California Courier Online, March 23, 2006

California Courier Online, March 23, 2006

1 – Commentary
PBS Forced Producer to Revise
Content of Genocide Documentary
By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier

2 – EyeCare Project Announces Dr. Richard Kasper as
Lifetime Humanitarian Award Recipient for 2006
3 – Boston Globe Reporter Stephen Kurkjian
Speaks at Ararat-Eskijian Museum
4 – Armenian Genocide Documentary to be Honored
At 2006 Midwest Journalism Conference in April
5 – Glendale Police Names John Balian
New Public Information Officer
6 – KOCE-TV to Air Armenian Genocide
Film Documentary on April 26
7 – Dr. Steven Kamajian is First Armenian
Chief of Staff at Glendale Adventist
8 – The Genocide Education Project
Establishes Advisory Board
9 – Anti-Armenian Demonstrators
Clash with Youth Rally in France
10- Armenians Will Protest Turkish
Defense Minister’s Visit to L.A
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1 – Commentary
PBS Forced Producer to Revise
Content of Genocide Documentary

By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier
The Ombudsman for PBS, Michael Getler, revealed in a commentary last week
that unnamed “top PBS officials” were involved in editing and revising the
content of Andrew Goldberg’s documentary on the Armenian Genocide that most
PBS stations plan to air on April 17.
Getler quoted these PBS officials as saying: “We worked with the producer
[Goldberg] through his final editing to ensure that the program met our
standards. We, through Oregon Public Broadcasting, vetted its content with
a historian and journalist unconnected with the show.” These officials were
also quoted as saying that they “were in contact with him [Goldberg]
requesting script revisions” as he “was finishing” the documentary.
This alarming revelation becomes even more ominous when coupled with the
fact that PBS officials decided to supplement the show with a 25-minute
debate on the Armenian Genocide with the participation of two genocide
These PBS officials and producer Goldberg should disclose to the public
which segments of the documentary were added, deleted or altered as a
result of such outside intervention. Could it be that the two Turkish
denialists who were interviewed within the documentary were added at the
insistence of PBS? What else was changed due to the censorship of the work
of an independent producer? Furthermore, PBS should reveal the names of the
“historian and journalist unconnected with the show” who “vetted” the
documentary. Who are these two individuals and what changes did they
Getler stated in his lengthy commentary (4 times as long as this column)
that PBS has received more than 6,000 e-mails protesting the panel
discussion. More than 18,000 individuals have also objected by signing an
online petition. As a result, Getler reported that PBS stations in 8 of the
10 largest American cities do not plan to air the panel. This proves that
the executives running the largest PBS stations nationwide disagree with
those at PBS headquarters who decided that there was a need for such a
panel! The programming directors of these major PBS stations said that the
panel discussion did not add anything to the documentary.
The Ombudsman made one serious factual error in his commentary. He wrongly
claimed that “a resolution [on the Armenian genocide] has not made its way
through the full House or the U.S. Senate.” Both in 1975 and 1984 the full
House adopted resolutions to observe “a day of remembrance for all the
victims of genocide, especially the 1.5 million people of Armenian ancestry
who were the victims of the genocide perpetrated in Turkey between 1915 and
Jacoba Atlas, the Senior Vice President of PBS programming, and her
colleagues, by insisting on the airing of the panel discussion, have caused
significant damage to the reputation and operations of PBS, making it the
target of criticism by members of Congress, major newspapers such as the
New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, TV
stations, and tens of thousands of viewers who signed petitions and sent
letters and e-mails to PBS.
On March 9, the Los Angeles Times published a commentary by Aris Janigian
titled: “PBS’ Perverse Genocide Debate.” He accused Atlas and PBS of being
“complicit in a murderous lie” by providing airtime and a forum to
“deniers” and “falsifiers” of the Armenian Genocide. The L.A. Voice
published an editorial on March 9, ridiculing both Atlas and PBS for
treating the Armenian Genocide as a myth.
Current magazine published a lengthy article in its March 6 issue, titled:
“Panel show riles rather than soothes genocide furor.” The magazine quoted
Atlas as making yet another nonsensical statement as to why the panel
discussion was necessary: “Our own presidents – both Bush and Clinton – did
not call it genocide. Because they have declined to call it genocide, it
raises questions. The Turkish government does not call it genocide.” This
is the same official who recently announced that PBS considers the Armenian
Genocide “settled history!” If PBS acknowledges the facts of the Armenian
Genocide, why then question it and put on the air deniers who say that it
is a myth? Regarding statements made by U.S. presidents on the Armenian
Genocide, one wonders why Atlas is ignoring the fact that Pres. Ronald
Reagan issued a Presidential Proclamation in 1981 in which he used the term
“Armenian Genocide”? Must every U.S. president utter the words Armenian
Genocide before Ms. Atlas is satisfied
that it is genocide? So what if the Turkish government does not call it
genocide? The President of Iran does not recognize the Holocaust. Is that
enough reason for Atlas to dispute the facts of the Holocaust and air a
debate on PBS with neo-Nazis?
Prof. Dennis Papazian, who initially was reluctant to support the campaign
against the panel discussion, sent the following e-mail to this writer
after watching the tape of the debate between Omer Turan and Justin
McCarthy (genocide deniers) and Peter Balakian and Taner Akcam: “I have
just previewed the post documentary discussion and it made me sick to my
stomach to see Justin McCarthy and the Turks come out with blatant lies and
deceptive assertions. I thought Taner and Peter ‘won the debate,’ but the
denialists undoubtedly would plant doubt in the minds of innocent American
viewers.” He then told this writer: “You did right to lead the attack
against the showing of the ‘discussion.’ I personally would rather have
neither shown than to show the discussion.”
In a new twist to his long-standing denialist views, Prof. McCarthy was
quoted by WNBC-TV in New York City as saying on March 1 that he would
classify the events of 1915 as “mutual genocide,” with both sides killing
each other. McCarthy has gone from being completely wrong to being half
right! He is for the first time accusing the Turkish leaders of committing
genocide against the Armenians! One wonders what his Turkish handlers would
think of his new admission?
Two weeks ago, in an e-mail to this writer, Wayne Godwin, the then Acting
President and Chief Operating Officer of PBS, made a lame, but
understandable, attempt to come to the defense of Ms. Atlas, claiming that
the decision on the panel was reached by “the entire senior content team.”
If that is true, then “the entire senior content team” at PBS has made a
grave error, thus making it even more problematic than a mistake by a
single executive.
Finally, around 20 members of Congress have signed a joint letter to PBS
asking that the panel discussion not be aired. As Congress provides a
significant portion of the PBS budget, PBS executives can ill afford to
ignore such letters from those who hold the purse strings.
Please continue to sign the online petition and circulate it to everyone in
your e-mail address book or organization. Here is the link to the petition:
Also, send an e-mail to Ms. Atlas
at: [email protected] as well as to the new president of PBS: Paula Kerger at:
[email protected]
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2 – EyeCare Project Announces Dr. Richard Kasper as
Lifetime Humanitarian Award Recipient for 2006
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – The Armenian EyeCare Project (AECP) announces Dick
Kasper as their AECP Lifetime Humanitarian Award recipient for 2006.
Richard L. Kasper, with Betty-his wife of 60 years-will be honored amid
family and friends at the EyeCare Project’s Fifth Annual Newport Gala
Dinner on November 4, at the Islands Hotel Palm Garden Ballroom (formerly
the Four Seasons Hotel). With hosts Governor George Deukmejian and his
wife Gloria, along with Master of Ceremonies Mike Connors, the fun-packed
evening of dining and entertainment will benefit the EyeCare Project’s
programs to eliminate preventable blindness in Armenia.
Richard L. Kasper, M.D. has lived his life dedicated to service. Before the
earthquake. Before the call for help from the Armenian Minister of Health,
Dick was there-working in Armenia. During his first trip in the fall of
1986, he met Armenian Ophthalmologist Alex Malayan. Together they
performed surgeries at the Republican Eye Hospital-where AECP Clinics are
now located-under conditions that, according to Dick, were much less than
American medical standards of care. Dr. Kasper worked 12 hours a day for
six of the seven days he was there and recalls, “It wasn’t long before I
was walking down the halls and being followed by a large group of patients
looking for the American doctor who they believed could help them.”
Back in California, Dr. Kasper felt compelled to improve eye care in
Armenia. He began writing letters to Armenian doctors throughout the U.S.
asking them for their support. Soon after, he teamed with an orthopedic
surgeon Dr. Vartkes Najarian and his wife, Mary. Together they founded
Medical Outreach for Armenia (MOA). Through MOA Dick secured medical
equipment, pharmaceuticals and implant lenses to send to Armenia. He also
stayed in touch with Dr. Malayan. “In those days, I would frequently talk
to Alex by what was radio telephone,” he remembers, “I would put in a call
about 9 PM our time and about six hours later-somewhere around 3AM-the
operator would call back and connect me to Dr. Malayan.”
In 1988, two years after his trip to Armenia, Dr. Kasper invited Dr.
Malayan to come and to stay at his home in Burbank. Dick welcomed Alex to
observe his medical practice. He arranged for the Armenian doctor to
observe and assist him during surgery and to attend the American Academy of
Ophthalmology conference in New Orleans. Together, they visited several
leading American eye surgeons and spent time at the Doheny Eye Institute of
the USC School of Medicine. Most importantly, Dick introduced Alex to
friends and colleagues and arranged the fortuitous meeting with Dr. Roger
Born to Armenian immigrant parents on a farm in Fresno on August 20, 1919,
Dick’s parents, Levon and Agavney Kasparian, left Armenia just before the
Genocide-but two grandfathers and several aunts and uncles were killed by
the Turks. Levon Kasparian, who used the name Kasper for work, first owned
a small farm followed by a cleaning and tailor shop in downtown Fresno. “I
learned to do alteration tailoring,” says Dick, “I can still let out my
trouser rather than lose weight.” Active in the Armenian Orthodox Church,
his father was a trustee and his mother taught Sunday school.
While growing up in Fresno, only Armenian was spoken at Dick’s house. He
and his two younger sisters did not speak English until they entered
grammar school. Following high school, Dick did his undergraduate work at
Fresno State College and the University of California at Berkeley. He was
able to pay for his education at Berkeley, in part, by working at men’s
clothing stores as a tailor and a salesperson. His medical training was
done at the USC School of Medicine followed by an Internship and Residency
in Ophthalmology. After the completion of his training, he served for four
years in the U. S. Army Medical Corps before opening his private practice.
Elizabeth Avedisian entered Dick’s life during his second year of medical
school. By his third year they were married. Having celebrated their 60th
wedding anniversary in December, Dick and Betty both remember-“It was love
at almost first sight!”
Family became the cornerstone of their lives. Within 4 years of their
marriage Dick and Betty had two children-Marilyn and Dennis -who each gave
them two grandchildren. Dick credits Betty for her unwavering support of
his medical, religious and philanthropic work throughout their marriage.
He explains, “She has a sharp mind with a great sense of humor.”
Dick worked for 50 years as a practicing Ophthalmologist in Burbank, going
into full retirement just last year. Betty still has a sample of the card
that Dick sent out in February 1954 to announce the opening of his private
practice. As his practice grew, he brought in two Ophthalmologists to
handle the workload. Active in his profession, Dick served as the
President of the Los Angeles Society of Ophthalmology in 1962.
In addition to his medical practice, Dick spent one or more days a week
instructing residents at the USC Doheny Eye Institute, achieving the rank
of full clinical professor of Ophthalmology. In 1996, the University
recognized his professional accomplishments by awarding him the Doheny Eye
Institute’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award.
In the spring of 1997, Dick made a second trip to Armenia when his medical
and religious work converged. The trip was special, as he was joined by
his daughter Marilyn and two friends from church. Dick felt a sense of
“fatherly pride” seeing Roger and Alex at the Republican Eye Hospital and
witnessing all that was accomplished since his first visit 10 years
earlier. In addition, he had the opportunity to teach Bible classes in
Armenian and to distribute translated copies of a commentary he authored on
the Gospel of Mark.
When asked about Roger and the Eye Care Project Dick says, “Phenomenal!”
He continues, “The level of eye care in Armenia today is second to none.”
Roger describes Dick as “kind and pious” and recognizes him as one of the
Eye Care Project’s strongest supporters since its earliest days. “I just
followed his lead,” says Ohanesian, “Had he not introduced me to Armenia
and to Alex, there would be no AECP.”
The Fifth Annual Newport Gala will showcase the artistic expressions of
Armenian children with their spontaneous, uninhibited and uniquely
child-like qualities. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour and
Silent Auction featuring the “Children’s Art Project” collection. Guests
will have the opportunity to bid on the students’ extraordinary pieces of
art, also available for purchase as posters and note cards.
The Armenian EyeCare Project, a U.S. non-profit organization, is dedicated
to the elimination of preventable blindness in Armenia
(). The AECP was established in 1992 to provide
medical training and treatment on a semi-annual surgical mission basis.
Celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2002, the EyeCare Project launched a
seven-year initiative, “Bringing Sight to Armenian Eyes,” which includes
(1) direct patient care; (2) medical education and training; (3) public
education; (4) research; and (5) strengthening the Armenian eye care
delivery system. At the same time, the EyeCare Project opened an office in
Yerevan, providing it with a year-round presence in Armenia. The Mobile
Eye Hospital (MEH), now the AECP’s hub of service delivery, travels
countrywide to provide eye screenings and eye care at no cost to thousands
of socially vulnerable patients.
Tickets to the Newport Gala are $1,000 per couple. For more information
and advance ticket sales, contact the AECP office at 949-675-5767; toll
free at 866-GIV-AECP (448-2327.) To make a donation, call the AECP
toll-free number or mail a check to 518 South Bayfront, Newport Beach,
Calif. 92662
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3 – Boston Globe Reporter Stephen Kurkjian
Speaks at Ararat-Eskijian Museum
MISSION HILLS, CA – Three-time Pulitzer Prize winning Boston Globe reporter
Stephen Kurkjian gave a compelling investigative presentation entitled
“‘Kiss My Children’s Eyes’: A Search for Answers to the Armenian Genocide
Through One Remarkable Photograph,” to a standing room only audience at the
Ararat-Eskijian Museum in Mission Hills, Calif., on March 5.
The event was sponsored by the Museum in conjunction with the National
Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR). NAASR
representatives attended, including Board Chairman Nancy R. Kolligian who
made the cross-country trip to support the presentation, which is planned
as the first of many collaborative efforts between the organizations.
Kurkjian’s lecture focused on a rare photograph which showed Armenian men
during what was essentially a death march. The photograph depicts a group
of Armenian men standing under Turkish guard in front of a building in
Gesaria in 1915. Kurkjian’s investigation provided information on the
background of the men, their families, the history of the photographer, and
the strategy of the Ottoman government of extermination.
The words “Kiss My Children’s Eyes” came from a letter of one of the
condemned men to his wife, knowing he may never see his children again.
Ninety years after it was taken, Kurkjian, the son of a survivor,
attempted, with the assistance of Project SAVE Armenian Photograph
Archives, to decode the story. Using his skills as a reporter and the
historical documentary resources available to him, Kurkjian has unraveled
some-but not all-of the mysteries of the photograph, and, with the research
assistance of Dr. Vahakn N. Dadrian, Director of Genocide Research for the
Zoryan Institute and renowned genocide scholar, traced how the Armenian
Genocide came to Gesaria.
Kurkjian emphasized that above and beyond the need for Turkey to recognize
the Armenian Genocide, a powerful gesture of healing would be for the
authorities to welcome and encourage Armenians to visit their ancestral
The event was attended by many out of town guests and the museum’s
founders, Mr. and Mrs. Luther Eskijian, and was followed by a question and
answer period and a reception.
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4 – Armenian Genocide Documentary to be Honored
At 2006 Midwest Journalism Conference in April
The Armenian Genocide: 90 Years Later, a 2005 Regional Emmy nominee, will
be honored at the 2006 Midwest Journalism Conference in Bloomington,
Minnesota, on April 1.
ABC News chief investigative journalist Brian Ross, who reports extensively
for 20/20, Primetime, Nightline, World News Tonight, and Good Morning
America, will be the Keynote speaker.
The event is sponsored by the Northwest Broadcast News Association in
memory of journalist Eric Sevareid. “The Armenian Genocide: 90 Years Later”
was one of two winners in the Talk and Public Affairs category.
The Midwest Journalism Conference is jointly sponsored by the Associated
Press, Association of Electronic Journalists, Minnesota Journalism Center,
National Press Photographers Association, National Television Academy,
Northwest Broadcast News Association, Society of Professional Journalists,
and the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and MassCommunication.
The documentary is a co-production of Twin Cities Public Television and the
University of Minnesota Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, (CHGS)
and is distributed by the Armenian Genocide Resource Center in Richmond
California through a special arrangement with CHGS.
The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Minnesota has been at the
forefront of education on the Armenian Genocide for many years. It was
established within the College of Liberal Arts as an Independent Center
with its main administrative relationship with the Department of History.
CHGS is also affiliated with The Institute for Global Studies, The
Humanities Institute, Department of German, Dutch and Scandinavian
Languages, The Human Rights Program at the University of Minnesota School
of Law and The Center for European Studies.
Its director Dr Stephen Feinstein has been at the helm of the Center since
its creation in1997 and has expanded its website to include eyewitness
survivor testimonies, documents, teaching guides, online streaming video
and audio and other materials on the Armenian Genocide, some of which were
provided to the Center over the years by the Armenian Genocide Resource
(AGRC), including an expanded reference guide for teachers and students
which is currently on the web site.
“The Armenian Genocide: 90 Years Later” is part of an ongoing series by
CHGS about genocide and its lingering effects and was aired on public
television in Minnesota last April and was nominated for the 2005 Regional
EMMY® in the category of “Best News Special.”
The documentary discusses events that led to the genocide, issues related
to genocide recognition, how that affects Turkish democracy, and how the
question of how historical writing takes place when a regime decrees an
official history about certain issues in its society and brings criminal
prosecution against scholars, writers and others who attempt to bring
truths about the past into the present.
The program discusses this phenomenon and raises questions about how the
issue of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide fits into the context of
understanding the current status of Turkish democracy, academic freedom in
universities and issues involving language and identity for minorities.
Most poignant in the program is the testimony related by those whose family
members survived the genocide and lived to tell about it. Many remember
their parents telling of the horrors and of leaving their homes and hiding
from Turkish gendarmes, and they discuss how remembrance of the events
of1915 is now embedded in Armenian identity.
Program discussants include Taner Akçam, Stephen Feinstein, and Eric Weitz,
from the University of Minnesota, as well as descendants of survivors, and
members of the community who explore issues related to the genocide. The
educational program would greatly benefit students, teachers and the
general public alike. The DVD is available from AGRC for a special price of
$14.95 plus $4. postage (U.S orders). Send check or money order to AGRC,
5400 McBryde Avenue, Richmond, CA 94805.
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5 – Glendale Police Names John Balian
New Public Information Officer
GLENDALE – The Glendale Police Department announced the appointment of
Officer John Balian as the agencies’ new Public Information Officer.
Officer Balian was hired in 2004 after serving eight distinguished years
with the Montebello Police Department, a tenure that included being named
Officer-of-the-Year for that department in 2001. Officer Balian brings a
wealth of law enforcement experience including an expertise in narcotic
enforcement and gang issues.
At the direction of Chief Randy Adams, Officer Balian, fluent in both
Armenian and English, has worked diligently to reach out into the community
and continue to build the partnerships that are the core of the Glendale
Police Department mission. In addition to his responsibilities as the
Public Information Officer, Officer Balian will be working closely with a
variety of local groups and organizations to cultivate a better
understanding of the communities’ needs and to help educate the public
regarding the services provided by the Department.
“I have always believed that the Police Department is an extension of the
community,” commented Officer Balian. “I am eager to work with a large and
diverse community such as Glendale and hope to bring my experiences to the
table to help the Department and the community in whatever ways I can.”
Officer Balian is assigned to the Office of the Chief of Police for the
Glendale Police Department and can be reached at 548-4818.
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6 – KOCE-TV to Air Armenian Genocide
Film Documentary on April 26
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – KOCE-TV, Orange County’s local PBS station, is
taking a moral stand as the only station in the Southland, including Los
Angeles to air the highly-publicized program, “The Armenian Genocide.” The
acclaimed program, which shares the under-reported story of the Ottoman
Turks’ brutal slaying of more than one million Armenians during one of the
largest genocides in history, will premiere on KOCE-TV April 26, 2006 at 9
To date, despite overwhelming evidence and against the opinion of the
overwhelming majority of historians, the Turkish government denies an
Armenian genocide ever took place. However, in the face of this adversity,
KOCE-TV has taken a moral stance by
airing the documentary and recognizing the opinion of the overwhelming
majority of historians that genocide did
indeed take place.
“KOCE-TV is proud to be recognized as the only station in the Southland,
including Los Angeles to air ‘The Armenian Genocide,'” said Mel Rogers,
president and general manager of KOCE-TV. “This film and its topic are
significant, and KOCE-TV feels it is important that the genocide suffered
by the Armenians not be forgotten, denied or glossed over. It is part of
the mission of public television to stimulate responsible discussion and
illuminate complex issues. Since most Americans do not fully understand the
issue in all its complexity, we are committed to offering the program which
we sincerely hope will help viewers better understand this chapter in world
“The Armenian Genocide” is the unprecedented and powerful complete story of
the first genocide of the 20th century. The one-hour documentary which
features extensive never-before-seen historical footage explores the
ongoing controversy of the Armenian genocide and explains why the Turkish
government denies the events ever took place. The documentary, written,
directed and produced by Emmy Award-winning producer Andrew Goldberg is
narrated by Julianna Margulies, Ed Harris, Natalie Portman, Laura Linney
and Orlando Bloom.
Filmed in the United States, France, Germany, Belgium, Turkey and Syria,
the program features discussions with leading experts in the field
including Pulitzer Prize-winning author Samantha Power, and New York Times
best-selling author Peter Balakian, and Kurdish and Turkish citizens in
modern-day Turkey who speak openly about the stories told to them by
their parents and grandparents.
“As Turkey seeks to join the European Union, 90 years later, this film can
give people a much better understanding of why this issue is such an
important and current part of the international conversation about Turkey’s
role in the world today,” said Goldberg.
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7 – Dr. Steven Kamajian is First Armenian
Chief of Staff at Glendale Adventist
By Alex Dobuzinskis
Daily News
GLENDALE – Dr. Steven Kamajian brings a long history of volunteerism to his
new job as chief of staff at Glendale Adventist Medical Center, the first
Armenian-American to hold the position.
For years, Kamajian has run three health clinics at churches in Glendale,
Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks, where the homeless and the uninsured
come for free medical care. Doctors, nurses, dentists, chiropractors,
students and other volunteers pitch in.
The biggest clinic, at a Thousand Oaks Methodist church, has 17 doctors
volunteering. The Glendale clinic has several doctors, including
specialists who see indigent patients in their offices.
“As people have become progressively less insured, it became apparent to me
that I should try to do something to help the less fortunate people in
society,” Kamajian said.
Kamajian, 53, is also an osteopath rather than a medical doctor, the first
time a physician from that branch of medicine has held the top spot.
Osteopathic medicine originated 130 years ago and is based on physical
therapy and the inter-relationship of the body’s nerves, muscles, bones and
“I have a different interpretation of things that I think is wonderful,”
he said. “And adding that to my unique American background and my unique
ethnic background, I think that I have been truly blessed by this
At least 70,000 of Glendale’s more than 200,000 residents are Armenian,
according to an estimate from the western region of the Armenian National
Committee of America.
Glendale City Councilman Bob Yousefian said having an Armenian-American as
chief of staff at Glendale Adventist is meaningful.
“It’s important for the younger generation to see that there are no glass
ceilings in this country and you are elevated to positions based on your
merits,” he said.
Kamajian is a native of Waco, Texas, who grew up in Philadelphia and now
lives in Glendale. He has worked at Glendale Adventist since 1981, and was
elected four years ago by the hospital’s 700 physicians to serve as chief
of staff.
After the election, he went through the standard rotation of secretary-
treasurer to vice chief of staff, and on Jan. 1, started his first year as
the head of the hospital’s physicians.
“He’s a very caring physician,” said Scott Reiner, the hospital’s CEO.
“He’s creative and he thinks of new ways to do things to take care of his
patients. He’s very into supporting the homeless and patients who don’t
have financial resources.”
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8- The Genocide Education Project
Establishes Advisory Board
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The Genocide Education Project is pleased to announce
membership of its Advisory Board. Renowned scholars, educators and
administrators have joined the Advisory Board, among them, Yair Auron,
Peter Balakian, Israel Charny, Vahakn Dadrian, Richard Hovannissian, Levon
Marashlian, and Henry Theriault.
“We are truly honored to have such an esteemed group of individuals sign on
to support our organization,” said Raffi Momjian, Executive Director of The
Genocide Education Project. “With their advice and expertise, we can better
serve educators across the country to ensure the Armenian Genocide is part
of the history taught in U.S. Schools.”
Momjian and Sara Cohan, The Genocide Education Project’s Education
Director, along with the organization’s governing Board of Directors, will
benefit from the new Advisory Board’s guidance in devising strategies for
the organization and helping maximize the effectiveness of current
projects. Activities for the year include developing new and innovative
curricular material, including an online lesson plan, and continuing to
reach educators through workshops and participation in national
“I’ve been working with The Genocide Education Project for over eight years
now, and look forward to continuing our collaboration through my new
position as advisory board member,” commented Advisory Board member, Jack
Weinstein, Regional Director of Facing History and Ourselves. “Together, we
can share our educational resources with more schools, teachers, and
students, further ensuring the history and lessons of the Armenian Genocide
will be a part of Social Studies courses across the country.”
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9 – Anti-Armenian Demonstrators
Clash with Youth Rally in France
LYON, France (Reuters) – French youths protesting against a new employment
law ended up in an unexpected clash with Turks demonstrating against an
Armenian memorial when their separate marches crossed paths in this eastern
city on March 18.
Riot police used water cannon to separate the two groups after about 2,500
Turks opposed to the construction of a memorial in the city center to
Armenian victims of a 1915 massacre attacked the demonstrating youths,
police said.
The Turks, waving Turkish flags and holding up posters saying “There was no
Armenian genocide,” reacted after youths
denounced them as “fascists” and yelled “go home!” police said.
Both sides pelted each other with missiles and engaged in fist fights, they
said, adding that some youths protesting the
employment law were apparently of Armenian origin.
Turkey rejects charges that it massacred 1.5 million Armenians living in
the then Ottoman Empire in 1915.
Many of the survivors fled to France, which now has an influential Armenian
minority of about 300,000. After a long
campaign by them, the French parliament passed a bill in 1998 officially
recognising the killing as genocide.
The protest against the new employment law was one of many marches across
France on Saturday aimed at putting pressure on
the Paris government to withdraw the measure that allows employers to fire
workers under 26 more easily.
The conservative government introduced the law to encourage reluctant
employers to take on new staff and help combat
unemployment, which among young people is double the national average of
9.6 percent.
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10 – Armenians Will Protest Turkish
Defense Minister’s Visit to L.A.
GLENDALE, CA – The Armenian National Committee of American – Western Region
(ANCA-WR) announced last week that Armenian Americans will gather in front
of the Beverly Hills Hotel on March 24, at 11 a.m. to protest Turkish
Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül’s visit to the Los Angeles area.
The Armenian American community will rally in front the Beverly Hills
Hotel, where Defense Minister Gönül will be a guest speaker at a luncheon
hosted by the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. During the luncheon, he
will discuss Turkey’s role vis-à-vis the European Union, as well as the
changing strategic landscape of Eurasia. There will be a question & answer
session following his speech, during which issues such as the Armenian
Genocide and Turkey’s dismal record of human rights should be addressed.
In traveling to California, Defense Minister Gönül will be visiting a state
that has not only recognized the acts perpetrated by the Ottoman Turkish
government in 1915 as Genocide, but one that teaches the history of this
crime to its public school students, and has officially set aside a full
week every April to honor its victims.
The ANCA-WR encourages the community to voice their concerns against the
Turkish government’s denial of the Armenian Genocide and its continuous
violations of human rights by joining thousands of protestors at the
Beverly Hills Hotel on March 24th. The Beverly Hills Hotel is located on
9641 Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills.
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