LAT Mailbag: Commemoration of Armenian Genocide a good time to help all nationalities in peril

Los Angeles Times
Dancers with Hamazkayin Ani Dance Company perform for the Armenian Genocide commemoration at the Alex Theatre in Glendale in 2018. (File Photo)

Because of the resilience of the Armenian Diaspora, residents of Glendale are perhaps more familiar with the links between dehumanizing language and genocidal violence.

We have an opportunity now to harness that resilience and knowledge to defend asylum seekers from leaders that try to cast them as our enemies.


Residents of Glendale must fight against dehumanizing language and support the fundamental humanity of people seeking a better life for themselves and their children.

Thankfully, we’re well practiced in this. The International Rescue Committee has a large office in Glendale and offers many volunteer opportunities. Similarly, many Glendalians are already active in Immigrant Families Together, and use the Immigrant Families Together-California Facebook page as a clearinghouse for opportunities to help families with immediate needs.


This April, when we reflect on the Armenian Genocide and the violence that proceeded it, is an excellent time to recommit to helping people of other nationalities who are fleeing violence.

Sara Hollar


When Anna Hakobyan, the first lady of Armenia visited our city, she emphasized not war but peace, both during the Silver Jubilee Gala of the Consulate of Armenia held Sunday at Glendale’s Hilton Hotel, and again Monday at the Alex Theatre. But when questioned by the press about threats to Armenia, Hakobyan firmly said her son would be in the front lines; she herself would take the gun and fight if necessary.

Anna Hakobyan’s sentiments, defending the motherland, are commendable. But I wonder if going that far is necessary for the wife of Armenia’s prime minister, a mother of four. We expect world’s international diplomacy and law to defend Armenia. Sanctions are a valuable tool to protect Armenia.

Hakobyan is like the queen. We know the rules of chess. Armenians have produced many world chess champions. We remind the world that the endgame is imminent when the queen’s called “check.” Surely having Hakobyan fight should be the last option.

Azerbaijan knows nothing about peace except threatening left and right and calling the shots as if United Nations doesn’t exist, and world leaders bow before them. Are these bad omens?

The city of Glendale and Armenia’s Consulate organized her Alex Theatre appearance. Armenians welcomed Hakobyan with warmth, but without proper indication of her excellency from the hosting city, without fanfare of national anthems, flags’ presentations or flowers. It was as if she’s just an ordinary person, sitting in the dark, at a table covered with black cloth; without the flags of USA, California, Armenia and Artsakh. Is the absence of flags foretelling an omen of an endgame, a premonition perhaps? World, raise Armenia’s flag high and protect Mother Armenia’s queen from this omen!

Rachel Melikian


Here’s hoping the new director of Glendale’s Department of Public Works, Yazdan (Yaz) Emrani, will appreciate the fine work of his current assistant director, Edward G. Hitti, P.E., along with that of Pastor Casanova and Larry Tay.

I found Hitti, in particular, to be most helpful when I first reported to him that the roundabout in the intersection of Columbus Avenue and Riverdale Drive did not have any directional, safety-oriented, east-west signs on Riverdale Drive.

Well, soon after Hitti and I spoke, I came upon that particular roundabout one fine day, and, lo and behold, Public Works engineers had already replaced these two very important signs!

Also for safety’s sake, there should be four-way stop signs when driving north and south on Grenada Street, at the intersections of Maple and Raleigh streets, instead of just the existing two on Grenada alone.

At any rate, outgoing Glendale Mayor Zarah Sinanyan reportedly recently said: “When coming into Glendale from one of the neighboring cities, you know when you’re in Glendale,” versus another such quote, “When you leave Glendale you know that you’ve left Glendale.”

Well, now when you’re driving eastward on Los Feliz Boulevard, beneath the train tracks that run at pretty much a right angle to that street, which divides the boundaries of Silver Lake from Glendale, you have little choice but to drive all the way further eastbound to Gardena Avenue in order to see, however briefly, the beautiful view of the Verdugo Mountains to the north.

This latest view loss must be blamed on yet another one of Glendale’s latest, traffic-congesting, multistory residential developments, in this particular case, the Griffith.

Harvey Pearson

Los Feliz

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS