glendale-based Armenian organizations conduct their business from the same building; I didn’t even know this building existed, so it was amazing to see all the work our community does in one place.

As for the general meeting with all the interns, Friday, as always, was our check-in session wherein we all provide updates on our personal projects and discuss the lecturers from the week. It’s always interesting to hear about the other interns’ work, and it shows how multifaceted the ANCA is with all the different sorts of projects it conducts at the same time. We concluded the session by talking about a number of ways Armenians have taken action against genocide denial, and watched videos showcasing that. 

As was the case with the weeks preceding it, week 3 has further fueled my excitement for the future of this internship, and I am looking forward to the weeks to come.

ANCA-WR Summer 2020 Internship Program: Weeks 1 and 2

By: Arthur Sefayan

Glendale Community College (GCC), Political Science

ANCA-WR 2020 Summer Intern

Our virtual internship began on June 8, 2020, over Zoom, with a welcoming message from Verginie Touloumian, which was then followed by an ice breaker activity where we learned about all the other interns and surprisingly found out that we had students from Arizona and Nevada, and an LA-native that goes to school in Washington, DC. After getting to know each other, Verginie continued to explain the logistical details about the internship and how we can best work through the virtual program. We were then assigned to specific teams, where either with partners or individually, we learned about our projects and learned from our mentors.

Our first lecturer was Nora Hovsepian, Chair of the ANCA-WR, who spoke to us regarding the ANCA’s objectives, mission, and goals. She started off by providing a brief history into the Armenian Cause. A few important historical facts worth mentioning are efforts like The Near East Relief, which was the first philanthropic effort by the U.S. to aid foreign countries. In response to the genocide of 1915, Americans quickly responded by sending aid to people in need. These efforts resulted in the construction of refugee processing centers, and sent 1,000 volunteers to aid overseas. In terms of more contemporary efforts organized by the ANCA, she also provided ongoing projects of the ANCA that included advocating for direct US aid, the Double Tax Treaty, Direct Flights from LAX to Yerevan, etc. She then provided a bit of important background information regarding Artsakh and the Royce-Engel Peace Proposals. 

Nora Hovsepian, ANCA-WR Chair, with the Inters

The following day, Elizabeth Chouldjian, Communications Director of ANCA, joined our conversation from our nation’s capital and spoke to us about community efforts and outreach campaigns that the ANCA takes great effort to conceive. Initiatives such as HyeVotes, Rapid Responder Program, and other similar programs allow the Armenian community to remain united and work together to achieve mutual goals. She even highlighted some recent achievements including the legislation passed in Colorado that mandates the education of the Armenian Genocide within schools. Without a doubt, programs such as the ANCA Action Alerts, and the Grassroots Conferences and a plethora of other campaigns undertaken by individuals within the ranks of ANCA make it possible for important legislation to be implemented. Later on, Tereza Yerimyan, Government Affairs Director of ANCA, highlighted the importance of working to counter Azerbaijani and Turkish propaganda, and how she advocates for Armenian-American policy priorities in the halls of Congress. 

Elizabeth Chouldjian, ANCA Communications Director, with the Interns
Tereza Yerimyan, Government Affairs Director, with the Interns

On Wednesday, Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA, delved into the importance of ANCA’s constant efforts of lobbying, creating coalitions, and advocating in Congress. He discussed the evolution of the Armenian Cause and the Armenian Diaspora by highlighting the challenges and opportunities that each decade brought. He specifically walked us through the protests that began to sprout all over the world, in order to educate the global audiences, awaken the call of duty in fellow Armenians, and achieve justice for our cause.

Following this presentation, Raffi Hamparian, Chairperson of the ANCA, highlighted many ongoing Armenian-American policy issues, such as US Aid to Artsakh, COVID-19 Relief, Double Tax Treaty, Social Security agreement, and other national and international goals that the ANCA pursues. It was interesting to learn about the Social Security agreement, which would allow diasporan Armenians working in the US to retire in Armenia, while receiving their Social Security paychecks.

On Thursday, June 11, 2020, Leeza Arakelian, Assistant Editor of the Armenian Weekly, joined the interns to talk about the importance of community reporting and journalism. She began by giving an overview of the history of the 86-year old newspaper and how it’s been an honor for her to continue its mission. Working adjacent to the archives room that holds newspapers from the Armenian Weekly and its counterpart, the Hairenik, gives her the courage she needs to continue reporting the news of the community, homeland, and the world, to its readers. She also trained the interns on how to write press releases, a skill that we will be able to use in our academic, professional, and organizational careers. 

Leeza Arakelian, Assistant Editor of the Armenian Weekly, with the Interns

At the culmination of the first week, interns had a check-in meeting where we provided individual insight as to what was learned, how we are able to contribute, and the effectiveness of week 1. Overall, every intern shared the mutual feeling of excitement and eagerness to continue their educational journey. Over the first week, every intern showed great concern with the political issues that were brought to light by many keynote speakers. These speakers allowed us to get a glimpse of the various issues that many Armenian communities face, whether diaspora or domestic, how to take action, and provided innumerable connections and valuable information that will carry onto the next 11 weeks. 

On June 16, our group convened again to hear a lecture from Ara Khatchadourian, long-time editor of LA-based newspaper, Asbarez. He spoke about the humble beginnings of the newspaper in Fresno and how back then many advertisements were surrounding agriculture, an industry which Armenians were involved in. He reminisced about his days of reporting during the Artsakh Liberation movement and the red and black marker he used to mark the laminated map that indicated which territories were liberated.

On Wednesday, digital news producer at KTLA and former ANCA-WR intern, Sareen Habeshian, joined the interns to discuss her academic and professional journey. Sareen’s visceral presentation of the ongoing issues in Artsakh, as well as domestic issues within Armenia provided tremendous insight into the seemingly distant home country. By interviewing many of the locals and listening to them speak about their experiences, we can understand how different parts of the country are doing on a micro level. For example, in Artsakh, the HALO Trust – which is a non-profit organization that trains local individuals to be able to demine and make use of land which was once a warzone – is making efforts to begin rebuilding and revitalizing the land. In an area that was once a minefield, lies a garden that bears fruit for the villagers. Efforts like these allow for locals to return to normal life, as well as broadcast the issues going on within Armenia.

Thursday came as a great relief to a busy week. We were quizzed on facts about Armenia. Toward the end, it was no surprise that Martin was crowned the champion. It’s almost like he lived in Armenia! 

The weekly check-in started with each intern giving a brief description of how they were doing on their group project, also talking about their favorite presentation. Overall, there was a shared sense of pride that followed in completing the second week, and it’s fair to say we’re ecstatic to see what next weeks will bring.

Mesrobian School to Host Workshop on Adolescent Brain

A lecture on the "Adolescent brain" to take place at Armenian Mesrobian School

A lecture on the “Adolescent brain” to take place at Armenian Mesrobian School

PICO RIVERA, Calif.–On Wednesday, October 17 at 7 p.m., Armenian Mesrobian School Principal David Ghoogasian will make a presentation about “The Adolescent Brain,” as part of the school’s Parent and Community Education Series.

“Presentations such as these bring the school’s mission of education beyond classroom walls and directly into the community,” said school officials.

The presentation, which is open to the public, will explore how adolescent and pre-adolescent minds develop. It will take place on the Mesrobian School located at 8420 Beverly Rd, Pico Rivera, CA 90660.
“The purpose of the lecture is to educate the local community about how the young mind develops and to foster a healthier understanding of human relationships, and connecting with adolescent children and teenagers,” said the school.

Mesrobian Parent and Community Education workshops provide educational and thought-provoking experiences for parents and general community members.

Principal Ghoogasian, whose educational practice includes research and findings in fields as diverse as education, neuroscience, cognitive science, psychology, behavioral economics, communication, and other fields. He is also an educational consultant/trainer and school improvement facilitator, who has a rich background in education, which includes teaching, counseling, administration, and professional development. The University of California, San Diego, Irvine, and Riverside education extension programs are among the schools through which Ghoogasian has taught and trained. He is a member of the Gift and Talented Education (GATE) and Professional Teaching certificate program advisory boards at UCI Division of Continuing Education.. He has served on visiting committees for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Schools and has been a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and the California Association for the Gifted (CAG).

Armenian Mesrobian School, established in 1965, is fully accredited from Preschool through High School by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and is the nation’s first Armenian Elementary School. The college preparatory High School curriculum is certified to the University of California. Mesrobian School includes Ron and Goharik Gabriel Preschool (which serves students 2-5 years old), Elementary, Middle School and a college preparatory High School on the same campus. A major convenience for parents who may have children at multiple ages, Mesrobian offers a unique perspective and opportunity for students, teachers, and parents to grow together, and for students to get the attention and nurturing they need to be successful in school and in life. The school offers transportation from the Pasadena/Greater San Gabriel Valley, Glendale and Orange County areas. Mesrobian’s Alumni Network and Mentorship Program connects students with over five decades of alumni who have distinguished themselves in fields as diverse as education, science, business, medicine, music, law, dentistry, chiropractic, politics, art, marketing, engineering, veterinary medicine, and psychology. Every day is an Open House at Mesrobian School! If you are interested in scheduling a campus visit or enrolling your child, please contact the school at (562) 699-2057 or (323) 723-3181, or email info@mesrobian.org. Follow the Armenian Mesrobian School Facebook Page for latest updates.


Source: Asbarez
Link: Mesrobian School to Host Workshop on Adolescent Brain

Armenians and Progressive Politics to Host David Barsamian

David Barsamian to Speak in Glendale as part of the ARF's "Armenians and Progressive Politics" endeavor

David Barsamian to Speak in Glendale as part of the ARF’s “Armenians and Progressive Politics” endeavor

GLENDALE—The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western United States will be hosting an upcoming talk with David Barsamian, as part of its “Armenians and Progressive Politics” initiative. The event will take place on Wednesday, October 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mariam and Kirkor Karamanougian Youth Center in Glendale.

Barsamian’s talk, titled “Rise Up and Resist,” will touch upon what it takes for a people to move from passivity to active resistance. History has presented numerous instances of people defying tyranny and fighting back regardless of the odds. Barsamian will draw upon an example from Nazi Germany, often considered the benchmark of evil. Even though opposition to the regime was highly dangerous, Hans and Sophie Scholl, along with others at the University of Munich, formed the White Rose Movement and called on Germans to recognize their moral duty and overthrow the government. Their resistance led to their arrest and murder in 1943, but their resistance and courage is recognized and honored to this day. Barsamian will attempt to answer just when enough really becomes enough and people are deemed to take certain risks.

The event is free and open to the public, and is cosponsored by the Armenian Youth Federation – Western United States, and the ARF Shant Student Association.

As a tireless and wide-ranging investigative journalist, David Barsamian has altered the independent media landscape, both with his weekly radio show “Alternative Radio” and his books with Noam Chomsky, Eqbal Ahmad, Howard Zinn, Tariq Ali, Richard Wolff, Arundhati Roy, and Edward Said. In his work, he covers world affairs, imperialism, capitalism, propaganda, the media, the economic crisis, and global rebellions. Barsamian is the recipient of the Media Education Award, the ACLU’s Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism, and the Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. He has been named by the Institute of Alternative Journalism as one of its “Top Ten media Heroes.” Barsamian has a forthcoming book with Noam Chomsky titled, “Global Discontents: Conversations on the Rising Threats to Democracy.”

The Mariam and Kirkor Karamanougian Youth Center is located at 211 West Chestnut Street, Glendale, CA 91204. Additional parking is available in the adjacent St Mary’s Armenian Church parking lot. For questions please contact Razmig Sarkissian at razmighsarkissian@gmail.com or by calling (323) 236-4399.


Source: Asbarez
Link: Armenians and Progressive Politics to Host David Barsamian

Not Everyone Who Looks White is White

If you look beneath my skin tone, you will see
My indigenous Armenian marginalized reality
Granddaughter of pained survivor
1915 Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Turks

Black, brown, red, yellow skinned indigenous people
Share the same fate
Of genocide, displacement and racial hate.

It is not my people’s shame that Ottoman Turks
Wore necklaces of Armenian women nipples in 1915.
Just like American soldiers wore nipple necklaces
When they killed Native women in Sand Creek 1865.

Demented conquerors deny genocides
Offer no reparations, just fake history
Leaving millions of ghost spirits
Seeking justice.  

When I say that I am a Woman Of Color
I am sometimes ignored, mistrusted and
Mislabeled white by those who know little
About world history and geography  

Whiteness is just a construct
So many try to fit into for the privilege it accords
My indigenous origin, though not obviously visible
Survives inwardly in infinite depth 

My light skinned African American, Latina, Native, Asian
And mixed race sisters also face identity challenges,
But unlike them, I have no fixed category
Western Asian, Native of Near East?

Some WOC groups just put Arab and mistakenly
Leave out other Near/Middle Eastern peoples of color
I do not want to be other.
I want my WOC herstory included –

I arise indigenous Armenian
Birthed from sacred Mt. Ararat
Cultural identity of all Armenians Guardian spirit
Apricot blossomed Anatolian plain 

Ethereal duduk flute music
Wandering like Armenian refugees exiled
Forced death marches by Ottoman Turk murderers
Who savored the stench of 2 million dead

Stolen indigenous land and homes
Eastern Turkey is really Occupied Western Armenia
3,000 years of culture wiped out
Barb wired Mt.Ararat under Turkish control 

Escaped, terrorized Grandmother refugee
Hiding her secrets in the oven
Circles my inter-generational trauma
Displaced identity

I cringe when I am mislabeled European
Mistakenly connected to US slave past
My grandmother was a sex slave in a Turkish harem
The naked slave master whipping her tears 

Under pretext of holy jihad against Christians
Ottoman Turks tried to wipe out all Armenians
Armenian school teachers hung from mulberry trees
Police skinning Armenians alive screaming 

Traumatized refugee survivors came
Under Asian quota changed to white
So they could have homes prove they were ok
Real identity, there but not there  

Tried to bury past humiliation, shame
Under blending/passing,
While the spirits of raped slave brides
And stolen Armenian children keep surfacing

Lost memory of indigenous past
Offerings to river and tree Spirits
Little acknowledgement of whose
Genocided indigenous land we occupy now

In the US I am a light skinned woman of color privilege
I am not profiled, harassed or murdered by racists
But I am not in denial of my indigenous heritage
Have to constantly explain my non-white ancestry and responsibilities 

If you put me in the “white boat” you are just
Helping white supremacists who are afraid
Of dark-skinned people taking over and
Want to claim light skinned people of color as white.

I have jumped out of the boat
In solidarity with all indigenous freedom struggles
Hoping we can help each other resist assimilation
I welcome support to counter Turkey’s constant attempt to squash the truth

So called democratic US covers up and hides Turkey crimes of genocide
Who knows that US white controlled
Corporations doing business with Turkey
Like Coca Cola, Pfizer, GE and Lockheed
Lobby US Congress not to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide? 

I choose to elevate my ancestral truth
I resist assimilation to honor my ancestors
Who died to save Armenia 

Treasured interviews of Armenian Genocide survivors
Like Vartouhi with blue tattoo marks on her face
Signifying Kurdish abduction.(2)

My body damaged by bomb/mine explosions heavy metal
In 90’s when joined armed  self-defense struggle
To liberate Armenian Artsakh (Nagorno Karabagh) from Azeri control  (3)

Our blood soaked homeland

Far flung diaspora of exiled descendants
Swinging between language/culture
Connections/ disconnections
Remaining small Eastern Armenia Republic
Blockaded, impoverished, needing aid

Migrating storks still returning building
Magnificent 10ft rebirthing nests
Storks nests in our hearts
Opening and closing Armenia

  1. Armenians are now being driven out of Middle Eastern countries they fled to after the genocide like Syria, Iraq, by anti-Christian extremists. 
  2. Some Kurdish tribes helped Turks kill Armenians.
  3. Azerbaijan, an ally of Turkey, is currently attacking Armenians in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh)

Author information

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Anoush Ter Taulian

Anoush Ter Taulian is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley. In 1992, she decided to relocate to Artsakh where she volunteered in the liberation struggle alongside Monte Melkonian. She has depicted the Armenian struggle for freedom in poetry, paintings, videos, and radio. A lifelong activist speaking in schools, churches, and at anti-racism conferences, Anoush continues to bring up current attacks on Artsakh at indigenous, women’s, and political conferences.

The post Not Everyone Who Looks White is White appeared first on The Armenian Weekly.

Source: Armenian Weekly
Link: Not Everyone Who Looks White is White

Gegam Kacherian’s  ‘Refractions’ Debuts at  Tufenkian Fine Arts


Maternal Warrior, 2017 (Acrylic and UV coated Ink on mylar)

Maternal Warrior, 2017 (Acrylic and UV coated Ink on mylar)

Opening Reception: Saturday, October 13. Exhibit run through November 16

LOS ANGELES—Tufenkian Fine Arts will present Gegam Kacherian: Refractions, a new exhibition featuring selected works by Gegam Kacherian. The opening reception will be held on Saturday, October 13, beginning at 7 p.m. The show will remain open through November 16th, 2018. This will be Kacherian’s first solo exhibition at Tufenkian Fine Arts. He most recently participated in That Layered Look, a group show curated by Peter Frank.

‘Refractions’–Gegam Kacherian’s Recent Work

BY CONSTANCE MALLINSON

Since 2006 Gegam Kacherian’s paintings might best be described as a journey into a hallucinogenic or dreamlike whirlwind. Dynamic compositions with allusions to Western art history from the Baroque to Surrealism incorporate a vast array of finely detailed, photo inspired representational images, folk art decorative motifs, and swirling, psychedelia inspired gestural “mini paintings”, often set within vibrant landscapes. In Kacherian’s painted world, the borders between fantasy and reality, magic and observable fact, the cosmic and personal, the past and present, the superficial and the deep, are breached, creating metaphors for the complicated experience of contemporary life.

Time-Touch-Related Act, 2017. (Acrylic on canvas)

Time-Touch-Related Act, 2017. (Acrylic on canvas)

In this latest series, Kacherian, restless to further explore his formal possibilities and never satisfied with previous victories, has expanded his conversation with the photograph; instead of simply source material as in the earlier works on canvas, the photograph has been elevated to an essential component at times indistinguishable from the painted image. Photography and painting have historically maintained an antagonistic relationship, with the emergence of photo realist painting in the 1960’s attempting to harmonize the photographer’s ease in creating compelling images with a painter’s inimitable touch. The mediums, however, were never confused for each other. Fast forward to the present where no certainties whatsoever exist; defined art categories, gender, nationalities, predictable seasons, political protocols are constantly shifting and morphing. Much critical verbiage is expended trying to comprehend these monumental changes. Kacherian in, seeing “how far from painting one can go and still be a painting” takes viewers into the eye of that storm. Moving from pure painting, he now employs a process of collaging from his collection of photographs, re- photographing and Photoshopping the assembled images, then printing the photo images on Mylar. From there, exquisite painted “doodles” are applied, gyrating and dancing across the surface, or in some cases, augmenting the figurative elements or enlivening broad expanses of rich color. Exotic flora and fauna, bisected architecture, human nudes and atmospheric effects play hide and seek in these wildly polychromed spaces. Painted areas can be difficult to differentiate from reproductions. Abstraction becomes figuration and figuration dissolves into gorgeous painted puddles. Refracting stained glass windows, kaleidoscopes, Cubist painting, Op Art, Kandinsky’s early abstractions, all come to mind. The effects are mesmerizing, especially when in catching a fleeting glimpse of oneself in the reflective Mylar, one realizes he/she is part of this fluctuating vision.

Witness, 2017. (Acrylic and UV coated ink on mylar)

Witness, 2017. (Acrylic and UV coated ink on mylar)

Kacherian has described these newer hybridizations of painting and photography as “trying to translate ideas of differences”—for example, day v. night, here v. there. Interpreting his intentions as a dualistic contest, however, is to not grasp the larger implications of these artworks. Questions of difference and contrast are certainly engaged throughout, particularly when trying to discern pictorial genres, fixed identities, locations, and perspectives. In Kacherian’s these elements veer and shift imparting a sense of instability and precarity. Refractions dramatically visualizes a world transforming right before us.


Source: Asbarez
Link: Gegam Kacherian’s  ‘Refractions’ Debuts at  Tufenkian Fine Arts


Hostages as State Policy

Raffi Bedrosyan

Raffi Bedrosyan

BY RAFFI BEDROSYAN

In August 2018, US President Trump angrily announced that sanctions will be implemented against Turkey, and personally against the Turkish ministers of interior and justice. What was the reason for Trump’s fury? The refusal to release Andrew Brunson, a US evangelical pastor arrested and jailed over two years ago, on still unproven charges of aiding terrorist organizations in Turkey and aiding the failed coup attempt against President Erdogan in June 2016.

The alleged mastermind of the failed coup attempt is Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric who lives in exile in Pennsylvania and Erdogan has repeatedly demanded his extradition from the US. In the absence of any real evidence, the Americans have not complied with the Turkish demands for Gulen’s return, and therefore, Turkey resorted to an age old tactic of hostage taking to achieve its objectives. The arrest and jailing of pastor Brunson, as well as several Turkish employees of the American Embassy in Turkey were meant to pressure the US to exchange them for Gulen. President Erdogan was even quoted a few months ago to have stated: ‘You give me my cleric, I give you your pastor.”

The use of hostages is a normal state of affairs in Turkish politics. Other recent examples include the arrest of a German journalist of Turkish descent, used as a hostage to secure the return of several Turkish military officers who had sought asylum in Germany. A similar demand for the return of Turkish military officers who fled to Greece was made by Turkey by taking hostage a Greek soldier who allegedly crossed the Greek-Turkish border.

The Greek, Armenian and Jewish minorities living in Turkey have been treated as hostages by the Turkish state throughout history. The religious and community leaders of these three minorities are pressured to declare their allegiance to the government, despite openly discriminatory conditions, unfair legislations, denials of historic facts, and so on. The pressure on the hostage minorities is maximized during crisis times. The most recent example is again related to the Pastor Brunson affair. Just as Trump demanded the release of the pastor, for no apparent reason, out of blue, all the minority religious leaders including the Armenian Acting Patriarch, the Greek Patriarch, the Jewish Chief Rabbi were paraded with one of the presidential aides of Erdogan and signed a declaration that “minorities live happily in Turkey, completely free to practice their religious and citizenship rights without any pressure.” It was obvious that the declaration that the minorities are not under pressure was obtained by pressure applied by the state on the minority leaders who had to comply obediently – or else… Sometimes, the state does not even have to exert any pressure and, as a classic case of Stockholm Syndrome, some minority leaders like the chairman of an Istanbul Armenian hospital foundation, voluntarily profess their love for their Turkish masters or parrot the state version of history.

Pastor Andrew Brunson, who was jailed by Turkish authorities, was freed on Friday, Oct. 12

Pastor Andrew Brunson, who was jailed by Turkish authorities, was freed on Friday, Oct. 12

This pattern keeps on repeating itself in Turkey. During the Cyprus crisis in the 1960s and 1970s, the Greek Patriarch in Istanbul was obliged to condemn the Greeks and praise the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. When German Parliament recognized the Armenian Genocide and acknowledged its responsibility, the Istanbul Armenian Acting Patriarch condemned the decision and defended the Turkish version of history. When Israel takes any steps against Palestinians or Moslems in general, the Jewish minority in Turkey pays for it with attacks and vandalism against Jewish synagogues, shops and homes. When Greece is perceived to treat its Moslem citizens unfavorably, the Greek minority in Istanbul is punished by the state as retribution.
Sometimes one hostage community is used against another hostage community. When Armenians worldwide started to push for Armenian genocide recognition in the parliament of several states, the Jewish minority leaders in Istanbul were pressured to actively engage Jewish parliamentarians and influential political leaders in those countries to stop the genocide recognition legislation. The Jewish minority leaders in Istanbul were ‘persuaded’ by the Turkish state to convince the Jewish lobby in the US to counteract Armenian and Greek lobbies.

But the most obvious and painful hostage incident in Turkish history relates to the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide. When World War One ended with the defeat of Ottoman Turkey in 1918, the victorious Allies started occupying Istanbul and other regions of Turkey. In cooperation with the occupying British forces, the new Ottoman government went after the Ittihat Terakki leaders for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and for wholesale massacre of its own Armenian citizens. Turkish and British police started rounding up dozens of Ittihat Terakki leaders and commanders, at least the ones who had not fled yet. Trials ensued in Istanbul and most of the wartime Ittihat Terakki leaders, including Talat, Enver and Cemal who had already fled, were sentenced to death in absentia. Two lesser officials who were sentenced to death were executed by hanging in Beyazid Square in Istanbul in April 1919. The Turkish public opinion was dead set against these hangings, and concerned with increased protests against them, the British decided to transport all the jailed Ittihat Terakki leaders to the British colony island of Malta in the Mediterranean, and continue the trials there. 148 Turkish leaders were interned in Malta. Almost all of them were actively involved in the massacres and deportations of Armenians from various regions of Anatolia. Some of them had amassed great fortunes with stolen property, possessions and lands left behind by the murdered or deported Armenians.

In the meantime, the Turkish resistance movement led by Mustafa Kemal in Anatolia started to gain momentum against the Istanbul government, which was regarded as a puppet regime friendly to the occupying Allied forces. Mustafa Kemal and the newly formed government in Ankara demanded the release of the Malta prisoners. The Allied forces had sent British Colonel Rawlinson to Turkey to assess the situation in Eastern Anatolia, ahead of the Sevres Peace Treaty negotiations. Rawlinson had met with Mustafa Kemal, other Turkish commanders and community leaders. He was married to the niece of Lord Curzon, who was the British Prime Minister and chief decision maker at the peace treaty negotiations. Declaring that Rawlinson is a ‘valuable catch’, Mustafa Kemal promptly decided to arrest Colonel Rawlinson in order to force the British to release the Ittihat Terakki leaders jailed in Malta. After several rounds of negotiations, the British resolve to hold on to the Malta prisoners started to weaken. The hostage taking tactic of Mustafa Kemal succeeded, as Lord Curzon finally declared that “one Briton is worth more than a shipload of Turks.” An exchange of prisoners was agreed and Colonel Rawlinson, along with 20 other British prisoners of war, was exchanged for the 121 Turkish prisoners of Malta at the port of Inebolu in the Black Sea in October 1921. The freed Ittihat Terakki leaders were never tried for their war crimes nor their roles in the Armenian Genocide. In fact, most of them assumed leading positions in the new republican government as ministers and members of parliament. The state policy of hostages, denial of historic injustices and racist ultra nationalistic hatred of minorities inherited from Ittihat Terakki leaders continue today.

Editor’s Note: Turkish authorities on Friday release Pastor Andrew Brunson.


Source: Asbarez
Link: Hostages as State Policy

Revolutionary Elections?

Garen Yegparian

Garen Yegparian

BY GAREN YEGPARIAN

Revolutions don’t need elections, except to consolidate and legitimize what they’ve already achieved. Once elections are being held, or even discussed, a de-revolutionizing process has already commenced.

In light of this, being questioned as to whether I’m “with or against” the revolution (referring to developments in our homeland since April) is trite and annoying but it is happening, and that seems to be because I dare address some potential pitfalls. Questioning my support for revolution is laughable, given my membership in the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and my very public history of positions taken and ideas espoused. It is especially comical when it is done from a place of assessing my support for, and agreement with, Armenia’s current leader who seems to have drunk the neo-liberal Kool-aid when it comes to economic policy. But that’s a topic for another time.

The current challenge the Republic of Armenia faces is transitioning from a kleptocratic system foisted on it as a result of the ridiculous prescriptions western “advisors” (the same neo-liberal types mentioned above) rushed to write for the countries emerging from the collapsed Soviet Union and its satellites. This abomination saw the obscene enrichment of the few and immiseration of the many, leading to the uprising of Spring, 2018.

The leaders, principally Pashinyan, of the uprising tapped into a deep font of dissatisfaction, but it was no “revolution” with all that the word connotes – years of organizing, preparation, and a guiding ideology. What started out as a tiny group of people swelled into a real popular movement that swept away the first, outermost, layer of a system built on the rot of corruption.

Naturally, that corruption was the first target of the new regime. Very public actions were taken. This built confidence and allowed the new regime time to consolidate its new-found power. The next step taken was also very clever and aptly timed – the pursuit of the culprits of March 1, 2008. This further solidified support for the regime. But none of this could be permanent without an election to bring into office, formally, the people who led the movement in the streets.

The first step was electing a new city council and mayor for Yerevan. In this case I think the new regime did better than it initially imagined. The election was belatedly and artificially labeled a “referendum” and when the new regime’s candidates garnered 81% of the vote, its leadership realized the time was ripe to strike.

Despite some agreement/arrangement/understanding among the parties in parliament (back when Pashinyan was first elected Prime Minister) that snap parliamentary elections would be called in May or June of 2019, the new regime wanted to consolidate and legitimize itself through an election immediately while its support was at its peak. This is where the heavy-handedness and public relations tone-deafness of the other three parliamentary caucuses (Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Prosperous Armenia party, Republican Party of Armenia) manifested itself. Concerned that the new regime would marshal its supporters into the streets and prevent parliament from convening, they passed legislation (as yet unsigned by the president) on October 2nd to circumvent such a possibility. Yet, instead of getting out front and explaining what they were doing and why, they tried to do it stealthily and ended up further empowering the new regime.

All hell brook loose, or so it seemed. But analyst/commentator Tatoul Hagopian/Tatul Hakobyan explained it well when he said in a recent interview that “manipulation” (of public opinion) is what defines politics. He attributed that behavior to both sides of this kerfuffle, and contended, rightly, that all this should be taken in stride. Indeed, what seemed like an explosive situation when the October 2nd legislation passed has already settled down with one party, PAP, already agreeing with Pashinyan to hold snap elections in December. Sixteen members of the RPA have also stated they support early election. The ARF has said that it, too, supports snap elections as long as certain conditions – reforms to the country’s election laws – are met.

So the whole crescendo of people being labeled anti-revolutionary over a relatively minor political conflict was ridiculous. The descent to the streets and takeover of parliament’s grounds may have re-energized Pashinyan’s activists, but unfortunately, it also opened the doors to attacks on the Republic of Armenia from other quarters.

A retired American diplomat turned lobbyist, Joseph Adam Ereli, penned an article titled “Anarchy in Armenia” for the Washington Times. While this is not the most reliable of news sources, it still has significant reach. Arming people such as Ereli with opportunities to attack Yerevan does Armenians a disservice. It’s not clear to me why he did so. He has an association with Mercury/Clark & Weinstock, a Washington D.C. lobbying firm, which was hired earlier this year by both the Turkish Embassy and Turkey-U.S. Business Council. Yet the type of attack contained in the article reeks more of Azerbaijan’s style. On the other hand, it might even have been done at the behest of Robert Kocharian, similar to the case documented by Ara Khachatourian in “Kocharian Hires Western Lobbyist Who Worked for Azeri Interests” a few weeks ago.

If we want improvements to continue to our quarter-century-old third republic’s political, and consequently economic and social life, we had better stop fetishizing events and idolizing people and stick to the hard work of making up for the missed opportunities and abuses of the last 27 years while saving and expanding the few bright lights that shone through that period of relative darkness.


Source: Asbarez
Link: Revolutionary Elections?

In Memoriam: Hacob Shivanian

Hacob Shirvanian and his wife, Mina, who passed away in December

Hacob Shirvanian and his wife, Mina, who passed away in December

Long-time community activist, leader and benefactor Hacob Shirvanian passed away on August 23 at home surrounded by family and friends. A Requiem service on the 40th day of his passing was held in Armenia. During a funeral service on August 29 at Liberty Hall at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills. Shirvanian’s family and friends paid tribute to him, which we present below.

Hacob “Jake” Shirvanian — 1924-2018

A young Hacob Shirvanian

A young Hacob Shirvanian

Hacob Shirvanian’s biography was presented in English during his funeral service by his daughter-in-law Melody Petrossian

Hacob “Jake” Shirvanian was born in Tabriz, Iran in 1923 to Vagharshag Shirvanian, an Armenian war hero for the defense of Van, and Verjeen Shirvanian. Both of his parents were Genocide survivors. He had three sisters, Anelka, Savey and Angel and a younger brother, Kosti. Hacob’s father passed away when he was 13 years old, and as the eldest son, he had to drop out of school to support his family.

During the Second World War, Hacob served with the British Persian Gulf Command and the U.S. Armed Forces. His unique mastery of languages, including English, Farsi, Turkish, and Armenian, positioned him as an interpreter.

Hacob married the love of his life, Mina Hovanessian, in 1946 and was happily married for over 71 years, until her passing last December. They were blessed with 2 children, Alice and Armen. His dream was to come to the U.S to create a better life for his family. In 1956, the Shirvanians entered New York Harbor onboard the Queen Mary and soon after reunited with Kosti and Savey in California, making Los Angeles their home. Hacob’s quest for the immigrant dream became a reality after he joined Kosti and Savey at Western Waste Industries. Forty years later, Western Waste would become the 5th largest waste services company in the U.S.

Hacob felt very fortunate when Alice married Vahik Petrossian, not only because he loved Vahik like a son, but also because he loved Vahik’s family as his own. Hacob was later blessed with 2 grandsons, Chris and Shant, a granddaughter in-law Melody, and three great-grandchildren, Christopher Jake, Sebastian Monte and Katherine Mina. He was very fortunate to celebrate his 95th birthday on August 17th with his loving family by his side.

Hacob’s service, talents and expertise were recognized by Governor Ronald Reagan, who appointed him to the California Waste Management Board in 1973. Thereafter, Hacob was appointed by Governors Jerry Brown, George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson and Gray Davis to the State Small Business Board and then the State Contractors Board. Hacob holds the distinction of serving 33 consecutive years as a State Board member, serving five consecutive Governors in a truly bipartisan fashion.

Together, Hacob and Mina supported many Armenian organizations, including the Armenian Educational Foundation, Armenian Youth Federation, Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Armenian Relief Society, Armenian National Committee, Armenian Cultural Foundation, Armenian Society of Los Angeles, Ferrahian Armenian School and the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Hacob was not only a supporter, but often an active board member to many of these organizations.

Hacob was also an active and dedicated member of the Glendale Adventist Church and Adventist Health of Glendale, where for years he has served on the Hospital Foundation Board and Civic Advisory Council.

Throughout the years, numerous Armenian and Artsakh Presidents, Catholicoses, Governors, and dozens of other state and local officials would honor and fondly call him Jake or Baron Hacob. Hacob and Mina were also celebrated by Armenian and American organizations for their commitment and support of our communities, including such tributes as Man of Year and Lifetime Achievement Awards. Both Catholicos Karekin II and Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia honored Hacob with the church’s highest honor for his hard work, dedication and commitment to the Armenian community.

Hacob and Mina’s greatest love was to support the Armenian youth. They renovated schools in the most impoverished areas of Armenia, Artsakh and Javakhk and provided scholarships to deserving students. Their most recent mission was the construction of the Armenian Cultural Foundation’s Shirvanian Youth Center in Gyumri. After multiple visits to Armenia over the past 40 years, Hacob and Mina made their final visit to the homeland for the opening of the youth center in the summer of 2016.

Hacob Shirvanian has been described as a pillar of the community. He was a mentor to many and a champion for the Armenian cause. He made a pronounced impact on the lives of all who knew and loved him. His legacy will live on in all of us.

Letters to Dad

Hacob Shirvanian with Ronald Reagan

Hacob Shirvanian with Ronald Reagan

To honor the memory of their father, Hacob Shirvanian, his son, Armen and daughter, Alice Petrossian wrote heartfelt and personal letters to their dad. The letter were read during the funeral service by Shiravanian’s grandson, Shant Petrossian

Dear dad,

How do I express the multiple feelings of love, gratitude, pride in this time of pain and loss?

We loved you so much, your way of love was strong and strict yet if we looked into your beautiful eyes we knew that it was because you LOVED us.  I remember the day I said I want to go away to college and live in a dorm/apartment, you replied “not as long as you are my daughter.” I knew you loved me no matter what.

The day I married Vahik, a man you and mom adored, I saw you cry secretly because I was leaving home, and yet you stayed strong for me. Your love was evident with every visit to Oakland.

When the boys were born, you showed love by holding, feeding and even a few times changing them.  Mom repeatedly said you never did that for your own kids.  I wont forget the joy and excitement you showed when the grandchildren were born. But I know you prayed for a little girl and asked to live long enough and God granted you Katherine, who loved you to the last minute kissing you over and over again.

But your love was so grand it extended to your family, worrying about your siblings and their families, by the way you worried too much!  Your love for Armenia and all things Armenian was beyond any measure, you brought that love into our lives.  Your love for travel, history, nature and your zest for life was always impressive.

“Gratitude” a grand word that embodies you.  We are all so very grateful to you…the family, the community, and many political leaders … have expressed their gratitude in ways I could never imagine.  I wish you could read and hear the messages, the comments and the memories being shared with us.

Apo Bohigian said that even in your passing you manage to do good things, and I believe you will continue to make the world a better place.  Your generosity is above and beyond any measure, you gave and gave to causes that had your heart…

Please know that we will do our best to continue your gift of giving and stay faithful to your wishes.

At age 13 you lost your father, and became the man of the house.  Taking care and worrying about Anelka, Savey, Angel and Kosti, oh wait and 2 grandmothers Vergine and Vasganoush.  How you cared for and supported your mother in law was a model for all of us.  Proud that you worked hard to make a living in Iran and continued that same work ethic to the United States.  Your life early on was difficult, but you were strong.

What continually made me proud was when you and mom would shine from stages and Podiums. What a talent you had for saying the right words and giving the right prayers and so the praise followed.

With the passing of each friend and family member you hurt deeply.

The greatest loss you suffered was that of mom, the love of your life for 72 years, she kept her 5 plus years of cancer pain from you so you would not hurt, and you kept your pain from her so she would believe that all was well.  You suffered for 15 years with Parkinson’s and never, never, never complained.  Your suffering the last month and a half was truly difficult, but never once did you let your family feel your pain.

After the loss of your precious Mina, you were never the same again.  You asked for her regularly, you looked at her pictures with great sorrow.  I only pray that you are together now, holding hands and smiling down on us.

You said near the end that you had asked God to live until 90 and anything more would be bonus years.  We thank GOD we got 5 more …bonus years.

Dad your faith in GOD saw you through much, and now our faith in God and YOU, will see US through.

Be at peace, and know you will never be forgotten.

Alice

***

My beloved father,

You will be so missed but never forgotten.

I want to thank you dad for all you taught me and the life lessons learned. You taught me the love of the Lord you taught me the meaning of morality and How to live with integrity. You showed me with your beautiful wife what it means to love cherish and respect a woman. You taught me the love of people and nation. You showed what it meant to have a father and mother who would stand by their children no matter what life brings.

Most of all dad you and mom taught me how to love and what it means to love. God bestowed on me the greatest blessing of all a mother and father that were incomparable that loved without question that sacrificed without hesitation that truly gave all they had and lived an amazing life for themselves their children their children’s children their loved ones and friend

Proverbs 1:8 says: “MY SON, HEAR THE INSTRUCTION OF THY FATHER, AND FORSAKE NOT THE LAW OF THY MOTHER”
You will be missed but never forgotten. I love you dad. May God bless you and mom. May god bless us all.

Armen

An Ode to Our ‘Babik’—Grandpa

Hacob and Mina Shirvanian with His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of theGreat House of Cilicia

Hacob and Mina Shirvanian with His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of theGreat House of Cilicia

Hacob Shirvanian’s grandson, Chris Petrossian, presented an ode to his grandfather during his funeral service.

As you just heard, Hacob Shirvanian was a community leader, a successful businessman, a savvy politician, and a loving family man, but his most important accomplishment was being the best grandfather anyone could ask for. Ever since I can remember, Shant and I would proudly say that Hacob Shirvanian is our grandfather.

Shant and I were so fortunate to have the grandparents we had, for as long as we did.  9 months ago, many of you heard about our bond with Mamik Mina.  Well, our relationship with babik was just as strong, as he was involved with every aspect of our life. We lived together, we worked together, we traveled together, we played together, we laughed together, and, more recently, we cried together.

He was our friend, our teacher, our role model, our hero and our babik.

As our friend, we enjoyed spending as much time with him as possible. He had a great sense of humor and was a lot of fun. The best part of working at Western Waste was seeing him every day and the conversations we had on the long drives from Glendale to Torrance and back. If we needed anything, like a good friend, he would be there in a heartbeat with no questions asked. Whether it was going with me to look for apartments at UCLA or driving across the country to move me to Chicago.

As our teacher, he taught us about life and the world. Even at a young age, he would treat us like adults and set high standards for us to meet. He used to love to lecture us on any topic and Shant and I could not wait to get out of class. The only way out of that class was the class bell and that was Mamik saying, “Hacob, end it”. He used to say, the best education he gave us was the “passport to life” through all the travels, trips, political and other events he took us to. He wanted to make sure we learned from each of them. Well Babik, those experiences made us the men we are today.

Hacob Shirvanian with a long-time friend, the late Hacop Baghdassarian

Hacob Shirvanian with a long-time friend, the late Hacop Baghdassarian

As our role model, we looked up to him and marveled at what he had accomplished as an immigrant with only an 8th grade education.  He was our motivation and cheerleader to succeed in academics, athletics, careers and in our personal lives. He wanted to make sure we had the opportunities he did not. As a good role model, he taught us how to give back to our community. Two years ago, we all went to Armenia for the opening of their Youth Center.  They were so happy to not only visit the motherland one last time, but to know that they left a lasting legacy that we will do our best to continue.

Mina and Hacob Shirvanian with Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, Karekin II, who later became Karekin I, Catholicos of All Armenians

Mina and Hacob Shirvanian with Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, Karekin II, who later became Karekin I, Catholicos of All Armenians

As our hero, he taught us to stand for what we believe in and to never give up. When grandma passed away, he lost not only the love of his life, but also his best friend of over 70 years.  Broken-hearted and not feeling well, he said he just wanted to go to sleep and not wake up. However, he persevered to stay alive to celebrate his 95th birthday with us. The doctors said his body gave up, but he did not. He was a fighter who refused to quit… the story of his life.

As our babik, he loved us unconditionally and treated us like we were the center of his universe. Grandpa was a notoriously slow driver. Grandma said the only time he drove over the speed limit was when he was coming to see Shant, me or my kids. We wanted to honor the great man he was, so when Melody and I had our first son, we made Jake his middle name, with the hopes that he will grow up to be a great man like his great-grandfather.

Over the past week, it has been nice hearing how grandpa impacted many of your lives, too. He appreciated how you treated him when he was alive. On behalf of the family, I want to thank you all for how you honored my grandfather in the past and how you continue to honor him with your presence today.

Knowing him, he would want to stand in front of you all today, to thank you for coming and tell you not to mourn him, but rather celebrate the wonderful, blessed life he lived.  He was an accomplished speaker who knew how speak from the heart and command a room.   And whenever he went a bit too long, which was often, it would be grandma by his side saying “Hacob, end it.”  I am sure she is up there now saying, “Chris, end it.”

The last time I spoke with Grandpa, he kissed me on my cheek and said “God, be with you”.  Well babik, you are now with God and our beautiful Mamik.  Please give her a big kiss from us.  We will miss you both dearly and will never forget the mark you left on our lives, but you are where you belong… with each other and with God.  I love you babik…

Celebrating Hacob’s Life

Hacob Shirvanian with Gov. George Deukmejian

Hacob Shirvanian with Gov. George Deukmejian

A long-time family friend, Charly Ghailian, paid a moving tribute to Hacob Shirvanian, whom he called “dad” during the funeral service

To some he was known as Jake, or how I knew and called him—Dad!

I would like to share a song from the 60’s, its lyrics portray a young man’s gratitude toward a father figure:

“One who would lead by example
Whose love was unconditional
Whose kind deeds heartfelt”

…And the repeating lyrics in the song are: “I call this man FATHER/I call this man LOVE”

Hacob Was Love
He loved his Mina… loved his Alice, Vahik and Armen; adored his grandchildren Chris and Shant; cherished his Melody and the blessings for Christopher, Sebastian and Katherine.

He embraced his siblings and treasured their family gatherings.

He was always grateful and respectful for this great country, enamored with his Hairenik and heartfelt with Artsakh.

He loved his parties…the Republican and Dashnak parties that is! At times, he struggled with their decisions… but was always committed and dedicated to both.

This GENTLE man of love was an activist, a revolutionary of his time, a servant of his nation, a mentor to many, a kind and generous soul… whose principles were Faith, Family and Nation!

Hacob supported just about anything that started with an “A” and a couple of “H’s” and “U’s”… ACF, AEF, ANC, ARS, Armenian Apostolic Church, Adventist’s/Adventist Health, AUA, Holy Martyrs School, Homenetmen, UCLA and USC.

The one thing Hacob wasn’t good at, was delivering the punch line of a joke. He would burst into laughter at that most critical moment, making everyone laugh hysterically as well…. However, no one ever knew the outcome of the joke.

Hacob played a big role in my life!!

He once said at my grandmother’s funeral service… “You’re not only laying to rest your grandmother, you’re laying to rest a part of our identity and history.”

I share the same with all of you, “We celebrate Hacob’s life and lay to rest a part of our identity and history.” … and assure you all… he is with his Mina planning their next trip to a heavenly destination!

We are all blessed to have had Hacob in our lives and forever in our hearts.

With all my love…


Source: Asbarez
Link: In Memoriam: Hacob Shivanian

ANCA-WR and Glendale Meet with GUSD Superintendent and School Board President

ANCA-WR and ANCA Glendale extend their resources to GUSD

ANCA-WR and ANCA Glendale extend their resources to GUSD

Extend Resources to GUSD

GLENDALE—The Armenian National Committees of America – Glendale Chapter and Western Region have extended their resources and services to the Glendale Unified School District Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools to help relieve circumstances that may have contributed to the fight between dozens of students at Hoover High School a week earlier.

The ANCA – Glendale and Western Region representatives met with the School Board President Mr. Greg Krikorian and the Superintendent of Schools Dr. Winfred B. Roberson & GTA president Taline Arsenian on Wednesday, October 10 to learn more about the incident and about what actions were being taken by the School District to ensure the safety of the students, prevent the reoccurrence of violence, and offer the support of the organization, the Glendale Youth Center and affiliated organizations.
The ANCA – Glendale and Western Region are very concerned that tensions between several groups may have contributed to the violence.

“Our organization is taking the initiative to reach out to parents, students, school officials, city officials, and Glendale based organizations to work together on having healthy relations between all of our City’s residents,” we will continue monitoring the situation and will be in constant contact with all officials to make sure the situation will be handled diligently, stated ANCA – Glendale Co-Chair Ronnie Gharibian.

“The ANCA – Glendale and affiliated organization representatives will continue meeting with parents, students, school officials, other community organizations, as well as City officials to implement actions that contribute to better relations between the City’s diverse ethnic population,” added the advocacy organization’s Co-Chair Lucy Petrosian.

The ANCA – Western Region has also contacted some local television news programs to express its concerns over the coverage by some reporters and suggest actions to increase awareness and improve unbiased news reporting.

According to Glendale’s school officials, approximately 38 percent of the students are of Armenian descent, 23 percent are Hispanic, 13 percent are Asian, 6 percent are Filipino, 2 percent are African American, American Indian, Pacific Islander and/or decline to state students.


Source: Asbarez
Link: ANCA-WR and Glendale Meet with GUSD Superintendent and School Board President