ASBAREZ Online [09-30-2005]


1) Uncertainty over EU Turkey Talks Deepens
2) ARF Nigol Aghbalian Student Union Turns 15
3) Senators Boxer and Fienstein Welcome His Holiness Aram I in Senate Floor
4) Armenian Bar Association Urges Hastert to Bring Genocide Legislation to
5) Highlights of 2005 ANCA-WR Annual Banquet
7) Armenian Artists Celbrate1600th with Modern Flair
8) ‘Armenians of Lebanon’ & ‘Khatchaturian’ to Screen at Arpa Film Festival
9) Arshavir Shiragian Memoir Published in Italy
10) Emergency Preparedness & the Ferrahian High School Class of 1985

1) Uncertainty over EU Turkey Talks Deepens

BRUSSELS (Reuters)–Doubts grew on Friday over the start of European Union
membership talks with Turkey next Monday, and EU president Britain forecast
tough talks among member states right down to the wire.
One senior EU ambassador said the chances of negotiations starting on time
were only 50-50 because Austria was holding out for the 25-nation bloc to
out an explicit alternative to full membership.
Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel, whose party is battling to avert defeat in a
regional election on Sunday, also wants the EU to open talks immediately with
Austria’s neighbor, Croatia, although the two candidacies are not formally
Britain has called an emergency foreign ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg on
Sunday evening to try to overcome the final hurdle to launching the accession
process with the sprawling, poor, overwhelmingly Muslim country of 72 million
British Europe Minister Douglas Alexander was guarded when asked whether he
was confident talks would go ahead on schedule.
“There will be an intensive period of discussion both on Sunday and also on
Monday and I believe that we will be able to move forward, although there is
clearly a lot of work still to be done,” he told BBC Radio.
Germany reminded its EU partners of their unanimous decision last December to
begin accession talks with Turkey and urged Europe to meet its strategic
responsibility and be fair.
“We think it is important that the EU sends a clear signal to Turkey,”
Ministry spokesman Jens Ploetner told a news conference in Berlin.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said, after returning from a tour of
Gulf states on Thursday evening, that he was still confident talks would go
ahead on Oct. 3 and played down the obstacle.


Austria blocked an EU agreement on the negotiating mandate at the
ambassadorial level on Thursday, but Erdogan forecast that ministers would
clinch a deal on Monday morning.
“After it reaches its decision on the morning of Oct. 3, we will continue on
our path. It is their problem in a way. But I don’t think they have a very
serious problem,” he said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul sounded less certain, stating at a
hastily arranged news conference on Thursday that the problem was serious and
talks might not start on Monday at all.
Austria’s stance reflects widespread public opposition in western Europe to
the prospect of Turkish membership, which is expected to take 10 to 15 years.
The senior EU ambassador, speaking on condition of anonymity, said if the
Austrian objection could not be overcome, talks would not start because Turkey
would not turn up.
“We are still assuming there will be a solution on Sunday, but I would only
give it a 50-50 chance,” he said.
“Austria is saying it’s position is not just tactical. So I don’t see this as
a lever for Croatia,” the envoy added.
Other diplomats think a key may lie in the hands of the chief U.N. war crimes
prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, who was in Croatia on Friday to discuss
cooperation in the hunt for fugitive indicted ex-general Ante Gotovina.
If Del Ponte reports that Zagreb is now cooperating satisfactorily with her
tribunal, the EU may be able to give a green light for Croatia’s talks on
Monday, allowing Austria to claim a victory that might enable it to back down
over Turkey.
In Austria, political parties were united behind Schuessel’s stance, except
for the Greens.
Opposition Social Democratic leader Alfred Gusenbauer told Schuessel he must
stick to his tough line after Sunday’s regional polls in Styria, and should
only allow Turkey’s talks to go ahead if the EU agrees to offer a “privileged
partnership” as an alternative to full membership.
Turkey has said it would walk away rather than accept such a second-class

2) ARF Nigol Aghbalian Student Union Turns 15

YEREVAN (YERKIR)–Representatives from ARF youth and student organizations
converge in Yerevan October 3-7 to celebrate the founding of Armenia’s Nigol
Aghbalian ARF Student Union (NASU).
ARF youth from throughout Canada, United States, Lebanon, Syria, Kuwait,
and Russia will participate in a pan-Armenian youth conference dedicated to
NASU’S founding.
The conference “Armenian Youth and Prospects of Armenia’s Developments,” will
focus on civil activity among youth and Turkey’s policy toward Armenia.
Speaking about the organization’s goals, NASU President Ishkhan Saghatelian
said they include international recognition of the Armenian genocide and the
national unification of Armenian youth.

3) Senators Boxer and Fienstein Welcome His Holiness Aram I in Senate Floor

Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA) made statements on
floor of the US Senate this week, welcoming His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of
the Great House Of Cilicia, to California for his upcoming October visit.
Senator Boxer stressed that the Catholicos’s spiritual, cultural and
educational influence extends beyond the Armenian people. “His Holiness
Aram I…
has worked to strengthen interfaith relations between Christian and Muslim
communities. In 1974, the Catholicos was one of the founding members of the
Middle East Council of Churches.”
In her speech, Senator Feinstein stressed that his Holiness is not only the
spiritual leader for hundreds of thousands of Armenians around the world, but
is also of the most prominent Christian leaders in the Middle East. “The
Pontiff presently serves as the Moderator for the World Council of Churches
which is comprised of more than 340 churches from different cultures and
countries around the world representing over 400 million Christians. Currently
serving his second term, His Holiness is the first Orthodox and the youngest
person to be elevated to Moderator,” she said.
Pointing to the theme of the Pontiff’s visit,”Towards the Light of
she said it reflects the Pontiff’s faith that “only with greater education and
dialogue can the world’s conflicts be addressed properly.”

4) Armenian Bar Association Urges Hastert to Bring Genocide Legislation to

Following the International Relations Committee’s approval of legislation
acknowledging the Armenian genocide, the Armenian Bar Association wrote to
Speaker Hastert, urging him to keep “past commitments to hold a vote on the
Armenian genocide Resolution.” Now that the two pieces of legislation, HR 316,
and HCR 195 have been approved in Committee, Hastert must bring them to the
House floor for a vote.
The Armenian Bar Association details the frustration of Armenian Americans
whose own government does not acknowledge the most catastrophic moment in
history. The letter states that, “it has sadly been an outrage that, for far
too long, our government has capitulated to Ankara’s demands.”
The letter goes on to point out statements made by Hastert in the past that
demonstrate his support for Genocide recognition. In 1994, Hastert even
acknowledged that, “over a million Armenians were exiled and eventually
murdered by the Ottoman Turks… as a result of this genocide.”
The ABA concludes the letter by urging Hastert to honor his pledge and to
“advance American values by scheduling a floor vote at the earliest
opportunity… The time has come for moral clarity and principled action against
the denial of the Armenian genocide.”

5) Highlights of 2005 ANCA-WR Annual Banquet

Over 600 attend, including dozens of federal, state, and local legislators

LOS ANGELESThe Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region
hosted its Annual Banquet on Sunday, September 18, 2005 at the Renaissance
Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles with over 600 in attendance. The event raised
over $200,000 and played host to dozens of federal, state, and local
legislators, and hundreds of Armenian American activists.
Alex Sardar, who served as the ANCA-WR’s Executive Director from 2000 to 2002
and who currently represents Counterpart International in Armenia, was the
Master of Ceremonies for the event. At the opening of the program, the
Police Department Honor Guard, which was comprised of Armenian American
officers, was on hand to present the flags of the US and the Republic of
Armenia. Banquet benefactors Khachik and Elo Mouradian were joined by Frank
Houri Melkonian, Ashken Pilavjian, John and Asdghik Bedrosian, and Sarkis and
Noune Sepetjian in cosponsoring the event.
“The Annual Banquet is a wonderful opportunity for the Western Region to
out, as it always has in a bipartisan effort, to its legislative supporters
community activists to thank them for their support and urge continued support
on issues of concern to all Armenians,” said ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian.
During the banquet, the ANCA-WR presented California State Senator Jackie
Kanchelian-Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) with its Woman of the Year
Senator Speier was honored at the banquet for her long-lasting and continued
support of issues that are of concern to the Armenian American community.
Since her time as an Assemblywoman, Senator Speier has authored numerous
measures of interest to Armenian Americans with an unprecedented overall
of over 300 pieces of legislation that have been signed into law. Among her
most recent accomplishments, Senator Speier authored the 2005 Armenian
resolution in the state of California, and along with fellow Armenian American
legislator Senator Chuck Poochigian (R-Fresno), authored SB 424, which was
signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to permanently designate
April 24 as California Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.
Senator Speier, who is running for Lieutenant Governor in 2006, was given the
award by friend and colleague, State Senator Chuck Poochigian, who has
announced his candidacy for Attorney General in 2006. If victorious, the two
will become the two highest ranking Armenian American state legislators in
In her acceptance speech, Senator Speier reaffirmed her commitment to the
Armenian American community, and described the difficulties she faced as a
young Armenian American growing up in the United States in the 1950’s. She
praised the ANCA-WR for the continued pressure it has put forth on Congress
the US government to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide.
“The Armenian National Committee of America has gone beyond the call of duty
in pushing Congress to recognize the Armenian Genocide, and I applaud them,”
said Senator Speier.
Also honored during the evening’s festivities was the ANCA’s Elizabeth S.
Chouldjian, Communications Director for the ANCA National Headquarters in
Washington, DC, who was honored with the Vahan Cardashian Award for her years
of hard work in advancing the Armenian Cause. Vahan Cardashian, after whom the
award was named, was the tireless engine behind the effort for American
for the fledgling Republic of Armenia in 1918 and the US Mandate to safeguard
the promises in the Treaty of Sevres. After the fall of the Armenian Republic,
Cardashian remained steadfast in his efforts to ensure that the United States
would not succumb to signing the defeatist Treaty of Lausanne, which due to
Cardashian’s efforts, the US never did. Cardashian was the trailblazer for
Armenian Americans during the early twentieth century. He founded the American
Committee for an Independent Armenia (ACIA), the predecessor to the ANCA.
Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA), who was to be honored as “Human Rights Champion”
during the evening’s event, was called away to Washington, DC just hours
the event, and was unable to attend.

Congressmen Radanovich and Schiff Push Armenian Genocide Legislation

Congressman George Radanovich (R-CA) (by video) joined Congressman Adam
(D-CA) in praising the ANCA-WR’s work in helping the two Armenian Genocide
resolutions pass through the House International Relations’ Committee on
September 15, 2005. The two Congressmen also gave accounts of the intense days
and weeks leading up to the vote in the House International Relations’
“There is no organization that has a greater impact than the ANCA on Congress
in regards to issues of concern to the Armenian community. They work the halls
of Congress, they are indefatigable, they turn out grassroots, and they have a
tremendous impact,” said Congressman Adam Schiff during his address to the
Both Congressman Radanovich and Schiff have introduced resolutions calling on
the United States government to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide. HRES
316 [House Resolution], which was introduced by Representatives George
Radanovich, Adam Schiff, and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank
Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) and has over 140 cosponsors, calls
upon the President to ensure US foreign policy reflects appropriate
understanding of the Armenian Genocide.
“I appreciate the bipartisan support for this resolution, which properly
acknowledges the Armenian Genocide, reaffirms the proud and groundbreaking
chapter in US history to halt the Genocide, and renews our commitment to
preventing other occurrences of man’s inhumanity to man,” said Congressman
George Radanovich.
HCON 195 [House Concurrent Resolution], introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff and
cosponsored by over 80 Representatives, calls on Turkey to abandon its
campaign of Armenian Genocide denial and to work with Armenia to come to terms
with its tragic history.
The House International Relations Committee overwhelmingly passed both
resolutions with bipartisan support. HRES 316 passed 40-7, and HCON 195 passed
35-11. Equally important, both Chairman of the committee, Henry J. Hyde
and top ranking Democratic member, Tom Lantos (D-CA), voted in favor of both
resolutions. Neither had been supportive of similar Armenian Genocide
legislation in the past.

Mayor Villaraigosa’s Steadfast Support of the Armenian American Community

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was also on hand during the program,
his appreciation for the support the ANCA and the members of the Armenian
American community have given him during his tenure as a legislator. The
ANCA-WR has worked with the newly elected Mayor for over ten years, throughout
Villaraigosa’s time in the State Assembly and the Los Angeles City Council, as
well as supporting him in both his bids for Mayor.
“I am so proud of the support I received from the ANCA in this election
period, the election for Mayor four years ago, and the election for state
assembly 10 years ago. I am very thankful and count, as a part of that
the support I enjoyed among the Armenian American people,” said Mayor
He also took the opportunity to announce key Armenian American
appointments to
his administration including Ara Bedrosian to the Los Angeles Police Permits
Review Commission, Maria Armoudian to the Los Angeles Commission of
Environmental Affairs, Raffi Ghazarian to the Los Angeles Children, Youth, and
Their Families Commission, and Ed Ebrahimian as General Manager of the Los
Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting. Ebrahimian is the Mayor’s first appointment
of a Department Head, and he is the first Armenian American to head a
department in the City of Los Angeles. The Mayor stressed the importance of
unifying the people of Los Angeles, and creating an “administration that would
reflect every community in Los Angeles.”

ANCA: True to Our Roots

During the banquet, attendees viewed a film presentation by young Armenian
American filmmaker Ara Soudjian of Treaty of Sevres Filmworks about the ANCA
and its strong grassroots activism titled True to Our Roots. The film
highlighted efforts undertaken by the ANCA in focusing the community’s
and issues on policymakers and how they help educate decision makers.
Soudjian, who has consistently been active in the Armenian American community
with the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF), began his film career working for
ANC-TV program. Soudjian also helped the ANCA to produce educational TV spots
for the Villaraigosa campaign that aired on various Armenian TV channels in
this past election period working with ANCA liaisons to the campaign.
He has also worked on the “Rock the Vote” campaign, the motion picture, 13
Going on 30, and created the ANCA film about the organiztion’s Capital Gateway
Program, which premiered at last year’s ANCA Banquet. The Capital Gateway
Program film gave an inside look at the unique program which invites college
graduates to Washington, DC, with the support of the ANCA staff, to work on
Capitol Hill in efforts to increase Armenian involvement in the American
political process.

Excerpts from Speeches:

George Radanovich
“We were able to pass the Genocide Resolution through the International
Relations Committee by a vote of 40 to 7. I am very proud of that vote and it
is symbolic of the work the ANC does in lobbying in Washington and working
me to gain awareness of the genocide that happened in 1915.”

Adam Schiff
“The level of activity, support and activism of the Armenian community around
the country has been tremendous. The work of the Armenian community’s
allies in
Congress has been tremendous. But it is not enough. It will not be enough
to do
what we have done to get these bills passed on the floor of the House. It will
not be enough. We must do more. We have been trying for ten years to get a
resolution passed in the House. We cannot assume that the same level of effort
that has not succeeded in ten years will now be successful. It will not. We
will have to do more. And this is the time. It’s been 90 years. If not now,
“Now, we come out of this with tremendous momentum. But the next nine weeks
while we are still in session are going to be critical. If you have contacts
with the Speaker, this is the time to use them. If you have contacts with the
State Department, which opposes these resolutions, this is the time to use
them. We have to mobilize like we’ve never mobilized before.
“The leadership of the House does not want to hear either one of these
resolutions. Now, that does not mean that they are going to fail. I’ve seen in
the last five years, resolutions that were opposed by the leadership,
nonetheless be taken up and passed. But it never happens without a fight. And
if we are serious about this, if we are not content to merely have issues pass
out of committee, then we are going to have to fight. And there is no
reason we
should be satisfied with bills coming out of committee. So let us all dedicate
ourselves to the struggle ahead, because we can do this. We can do this while
there are still survivors left to see and to witness. Let’s go do it.”
Jackie Speier
“As public officials, we are given awards, but there’s nothing greater than
receiving the praise or acclaim from your family. Tonight, I feel like I am
receiving that kind of acclaim from my family.
“My Armenian heritage has also been a gift…I, for the most part, experienced
my Armenian American roots not through connections with community groups, but
through my woman of the year, every year, my mom.
“We are told by some to forget the Armenian Genocide, but we will not forget.
Nor will we permit our children or grandchildren to forget. To forget is to
permit it to happen again and again.
“I want to thank the ANCA for reminding America that genocide is not only a
historic reality but it is reality in this year 2005. Why do we remember our
loved ones who died from 1915-1923? Because humanity aches as innocent people
are killed tonight, and remember because humanity prays tonight for
from the racial and ethnic hatred that activates guns, mows down children, and
renders chaos.”
Antonio Villaraigosa
“The ANCA has been at the forefront of the fight to remember, the fight to
collectively, not just as a community but as a nation, recognize the Armenian
Genocide and to hold those who are responsible accountable.”

Some other elected officials who attended the ANCA-WR Annual Banquet were
Congresswoman Diane Watson, California State Board of Equalization Chairman
John Chiang, California State Assemblymembers Judy Chu, Dario Frommer, Lloyd
Levine, Gloria Negrete McLeod, and Keith Stuart Richman, Orange County Sheriff
Mike Carona, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Member Michael
City of Downey Councilman Kirk Cartozian, City of Brea Councilman Marty
Simonoff, Glendale Mayor Rafi Manoukian, Montebello Mayor William Molinari,
Glendale City Councilmen Ara Najarian and Frank Quintero, Los Angeles City
Councilman Dennis Zine, Montebello City Councilmembers Robert Bagwell and
Lopez-Reid, Glendale City Clerk Ardashes Kassakhian, Burbank Unified School
District Board of Education President Paul Krekorian, Glendale Unified School
District Board of Education Member Greg Krikorian, Los Angeles Unified School
District Board of Education Vice-President Jon Lauritzen, Glendale Community
College Board of Trustees President Anita Gabrielian, Glendale Community
College Board of Trustees Members Armine Hacopian, Victor King, and Vahe
Other honored guests in attendance were Prelate Archbishop Moushegh
Mardirossian of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church, who
presented the evening’s invocation, Consul General of Armenia in Los Angeles
Gagik Kirakossian, US District Court Judge Dickran Tevrizian, California
Superior Court Judge Armand Arabian (retire), Los Angeles Superior Court
Maral Injejikian, Greg Keosian and Zaven Sinanian, Glendale City Police Chief
Randy Adams, Montebello City Police Chief Garry Couso-Vasquez, Los Angeles
Unified School District Superintendent Governor Roy Roemer, Los Angeles City
College President Steve Maradian, Los Angeles Unified School District
Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Branch Director Robert Collins, and
former Glendale Mayor Larry Zarian.

Elizabeth Chouldjian Receives Vahan Cardashian Award

Excerpts from Elizabeth S. Chouldjian’s speech in receiving the Vahan
Cardashian Award for her steadfast commitment to advancing Armenian issues.
Chouljian is the Communications Director for the ANCA National Headquarters in
Washington, DC.
“I can’t tell you how humbled I am by the words of my colleagues, by the words
of our chairman. I can’t tell you how humbled I am by the presence of so many
Armenian American community leaders, our elected officials, who have been a
shining light for us, all the different organizational leaders who are here,
who spent every waking moment prioritizing our community and strengthening our
community. And when I think of all of that, and I think of all that our
community does as a team, I respectfully say that I can’t accept this award.
The Vahan Cardashian award is given to those who believe in that concept of
³½·³ÛÇÝ å³ñï³Ï³ÝáõÃÇõÝ, [obligation to the nation].
When we were young, and I know that every single person in this room
understands this and feels this, and so I know that you are going to relate to
me when I come to you with this concept. When we were taught to eat our
vegetables, when we were taught to get good grades in school, when we were
taught to excel and be the best people we could be; the next line out of the
mouths of our parents was “and always remember your obligation to the nation;
always remember your commitment to community.” Long before President Kennedy
said, “ask not what your country can do for you,” the Khrimian Hayreegs of the
world, the Vahan Cardashians of the world, the Karekin Njhdehs of the world
were all teaching us that concept. And when I look around me tonight and
when I
think about the tens of thousands of ANC activists around the country, I can’t
help but think exactly that, of the collective efforts, the collective works,
seeing in the incredible videos that Ara Soudjian put together this evening,
seeing in my everyday work and our teams’ every day work here in the Western
Region office and in the DC office. Congressman Schiff this evening spoke
eloquently about our victory on Thursday night: an overwhelming majority of
people in the House International Relations Committee voting for us, voting
justice on the Armenian Genocide. Voting against million dollar lobby teams,
the defense contractors, the tobacco lobby. Voting against hidden interests
that we can’t even possibly know at this point and will surface, God knows,
years later when we are dealing with this issue. What was the one thing that
was able to defeat them all at the end of the day? It was obligation to the
nation. It was the grassroots. It was the fourth grader who sent me an
email on
Thursday morning before the vote saying, “I already contacted my Congressman
on this topic, what else can I do today? At 10:30 I’m going to try and miss
class in order to see this.” It’s the Armenian grandmother who calls on a
monthly basis to our office, speaking in the most lovely Armenian, when she
reads letters that come to her home from our chairman Ken Hachikian, asking
support for our Armenian issues, and she quietly tells me: ÎÁ Ý»ñ»ë, ³ÕçÇÏë,
µ³õ³Ï³Ý ·áõÙ³ñ ãáõÝÇÙ Ù»Í ÝáõÇñ³ïáõáõÃÇõÝ ÁÝ»Éáõ: ÎÁ Ëݹñ»Ù ³Ûë ÷áùñ ·áõÙ³ñÁ
³é¿ù Ó»ñ ³½·³ÛÇÝ ·áñÍÇ Ñ³Ù³ñ: [I’m sorry dear, I don’t have the funds to
make a
big donation. Please accept this small donation for your undertakings to help
our nation.]
Obligation to the nation.
And it’s the students that we see, the bright young people that we saw on the
video over there, who are our interns in Washington DC, who are our interns
here in the Western Region, who learn the tools of Hai Tahd, who then
return to
their communities to become the leaders of tomorrow.
Obligation to the nation.
It’s all of us. When Vahan Cardashian talked about community activism,
when he
led the road to community activism and talked to all the governors to become a
part of the American Committee for the Independence of Armenia. He was paving
the road to political action and turning our obligation to the nation into a
political reality.
And so I humbly say that the Vahan Cardashian Award and everything associated
with it can’t belong to one person. It’s not one individual in this fight.
everyone; it’s every single person in this room; it’s the tens of thousands of
activists around the country, around the world who prioritize the Armenian
community, who prioritize the Armenian Cause, who prioritize recognition of
Armenian Genocide recognition above all else and make it a reality today.
And so this beautiful award, ladies and gentlemen, will be standing, I hope,
on the mantle at the ANC Western Region office, and will be standing there
as a
symbol to grassroots leadership, to grassroots activism, and to victory
the grassroots network of the ANC. And so, Ladies and gentlemen, you are the
winners of the Vahan Cardashian Award.”


In the 1994 classic film “Shawshank Redemption,” Tim Robbin gives an Oscar
worthy performance as the wrongly imprisoned, mild mannered accountant Andy
Dufresne. Dufresne is a victim of a system that has failed him and failed to
carry out justice. Dufresne is thrown in prison for killing his wife and her
lover while the real criminal literally gets away with murder. When most
people would be resigned to their fate and give up, Dufresne spends years
planning his getaway. And even after he endures unspeakable tortures and
humiliation, Dufrense, escapes and reclaims his dignity. Dufrense crawled
through a river of raw sewage “and came out clean on the other side.”
It’s only natural that when I think of torture and prison abuse, I think
the Turkish Government. But lately I’ve been thinking about Andy Dufrense for
a different reason. For the last month, the more I read about efforts for
official acknowledgment of the Armenian genocide in Congress, the more I find
myself revisiting the themes in this great movieperseverance and redemption.
Our community has crawled its way back from the traumatic turn of events back
in 2000, when the Genocide Resolution in Congress was literally seconds away
from a vote before being yanked by Speaker Dennis Hastert. That year, many
things played in the community’s favor. An embattled Republican Congressman
named James Rogan was in the race of his life for reelection. In what was the
most expensive Congressional race in US history, it quickly became a debate on
the Genocide Resolution, due mainly to the fact that Armenian American voters
would play a significant role in that election.
Alas, the bill failed to be voted on; Rogan lost the election only to be
replaced by a member of minority party (the useless Democrats failed to retake
the House), and the covert and clandestine efforts by such groups as the
Armenian Assembly of America to reconcile our “differences” with the Turks in
the form of the Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC) immediately
killed all momentum built up by grassroots organizations like the ANC. But
this year will be different. Or at least I hope so.
Once again, the stars have aligned and in such a way that nobody could have
ever predicted. One of our main obstacles in the Housemajority leader Rep.
Delay (R-TX) has been indicted for alleged illegal behavior in raising money
for Republicans running for office. Things are getting so hairy that he might
even resign. This means his role will be filled by Congressman David Dreier
who represents the district just north of Glendale and has a sizeable Armenian
American population. Congressman Dreier is my new best friend. In fact I’ll
be sending him a fruit basket and some Lehmejune from Sassoon Bakery to thank
him in advance for pushing this bill to be considered by the full House. This
is going to be an excellent test to see if our Republican friends in Congress
are true to their word or if our most significant issue is merely a political
football. The clock is ticking.
It took us five years of crawling in knee-deep political sewage but we’re
finally knocking on Congress’s door again. There is no reason why we
should be
denied. The one person who can stand in the way of this resolution is the
President and he’s got his own problems to deal with nowadays.
Oh, and that argument that Turkey is an essential ally? We’ll see how much
water that holds now after the Republic of Turkey denied American troops
to the northern front of Iraq. You know you’ve screwed up when you turn even
your ardent supporters like Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) against you in committee.
We’re almost there. We need to keep crawling.
We’re pushing forward on all cylinders. Just yesterday, MTV ran a story on
the rock band System Of A Down protesting in front of Speaker Hastert’s
district office in Illinois. The European Parliament stressed that
of the Armenian genocide is essential to Turkey’s accession into the European
And what about the Turkish authorities? What do they have to say about
all of
this? They’re too busy canceling and banning conferences in their own country
on this topic to even be worried about our resolutions in Congress.
Conferences on the Armenian genocide, in Turkey! We’re almost there. We have
to keep going forward towards the light.
Last week, a group of Turkish community leaders attacked an Armenian American
college fraternity for “insulting Ataturk” on a flyer for a conference
organized back in April. They’ve sued the participants in Turkish court and
are claiming that the flyer which depicted Ataturk, the founder of the
of Turkey, sitting in front of “puppies” was a disgrace. I didn’t make that
up. The article really said puppies. I’ve managed to get a hold of this
and can only say that other than it being a rather lame flyer for what
to have been an even lamer event, I don’t see any problems with it. It’s an
image of Ataturk sitting in front of a corpse of an Armenian boy (not a puppy)
which has been added to the photo via some computer program. The Turks suing
the participants are mad as hell and are protesting in the streets of Ankara
but still no sign of them on these Genocide resolution bills in Congress. No
lobbyists (although I’m sure they’re out there) and no moronic testimonies
about more Muslims dying than Armenians during World War I. If anyone can
argue that we are not in a better position than we were in 2000, I would like
to see them try. We’re almost there. We need to keep crawling.
We’ve been tortured, teased, stabbed in the back, lied to, treaded on,
You name it, we’ve endured it. But this is our time. This is when every
Armenian American should stop what they’re doing and do the bare minimum to
ensure the success of this moral and just cause. It may take us a while to
over the stench but we’re almost there. Just keep crawling.
Skeptik Sinikian’s coffee table book of photography “Images of Turkish
with Puppies” is due out in December. He is currently accepting preorders via
email at [email protected] or place an order at his website at

7) Armenian Artists Celbrate1600th with Modern Flair

In celebration of the 1600th Anniversary of the creation of the Armenian
Alphabet, Homenetmen Glendale Ararat Chapter’s Cultural Division will be
hosting an art exhibition displaying modern renditions of the Armenian
by famous Armenian artists.
The 38 letters of the Armenian alphabet were created 1,600 years ago in 405
A.D by St. Mesrob Mashdotz. Since its creation the letters were never changed
or modified, making the Armenian language one of the most precise languages.
The alphabet played an enormous role in the preservation of the national
cultural identity of the Armenian people.
In honor of the 1600th anniversary, Homenetmen Glendale Ararat Chapter’s
Cultural Division wanted to highlight the beauty and the importance of the
Armenian letters by hosting an art exhibition starting October 7-9 at Ararat
Center located at 3347 N. San Fernando Road, Los Angeles, CA 90065.
Thirty-eight local and out-of-state Armenian artists were invited to each
sponsor and recreate one letter based on their own interpretation. On display
will be the 38 renditions of each letter as well as other works of art
featuring the Armenian Alphabet.
His Holiness Aram I Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, will mark the
opening of the Art Exhibition on Thursday, October 6th at 7:00 p.m. at an
invitation-only dedication ceremony. The art exhibition is endorsed by the
Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Armenia, Consulate General
Republic of Armenia in Los Angeles, City of Glendale and Homenetmen Western
United States Regional Executive Committee.
Attendees can view the works of art on display and also place a bid on each
piece during a silent auction. The art exhibition is open to the public on
Friday 10/7 & Saturday 10/8, from 11:00 am 10:00 p.m., and Sunday 10/9, from
11:00 am 6:00 pm. The silent auction results will be announced on Sunday
at 4:00 pm.
A commemorative art book with pictures of all the pieces will be available
purchasing. The book also contains brief biographies of all the artists who
presenting their work. The 38 artists that will display their work are: Adana,
Alenoush Khachikian, Alina Mnatsakanian, Albert Djanbazian, Alexander Sadoyan,
Anahid Boghosian, Armineh Havan, Dro Arzooian, Artak Atanyan, Gegam Kacherian,
Gohar, Harry Vorperian, Henri Khodaverdi, J. Natasha Kostan, Lara Minassian,
Liana Goroian, Martiros Adalian, Minas Gharibian, Minas Halajian, Norik
Dilanchyan, Seeroon Yeretzian, Seda Baghdassarian, Sev, Sevak Petrosian,
Simonian, Sophia Gasparian, Srboohie Abajian, Raffi Adalyan, Vachag, Vahram
Hovakimyan,Varouzhan Hovakimyan, Vladimir Atanyan, Arpineh Shakhbandarian,
Arthur Zakarian, Tamar Khachatrian, Sarkis Muradyan, Ara Tevkantz, Oshin
Saginian, and Samvel Marutyan.
Banners have been posted on Brand Blvd. displaying information on the
art exhibition. For further information on Armenian Alphabet Art
Exhibition or
our organization please call us at 323-256-2564 weekdays after 2:00 p.m. or
visit our website at <; or e-mail us at
[email protected]. Homenetmen’s Cultural Division is honored to host an art
exhibition to celebrate the anniversary of the creation of the Armenian
Alphabet. Homenetmen Glendale “Ararat” Chapter was founded in December of
1978 and is a non for profit organization that provides year-round athletic,
scouting and cultural programs and activities to youth.

8) ‘Armenians of Lebanon’ & ‘Khatchaturian’ to Screen at Arpa Film Festival

The 2005 Arpa International Film Festival will be screening a series of films
in honor of the 90th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. This year, the
festival will screen over 50 films from 18 different countries. Taking place
from October 3 7, 2005, the films will screen at ArcLight Cinemas in
Hollywood. “We are pleased to have such high caliber films about Armenians in
this year’s festival. Each year, films dealing with Armenian topics keep
getting better and better. By far, this is the best year to date for Armenian
films,” stated Elizabeth Tohikian, director of this year’s festival.
Khatchaturian: Opening Night Documentary film – Monday, October 3 at 7:00pm.
The documentary deals with the life of Armenian composer Aram Khatchaturian.
Narrated by Eric Bogosian, “Khatchaturian” is an account of a talented
who was at first caught up in the excitement and potential of the Communist
revolution but found himself labeled a bourgeois formalist with the rise of
Stalin and his oppressive aesthetic of socialist realism.

Armenians of Lebanon: Tuesday, October 4 at 7:00pm
This new documentary dealing with the stories of Diasporan Armenians should
not be missed. The film deals with how Armenians got to Lebanon [through]
histories of the people and surrounding regions. In Turkey: Scenes of
desolation, ruins and silence. In Syria: Tears, testimonies and suffering. In
Armenia: Resistance, strong will and a dream. In Lebanon: A destiny coming
ancient times. This film also screens with two short films dealing with the
Armenian Genocide- “The Relic” and “Caravan”.

My Son Shall Be Armenian: Wednesday, October 5 at 8:35pm
There are almost four million Armenians living in Armenia today, and
nearly as
many scattered throughout the world. 100,000 of them live in Canada. Five of
these Armenian-Canadians accompany the filmmaker and return to the land of
their forefathers in search of survivors of the Armenian Genocide, a crime
committed by the Turkish Ottoman government in 1915 and lasting until 1923.
film is about the reactions of the New World travelers to their homeland,
until then had been nothing more than just a distant land.

Beautiful Armenians: Thursday, October 6 at 7:00pm
In this documentary, a young and upcoming filmmaker questions her Armenian
identity and culture. Through this questioning she rediscovers her family
history and also discusses the importance of remembering the history of a
For a complete schedule of the festival please visit Tickets
for all screenings are currently on sale at Tickets
are $9 for ArcLight members and
$11 for the general public
The 2005 Arpa International Film Festival will culminate on Friday, October 7
with an Awards Gala party at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Everyone is
welcome to attend this closing night party. Donation is $75 per person which
includes food, cocktails, music & award ceremony.
For more information or to reserve you place today, please call 323-663-1882.

9) Arshavir Shiragian Memoir Published in Italy

WATERTOWN, MAEarlier this year, Angelo Guerini and Associates of Milan
published “Condannato A Uccidere: Memoire di un Patriota Armeno” (Condemned to
Kill: Memoirs of an Armenian Patriot). The project was initiated by several
leaders of the Italian-Armenian community, who decided to sponsor the
translation of “The Legacy: Memoirs of an Armenian Patriot” into the Italian
The book, which tells the story of the Armenian national hero Arshavir
Shiragian (1900-1973), was originally published by Hairenik Press in 1976.
in the first person, the books tells the captivating story of Shiragian, who
tracked down several of the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide after they
were condemned by a military tribunal.
In what most agree were acts of justice because the Young Turk leaders were
allowed to go free after being found guilty for sanctioning the premeditated
murder of over 1.5 million Armenians, Shiragian assassinated Sayid Halim Pasha
in Rome and Dr. Behaeddin Shakir Bey and Jemal Azmi Pasha in Berlin.
The Italian edition of the book was translated by Vasken Pambakian and edited
by Serena Crosina and Anna Maria Samuelli, and it includes a preface by the
historian Marcello Flores of the University of Siena. Guerini and Associates
have published a number of books on Armenian topics by authors including
Dadrian, Pietro Kuciukian, and Claude Mutafian.

10) Emergency Preparedness & the Ferrahian High School Class of 1985

By Jack Der-Sarkissian, MD

What do the 1988 earthquake in Armenia, hurricane Katrina, Los Angeles
community emergency response training, and the Ferrahian High School Class of
1985 have in common? It turns out, quite a bit, and these seemingly
disconnected events all converged when the Ferrahian High School Class of 1985
held its 20-year reunion.
The reunion occurred June 11, at the Encino campus. In attendance were many
students, along with their families, who had been a part of the Class of ’85,
even if they had graduated from other high schools. Joining the festivities
were Principal John Kossakian, former Principal Gabriel Injejikian, teachers
Marilyn Arshagouni, Parsegh Ananian, Varsenig Der Megerdichian, Arsine Gendal,
and Kay Shaw. In total about 100 people, some flying in from out of town,
attended the celebration.
The Class of ’85 Reunion Committee consisted of Jack Der-Sarkissian, Vache
Keledjian, Alina Dorian, Tamar (Der Megerdichian) Tujian, Tamar Kevonian,
Najarian, and Jirair Habeshian. Between them they have a variety of experience
and they all work in different fields. However, they all agreed, along with
their classmates, that helping their school was the best way to celebrate
Most of the Class of ’85 had newly immigrated to the US in 1979 when they
entered Ferrahian. Many of their families had left countries for a better
future and here, in America, things appeared more promising. Yet their parents
and guardians still wanted their introduction to the American landscape to
through an Armenian lensone shaped by their experiences at Ferrahian High
The school was founded in 1964, largely as a worldwide community effort
steered by Mr. Gabriel Injejikian with a substantial bequest by Mateos and
Yevgeeneh Ferrahian. Although many parents still want their children to
have an
Armenian experience, the stark reality is that 90% of Armenian students in
California do not attend Armenian schools, probably due to financial reasons.
While our schools continue to subsidize the high cost of education, their
funding sources are being stretched to the limit. In this aspect, anyone
attending an Armenian school in America has been quite unique and privileged.
The schools’ founders sought to provide their students with the necessary
for a responsible adulthood in America, but also a tie to their Armenian
cultural heritage.
Some twenty years later, the Class of ’85 returned to their “homebase” to
celebrate their individual achievements and to renew friendships forged long
ago. Everyone has been through a lot in twenty years, to say the least. The
world itself has experienced a revolution during the last two decades,
including the independence of Armenia. Schools like Ferrahian have instiled
seeds here in America to meet both personal and global challenges.
The Class of ’85 chose to give back to Ferrahian in appreciation for what it
had provided. The reunion became a fundraising event with major sponsors from
Jirair Habeshian (Jupiter Properties), Jack Der-Sarkissian (Kaiser
and Tamar Kevonian (MOSAIX Magazine), among others, enabling a donation of
$3700 to the school. The Class of ’85 recommended that the money be given to
teachers and staff from the school who chose to receive training in the
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program.
Although local government prepares for everyday emergencies, during a
the scope of a incident can overwhelm conventional emergency services. This
seen in the 1988 eartquake in Armenia and more recently with hurricane Katrina
in the Gulf States. The idea to train volunteers from the community to assist
emergency service personnel during large natural disasters began,
coincidentally, in 1985. This eventually developed into the Community
Response Team (CERT) program. The CERT is an all-risk, all-hazard training
program designed to help you protect yourself, your family, your neighbors,
your neighborhood in an emergency situation. It is an ideal program for
teachers and staff at all of our schools. It may make the difference
between an
emergency and a true tragedy. This free 17.5 hour program, available to
everyone, is conducted by the City of Los Angeles Fire. For information, call
the Disaster Preparedness Unit at 818-756-9674 or visit
On August 3-5, 22 members of the Holy Martyrs Armenian Elementary & Ferrahian
High School faculty and staff participated in the CERT program. Each
participant received a $150 honorarium from the Class of ’85. In Principal
Kossakian’s words, “We are pleased that the participants were very
impressed by
the CERT program and by the presenters. The contents of the syllabus have been
very informative and very helpful.” Now, if disaster strikes, the school will
be well prepared to protect its students and staff, something that should make
any parent feel much safer.
The Class of ’85 has come full circle and has reestablished its roots in
school. “The administration, faculty, and staff…would like to extend sincere
gratitude and appreciation to the Class of ’85 for spearheading a
first-of-its-kind fundraising project and for supporting the CERT program,”
Principal Kossakian stated. “[We hope] to encourage other alumni to continue
such exemplary functions and fundraising activities.”
In the good natured spirit of high school rivalry, the Ferrahian Class of ’85
waits to see if its Armenian high school counterparts at Alex Pilibos and
Mesrobian will be able to match its accomplishment.
The stakes are simply too high to ignore, for our community at large, for our
schools, and for our students.

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