The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) Film and the Arts Committee will launch its inaugural event of 2015 on Wednesday,February 11 at 11:30am. The committee is proud to host author Matthew Karanian for a book signing luncheon at the Sheraton Universal Hotel. Karanian, author of Armenia and Karabakh: The Stone Garden Travel Guide will speak about and sign copies of his latest book “Historic Armenia, After 100 Years: Ani, Kars, and the Six Provinces of Western Armenia.” The book will be available for pre-sale at the luncheon with its official publication date set for February 15.
ANCA-WR Chair Nora Hovsepian and ANCA-WR Film and the Arts Committee Chair Nora Yacoubian traveled to Western Armenia last May as part of a group that included Karanian who captured final photographs for his project. “It was a privilege to meet Matthew on our historic soil. I immediately knew that our Committee would welcome a collaboration to promote the first travel guide of Western Armenia,” says Yacoubian.
Karanian’s groundbreaking publication illustrates, narrates and celebrates the terrain and cultural wealth and histories of the Armenian nation in Western Armenia. Histories whose Armenian trajectories were abruptly and forcefully severed after the Armenian genocide of 1915. Thus, 100 years later, Karanian aspires to elevate Western Armenia in the personal and collective consciousness of Armenians inviting readers to participate in what he terms, “a journey of rediscovery.” Having visited Western Armenia numerous times over almost two decades Karanian was deeply troubled to witness the ever-increasing vandalism of Armenian cultural monuments. “We Armenians are harming our homeland by staying away. It is as if we are saying, go ahead and destroy our churches. No Armenian is ever going to visit them and find out what you have done, anyway” professes Karanian. Inspired to chronicle and preserve the historical integrity of what once was and what still remains, Karanian’s conviction comes to life in his stunning 176 page travel guide, which includes 125 color maps and photographs.
“Matthew is a true champion of our cause and embodies our mission to educate, activate and motivate. As the ANCA rallies to secure the return of our stolen churches it is critical for us as Armenians to come together on the issue of preserving and protecting our heritage in Western Armenia” remarks Hovsepian. For Karanian, his book is inextricably linked to this pursuit of justice. Karanian explains, “I see my book as a part of this struggle. We need broad support for the return of our churches, and we can get this support if people know and see what’s still left. I think my book sheds a light on what we still have, on what’s at risk, and on what we should be doing to preserve our heritage in Ani, in Kars, and in Western Armenia.”
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.