There are more than 7 million Armenians living outside of the bounds of Armenia and Artsakh, in addition to the estimated 2 million “Hidden Armenians” who are the descendants of Genocide survivors who were forcibly converted to Islam and continue to live in present-day Eastern Turkey, only recently having the courage to reveal their true identities. This dynamic panel discusses identity politics and the issues plaguing the preservation of heritage for Armenians everywhere. The panelists are author and filmmaker of Armenian issues, minority rights, and freedom of speech, Aris Nalci; geographical and demographic researcher of Western Armenia, George Aghjayan; civil engineer, pianist and founder of Project Rebirth, which helps hidden Islamized Armenians reclaim their Armenian roots, language, and culture, Raffi Bedrosyan; and Kurdish human rights activist Baris Alen. Best-selling author Matthew Karanian, who wrote the English language books Armenia and Karabakh: The Stone Garden Travel Guideand Historic Armenia After 100 Years: Ani Kars and the Six Provinces of Western Armenia, moderates the panel.
The dynamic 2 day ANCA-WR biennial Grassroots Conference, held on October 23-24, 2015 was the third in a groundbreaking series of informative and inspirational lectures, workshops and seminars bringing together artists, academics, legal experts, and political officials with hundreds of activists from all over the world to explore issues related to the Armenian Cause and to develop and promote new avenues of leadership and civic engagement.
Click here to read the 2015 Grassroots Conference Wrap Up.