Boise, Idaho – Armenian Americans in Boise, Idaho will hold an ANCA Town Hall meeting on Saturday, March 2, 2013. The town hall meeting will cover a variety of topics, including the Armenian National Committee of America’s Return of Churches initiative, which calls on the Republic of Turkey to return stolen Christian church properties and allow full freedom of faith for all religious minorities.
“We here in Idaho welcome the opportunity to host this ANCA Town Hall meeting,” remarked John Kazian, resident of Kuna, Idaho. “We respect the work of the ANCA and look forward to learning how Armenian Americans in Idaho can be part of the Return of Churches initiative, which rightfully seeks to return to our people the churches that were stolen from us during the Armenian Genocide,” Kazian added.
The ANCA Town Hall meeting will feature remarks by William Bairamian, Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region. The gathering will be held at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Boise, Idaho at 7:00pm on Saturday, March 2, 2013.
“This ANCA Town Hall meeting will provide us with a chance to exchange ideas, in an open dialogue, with Armenian Americans in Idaho,” commented William Bairamian. “The Armenians of Idaho are rightly proud to live in what is known as the Gem State. I know they are dedicated to advancing issues they care about – like the Armenian Cause – with their local Members of Congress. For this reason, I am proud to be headed to Boise, Idaho to share time with John Kazian and other Armenian Americans who reside in and around Boise, Idaho.
Idaho became the 33rd U.S. state to recognize the Armenian Genocide in 2004, when former Republican Governor Dirk Kempthorne, then Chairman of the National Governors Association, issued a proclamation citing April 24th “Idaho Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923. The proclamation began by noting that “one and one-half-million Christian Armenian men, women, and children were the victims of a brutal genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turkish Government.
The gubernatorial proclamation in 2004 closely followed a resolution unanimously adopted by the Senate of the Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU) recognizing the Armenian Genocide and condemning efforts to rewrite history. Senate Resolution 13 noted that the genocide “has resulted in the elimination of the Armenian people from their historic homeland of over 3,000 years through the criminal loss of property and life.” The resolution “commemorates the Armenian Genocide and condemns those attempts made by governments as well as other entities, both public and private, to distort the historical reality and legal relevance of the Armenian Genocide to the descendants of its survivors and humanity as a whole.”
Most recently, an agricultural group in the Republic of Turkey has apparently applied to the Turkish Patent Institute to trademark the word “IDAHO” for its agricultural, plant and animal products. In response, the Idaho Senate has, according to news accounts, fast-tracked a resolution against the move proposed by the Potato Commission and passed it unanimously. As reported last week in an Idaho newspaper, “If that office (in Turkey) grants them that authority to use IDAHO as their trademark, they can both sell and market products both in Turkey and internationally using the Idaho name,” said Sen. Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot, Senate Agriculture Committee chairman. “I guess we take exception to that. This is not intended to poke our finger into Turkey’s eye, but they need to understand that we treasure the Idaho name.”
The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.