Prime Minister reaffirms return of captives remains on authorities’ agenda

 18:49, 7 February 2024

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 7, ARMENPRESS. The issue of the return of the captives, hostages and other detained persons being illegally held in Azerbaijan to Armenia continues to be on the agenda of the Armenian authorities. These issues are discussed during negotiations, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said during Wednesday’s question-and-answer session with the government in the National Assembly.

“The issue of prisoners and detainees is always on the agenda of our negotiations and contacts. Moreover, we constantly discuss these issues. It is clear that this is a very sensitive issue,” Pashinyan said.

The First Beat is creating community through music and play

Record albums and instruments adorn the walls of The First Beat

Walking into The First Beat play space in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, you are immediately immersed into a world of music and imagination. The First Beat, the brainchild of Bethany and Raffi Rachdouni, is a feast for the senses, geared for children up to six years old.

Bethany and Raffi met in 2007 while studying music at the University of Rhode Island, later marrying in 2015. Both are music educators – Raffi in public school and Bethany part-time at St. Rocco School in Johnston, RI. Active members of Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church, they are the parents of Marcos (five), Tomas (three) and Rafael (two), all of whom are students at the Mourad Armenian Saturday School, where Raffi is the music teacher.

Bethany and Raffi Rachdouni in the music room of The First Beat

I recently visited The First Beat to talk with the Rachdounis about their venture into the world of play spaces. I was enthralled with the music-themed decor, from instruments and music notes to actual record albums hanging on the walls and pint-sized instruments throughout the rooms. And yes, there are multiple rooms in this musical play space, which is the point. This brings us to the inspiration behind The First Beat.

Bethany always dreamed of opening a daycare with an arts component, but when that didn’t materialize, the concept of play spaces intrigued her. She was a nanny for many years and attended many Music Together classes, a music and movement program, with her charges. “I thought, why not incorporate the two? So we took a play space and brought in the music classes,” she said.

The couple was eager to share the story of how they coined The First Beat. Bethany had fully expected Raffi to think of the name since “that was his thing—he’s the one who comes up with names.” Raffi began brainstorming ideas like “play…something or kid music…something, but nothing was clicking,” they recalled.

I had just finished teaching pre-K, and Marcos was in my class. I was saying, ‘stead-y beat, stead-y beat’ [in a steady rhythm]. And I remember thinking, these are their first beats, and it just clicked. I told Raffi, and he said, oh, that’s it!” shared Bethany.

Raffi, Bethany and their children with Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien at the ribbon cutting in October 2023

The First Beat opened in May 2023, and at first, the concept was new to people who were used to taking their children to a music class and then leaving. The idea here is for people to come and stay to play. “This morning a family came in just to play with the toys,” Bethany explained. “I sat and did ukulele with the little girl, and then I left her and her mom alone to go grocery shopping or whatever they wanted. The whole thing is to come in for music class, but instead of it just being a half hour and then you have to leave, people stay for hours to play, which is really sweet and really nice.”

Raffi and Bethany see The First Beat creating a sense of community among those who attend. Parents and grandparents get to know one another, sometimes even socializing outside of the play space. Some people bring their laptops and work while the children take music class and play, and others observe or participate in the play. 

Bethany explained that their setup is much like a children’s museum concept. Rather than one large play space area, there are multiple rooms: music festival, sensory play, vehicles, garden, tools, shopping and climbing—something for everyone. This allows for “the structured music class and unstructured exploratory play, which is a great balance of sitting for music class and then going to play,” Raffi said.

The music is hands-on and includes movement to expend energy. The feedback from parents and grandparents has been very positive, both to the movement and to the familiarity of the songs that the Rachdounis use for music classes.

The opportunity for all the kids to interact with each other at very young ages prepares them for preschool, too. “I tell parents that just one day a week will help that drop off at preschool,” Bethany said. 

Another special component of The First Beat is Ms. Stacey, the Rachdounis’ aunt Stacey Khatchadourian. While Bethany and Raffi work as music teachers at their respective schools, Ms. Stacey is at The First Beat doing storytime, bubbles and more. Ms. Stacey has regulars who come in just for her at The First Beat. “We couldn’t do it without her,” Bethany said.

“I am happy to be a part of The First Beat,” Ms. Stacey told the Weekly. “Forming relationships with the families and watching the children develop skills makes me happy. When they enter the door and say, hi Ms. Stacey, it makes my day!”

The Rachdounis with a large group of their supportive friends during a recent gathering at The First Beat

The Rachdounis have a large and supportive group of friends who frequent The First Beat. In October 2023, they held a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien that was attended by many friends and family from the Rhode Island Armenian community. “It’s been nice to see our friends so supportive of our business and our place and the talents that we give to their kiddos, not just in church but also here with Bethany,” Raffi said.

Newly-elected Camp Haiastan Board member Ani Megerdichian Arakelian planned an excursion to The First Beat during the first week of Day Camp in June 2023 for out-of-town parents. They brought the younger siblings of the day campers to the play space, where the Rachdounis held English and Armenian music class followed by lunch and play. The day was such a hit that they are planning it again for this summer during Day Camp.

Hrag and Ani Arakelian have been bringing their children to The First Beat from the start. “Anoush and Kevork absolutely love The First Beat. When Anoush was too young for preschool, The First Beat was a way to introduce her to experiencing lessons, following directions and socializing,” said Hrag. “Although our kids may not be the most active participants during the music lessons, they sing the songs all the way back home.”

Now that their parental leaves are over and Ani and Hrag are back to work, Ani’s mother takes the children every Thursday to The First Beat. “The children truly enjoy music class and are engaged by the well-planned and always changing lesson plans. My mom also enjoys taking her grandchildren, as well as the socialization with other grandparents and caregivers,” Ani said.

Bethany and Raffi are encouraged by the outpouring of support from the community. They have held many birthday parties and special events at The First Beat. The most recent one, a New Year’s Eve Balloon Drop, drew a record 20 families to the space. The event featured movement (get your giggles out), a dance party with a disco ball and the balloon drop, all receiving an enthusiastic response. “That’s the day I went home and said, we’re doing it. We’re making it happen,” Bethany recalled. 

Bethany hopes to expand the space and add more rooms and music classes. She is considering adding an ice cream parlor room and a veterinarian room, among others, all while maintaining and building upon the children’s museum concept.

Most importantly, Bethany loves being able to talk with people while the children play. It allows her to get to know the family members and caregivers and ask about their dayscreating community and connections at The First Beat.

Pauline Getzoyan is editor of the Armenian Weekly and an active member of the Rhode Island Armenian community. A longtime member of the Providence ARF and ARS, she also is a former member of the ARS Central Executive Board. An advocate for genocide education, Pauline is the chair of the RI Holocaust & Genocide Education Commission and co-chair of the RI branch of The Genocide Education Project. In addition, she has been an adjunct instructor of developmental reading and writing in the English department at the Community College of Rhode Island since 2005.

U.S. reiterates support to Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process, readiness to host talks


YEREVAN, JANUARY 23, ARMENPRESS: The United States is interested in ‘getting across the finish line’ and ‘has the same appetite’ for hosting Armenian-Azeri talks in Washington, a State Department spokesperson has said.

“This is something that the United States and that the Secretary is interested in and this is something that we’re going to work very hard to get across the finish line in close coordination with Armenia and Azerbaijan and the others who are working on this issue, including [Senior Adviser for Caucasus Negotiations] Coordinator [Louis] Bono,” State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said at a press briefing.

Patel declined to give updates on possible Armenian-Azeri foreign ministerial talks in Washington.  

In early December 2023 the U.S. invited Yerevan and Baku to hold talks in Washington. Armenia the offer but the meeting has yet to take place.

Cafesjian Center for the Arts announces “Seeking the House of the Deaf” educational program

YEREVAN—The Cafesjian Center for the Arts (CCA) has announced the launch of a new educational program: “Seeking the House of the Deaf.” 

The program is based on the exhibition, Sahak Poghosyan: Quinta del Sordo, on display at CCA  until April 28, 2024.

Sahak Poghosyan: Quinta del Sordo is a monumental project displayed at Eagle and Sasuntsi Davit Garden galleries of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts. It interweaves historical, conceptual, visual and artistic narratives․ The main goal of the educational program is to reveal these narratives.

In the first part of the program, participants will become acquainted with the exhibition. Then, the program will continue in the Creative Hall, where a presentation on Poghosyan’s Quinta del Sordo exhibition will be shown, drawing a connection between the works of old masters and contemporary works of art.

Summarizing the educational program, participants will engage in a discussion exploring the significance of artistic themes in the contemporary world.

The Cafesjian Center for the Arts continuously encourages participants to explore and express their passion for art.

This program is designed for participants ages 16 and up and is free with prior registration. 

For further information and registration, please call +374 10 54-19-32/34.

The Cafesjian Center for the Arts is dedicated to bringing the best of contemporary art to Armenia and presenting the best of Armenian culture to the world. Having celebrated its grand opening in November 2009, CCA continues to exhibit unique works of modern art, offers a wide variety of exhibitions and a diverse program of lectures, films, concerts and numerous educational initiatives for children and adults. Annual visitation of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts exceeds 1,000,000 people. The Cafesjian Center for the Arts is an institutional member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM).

Estonia allocates more than $15 million in additional annual development aid for Ukraine


YEREVAN, JANUARY 19, ARMENPRESS.  Estonia has allocated an additional 14 million euros ($15.2 million) in development aid for Ukraine to be disbursed annually, the Estonian media outlet ERR reported on Jan. 19, citing Mariin Ratnik, Estonia's Undersecretary for Development Aid.

Ratnik said that the bulk of the additional aid announced on Jan. 19 would be used for development through the Estonian Center for International Development (ESTDEV), while one million euros ($1.09 million) would be set aside for humanitarian aid.

Is an Azerbaijani-Armenians Agreement Imminent?

Politics Today
Jan 19 2024

Azerbaijan made better use of its capacity, won the Second Karabakh War, and saved its legitimate lands, recognized by international law, from occupation.


zerbaijan achieved a historic victory in the Second Karabakh War. In fact, for the first time in modern times, it gained the opportunity to dominate completely the lands of Karabakh and the entirety of Azerbaijani lands. In order to understand Azerbaijan’s victory better, one can refer to Atatürk’s and his comrades’ victory in the War of Independence; in a way, Azerbaijan won its own War of Independence and secured its future.

To understand this process, a brief historical background and an introduction of certain concepts is necessary. The most decisive outcome of modernity for states was undoubtedly sovereignty, and nations have played the role of cement in the consolidation of sovereignty. In this sense, the end of the 18th century and the whole 19th century gave birth to a state model that appeared to make Machiavelli’s dreams come true.

However, modernity has not produced the same results for all nations. Although the right to self-determination, in a sense a universal achievement of modernity, is expressed as a right for every nation, the colonial peoples had to struggle in a different way. The Treaty of Turkmenchay (1828), signed as a result of the war between Iran and Tsarist Russia, not only divided Azerbaijan’s lands, but also initiated the colonial process that ended its sovereignty over its remaining lands (today’s Republic of Azerbaijan).

Read: Azerbaijan Writes the Last Chapter in Karabakh

It is, thus, possible to look for the beginning of the historical root of the Karabakh problem in Turkmenchay, which went down in history as the first modern agreement that determined the modern order in the Caucasus. This agreement included the Azerbaijani Turks, the main power in the region, but not all the people of the region? Were the Azerbaijani Turks not part of the people of the region. In short, the liberation of the occupied part of Karabakh and the redefinition of the status of Karabakh in the name of the Azerbaijani nation became a matter of national sovereignty.

On the other hand, after the occupation of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which could not be transformed into a full-fledged state, by the Red Army forces, the Soviet Union established its dominance there and in the entire geography, and began to build its own order. Nagorno-Karabakh, the first modern status of Karabakh, was created in 1923, and was intended to serve the system built by the Soviets within the framework of Homo Sovieticus.

Therefore, the Soviets made the historical dominance of the Azerbaijani Turks over Karabakh problematic, and, in this way, the foundations were laid for the conflict that was to take place in the post-Soviet period. In order to make the Soviet system work in the South Caucasus, the Azerbaijani Turks, who have historically been the dominant and influential group in the region, had to be dealt with.

The bipolar system that emerged after World War II allowed Soviet policy to continue. However, the end of the Cold War, or the “end of history” as Francis Fukuyama claimed, began to bring about the end of the Soviet strategy. In short, as a result of the 44-day Second Karabakh War, it became clear that the consequences of the uprising of the late 1980s and the subsequent First Karabakh War were unsustainable.

Read: Is War at the Door? Iran and the Azerbaijan-Armenia Tensions

All diplomatic negotiations following the ceasefire agreement that ended the First Karabakh War, signed on the initiative of Heydar Aliyev, ended in failure. From today’s perspective, it is understood that the Second Karabakh War was a necessity.

The war should be evaluated as the result of a multidimensional process and development. First, the Azerbaijani state had to acquire the knowledge of conducting and managing a war. The oil agreement, signed on the initiative of Aliyev immediately after the ceasefire agreement (1994), became the main factor of Azerbaijan’s economic development. Azerbaijan did not spend the years of occupation only in fruitless diplomatic negotiations: improving the capacity of the Azerbaijani state was one of the central government’s main goals.

On the other hand, Turkey, which has defined a new strategy for the 21st century, began to carve out a place for itself as a new center in the regional geopolitical equation that is changing over time. The presence of a militarily, politically, and economically active Turkey in the region has also strengthened Azerbaijan’s power in the long run. Azerbaijan made better use of its capacity, won the Second Karabakh War, and saved its legitimate lands, recognized by international law, from occupation. This gave it the opportunity to become a fully fledged sovereign state on its legitimate territory. With the local anti-terrorist operation carried out in September 2023, the Azerbaijani state removed all occupying forces from the occupied territory and closed the sovereignty gap.

Read: What’s Next for Karabakh?

It should be remembered that the result of the First Karabakh War was an occupation contrary to international law. In the Second Karabakh War, the Azerbaijani state carried out its military operation in order to save its lands, which are recognized by the international law, from occupation. In other words, in spite of all the difficulties, adherence to international law brings justified success and victory in the long run.

After the Second Karabakh War, President Aliyev stated that the period of military conflict and war between Armenia and Azerbaijan has ended and the phase of diplomacy has begun. However, the modern order of Karabakh and even the region was built during the Tsarist and Soviet colonial periods, and therefore, despite the victory, it was impossible to sign an agreement immediately; in the modern process, the status of Karabakh was determined by the Soviets during the colonial process.

More important than an agreement, Azerbaijan and Turkey signed the Shusha Declaration, which was the first agreement signed between states in the region in the 21st century. It was important to deepen Azerbaijani-Turkish relations, which had been tested during the war, especially in the military dimension. The changing economic and political uncertainties in Eurasia, necessitate that the military, technological, and economic dimensions be taken into account, and bring to the fore the Organization of Turkic States (OTS), which was proclaimed in Istanbul on the basis of the Nakhchivan Agreement of 2008.

The principles and institutions of the 20th century, especially those built after World War II, are now being abandoned. In a sense, the 21st century is giving birth to itself. In this sense, the effect of the OTS must be taken into account in the order that will emerge in the South Caucasus after the Second Karabakh War.

Read: The Myth of Miatsum: Armenia Stuck between the Past and Reality on the Ground

Azerbaijan’s victory in the Second Karabakh War shook off the Russian hegemony in the region, which began in the Tsarist era, was consolidated in the Soviet period, and continued in the post-Soviet period. However, the Russia-Ukraine war, with its growing global influence, has shaken Russia’s immunity in the region. Nevertheless, Moscow still maintains its status as a mediator.

The Azerbaijani side was not in a hurry to win, and after its historic victory, continues to act driven by the state spirit. Azerbaijan, considering that it is not possible to achieve peace immediately in the lands of Nagorno-Karabakh, which have been controlled and whose status has been determined by the colonialists for a long time, prefers to solve the process by extending it over time. In fact, Azerbaijan has achieved both the Lachin Corridor, solving the problem of the road to Khankendi, and the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh provinces from occupation, while maintaining its loyalty and commitment to international law—as President Aliyev has repeatedly stated.

Russia has now lost the privilege of being the sole hegemonic power involved in resolving the problem between Armenia and Azerbaijan. At the same time, Azerbaijan has managed to maintain its commitment to a balanced policy based on pragmatic, practical, and rational principles by pursuing a realistic policy. The foundation of the agreement was laid with the victory achieved as a result of the 44-day war.

Peace talks between the two countries after the Second Karabakh War; It continued in the context of Washington, Brussels and Moscow. The main issue in the peace talks, or before peace, was the recognition of the status and territorial integrity of Karabakh. In the current process, all the occupied territories, including Khankendi and Khojaly, have been redistributed within the framework of the “Karabakh Economic Zone” defined by Azerbaijan.

The Armenian constitution is the main obstacle to the recognition of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. Yet, towards the end of the year, there were positive developments in this regard. Azerbaijan is able to achieve results because it evaluates the mediation platforms in the peace talks according to their practical contributions to the process. The prisoner exchange was a remarkable development, and the fact that the two countries issued an official joint statement should not go unnoticed. Thus, a possible peace agreement will be possible in the context of the “development of mutual relations, sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

In short, the peace talks; in particular, Azerbaijan’s constructive attitude, which it has persistently maintained from the beginning, the reality of the reconstruction of the economic ecosystem in the region, especially in Turkey-Azerbaijan cooperation, Turkey’s presence in the region both militarily and politically, Turkey’s positive approaches towards Armenia in line with possible positive developments are all important factors The invitation of Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan to Ankara for the swearing-in ceremony  of the Grand National Assembly can be seen as the reason for the positive developments that took take place at the end of 2023.

Given the UN Security Council’s “talk to Baku” move, we can say that a peace agreement is not far away.

Armenpress: We are ready to support initiatives that contribute to regional stability – Georgia on Crossroads of Peace project


YEREVAN, JANUARY 16, ARMENPRESS. Georgia is prepared to collaborate with its neighboring countries to further the mutual goal of diversifying and strengthening regional communications, the Georgian Embassy in Armenia told Armenpress when asked on Tbilisi’s position regarding the Armenian government’s Crossroads of Peace project.

“We acknowledge the strategic significance of the Caucasus as a vital region for communications and its growing importance in connectivity. Georgia is prepared to collaborate with our neighboring countries to further our mutual goal of diversifying and strengthening regional communications. We are ready to support initiatives that contribute to regional stability, economic growth, and enhanced connectivity,” the Georgian embassy told Armenpress.

Armenia’s Crossroads of Peace project is designed to establish connections between the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea via a consolidated, regional railway network and via the North-South and East-West roads.

The Armenian Quarter in occupied Jerusalem: ‘All Christians here are at risk’

Jan 10 2024
The Armenian Quarter in occupied Jerusalem: 'All Christians here are at risk'


As the genocide in Gaza persists, Israeli efforts to ethnically cleanse and displace more Palestinians to replace them with settlers continue all over Palestine. One prominent and current example is the Armenian Quarter in occupied Jerusalem.

Jerusalem has the world's oldest Armenian diaspora community, going back 2,000 years. Nowadays, this historic quarter is under threat of demolition and confiscation. The hotel development company Xana Gardens Ltd. is claiming rights over property in the Armenian Quarter to develop a hotel over it. Israel has always been trying to change the demographics of the old city and impose a Jewish supremacy in the Muslim and Christian parts of the city in a variety of ways. The Israeli government relies heavily on settler organizations to take over land and property and on settlers who act as thugs to harass and intimidate residents to get them to leave.

Watch the report at 

Narine Arakelian presents “Metamorphosis of Aphrodite’s Stones”

Narine Arakelian is proud to bring “Metamorphosis of Aphrodite’s Stones” to Armenia for the first time. The exhibit will open on January 25 and run through March 3.

The new exhibit, gracing the Armenian Modern Art Museum in Yerevan, Armenia, is said to include many forms of art from Arakelian, including large-scale paintings, sculptures and video art. Additionally, there are plans to collaborate with Decentraland for a piece for the Metaverse. Her combination of digital and physical art focuses on Aphrodite’s Stones, which transcend time and space. Throughout the work, Arakelian showcases transformation.

Through the work, viewers are challenged to reflect on the emerging power of “myth” as Arakelian tackles topics like social justice and gender identity. The exhibit portrays raw feminism with the combination of the earth and its fertility. Yet the work is also personal for the artist. Through the “Happening,” a part of the exhibit in which Arakelian includes herself in the artwork, she shares that the feelings she experienced were unlike any she had ever felt before, and her goal was to express those feelings as best as she could.

Arakelian takes pride in being an Armenian pioneer in the world of digital art using new technology. “I believe that this is a huge opportunity for the artist to explore society to address social issues such as loneliness, feelings of dissatisfaction or difficulties of self-identification. It gives me a reason to expand the opportunity to convey to people my artistic opinion of human development in the future and transition to a new level of consciousness. I do not pretend to be in the role of translating what I see, feel, to be more scaled and visually more understandable to the viewer. It is precisely with the emergence of new technologies that we can develop in constant communication and interaction with people, which gives me inspiration for further creativity,” Arakelian said.

ANC-WR Partners with ‘Rerooted’ to Document Testimonies of Pogrom Survivors and Eyewitnesses

In an effort to preserve a crucial chapter of Armenian history, the Armenian National Committee Western Region’s Education Committee joined forces with the Rerooted in April 2023 to record and share the deeply personal and painful stories of those who survived brutal pogroms of Armenians in Soviet Azerbaijan, which resulted in the ethnic cleansing of more than 300,000 Armenians from Baku, Kirovabad, Sumgait and other regions of Soviet Azerbaijan.

Beginning with the Sumgait massacres in February 1988 and continuing with the pogroms in Kirovabad and Baku in November 1988 and January 1990 respectively, the pogroms were comprised of a series of severe and systemic acts of violence, including killings, sexual violence, and forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Armenian civilians at the hands of Azerbaijani residents and authorities.

The End of the 20th Century Anti-Armenian Pogroms Collection Project, also known as The Pogroms Collection, is focused on creating a comprehensive archive of survivor testimonies to serve as an essential resource for education, research, public awareness, and advocacy. This effort is a step towards honoring the memory of the victims and survivors, ensuring that their experiences of endurance in the face of adversity are recognized and preserved, and that the atrocities committed are met with the due diligence of accountability, including through restitution and the preservation of the right of return of Armenians to their homes.

“Survivor testimonies from this significant period of history are primary sources that reveal the realities of man’s inhumanity to man and the lasting impact of these experiences,” said Alice Petrossian, Chair of ANC WR Education Committee. “They remind us of the importance of protecting human rights and drive our agency to stand for justice.”

One of the survivors of the pogroms interviewed by ANC WR’s Education Committee member Arpi Krikorian said “I was told to go to a theater in downtown [Baku] where a lot of Armenians gathered to hide and protect themselves… I didn’t end up going, and I’m glad I didn’t, because I later saw on the news that they [Azerbaijanis] had set fire to that theater.”

Another survivor interviewed recalled a painful moment of his experience, stating: “I overheard a police officer’s radio… he was being told that Azerbaijanis broke into a hospital and killed Armenian babies, pregnant women…”

“Rerooted is grateful to the Education Committee members for their commitment to this joint effort to document the truth and to build a repository that will combat denialism and revisionism,” said Ani Schug, co-founder of Rerooted.

“We believe oral history allows for interviewees to feel an individual acknowledgement of the harms they suffered while facilitating collective acknowledgement through accountability efforts on a greater scale,” said Anoush Baghdassarian, co-founder of Rerooted.

Survivors of the 1988-1990 Kirovabad, Sumgait, and Baku pogroms who are interested to provide recorded testimony may complete this form. Individuals interest in volunteering for the Pogroms Project are encouraged to apply.

About the ANC-WR Education Committee: Comprised of dedicated community members from the field of education, the ANC-WR Education Committee fosters and maintains relations with officials, education stakeholders, and representatives from community-based organizations that deal with education and youth matters. More specifically, the committee focuses on implementing Genocide Education curricula including understanding of the Armenian culture and current critical issues in public schools and works with local ANC-WR chapters to address the needs of Armenian-American teachers, parents and students at school sites by monitoring and proposing activities and programs.

Rerooted celebrates and explores Armenian identity in communities around the world and advocates for their just and safe futures. We produce accessible, digital collections of testimonies, photographs and documents to be used to create resources that display the resilience of our Armenian communities and tools to advocate for their prosperity in the face of modern-day challenges. Rerooted was founded in 2017 by Anoush Baghdassarian and Ani Schug, two Armenian Diasporans, on the values of being a trustworthy and open archive that would be used for action. They began their collection focusing on the Syrian-Armenian community to document both the harms they experienced during war and the beautiful identity and community they had created over one hundred years. With the philosophy they developed and skills they acquired from their first collection, Rerooted expanded to Armenian communities around the world.