California Courier Online, Feb. 8, 2018

The California Courier Online, February 8, 2018
1 –    Commentary
        Mikoyan’s Surprising Comments to Nixon
        In 1959 About Armenian Rights in Turkey
        By Harut Sassounian
The California
2    Babachanian
Glendale Bar
3 –    Architect Dr. Marco Brambilla Will Lecture
        Feb. 11 Heritage of Salmast Region in
4 –    Commentary
        Turkey Still
Refuses its ‘Forgotten’ Genocide
        By Robert M. Morgenthau
        Wall Street Journal
5 –    Turkey’s MP Garo Paylan Meets With
         French President
Macron at CCAF Gala
6    Prof. Vahan Agopyan Sworn-in as
of University of São Paulo
7-     Greater
L.A. Area
Honors Volunteers, Celebrates State
for 210 Freeway Signs for Genocide Memorial
8 –    Intensive
Summer Course of Armenian Language
Culture To be Held August 2018 in Venice
9-     AIWA
Announces 2018 Hasmik Mgerdichian
Awards Application Now Available
10-   Armenian-American Who Helped Stop French Train
        Attack Stars as Himself in Clint
Eastwood Film
1 –    Commentary
        Mikoyan’s Surprising Comments to Nixon
        In 1959 About Armenian Rights in Turkey
        By Harut Sassounian
        Publisher, The California Courier
I came across a document from the U.S.
archives that describes the fascinating conversation between Anastas Mikoyan,
First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union, and Vice
President Richard Nixon on July 25, 1959 during the latter’s visit to Moscow. The two had met
earlier during Mikoyan’s historic visit to the United States.
discussion between the two rival leaders at the height of the Cold War was
polite, but animated. Nixon praised Mikoyan “who had left in the United States
many friends who admire him for his stamina and agility in expressing his
views.” Nixon also stated that “Mikoyan’s visit to the U.S. had broken the ice not only
officially but also privately, regarding the respective points of view of the
two countries.” The archival document noted that Mikoyan “returned the Vice
President’s compliments in kind and added that the Vice President is a great
debater who never leaves anyone in his debt.”
conversation quickly turned political when Mikoyan complained about the
inappropriateness of a recent congressional resolution on captive nations —
states subjugated to Communist rule, including Armenia. Mikoyan felt that the
resolution was intended to undermine Nixon’s visit to the Soviet
Union. Nixon gave the excuse that the U.S. Congress is an
independent body and not even the President can control its decisions! Vice
President Nixon went on to explain: “there are in our population elements,
whether Mr. Mikoyan believes they are wrong or not, who feel that governments
in their former homelands should be changed. Our Congress often passes
resolutions representing the views of those elements, who include such
nationalities as Polish, Hungarian, etc. The resolution, and particularly the
proclamation of the President, had made a point that it was only an _expression_
of the opinion of American people and the American Government and that they are
not attempting to engage in so-called subversive activities.”
Mikoyan, one of the highest ranking Soviet officials, then brought up his
Armenian heritage by telling Nixon that “he was an Armenian, and that although
he is not active in the Government of Armenia proper, he knows some 30 Supreme
Soviet Deputies of that Republic and all of them have been wondering who gave the
American Government the authority to act in their behalf and why the American
Government is not doing something for the liberation of really oppressed
peoples, such as the Armenian minority in Turkey.”
statement was surprising because he was speaking with Vice President Nixon as a
Soviet leader, not as an Armenian. Furthermore, Mikoyan was not known as an
Armenian nationalist. In fact, he had been blamed for the deaths of many
Armenians during the infamous purges under Communist rule. Mikoyan also had not
supported the reunion of Karabagh (Artsakh) with Soviet Armenia. These are some
of the reasons Armenians were unhappy with the recent decision of the Yerevan
City Council to erect Mikoyan’s monument in Yerevan.
further indication of Mikoyan’s anti-nationalist views is his statement of
December 1919, during the short existence of the first independent Republic of Armenia (1918-1920): “Armenian
chauvinists relying on the allies of imperialism push forward a criminal idea
— the creation of a ‘Great Armenia’ on the borders of Historic Armenia. The
absence of Armenians and the presence of an absolute Muslim population there
does not concern them…our [Communist] party cannot support the idea of either
a ‘Great’ or ‘Small’ Turkish Armenia.” The reality is that the Soviet Union did
not defend the rights of the Armenians in Turkey.
Mikoyan rightly pointed out that the United
States is against “the liberation of oppressed peoples”
when “the peoples in question are oppressed by its friends and allies,” such as
and many others.
also questioned whether the Soviet leaders should pay attention to the positive
gestures of the White House or the more hostile reactions of the State
Department. Mikoyan “wondered whether the Soviet Union
should believe the pronouncements by the President or the Vice President or
whether it should regard this statement by the State Department as a direct
_expression_ of American policy.” Mikoyan explained that “the President had
instructed the Department of State to work out measures for the development of
foreign trade [with the Soviet Union]. In view
of the actions taken by the State Department it appears that the President
wants one thing and the Department of State another.”
meeting concluded on a conciliatory note with Vice President Nixon promising
that “upon his return to the United
States he would work on the problem of
trade, but that one must realize that difficulties cannot be resolved by a
stroke of pen.”
above conversation shows that Mikoyan was in fact as “wily” as described by
Western officials. He had survived for several decades at the highest echelons
of the Soviet Union, ending up as Chairman of
the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, the nominal Head of State, from 1964 until
his forced retirement in 1965.
2-     Babachanian
Glendale Bar
GLENDALE, CA – Glendale
attorney Sarkis Jacob Babachanian has assumed office as the 70th president of
the Glendale Bar Association, succeeding Arbella Azizian.
was sworn in by Burbank Superior Court Judge William D. Stewart at the
Association’s January 10 Installation Dinner at the Oakmont Country Club. Also
installed were attorneys Arpa Stepanian as vice president, Michael J. Zuckerman
as treasurer and Armine Bazikyan as secretary.
Founded in 1949, the Glendale Bar Association
serves Glendale, the third largest city in Los Angeles County,
as well as La Crescenta, La Cañada-Flintridge, Burbank, Pasadena and neighboring communities. It
offers enjoyable networking and career development opportunities, insightful
continuing legal education sessions, an arbitration service to settle
attorney-client fee disputes and community service including the Association’s
signature Law Day program in which local judges and attorneys lecture hundreds.
Babachanian is an experienced California lawyer with broad and deep
experience in criminal defense, personal injury claims, attorney malpractice
cases, police misconduct actions, business litigation, business transactions
and dispute resolution including mediation. Reach Sark
at 818-500-0678 or email [email protected]
Practice areas, includes: Criminal Law; Domestic
Violence; DUI & DWI; Personal Injury; ; Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect;
Legal Malpractice; White Collar Crime; Civil Rights.
3 –    Architect Dr. Marco Brambilla Will Lecture
        Feb. 11 Heritage of Salmast Region in
Ca – On February 11, the Educational Committee of the Armenian Apostolic Church
of Crescenta Valley will host a lecture on the “The Heritage of the Salmast
Region in Art, Culture and History” presented by Dr. Marco Brambilla, with the
participation of Salmast Heritage Association. The lecture will begin
at 1:00 p.m., after the conclusion of Divine Liturgy, at the Prelacy
“Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall, 6250 Honolulu Ave, La Crescenta, CA.

This presentation will try to provide a global image of the history of
the region of Salmast from the early ages to date, particularly emphasizing the
importance of the region, its development and its architectural heritage.

From the early historical ages, the region of Salmast has been a cradle of
civilization. For Armenians in particular it has been home for over three
Millennia. The Empire of Urartu was dominantly active in this region. It was a
part of the Armenian Empire of Tigran the Great, and was an integral part of
historic Vaspurakan, and Armenians populated the region from the conception of
the Armenian nation.

During various periods in time, it was considered one of the most important
cities worldwide, because of its location on major travel paths of North
Western Iran. Arabic, European and Iranian Cartographers have mentioned the
city of Salmast
in over 800 different maps. It had a pivotal location during the Arab
invasions, and was a prospering city during the Mongol dominion of Iran.
It had the unfortunate destiny of being involved in the Ottoman / Safavid wars
of 16th-18th century and eventually became a center of emigration when many of
its residents left for first Tsarist Armenia, then the Soviet Armenia.

It has a specific architectural heritage that is unique in Armenian
architecture, and was a cultural region with theaters, schools and active
commercial ties from all over the world. Yet it is relatively unknown.

Dr. Marco G. Brambilla is a practicing architect and an architectural historian
specializing in the history of Islamic and Armenian architecture. He has taught
and lectured extensively in major schools of architecture worldwide.

As a specialist in preservation of historic monuments, he has taught
architectural conservation and its adaptive reuse in Italy,
the United States and Iran.
As the chair of the Department of Preservation of Historic Monuments, at the
National University of Iran, he was the project architect of several major
restoration projects in Iran
and in cooperation with the University
of Milan, Dr. Brambilla organized and
identified over 230 unknown Armenian churches in the northern
provinces of Iran.

Since 2016, in cooperation with UCLA and Salmast
Heritage Association
, he has started a major research program about the
cultural heritage of the Salmast Region. This will  also be the topic of
an academic course at UCLA in the spring of 2018. As part of this research
program, a major publication about the architecture and archeology of the
Salmast Region is planned with the cooperation of scholars from the United States, Italy,
Armenia and Iran.

We invite our parishioners and the greater
community to attend Divine Liturgy and the presentation to follow. The event is
free of charge to the public.

4 –    Commentary
Still Refuses its ‘Forgotten’ Genocide
Robert M. Morgenthau
Street Journal
As Hitler launched his invasion of Poland
in 1939, he instructed his commanders “to send to death mercilessly and without
compassion, men, women and children of Polish derivation and language.” He
assured his staff the world would raise little objection: “Who, after all,
speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” That was a reference to the
systematic destruction of the Armenian population by the Ottoman Turks
beginning in 1915. World powers had offered little resistance to the slaughter
as it occurred. Later, Turkey’s
insistent denials made it the “forgotten genocide.” Turkey, ostensibly an American
ally, still refuses to confront its history.
The U.S. government also has failed to
give the annihilation of the Armenians its due. American administrations have
bowed to Turkish pressure and failed to affirm consistently a simple fact: The
slaughter of the Armenians was not a mere misfortune of history but a
systematic genocide. Such reticence wasn’t necessarily surprising, given
diplomats’ cautious and equivocating nature. But President Trump, in
recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,
seems to be signaling a new age. In 1995, Congress enacted legislation
directing the State Department to recognize Jerusalem
as the capital of Israel
and move the U.S. Embassy there. Candidates Bill Clinton and George W. Bush
promised to move the embassy, and Barack Obama said in 2008 that “Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel.” Once elected president,
all three reneged on their pledges. Now, at last, America’s
policy is consistent with its principles and with historical fact. That makes
me optimistic that America
may similarly acknowledge the historical truth of the Armenian genocide. The
facts are compelling. For millennia, Armenians lived in the shadow of Mount
Ararat, in what is now eastern Turkey.
For much of its history, this Christian minority lived in peace with its Muslim
But as the Ottoman Empire
began to disintegrate in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Armenians
became targets of oppression. As World War I loomed, the Turks saw the
opportunity to settle their “Armenian question.” First they arrested and
executed community leaders and intellectuals. Then they drove the remaining
civilians out of their homes in long “death marches” to the Syrian
desert. As many as 1.5 million Armenians were murdered. For me,
this chronicle is not confined to history books. My paternal grandfather, Henry
Morgenthau, was President Wilson’s ambassador to the Ottoman
Empire as the horror began to unfold. He quickly understood that
this was slaughter on a scale the modern world had never seen. He protested to
Turkish leaders, who replied that the Armenians were not American citizens and
thus none of the ambassador’s concern. Besides, they said, Ambassador
Morgenthau was Jewish, and the Armenians were Christian.
The Turks even threatened to pressure Washington to recall
him. My grandfather’s reply was eloquent: “I could think of no greater honor
than to be recalled because I, a Jew, have done everything in my power to save
the lives of hundreds of thousands of Christians.” The Turks refused to relent,
and my grandfather turned to his own government. He sent Washington a diplomatic cable reading: “A
campaign of race extermination is in progress.” The State Department, then
preoccupied with World War I, responded with indifference. Ultimately my
grandfather decided to appeal to the world’s conscience through a series of
speeches. Eventually a massive aid campaign helped resettle the scattered
survivors. But the genocide had exacted an unfathomable toll on the Armenian
people—and on my grandfather’s spirits. He returned to the U.S. determined to spend his days helping the
survivors, sometimes appearing at Ellis Island
as “Uncle Henry” to sponsor refugees who had no one to meet them. And he did
something else. He taught his children and his grandchildren the history he had
witnessed. The lesson he drew was clear: When principle succumbs to expediency,
the inevitable result is tragedy. That prophecy was realized when Hitler
invaded Poland,
emboldened by the world’s amnesia about the Armenians.
It is high time for America to emerge from that
amnesia. Every April, the president issues a proclamation recognizing the
atrocity that was inflicted on the Armenian people. But bowing to Turkish
pressure, that proclamation has never contained the word “genocide.” That must
change. I do not underestimate the concerns of those who say the wrath of Turkey may work against U.S. interests—as I do not dismiss those who say
moving the embassy to Jerusalem
may complicate peace negotiations. But a just and lasting world order cannot be
built on falsehoods and equivocations. Let President Trump demonstrate that
commitment once more by declaring the truth of the Armenian genocide. This
would send clear message to the thugs in power around the world: Your criminal
acts will not go unnoticed.
Morgenthau, a former Manhattan
district attorney (1975-2009), is of counsel at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
5 –    Turkey’s MP Garo Paylan Meets With
         French President
Macron at CCAF Gala
PARIS (Armenews) – For
its fifth edition, the CCAF dinner is more than ever a meeting point for the
Armenian community in France … and even beyond: this year, Turkey’s MP Garo
Paylan made the trip to discuss with French President Emmanuel Macron, and
receive the Vermeil medal from the hands of the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.
An award well deserved
for the courageous politician of opposition, long and several times applauded
by the 500 people present in the room of reception of the hotel of the
Collector on January 30.
” There is one that is in immense danger today
in Turkey.
And he’s here tonight, with us! I want to talk about Garo Paylan, “said CCAF Co-chair Mourad Papazian, in the preamble. Your
life is in danger every day. You are a hero of democracy, of human rights “:
“By giving the
highest distinction of the capital, Mayor Anne
Hidalgo wanted to prove that whenever you need us, the Armenians will be there,
and Paris will
be there,” Papazian said. “ A thank you widely
shared by all those present who have flocked to his side to say a few words and
support him in its indispensable action in the democratic opposition of the
Turkish Parliament.
At his side at
the head table, on the one hand the film
director Costa-Gavras, sensitive to the Armenian cause, but
also Serge and Beate Klasfeld who received the medal of the courage of the CCAF
from the hands of the co-president Ara Toranian , for their fight, a fight of
justice and memory.
We have always
been with the Armenian people,” said Serge. And we are also campaigning for Israel to do
its best for recognition. We also hope that the law repressing the denial of
the Armenian genocide will be voted in France, as well as the one that protects
the Jewish community. “
The President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron,
also spoke about this law in his speech of about thirty minutes: ” We must
fight against negationism (…) It is essential that the national representation
recovers in the coming months of this subject “. A necessity all the more
urgent as, as pointed out by the MC André
Manoukian relying on the writings of Paul Ricœur ( Memory, History, Forgetting ), “ We Armenians, if we want to apply the principle
of forgiveness, there would be no one to forgive because Turkey always denies
Toranian insisted on the importance of such a
penalization law, ” as is the official inscription in the Republican calendar
of commemorations of April 24th or the teaching of genocide in school curricula
according to the terms advocated by the mission of Vincent Duclert “. On this
first point too, President Macron commented, “ For
the duty of the memoir, we support the Republican calendar the inscription of a
day of commemoration of the genocide . This is a commitment I made when I was a
candidate, and I confirm it tonight . “
[Previous President] ” Francois Hollande has
done a remarkable job for the Armenian cause. We are counting on you to pick up
his arrow and launch it even further, “said Manoukian. In particular, he paid homage to his grandmother, to whom I doubtless owe my immoderate love for the
mountains. She was a hiking champion. She made Amasya / Deir ez-Zor, 1000
kilometers on foot, with her sisters, whose face she smeared with mud so that
they would not get kidnapped … But these stories you know them all “, because
they are those of every Armenian present in the room.
In the room, we
can note the presence of two ambassadors, Viguen Tchitetchian and Jonathan
Lacote, elected officials of Armenian origin (the mayor of Lyon Georges
Képénékian, Patrick Devedjian, deputies Danièle Cazarian and Jacques
Marilossian ” happy to be there, for my first CCAF dinner, which has a great
importance “, …) or not (Luc Carvounas, Valérie Boyer, René Rouquet,
François-Michel Lambert, many new members of En Marche, …), religious figures,
journalists (Laurent Joffrin, Daniel Bilalian, Audrey Pulvar, Georges Malbrunot,
Valerie Toranian, …) or artists (Levon Sayan, Alain Terzian, Matthew Madenian,
Robert Kechichian, …).
All the fights
we are waging with you are not purely retrospective ,” continued Maron, a forget-me-not pinned to his jacket. By your
action, you force us to face our present, and open our eyes to the tragedies of
our time “, speaking in particular of Burma, Libya, Syria, in particular face
Patrick Karam, president of the Chredo, and Elise Boghossian, both present in
the room. ” As yesterday it welcomed the Armenians fleeing the genocide, it is
the honor of France to
welcome the refugees today “, assured 
Macron, coming to the dialogue he has engaged
with Turkey:
We need Turkey
What Toranian has
nuanced:, “
We are told that we need Turkey. Without a doubt. But in any
case not a Turkey that threatens its neighbors , which occupies Cyprus, a
member state of the European Union, which throws its journalists in prison,
which today has 55,000 political prisoners, who dismissed 160,000 civil
servants for offense of opinion and waging war on Kurds inside and outside its
borders, including those fighting Daesh on the ground. What Emmanuel Macron,
who received Erdogan at the Elysee less than a year
ago, has persisted.
” I assume the choice to continue to speak, to say
things, to get the results. I assume this imbalance, this choice more
difficult, less glorious than big statements but more useful.
Another subject that crystallized the
discussions last night: Artsakh and its security.Tonight
I want to take you somewhere else. Come with me to Karabakh, “said Mourad
Papazian to President Macron, who rebounded on
these words in his own speech:”
I will not
accompany you (…) I think your fight is essential. But I also think of the role
of France,
which is to build the necessary compromise. I hope to come the day we will have
to settle all that, because the status quo is not an option.
6 –    Prof.
Vahan Agopyan Sworn-in as
of University of São Paulo
SÃO PAULO, Brazil ( – Professor Vahan Agopyan
took over as new president of the University
of Sao Paulo. The solemn
ceremony of the university council took place on January 29 at the Bandeirantes Palace, the seat of state government.

As the foreign ministry reported in a release, Sao Paulo
governor Geraldo Alckmin, present at the ceremony, expressed confidence the
university led by Agopyan will continue recording new achievements for the sake
of the city and Brazil. 

In his speech, Professor Agopyan stressed his Armenian origin and acclaimed the
Armenian Ambassador of Brazil
and representatives of the Armenian community present at the event.

Prof. Agopyan is an engineer and a full professor at the Polytechnic
School (Poli/USP) and holds a
doctorate from King's College, London.
He formerly directed Poli/USP and the São Paulo Institute for Technological
Research (IPT). He served as chair of the Board of Trustees of the Nuclear and
Energy Research Institute (IPEN) and was a member of São Paolo Research
Foundation's  Board of Trustees.
Professor Agopyan previously served as deputy president of the university

7-     Greater L.A. Area Honors Volunteers, Celebrates State
for 210 Freeway Signs for Genocide Memorial

On January 25, nearly 300 community leaders, supporters, and organizations from
the Greater Los Angeles area gathered at Geragos Hall of the St. Gregory
Armenian Apostolic Church in Pasadena
to celebrate the volunteers who dedicated time and professional resources to
the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial project.

The event was organized by the PAGMC in light of
the State of California
adopting a resolution to install “Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial” freeway
signs on the 210 freeway.
The State resolution was introduced in the State
Senate by former PAGMC board member and current State Senator Anthony
Portantino. David George Gevorkyan, PAGMC Treasurer and Chair of the Organizing
Committee, explained that the communities of the San
Gabriel Valley, the San Fernando Valley, and the Greater Los Angeles area
celebrate another victory of bringing awareness to the Armenian, Greek, and
Syrian Genocide, the Jewish Holocaust, and all genocides that followed. “I am
proud we are working together to bring attention to history and prevent future
atrocities. Department of Transportation statistics report an average of
304,000 cars pass on the 210 Freeway each day. Serving as more than a
way-finder, over 110 million people will see the Armenian Genocide freeway
signs annually,” Gevorkyan stated.
Notable guests included 27th District
Congresswoman Judy Chu, guest speakers California State Senator Anthony
Portantino and Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek, State Assemblymember Chris Holden,
Pasadena Councilmembers Gene Masuda and Tyron Hampton, Gardena Councilmember
Art Kaskanian, South Pasadena Mayor Pro Tempore Dr. Marina Khubesrian, South
Pasadena Unified School District Board Clerk Dr. Suzie Abajian, Glendale
Unified School District Board Clerk Jennifer Freemon, Glendale Community
College Board Trustee Yvette Vartanian Davis, 5th District County Supervisor
Kathryn Barger’s Chief of Staff Anna Mouradian, Glendale Interim Police Chief
Carl Povilaitis and Captain Tim Feeley, County Sheriff’s Deputies including
Chief Eric Parra and Commander Kevin Hebert, Armenia's first Consul General in
Los Angeles Dr. Armen Baibourtian, and Armenian’s current Deputy Consul Valery
The opening ceremony was performed by Homenetmen
Pasadena "Azadamard" Chapter’s Scouts and the invocation was given by
members of the clergy representing the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church
and the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America.
Assemblymember Chris Holden led the pledge of allegiance and delivered opening
remarks and Congresswoman Judy Chu spoke about the federal government and the
Armenian Genocide.
Mayor Terry Tornek reflected on his 2017
Pasadena Sister-Cities Committee 2017 mayoral visit to Vanadzor, and the
historic significance of the Pasadena Armenian community. “It was a privilege
to participate in the event acknowledging those who worked so hard to plan and
build the Armenian Genocide Memorial.  The opportunity to educate our
residents, particularly our children, about this terrible episode in the
world’s history is invaluable.  Further, I believe that this memorial will
become one of Pasadena’s
most cherished sites,” said Mayor Tornek.
Senator Portantino discussed the State
resolution efforts of approving the Armenian Genocide freeway signs and issues
of interest to the Armenian-American community. “I am proud to be a part of
this historic moment and to pay tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide
with an appropriate memorial in Pasadena,”
Portantino said. “The Memorial and the directional signs will help our
community raise awareness while serving as a constant reminder that we must
continue to fight crimes against humanity,” he concluded. As MC David Gevorkyan
stated “We are thankful to Senator Portantino for his incredible leadership in
the State Senate and greatly value Mayor Tornek’s deep commitment to the
residents of Pasadena.”
Community organizations joining the celebration
included the Pasadena Armenian Cultural Foundation and Pasadena ACF Chair Arman Baghdoian, the ANCA-WR Pasadena Chapter,
the Armenian Assembly of America represented by Western Region Director Mihran
Toumajan, the American Hellenic Council represented by Executive Director
Ioannis Fidanakis, Organization for Istanbul Armenians and its President Mark
Kosker, the Pasadena Recreations & Parks Commission, the Pasadena
Sister-Cities Committee (PSSC), and others.
Among the partner organizations being honored
included the Pasadena ArtCenter College of Design. The institution played a
central role in the design and development of the Pasadena Armenian Genocide
Memorial, designed by then ArtCenter student Catherine Menard, which was
unveiled during the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. ArtCenter
President Lorne Buchman voiced the college’s commitment to impacting global
society through art and design and the significance of the Armenian Genocide
Memorial project for the ArtCenter College of Design.
The Community Foundation of the Verdugos (CFV),
managing over $15 million in various community and scholarship funds, including
the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Fund, serves as the project’s fiduciary
agent. CFV Board Member Lee Wochner stated that the CFVwas proud to partner
with the community remained deeply committed to its success.
The event included youth performances from the Hayastan Cultural Center
with a duduk solo, a dhol ensemble, and vocal performance of Armenian folk song
“Kilikia” by Nektarine Chilyan. All proceeds from the event will be dedicated
to the CalTrans manufacturing and installation of the freeway signs scheduled
to be unveiled for the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
8 –    Intensive
Summer Course of Armenian Language
Culture To be Held August 2018 in Venice
33rd edition of the Summer Course of Armenian Language and Culture organized by
the Association “Padus-Araxes” will take place July 30 to August 14. Exams are
set for August 14.
July 29 (check-in). August 15 and 16 (check-out)
To apply, please fill in the application form in
our website:
Applications must be submitted in written form. Applications will be accepted
up to the deadline of June 30. Age limit: at least of 18 years of age
(exceptions should be submitted to the Director of the Course).
Lesson Schedule: 65 hours spanned from Monday to
Saturday in the mornings. Attendance is compulsory.
Extra-curricular activities (not compulsory):
courses of Armenian dance, doudouk, and Armenian dishes. Tours
to the Mekhitarist Monastery of St. Lazarus and to the Armenian vestiges in Venice; Holy Mass in the ancient Armenian Church of the St. Cross (14th c.) and in the Monastery of St. Lazarus.
Lectures issues concerning Armenian History, Linguistics and extra tours to the
main Venetian cities as Verona,
Padova, Asolo (to be planned with the staff).
Tuition fee is: 800 € (including 65 hours of
lessons spanned on 13 days, leisure and cultural excursions, cultural
activities, extra-curricular courses, didactical material and tutorship, examination
certificate). When candidate's enrolment accepted, he/she is required to send
500 € as enrolment fee up to Feb. 28 (up to June 30, € 550). The remnant of the
tuition fee must be paid by bank transfer or on arrival day as basic condition
for access to the lodgings. Once paid money will not e refunded for any reason.
Please contact Mrs. Daniela (
[email protected]) in order
to get Association's bank details for transfer. All bank charges are at the
expenses of the applicant. A 10% discount is applied to those who have already
attended the course at least twice, with a good result, as well as to any close
and grants: a limited amount of full and partial grants are awarded by the
Cultural Association Padus Araxes. Please send your CV, motivation letter and
one endorsement letter to the attention of Prof. Boghos Levon Zekiyan (
[email protected]) and Dr. Benedetta Contin ([email protected]). For full or partial grants you can also
apply to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Armenian community department).
For further information, send an e-mail to <[email protected]> and [email protected]
9 –    AIWA
Announces 2018 Hasmik Mgerdichian
Awards Application Now Available
LOS ANGELES –The Los Angeles Affiliate of the
Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA) announceS that applications
are now being accepted for the Hasmik Mgrdichian Scholarships, which were
established in 2011 to annually award scholarships to university students.  Thanks to the continued generosity of
Mgrdichian each year $5,000 are awarded to five students.
Applications are now available on line and are
open to all California
women residents of Armenian descent who are applying for education in an
accredited college or university. 
Applications are also accepted from students applying for graduate or
undergraduate programs.  The scholarship
awards are based on both financial need and merit.
AIWA-LA President Nicole Nishanian stated:  “Our scholarship program was created by
Hasmik Mgrdichian, one of the founders of the Los Angeles Affiliate.  We take great pride in her legacy to
recognize and assist in the education of young Armenian women.   It is gratifying each year to receive their
applications and to learn of their scholastic achievements and goals for the
The Scholarship Committee, chaired by Lily
Balian and with committee members Hermine Janoyan, Cindy Norian, Diane
Cabraloff, Diana Hekimian, Houry Aposhian and Lysa Gregorian, granddaughter of
Hasmik Mgrdichian.  They are committed to
reaching out to all California
universities and colleges to inform women students of the opportunity to submit
application for scholarship awards. 
Flyers and notices are being sent to Armenian schools, organizations and
In addition to the Mgrdichian Scholarship Awards
from the Los Angeles Affiliate, other scholarships are available through the
AIWA International Board in Watertown,
MA.  Applications are available in all fields
ranging from mathematics and architecture to government, public administration,
psychology, art and design, diplomacy and in the sciences. 
Applications for all AIWA scholarships for the
2018-2019 academic year can be downloaded from the AIWA website ( or
through the Los Angeles Affiliate website:   Young women are urged to apply for both
The deadline for applications this year is April
20, 2018.  Winners will be announced in
late May or early June.
10-   Armenian-American Who Helped Stop French Train
        Attack Stars as Himself in Clint
Eastwood Film
WATERTOWN, (Armenian Weekly) -Armenian-American
professor Mark Moogalian, the first passenger to tackle a gunman during a
terrorist attack on a high-speed train traveling to Paris from Amsterdam in
2015, will play himself in Clint Eastwood’s upcoming film “The 15:17 to Paris.”
According to sources, the film also stars
Moogalian’s wife, Isabelle Risacher Moogalian, who was also on board that day.
During the high-speed train ride on Aug. 21,
2015, Moogalian 
tackled gunman
El-Khazzani, who was armed with an AK-47 assault rifle. It was reported that
Moogalian instinctively acted to protect his wife Isabella and managed to take
the assault rifle away from El-Khazzani. The assailant managed to then draw
another gun and shoot Moogalian in the neck.
Moogalian, who is from Midlothian,
Va. and teaches English at Paris-Sorbonne University,
was quickly rushed to a hospital where he was rehabilitated and eventually made
a full recovery from his injuries.
Written by Dorothy Blyskal, “The 15:17 to Paris” is based on the autobiography “The 15:17
to Paris: The
True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Soldiers
 by Jeffrey E. Stern, Spencer
Stone, Anthony Sadler, and Alek Skarlatos. Stone, Sadler, and Skarlatos—the
American passengers who helped stop the attack by tackling the attacker—also
star in the film as themselves.
The film is scheduled to be released on Feb. 9
by Warner Bros. Pictures.
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