California Courier Online, April 1, 2004

California Courier Online, April 1, 2004

1 – Commentary
State Dept. Offends Armenians
Calling the Genocide “Alleged”

By Harut Sassounian
California Courier Publisher
2 – UACC Chancel Choir Presents
Holy Week Cantata, April 8
3 – Diocese to Conduct Easter
Services at Ararat Home
4 – Matiosian Wins Emmy,
Golden Reel Awards
5 – Special Books Comfort Alzheimer Patients
6 –
1 – Commentary
State Dept. Offends Armenians
Calling the Genocide “Alleged”

By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier

In an alarming development on the eve of the 89th anniversary of the
Armenian Genocide and just months away from the upcoming presidential
elections, the Bush Administration has gone out of its way to offend and
alienate the large and influential Armenian-American community.
In the “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2003” recently released
by the US Department of State, the following two sections in the report on
Turkey refer to the Armenian Genocide:
Section 2: “In June, authorities arrested and indicted teacher Hulya
Akpinar for comments she made during a conference in Kilis Province on the
alleged genocide of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire.”
Section 5: “In April, the Education Ministry issued a circular urging all
schools to have their fifth-and seventh-graders prepare a one-page essay
arguing that allegations that the Ottomans committed genocide against
Armenians are ‘baseless.’ ”
Referring to the Armenian Genocide as “alleged” or “allegations” is
appalling. The last time the State Dept. used such denialist language was
back in 1982. Since then, successive administrations have used euphemisms
and other evasive terminology. By saying, “alleged,” the State Department
is in fact joining Turkey in denying the veracity of the Armenian Genocide.
It is highly ironic that this administration came to the White House with a
personal promise made by Pres. Bush that he would support the recognition
of the Armenian Genocide. During his term in office, the President has not
only broken his promise by avoiding the words Armenian Genocide in his
annual April 24 proclamations, but has allowed his top aides in the White
House, the Pentagon and the State Dept. to oppose any mention of the
Armenian Genocide by the U.S. Congress and state legislatures.
This is outrageous. Armenian-Americans will not forget the Bush
administration’s misrepresentation on this most important and sensitive
issue to all Armenians worldwide. In the next presidential election, no
self-respecting Armenian should vote for Pres. Bush nor contribute a cent
to Bush’s re-election campaign.
Please e-mail your complaints to the White House: [email protected];
and the State Dept:

Demonstration Against British Ambassador

The latest development on the denial of the Armenian Genocide by the
British Ambassador to Armenia, Thorda Abbott-Watt, is an announcement by
the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations in France (CCAF) that a
demonstration will be held in front of the British Consulate in Paris (18
bis rue d’Anjou) on Saturday, April 3, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Similar
protests are expected on April 24 in front of British Embassies in several
other countries, including Armenia.
Last week, 14 Armenian organizations from a dozen European countries sent a
joint letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair requesting a public apology from
Amb. Abbott-Watt and urging the British government to take “all necessary
measures in order to prevent the recurrence of such shameless incidents in
the future.”
Dozens of Armenian and non-Armenian newspapers from around the world have
been covering the controversy revolving around Amb. Abbott-Watt. The Azeri
newspaper “Echo” published a lengthy commentary on this subject,
speculating on whether the British government would recall its Ambassador
from Armenia or “the diplomatic scandal will eventually end by the
Armenians quieting down all the fuss.”
A prominent newspaper in Armenia, Azg, published a commentary on March 27,
urging Armenians to boycott all events attended by Amb. Abbott-Watt. It
would be equally effective if Armenian officials and organizations do not
invite her to any events or conferences. If she is shunned by Armenian
officials and isolated from Armenian society, she would not be able to
carry out her diplomatic duties in Armenia. The British government would
then have no choice but to recall her back to London.
Meanwhile, more e-mails from hundreds of Armenians as well as non-Armenians
from several countries (including Armenia and the United Kingdom), continue
to be sent to the British Ambassador in Armenia:
[email protected]; to Michael Jay, the Under-Secretary and Head
of the UK Diplomatic Service: [email protected]; and to Prime Minister
Tony Blair through the following web site:
(click on select a subject,
select “international affairs,” and then click on the “go” button), asking
the British government to withdraw its Ambassador as she can no longer
effectively carry out her diplomatic duties in Armenia. Please send copies
of your e-mails and any responses to the Armenian Foreign Ministry
([email protected]) and to [email protected].
To review articles and statements on this issue, please check the following
web site:

2 – UACC Chancel Choir Presents
Holy Week Cantata, April 8
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – The United Armenian Congregational Church Chancel Choir
will present a Holy Week of Sacred Music, April 8, at 8:15 p.m. at the UACC
sanctuary, 3480 Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles.
The UACC Chancel Choir will perform the cantata, “The Seven Last Words of
Christ,” by Theodore Dubois.
The Cantata will follow the traditional Maundy Thursday supper and
communion service that will be held in UACC’s Paul Aivazian Hall, beginning
at 7 p.m.
The Choir of about 40 singers will be joined by soloists Nune Kartalyan,
Suzie Mazmanian, Raffi Kerbabian and Aren Der Hagopian, with Martha Sarian
as organist and H. Hrant Agbabian, Director of the Chancel Choir.
3 – Diocese to Conduct Easter
Services at Ararat Home
LOS ANGELES- Continuing a tradition of the Western Diocese of the Armenian
Apostolic Church, special Holy Easter Church services will be conducted at
the Ararat Armenian Home, 15105 Mission Hills Rd., Mission Hills on April
12, at 11 a.m.
Los Angeles area clergymen of the Western Diocese will participate in the
Church services.
4 – Matiosian Wins Emmy,
Golden Reel Awards
LOS ANGELES – After winning the prestigious Academy of Arts and Sciences
Emmy Award for Best Sound Editing on a Television Series, Mace Mationsian
also won the Motion Picture Sound Editors, Golden Reel Award for Best Sound
Editing in Television.
The Academy recognized the Chicago-born Mationsian for his work on the CBS
TV hit crime drama series, CSI.
The Golden Reel Award was presented to Matiosian for his work on CSI at the
Motion Picture Sound Editors Annual award banquet held at the Century Plaza
Hotel on Feb. 28. This was Mationsian’s seventh Emmy Award and ninth Golden
Reel Award.
Mationsian is currently the Supervising Sound Editor on CSI, the number 1
rated show on television.
He also recently completed HBO’s Carnivale series.
His credits include Hack, UC Undercover, Star Trek: the Next Generation,
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the Others, Baywatch, McGyver and dozens of TV
movies and specials.
Currently living in Santa Barbara, Calif., Mationsian works in Hollywood at
the Todd AO Studios.
He began his career in sound at Ryder Sound Services in Hollywood, which
was owned by Levon Chaloukian.
5 – Special Books Comfort Alzheimer Patients
By Paula Lloyd
Neighbors Cityview
FRESNO -Margaret Magarian, 91, has one favorite book. It’s a think
scrapbook of family photos and memories designed by her daughter that she
reads over and over again.
The pictures and written memories comfort her mother, who has been
diagnosed with dementia, says Judi Magarian-Gold. The book also provides
hours of entertainment. “She says, ‘I’ve read them 100 times, but I sure do
love them.'”
Magarian-Gold and longtime friend Jan Lewis developed three paperback,
plastic com-bound memory books to give Alzheimer’s and dementia patients
and their families, or any senior, a way to record and preserve memories.
Sitting at the kitchen table of her Fresno home, Magarian-Gold opens the
first thick, hard-bound photo album she made for her mother.
Lewis and Magarian-Gold met in 1962 at California State University, Fresno,
where they earned teaching credentials. The two retired teachers have each
published educational materials.
They also have shared the joys and sorrows of caring for aging parents.
That experience, coupled with their teaching and writing skills, led to the
creation of the memory books.
Like Magarian-Gold, Lewis had also created a book for her mother, Opal
Lewis, who died in May at 84.
Magarian-Gold and Lewis also realized there wasn’t anything on the market
like what they wanted. “There are plenty of books, but no workbooks,”
Magarian-Gold says.
Memory books are helpful for Alzheimer’s patients, Lewis says, “because
long-term memory goes last.” Linda Hewett, co-director of the Alzheimer’s
and Memory Center, says the memory books “create a structured way for
family members and friends to talk with a person who has difficulty
communicating, who often doesn’tj remember what happened yesterday.
“I think they have hit on a really great idea,” Hewett says.
The books are purposely printed in a less-inexpensive format, to be more
accessible. “My Album of Memories,” a scrapbook-style workbook for pictures
and written recollections, and “Family History,” a workbook with questions
to spark conversations about family and friends, are each $12.95.
“Journal of Loving Memories,” a workbook for family and friends to share
their recollections, and a 2004 calendar with pictures drawn by
Magarian-Gold that seniors can color are each $8.95.
For details call (559) 431-8571 or 448-0555.
6 – Burbank Library Getting Hundreds
Of Donated Armenian Books
By Alex Dobuzinskis
Los Angeles Daily News
BURBANK — Burbank libraries will soon have more than 200 donated books
either about Armenia or written in Armenian for their international
collection, a community organizer said Wednesday.
The library’s acquisition of Armenian books comes at a time when the number
of Armenians moving into Burbank is on the rise.
Pharmacist Tamar Kekorian, the wife of Burbank school board member Paul
Kekorian, said about 100 books were collected at a book fair earlier this
month and other books have been collected in the meantime to bring the
total to more than 200. The goal is to collect 400 to 500 books.
“It’s such a tremendous project that we decided to stretch it over nine to
10 months so that we can actually accomplish it,” Kekorian said.
The books already collected are valued at more than $5,000, she said. The
books were donated by local residents, and some provided money to buy new
The first phase of the book collection focuses on books about Armenian
history and the Armenian genocide of 1915.
The next phase of the collection will involve the donation of children’s
books, some of them written in Armenian.
One of the books ready to be donated is by poet Hovhannes Toumanian, who
was born in 1869 and wrote a number of short, fablelike stories such as
“Nazar the Brave.”
Nazan Armenian, a member of the Armenian National Committee of Burbank,
said the book donation program is good for the libraries.
“It will drive more Armenian patrons to use the library,” she said.
Kekorian said she got involved in collecting books for the city after head
librarian Sharon Cohen approached her husband and asked for help in
obtaining more books about Armenia.
“I would like to encourage others to be involved in projects like this.
Because due to budget cuts, it’s very difficult for libraries to have the
kinds of collections that they would ideally like to have,” Kekorian said.
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