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Armenian Assembly of America Hosts Armenian Genocide Symposium in South Florida

AAA FL AG Symp Group

On Saturday, March 14, the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) hosted an Armenian Genocide symposium entitled “A Century of Genocide: The 1915 Armenian Genocide and Its Lasting Impact,” during the Assembly’s Annual Members Weekend in South Florida. Over 80 Assembly members, friends, and guests attended the educational presentations and lively question and answer session.

The symposium featured Dr. Rouben Adalian, Director of the Armenian National Institute (ANI) in Washington, DC, Dr. Rosanna Gatens, Director of the Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education (CHHRE) at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton, Florida, and Hannibal Travis, Professor of Law at Florida International University (FIU) College of Law in Miami, Florida. The panel was moderated by Assembly Trustee and South Florida community leader Marta Batmasian.

Armenian Assembly of America Board of Trustees President Carolyn Mugar provided welcoming remarks and introduced Marta Batmasian. Batmasian introduced the panel to the audience and recognized members of the audience who have been researching and teaching about the Armenian Genocide in South Florida.

Batmasian introduced Dr. Adalian who presented the topic of “The Armenian Genocide as a Prototype of 20th Century Mass Killings,” detailing the primitive yet effective template of mass killing that was developed by the Ottoman Turkish government. He showed images from the digital exhibit “The First Deportation: The German Railway, the American Hospital, and the Armenian Genocide,” which took the audience back in time to a pivotal location of the deportations. Adalian brought to life the experiences and activities of Dr. Wilfred D. Post who administered the American hospital in Konya, a major station along the Berlin-Baghdad rail line which became the site of a large deportation camp. In defiance of the Ottoman ban on photography of deportees, Dr. Post captured what may have been some of the earliest pictures of deported Armenians.

AAA FL Symposium C1

Next, Batmasian introduced Dr. Gatens who discussed “The Impact of the Armenian Genocide on Holocaust Education.” She discussed how the CHHRE at FAU had been working for years to advance Armenian Genocide education on campus and throughout Palm Beach County. Gatens drew parallels between the Jewish and Armenian experiences and highlighted challenges faced in educating the general public about the crime of genocide.

Professor Hannibal Travis gave the final presentation on “The Armenian Genocide as a Political Act and International Crime.” He discussed the illegality of the crime of genocide under international law, including cases where the charge of genocide was applied retroactively. Travis gave an in depth account of crimes against humanity that have been heard in international courts and discussed avenues for Armenian efforts in this context.

Following the presentations, Batmasian opened the floor for questions. Several were asked of the panel leading to a lively and wide-ranging discussion. Armenian Assembly of America Executive Director Bryan Ardouny gave closing remarks and announced the launch of an online petition calling on President Barack Obama to affirm the Armenian Genocide in his upcoming statement commemorating the 100th anniversary. After the symposium, guests were invited up to view a brand new exhibit entitled “Iconic Images of the Armenian Genocide,” that was on full display during and after the discussion.

“We were pleased to bring this expert panel together for the South Florida community,” stated Bryan Ardouny. “The Assembly is grateful to Dr. Adalian, Dr. Gatens, Professor Travis, and Mrs. Batmasian for their insight and compelling presentations,” Ardouny said.

Additional photographs from the Assembly’s Armenian Genocide Symposium in South Florida are available on the Assembly’s Facebook page here.

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.

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NR: # 2015-018

Photo Caption 1: (L-R) Dr. Rouben Adalian, Marta Batmasian, Hannibal Travis, Dr. Rosanna Gatens.

Photo Caption 2: Program speakers at the Assembly’s Armenian Genocide Symposium in South Florida.

(Photographs by Bedo Der-Bedrosian on behalf of the Armenian Assembly of America)

Gulf Coast Armenian American Community Announces Armenian Genocide Centennial Commemorations

PINELLAS PARK, FL – On Friday, April 24, 2015, Gulf Coast Armenians centered in Tampa/St. Petersburg will join Armenians around the world in solemnly commemorating the Armenian Genocide.

Beginning in 1915, the Ottoman Turkish government launched a premeditated campaign of genocide against their Armenian citizens. Approximately 1.5 million Armenians—75% of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire—were killed. This was the first modern example of genocide in the 20th century. Indeed, the very word genocide (denoting the destruction of an entire people) was originally coined in 1944 to describe the policy of systematic extermination used by the Young Turks regime against the Armenian people, and that the Nazis subsequently waged on European Jews.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of this dark chapter in world history and a series of specially orchestrated events are taking place around the world. On the Gulf Coast of Florida Armenian Americans have planed a diverse program of religious, academic, and physical activities to commemorate the lives of those lost a century ago. Below is the listing of events in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area on and around April 24th:

Tampa AG Events 1

Tampa AG Events 2

“Stop Genocide” 5K Commemorative Walk/Run

Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 8:30AM

Ft. Desoto Park

3500 Pinellas Bayway South, St. Petersburg, FL 33715

All walkers and runners are invited to participate in Tampa’s first-ever 5K dedicated to the Armenian Genocide and towards raising awareness about all genocides. Interested participants can register on Active.com. Guests can also connect with other runners on the Stop Genocide 5K Facebook event page.

Orphans of the Genocide Screening & Director Q&A

Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 7:00PM

The Florida Holocaust Museum

55 5th Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Hear from South Florida film director Bared Maronian as he presents his documentary on the orphanages that housed the many orphans who lost parents and were separated from siblings during the Armenian Genocide.

Orphans of the Genocide & The Armenian Genocide Airing on WEDU+

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 8:00PM, and 9:30PM on WEDU+

Orphans of the Genocide is a documentary by South Florida film director Bared Maronian showing the orphanages that housed thousands of orphans who lost their parents and were separated from siblings during the Armenian Genocide. Film starts at 8:00 PM (90 minutes).

The Armenian Genocide is the complete story of the first Genocide of the 20th century. It features interviews with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Samantha Power, and best-selling author Peter Balakian, and contains historical footage of the events.

Narrated by Julianna Margulies, it also includes narrations by Ed Harris, Natalie Portman and Laura Linney, among others. Film starts at 9:30PM (60 minutes).

“Rising from the Ashes of Tragedy” Lecture and Student Panel Discussion

Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 2:00PM

University of South Florida (USF)

Tampa, Main Library

4th Floor Grace Allen Room

The USF Libraries Holocaust and Genocide Studies Center host Armenian scholar Dr. Garabet Moumdjian for a presentation entitled “Rising from the Ashes of Tragedy – Armenia’s Triumph Over Its Genocide.” A panel discussion by USF students will follow the presentation.

FEATURED EVENT: An Evening of Remembrance

Friday, April 24, 2015 at 7:00PM

St. Hagop Armenian Church

7020 90th Avenue, Pinellas Park, FL 33782

Armenian heritage comes to life in gifted performances of song and prayer to remember those lost in the Armenian Genocide and to celebrate their ongoing legacy.

“Rising from the Ashes of Tragedy” Lecture and Q&A

Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 7:00PM

St. Hagop Armenian Church

7020 90th Avenue, Pinellas Park, FL 33782

Armenian scholar Dr. Garabet Moumdjian presents “Rising from the Ashes of Tragedy – Armenia’s Triumph Over Its Genocide,” followed by Q&A.

For a full listing of Armenian Genocide 100th anniversary commemorative events in Florida, please visit our Florida Armenians 2015 Page.

Assembly to Hold Armenian Genocide Symposium at Annual Members Meeting in Florida

Symposium Will Take Place in Boca Raton on Saturday, March 14, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) is pleased to announce the speakers for the Armenian Genocide Symposium that will take place during the Assembly’s Annual Members Meeting weekend in Boca Raton, Florida, March 13-14, 2015. Entitled, “A Century of Genocide: The 1915 Armenian Genocide & Its Lasting Impact,” the symposium will feature Dr. Rouben Adalian, Dr. Rosanna Gatens, and Hannibal Travis.

Dr. Adalian will present on the topic “The Armenian Genocide as a Prototype of 20th Century Mass Killings.” Dr. Gatens will discuss “The Impact of the Armenian Genocide on Holocaust Education,” and Hannibal Travis will present “The Armenian Genocide as a Political Act and International Crime.” Assembly Trustee Marta Batmasian will moderate the discussion.

The Symposium will take place on Saturday, March 14, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.

FL AG Symposium flyer

Dr. Rouben P. Adalian is the Director of the Armenian National Institute (ANI) in Washington, DC. He is the editor of The Armenian Genocide in the U.S. Archives 1915-1918 and its accompanying Guide and associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Genocide. Adalian is also the author of From Humanism to Rationalism: Armenian Scholarship in the Nineteenth Century and Historical Dictionary of Armenia and has contributed to Genocide in Our Time; Studies in Comparative Genocide; America and the Armenian Genocide; and Centuries of Genocide: Critical Essays and Eyewitness Accounts. He is a specialist on the Caucasus and the Middle East, and has taught at a number of universities, including George Washington University, Georgetown University and Johns Hopkins University. He received a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Dr. Rosanna M. Gatens is the Director of the Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education (CHHRE) at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton, Florida. Dr. Gatens is a specialist in the social and intellectual history of Germany, especially during the era of the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich. Dr. Gatens has written about the collapse of academic freedom in German universities during the 1920s, the anti-fascist and anti-militarist campaigns of the German League for Human Rights during the interwar years, and racism as a component of National Socialism. Her research and writing in the area of Holocaust education focuses on the effectiveness of particular teaching and learning strategies for high school and college students. Dr. Gatens is a member of the Florida Task Force on Holocaust Education and a member of the Save Darfur Coalition of South Palm Beach.

Hannibal Travis is a Professor of Law at Florida International University (FIU) College of Law in Miami, Florida. He has published widely on Ottoman Turkey’s Christian genocide, freedom of expression, religious freedom in the contemporary Middle East, and human rights in Africa. Travis wrote the first comprehensive legal history of genocide in the Middle East and North Africa, entitled Genocide in the Middle East: The Ottoman Empire, Iraq, and Sudan. His second book, entitled Genocide, Ethnonationalism, and the United Nations: Exploring the Causes of Mass Killing Since 1945, undertakes the first in-depth exploration of the causes of genocide and politicide using the U.N. archives.

The Assembly’s Armenian Genocide Symposium will be held at the Marriott Hotel at Boca Town Center, 5150 Town Center Circle, Boca Raton, FL 33486 on Saturday, March 14, 2015 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. Guests that are traveling from out of town should call (561) 392-4600 to reserve a room at the Armenian Assembly’s reduced rate of $169.00 per night.

Online registration for the Symposium is available here. For additional information please contact Assembly South Florida Regional Council Chair Carol Norigian at southflaaa@gmail.com.

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.

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